Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is designed to improve the appearance of sagging skin, tighten weak abdominal muscles, and remove fat from around the abdomen. After cosmetic breast surgery, it is actually the second most common procedure done at Martin Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Martin performs a “No Drain” abdominoplasty for more than 98% of his tummy tuck patients. Drains can be painful and certainly are a hassle to deal with for that first week or two following a tummy tuck. Drains are used to siphon off excess fluid from underneath the skin immediately after surgery, but Dr. Martin’s careful technique of leaving your own natural drainage system, or lymphatic system, intact in the abdominal area, diminishes the need for drains dramatically.
Please contact us online or call 575-521-7111 to schedule a visit to our cosmetic surgery office in Las Cruces, serving El Paso and all of Southern New Mexico. Dr. Martin and his staff are committed to helping you achieve an enhanced new look through tummy tuck surgery.
A tummy tuck can be a great option for women and men who want to:
- Improve Sagging Stomach Skin
- Tighten Weak Abdominal Muscles
- Remove Fat around the Abdomen
Good Candidates for Abdominoplasty
Good candidates for a tummy tuck are patients that have excess skin usually concentrated below the navel, as well as weakened and stretched abdominal wall muscles from pregnancy, weight changes or aging. Diastasis recti, the partial or complete separation of the abdominal wall, is a common condition after pregnancy or extreme weight gain that can be addressed during a tummy tuck.
It’s important to know that Dr. Martin strongly believes that the best candidates for this procedure are fairly close to their ideal body weight and finished having children to get the best results from their tummy tuck surgery.
Tummy Tuck Options
Dr. Martin performs three different types of tummy tuck procedures based upon how much sagging skin and abdominal laxity there is. In general, most patients that have had children are usually candidates for the “full” tummy tuck procedure.
Full Tummy Tuck – The full tummy tuck addresses the skin from just above the navel to the pubic area as well as the full length of the abdominal wall muscles. The resultant scar is “hip to hip” with a small scar around the naval. The umbilicus is repositioned with minimal scarring. Excess skin is removed, fat is removed with liposuction and Dr. Martin tightens the abdominal muscles.
Mini Tummy Tuck – This procedure is basically the same, but less invasive. It is reserved for those patients that don’t have much in the way of sagging skin and only need the abdominal wall tightened from the belly button down. Since there is less skin to be removed, the resultant scar is shorter than the full tummy tuck and there is no scar around the navel.
Extended Abdominoplasty – The extended abdominoplasty is for people who typically have lost a great deal of weight and have excess sagging skin that needs to be addressed. This is the same as the full tummy tuck except that it extends up the hips and around to the back when a patient has excess sagging and fat around the entire midsection of the torso. Dr. Martin removes the excess skin and fat of the entire area to create a more contoured body.
After your initial consultation, Dr. Martin will let you know what procedure best fits your needs.
Recovery & Results
Recovery after a tummy tuck is a bit longer than many other cosmetic surgery procedures. Most patients will have some discomfort as well as bruising and swelling within the first 48 hours after surgery. Soreness and tightness are to be expected as well. You should enlist someone to help you in the first few days after surgery.
Plan on taking at least 2 weeks off from work or school. After the first week, you will be able to do some light exercise like walking. After about 6 weeks, more strenuous activity should be OK and you should be back to normal activities at this time as well. Dr. Martin will provide with post-operative instructions to help you recover as quickly and comfortably as possible.
As you continue to heal, the swelling and bruising should fade and the tightness should subside as your abdominal muscles relax. While your individual recovery time will vary, many patients are able to resume regular physical activity 8 weeks after surgery. However, Dr. Martin will give you more specific details on your timeline during your appointments.
When your final results are revealed you should see a flatter and firmer waistline and your body contours should be much more proportional.
Scot A Martin, MD
BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON
Dr. Martin is devoted to providing
outstanding patient care along with
highly personalized results.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
How Much Is a Tummy Tuck?
The cost of a tummy tuck ranges from $6,700 to $9,100, based on whether you need a mini, formal, or extended tummy tuck. The most common is formal, which averages approximately $7,800. The quoted price includes all fees for Dr. Martin, the Surgery Center and the anesthesiologist. It also includes all appointments: pre-op, post-op and follow-ups. The only additional out of pocket costs would be prescriptions, which cost approximately $100 (if you don’t have insurance) and the cost of an undergarment/girdle.
What Is Tummy Tuck Surgery Like?
The tummy tuck procedure addresses sagging skin by placing an incision just above the pubic area that extends out to the hips. Dr. Martin keeps the incision as low as possible so that the final scar can be easily hidden. In addition, the abdominal wall muscles are tightened with sutures in the midline, resulting in a flatter, tighter abdominal profile.
What Type of Anesthesia Is Used?
General anesthesia is administered prior to tummy tuck surgery. You will sleep through the entire procedure.
How Long Does Abdominoplasty Take?
The procedure itself is scheduled anywhere from 2-3 hours. You are required to be there an hour prior to the surgery and will need to remain for a couple of hours of recovery after surgery. You can expect to be at the outpatient surgery center for a total of approximately 4-5 hours.
What Sutures Are Used?
Dr. Martin uses a permanent, non-dissolving suture internally for the rectus muscle repair. He uses a dissolvable suture for the skin incision, along with Dermabond, a glue used for skin closure.
Can a Tummy Tuck Get Rid of My Stretch Marks?
Many people who have lost a lot of weight are left with unsightly stretch marks. A tummy tuck can get rid of some of the stretch marks that happen to fall within the portion of skin that is removed during the procedure.
Are There Any Risks Involved with a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tucks are a relatively safe procedure, but as with any invasive procedure, there is the potential for complications. When it comes to tummy tucks, some of the most common complications include:
- Anesthesia complications
- Fluid buildup
- Numbness and skin sensitivity
- Poor wound healing
- Skin discoloration
- Prolonged swelling
How Can I Prepare for My Tummy Tuck Procedure?
Because a tummy tuck procedure will keep you off your feet and unable to lift heavy objects for some time, it is a good idea to prepare for your recovery ahead of time. Some tips and things to consider include:
- Ask for post-op prescriptions from your surgeon before your procedure so you can pick them up in advance and have them ready for you when you return home.
- Solicit the help of family and friends. Make sure you have someone that is available to pick you up when you are released from the hospital, as well as someone that can stay with you or drop in for regular help during recovery. If you have small children, consider finding 24/7 in-home childcare to assist you.
- Get your shopping done. Stock your fridge and prepare easy-to-heat meals ahead of time so you are ready to relax and recover after your tummy tuck.
- Set up your recovery area. Determine where you will be spending most of your recovery time. Make sure you have easy access to things like your meds, the television remote, books you want to read and anything else that will help make your recovery easier. Have this area all set up and ready for you to return from your procedure.