There is hardly a woman that wouldn’t love a body enhancement to have a flatter, firmer stomach. This can be done with an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, and through other methods of body sculpting. So, it is not unsual for a women to seek a tummy tuck in Kansas or a body lift in Wichita.
With aging and childbearing, a woman’s body can change. Annoying, prominent fat pad develops over the lower belly. This fat can be so developed as to actually hang like an apron over the pubic and groin area, making it difficult to look good in any style of clothing. Still other women were never blessed with flat stomachs to begin with, and long to change their rotund bellies for something a bit more streamlined. David Hendrick MD is a board certified surgeon and a member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is fully educated and qualified to give patients the best results with these procedures. If you are looking to explore having an abdominoplasty in Kansas, please take the time for a consultation by Dr. Hendrick.
For all of these conditions there is “Abdominoplasty,” otherwise known as “Tummy Tuck.” Besides excess skin and fat, Tummy Tucks can address the stretched out and separated stomach muscles that are unique to the female sex (which by design allow for a larger abdomen during pregnancy) and which rarely improve even with vigorous exercise.
David Hendrick, MD also performs a “Mini Tummy Tuck.” This is a procedure designed to remove just a little excess skin and fat from the lower belly. The incision line is a little longer than a C-section incision and the procedure is easily done under local anesthetic with mild sedation. A Full Abdominoplasty is a more radical surgery. This procedure not only removes a large amount of excess skin and fat, but also involves significant tightening of the abdominal muscles and creation of a new belly button site (since some of the excess skin must be removed from above the belly button). The incisions are therefore around the belly button as well as along the lower abdomen from hip to hip (the “bikini line”). Full Abdominoplasty requires general anesthesia.
In between the “Mini” and “Full” Abdominoplasty then are the more common “Modified” Abdominoplasties. These procedures are tailored to the individual and can consist of anything short of actually needing to relocate the site of the belly button to a new hole in the skin. Modified Abdominoplasties may be possible under local anesthesia with sedation. A consultation with Dr. Hendrick can determine which level of procedure would be right for you.
The downside of any Tummy Tuck is the fact that there is no way to do the procedure without a long scar along the bikini line. In exchange for a tighter, flatter stomach, the patient MUST be willing to accept a scar there. Everyone scars differently, so how thin and delicate the final scar is cannot be accurately predicted. As with C-section scars, most women can hide the scars here with their clothing or bathing suits.
Why can’t I get rid of my “bulge” with sit-ups and dieting?
If you have had children or ever went through a large weight change, chances are that the stomach muscles separated in the midline of your belly. This is a design feature that women have to allow for expansion while pregnant! Once the separation occurs, no amount of exercise will tighten the distance between the muscles. Men don’t have this feature. A modified tummy tuck can tighten these muscles up using permanent sutures, if you are willing to accept a scar along your bikini line.
What about liposuction? Will that fix my problem without a long scar?
Possibly. Liposuction alone can correct many abdominal problems, if the chief problem is fat. A consultation with Dr. Hendrick will help determine what level of intervention will most closely accomplish you goals.
Are there any complications or risks?
All surgeries have risks, and abdominoplasty is no exception. Despite the fact that the surgery can be done in an office surgery suite on an outpatient basis, this can be a large wound and therefore a “major” procedure. Strict adherence to our post op instructions and allowance for a generous recovery period is essential to minimize the risks. For example, smoking has such a deleterious effect on abdominal wound healing that we do not recommend this procedure for anyone who smokes.
The most common “complication” from abdominoplasty is probably the expected collection of fluid underneath the skin flap, called a “seroma.” This fluid collection actually occurs about 100% of the time after abdominoplasty and is the reason we will usually place a surgical drain beneath the skin for five to ten days. Eventually the drain must be removed to minimize the chance of infection, and so additional fluid can accumulate in some patients. If that occurs, we perform needle drainage of the fluid until it stops forming. Final wound healing is usually not affected.
How long should I be off work?
This depends on how extensive your procedure is and what type of work you do. You should certainly plan to be off work until your drains are removed, about a week for most patients. After a week your ability to work will depend on your ability to adhere to the activity limitations outlined in our post op instructions (see the Tummy Tuck Post-op Instructions below).
Will I need a general anesthetic?
Only “Full” and extensive “Modified” Abdominoplasties require general anesthesia. “Mini” and limited “Modified” Tummy Tucks are possible with local anesthesia and sedation.
Will a Tummy Tuck improve my hips?
No. Abdominoplasties only correct the front part of the belly. Hips are not addressed by this procedure. If you have excess hip fat, you should consider liposuction for this area.
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