Diet and exercise sometimes just don’t do the trick. While many women regain excellent shape after pregnancy, sometimes the stretching of the abdominal wall muscles (known as rectus diastasis) does not allow them to tighten – even with exercise. Loose skin and fat are also very difficult, if not impossible, to tighten. In these scenarios, a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is an exceptionally reliable procedure to restore your tummy to its original shape. A tummy tuck should not be considered an overall weight loss procedure. The best results are found when weight loss and exercise are optimized before surgery.
Abdominoplasty may be performed as a mini or full tummy tuck surgery, depending on your needs. A mini tummy tuck involves a short incision below the bathing suit line. Through this incision, Dr. Pacella will remove excess fat, particularly in the upper abdominal region, to tighten the skin with liposuction. Recovery can be quick, and you may often return to work or exercise within a week. The best candidates for a mini tummy tuck are those who have minimal excess skin, tight muscles and minimal fat deposits. A full abdominoplasty is more extensive and is best for those patients who have lax abdominal muscles. The procedure involves repositioning of the belly button to a more aesthetically-pleasing location and tightening the abdominal wall muscles. Recovery is a bit longer and patients should avoid heavy lifting for about a month. Tummy tuck surgery may be performed safely as an outpatient procedure and pain can be alleviated with a special device called a “pain pump”. Dr. Pacella and several of his colleagues have investigated the safety of tummy tucks both with and without breast surgery in the outpatient setting. Their study was published several years ago in a well-respected peer-reviewed journal.