When pregnancy, drastic weight loss, or advanced aging causes the abdominal area to sag and weaken — women seek a reputable plastic surgeon in Orange County for a tummy tuck. This surgical procedure, also called abdominoplasty, is becoming increasingly widespread. In 2016, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported that there had been a 104 percent increase in the number of tummy tuck procedures since the year 2000. There were also about 2,000 more abdominoplasty procedures in 2017 compared to 2016.
The question we hope to help you answer is — is this popular and transformative procedure right for you? Let’s find out.
What is a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery in Irvine, CA helps to flatten and contour the stomach by removing excess fat and skin, as well as tighten muscles in the abdominal wall. The procedure should not be confused with liposuction, which is a form of cosmetic surgery used to remove fat deposits. Here at Andrew Smith, MD, FACS — our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Smith may, however, perform liposuction as part of a tummy tuck.
What are the steps in a tummy tuck procedure?
The ASPS cites four essential steps included in an abdominoplasty procedure, which our practice follows with the highest of standards:
- Using anesthesia. Our anesthesiologist will administer medications for your comfort during a tummy tuck.
- Making the incisions. A full tummy tuck requires creating a horizontal incision in the area between your belly button and pubic hairline. A second incision near the navel may be needed to allow access to the abdominal muscles. Last, our plastic surgeon will create a new opening for the belly button, which is popped through to the surface and sutured into position.
- Closing the incisions. Stitches, tapes, clips, or skin adhesives seal the incisions.
- Revealing the results. A tummy tuck delivers beautiful results, including a flatter and firmer abdominal profile that is proportionate with your body type and weight.
Allow us to further elaborate on the results and benefits of a successful tummy tuck below.
Why should I consider a tummy tuck?
The fundamental purpose of an abdominoplasty is to achieve a smoother, more even abdominal shape when liposuction alone is inadequate. As mentioned, the latter may occur when the body has experienced pregnancy, severe or rapid weight loss, or loss of skin elasticity due to increasing age.
Consider abdominoplasty if you want to:
- Eliminate excess skin and stretch marks around your abdomen. If sagging skin prevents you from loving your figure, abdominoplasty is the solution. Just imagine that fold of loose skin you have, which you hide under an uncomfortable pair of Spanx, to disappear forever. Did that put a smile on your face? Let that grin widen because a tummy tuck can also remove stretch marks on the lower abdomen.
- Remove excess fat to reveal a more desirable midsection. During a tummy tuck in Corona, CA, Dr. Smith will eliminate a surplus of fat around your belly button to achieve a more flattering silhouette. Abdominoplasty, in turn, can also boost your body image.
- Tighten loose muscles for a toned look. The aftermath of weight fluctuations, gestation, and sometimes genetics can conspire to cause diastasis recti, which is the weakening and separation of the midline abdominal muscle layers. You can determine whether you have diastasis by laying flat on your back and raising your legs. If you notice a vertical bulge or pooch in your stomach, you may have the condition. During an abdominoplasty, Dr. Smith can pull and sew these muscles back together.
- Repair abdominal wall hernias. The University of Michigan describes an abdominal wall hernia as “when an organ protrudes through the wall of muscle that encircles it.” The condition can cause painful sensations in the stomach, and fat or intestines from the abdominal wall can bulge outward. We can detect a hernia during your initial examination. It often occurs at the site of prior surgical incisions and the belly button (umbilicus).
- Eliminate incision scars from previous surgeries. Some of our clients have undergone surgeries or traumas before getting a tummy tuck. C-sections and hysterectomies are primary examples, both of which leave scars in the lower abdomen. These two can form a “stuck down” appearance on the scar and a “shelf” of overhanging skin. Dr. Smith routinely loosens and removes old scar tissue in the lower abdomen during a tummy tuck.
What are the medical benefits of a tummy Tuck?
Apart from flattening the abdomen and tightening muscles in your abdominal wall, below are the medical advantages of abdominoplasty in Orange County, CA:
- Reduction of stress urinary incontinence. Urine leaking out due to sudden pressure on the bladder and urethra characterizes stress urinary incontinence or SUI. Unfortunately, women sometimes develop SUI after giving vaginal birth. As a result, the bladder empties itself uncontrollably at awkward times, usually when sneezing, coughing, laughing, or exercising. Here at our practice, we can help you overcome this condition during a tummy tuck by obstructing your bladder with soft tissue.
- Improved posture and reduced back pain. Excess skin coupled with weakened abdominal muscles can lead to lordosis or “swayback,” describing an abnormally hollowed back accompanied by pain. Because a tummy tuck strengthens and tightens the abdominal muscles, the spine becomes supported and allows you to stand straighter. You may also be relieved of backache that may have been present due to lordosis.
- Easier weight loss maintenance. Swiss researchers concluded that bariatric patients — obese individuals who went under the knife to reduce the size of their belly to lose weight — were more inclined to keep the weight off post-surgery when combined with a tummy tuck.
- Improved exercise tolerance. A surplus of stubborn belly fat and skin, combined with weak abdominal muscles and a lack of self-esteem, can prevent you from achieving your fitness goals. Abdominoplasty can rekindle your love for walking, running, and other physical activities. Aside from promoting excellent heart health, regular exercise also helps to retain healthy weight loss and the results of a tummy tuck.
With such extraordinary aesthetic and medical benefits — not to mention the immense boost to one’s confidence — it is easy to understand why thousands of people opt for this life-changing procedure each year.