Tummy Tuck And Buttock Enhancement
Tummy Tuck And Buttock Enhancement
Steve Fallek (Plastic Surgeon & Medical Director, Face Focus Medical Spa, New York City) gives expert video advice on: What are the risks and complications associated with a tummy tuck?; What should I expect after a tummy tuck?; What are the costs associated with a tummy tuck? and more...
What is a "tummy tuck"?
A “tummy tuck” or abdominoplasty is very common in post-pregnancy women. What happens is they get the extra little pouch in the lower abdomen and the muscles are stretched out during pregnancy. Patients also have stretch marks in that area, and a tummy tuck involves making an incision in the bikini area and an incision around the belly button, cutting all the skin and fat out from those areas, pulling the skin and tissue down, and giving them a much better looking belly.
What is a "mini tummy tuck"?
A mini tummy tuck is appropriate for certain patients who have a small amount of fat and extra skin localized to the area below the belly button. And in that case, what can be done is a mini tummy tuck, or instead of making the incision above the belly button, just pulling some of that tissue straight down. A mini tummy tuck is a smaller incision and less dissection and only appropriate for certain candidates. So you really need to check with your plastic surgeon.
Who can get a tummy tuck?
Any patient that has significant fat, skin or stretch marks in the abdominal area is a good candidate for a tummy tuck. Classically, it's performed in women when they're done having children, where their muscles have been stretched out and they have the extra skin and stretch marks; that's the majority of patients that are having a tummy tuck.
Who should not get a tummy tuck?
Part of doing a tummy tuck involves tightening the rectus muscles and tightening the intra-abdominal area. I think if you are a patient who's seriously considering having more children in the not too distant future, then I would consider holding off on a tummy tuck until you're done having children. The other patients who shouldn't have a tummy tuck are patients that don't have extra skin in that area and might benefit instead from liposuction.
Is a tummy tuck painful?
The most painful part of a tummy tuck is when the rectus muscles - those are the muscles that get stretched out with pregnancy - are tightened. There are stitches that are pulled and put into the muscle. In terms of the tummy tuck incisions themselves, it's not very painful, but patients are a bit uncomfortable after a tummy tuck and do require strong pain medications. That pain usually lasts for about a day or two, and then starts to resolve over the course of a week.
What are the risks and complications associated with a tummy tuck?
The risks involved in a tummy tuck, besides the risk of anesthesia (and these are generally healthy patients that have tummy tucks) are there can be some skin loss specifically in the area around the belly button. Sometimes the belly button can also have some skin loss, and also right in the midline area right in the incision site. Other complications with a tummy tuck include a hematoma, a collection of blood, or a seroma, a collection of fluid, underneath the flaps. All of these usually heal without further surgery.
What incisions or scarring should I expect with a tummy tuck?
The incisions for a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty are pretty common and pretty much the same. There'll be an incision around the bellybutton and the bellybutton is detached; that is placed back in an appropriate area, so you do have your bellybutton after a tummy tuck. The other incision usually runs from hip to hip in the bikini crease area.
What should I expect after a tummy tuck?
When you wake up from tummy tuck surgery, you should be in a dressing and in a garment. For many tummy tuck patients, you'll have two drains, which usually come out a couple days after surgery. When you visit your doctor, he'll change your dressing and make sure that everything looks OK, and then put you in a garment. It's important to wear that garment all the time, because that will help compress the flaps, compress the tissue, and make sure that you get the best results from tummy tuck surgery.
Will I have to take time off from work after having a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck can be uncomfortable for a couple of days. I think it's best that you consider taking at least a week off from work after this procedure. If you don't have to work, I would suggest leaving somewhere between one and two weeks prior to returning to work after a tummy tuck.
What are the costs associated with a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is considered strictly a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. The costs usually include the doctor's fee, and the hospitals or surgeon center's fee. The prices can be anywhere from $5-6,000 up to $15-20,000 in total.
Can I get other plastic surgery procedures at the same time I receive a tummy tuck?
You can get other procedures with a tummy tuck, and very commonly liposuction is performed at the same time as a tummy tuck. There's been some controversy in the plastic surgery world about whether doing flank and side liposuction puts the tummy tuck at risk. Recent studies have shown that it is safe and effective. In terms of liposuction in other parts of the body, you can have that done with a tummy tuck. Very commonly, breast surgery is also done at the same time as a tummy tuck.
What is "buttock enhancement"?
One of the more common procedures being performed in this country today is buttock enhancement. There are a variety of different ways that can be addressed and I think that we can probably credit Jennifer Lopez with making buttock enhancement or making the buttock area mainstream. How do we go about taking care of these areas? There's really three different issues and it's similar to the breast augmentation area. For patients that have sagging skin, usually we can do what's called a buttock lift, and depending on your doctor and your plastic surgeon, that will depend on where the scars are. Usually it can either be in the small crease area where your legs are or in the upper back. Other options include buttock augmentation with firm silicone implants that are specifically made for the buttock area and that's usually put in below the gluteus muscles. And there are risks associates with buttock implants. That's different from the risks associates with breast implants. Finally, for a lot of our patients, we're taking the fat that's removed with liposuction and injecting it into the buttock area. And this can really fill the buttock and give it a nice shape. Costs associates with buttock implants can be anywhere from $5,000 up to $20,000 depending on the procedures that are performed. What's also important to remember is this is an area where you will be sitting on and every time you walk there's also pressure put on those muscles, so you really need to go to a plastic surgeon who's experienced with buttock augmentation.