Tummy Tuck Surgery
Tummy tucks are suitable for both male and female patients. As women and men age, increased skin and muscle laxity can cause the belly to protrude. Some patients have done an amazing job getting healthy and losing a significant amount of weight but are now left with a protruding belly that seems to linger. If any of these situations sounds like yours, you may be a candidate for tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty. The procedure not only removes excess fat and skin in the abdominal region, but it also surgically strengthens the muscles of the abdominal wall.
Both men and women in good health are candidates for a tummy tuck. If you think you may lose or gain a significant amount of weight at some point in the near future, or if you may become pregnant at some point, it may be best to postpone the surgery for the longest lasting results.
To find out more about having the best tummy tuck Lexington KY has to offer, contact us today and request a consultation, or call (859) 279-2111.
Tummy Tuck Safety
Patients in good health typically have a safe, positive experience with their tummy tuck. Conversely, if you have any systemic heart or lung disease, diabetes, or you smoke, these conditions can present additional risk, and the benefits of the surgery must be weighed carefully against the risks. Dr. Gerstle will require six weeks before and after surgery of strict smoking cessation for smokers who wish to undergo a tummy tuck. Risks increase when multiple procedures are combined, when the age of the patient is over 55, and when the patient is obese. In general, men have more complications than women.
The usual potential complications of any surgery—hematoma, infection, reaction to anesthesia, blood clots—are rare and can mostly be managed. Talk to Dr. Gerstle about any further concerns you may have about tummy tuck safety.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Once you’ve discussed a surgical plan that you’re both comfortable with, your procedure will take place in our outpatient surgery center.
Be sure to discontinue any medications or supplements that can cause blood thinning prior to the surgery as instructed by Dr. Gerstle and our office staff. The tummy tuck surgery will take anywhere from two to four hours, depending on the extent of the work required. Dr. Gerstle will make an incision along the bikini line, which may extend from hip to hip, if necessary. You will know before surgery what type of incision and scar you can expect. Small tubes called drains will be placed through your skin to prevent excess fluid from building up under the incisions. The partial tummy tuck will not involve the area including and above the navel.
Dr. Gerstle will carefully select incision sites and sizes to minimize eventual scarring. Once he has gained access to the abdomen with the least invasiveness possible, he will use sutures to firm and strengthen slack abdominal muscles. Next, he will remove the excess fat and skin as discussed in your consult and close up your incisions.
Tummy Tuck Post Op
Once you are released from the surgical facility, it is important to have someone to take you home. You will have detailed instructions from Dr. Gerstle regarding rest, wound care, and general recovery guidelines along with a prescription for pain medication that can be taken in the next few days when your pain will be at its worst.
Your abdomen will be wrapped in a compression garment that you will need to continue to wear for six weeks as directed by Dr. Gerstle. This will help to minimize swelling and fluid buildup as well as to support the surgical alterations. If drain tubes were inserted during the surgery, they will be removed within a week or two in our office. It is important to keep the incisions clean as you rest and heal.
You will likely experience swelling and discomfort for at least a week following the procedure—the degree, of course, will depend on the complexity and invasiveness of the surgery.. It is important to rest, but you will also need to do light movements per our instructions to avoid stiffness and blood clots. Redness, bruising, numbness, and tenderness should subside within two weeks.
Tummy Tuck Benefits
- Tightens the muscles that cause bulging
- Sculpts a more attractive, tighter contour
- Removes and smoothes excess skin and wrinkling
- Creates a younger, firmer look
- Eliminates unwanted abdominal fat
- Increases self-confidence
- Improves your look in clothing and bathing suits
- Gives you a head start on making better choices with food and exercise
- Removes stretch marks
The New You—Working With Dr. Gerstle
We invite you to have a private consultation with Dr. Gerstle, during which you will discuss your medical history, undergo a physical exam, and review your current cosmetic goals. One way we try to best understand these goals and illustrate how Dr. Gerstle may be able to meet them is with our state of the art “Mirror Imaging” system. This program allows us to take digital images of the area to be treated and digitally enhance them to show what you are hoping to achieve. Not only does it allow you to show the doctor the results you are looking for, but it also gives you an accurate picture of what you can expect to see following your procedures.
Once you have established your cosmetic goals, Dr. Gerstle will suggest the best procedure to help you achieve them. Depending on your goals, you may only need a mini abdominoplasty or a modified abdominoplasty. He may, of course, recommend a full abdominoplasty, a fleur de lis abdominoplasty, belt lipectomy, or may even suggest liposuction to help sculpt more areas to get you the look you seek.
Tummy Tuck FAQ
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is a procedure that allows for the repair of the muscles of the abdominal wall after excess weight gain and/or pregnancy. The procedure removes excess weight and stretch marks, making it ideal for patients that have had children or have lost large amounts of weight, either by gastric bypass or with traditional methods. It also removes excess fat in the abdominal region. The surgeon is able to manually tighten the abdominal muscles, correct imbalances in the abdominal wall, and remove stretch marks.
When can I go back to working out after a tummy tuck?
Dr. Gerstle will typically clear you to return to exercise after about six weeks. You will need to be examined first, of course.
What sort of scars result from a tummy tuck?
This will vary depending on the type of surgery you get, but you will have a scar across the bikini line, which may extend as far as hip bone to hip bone. Certain types of tummy tucks may also leave a vertical scar. Scars will fade over time.
When will I see the final results of my abdominoplasty surgery?
You will certainly notice results as soon as the swelling subsides, but it may take up to six months to see the full effect of the surgery.
I’m not sure if I am finished having children. Can I become pregnant after a tummy tuck?
While you can become pregnant after tummy tuck surgery, it is generally not recommended, as the result you obtain might be lost after you have the baby.
What is the difference between liposuction and a tummy tuck?
Liposuction sucks fat from the abdominal cavity. A tummy tuck removes fat as well, but it also removes excess and sagging skin and stretch marks, and tightens abdominal muscles that have lost tone.
What types of tummy tucks are available?
Various types of tummy tucks—including a mini tummy tuck to remove a small amount of excess skin, a full tummy tuck, or a “fleur de lis” tummy tuck that can remove large amounts of unwanted skin—are all available to Dr. Gerstle depending on your circumstances.
How does a tummy tuck strengthen my abdominal muscles?
For muscles that seem not to respond to exercise, a tummy tuck can help. Dr. Gerstle can physically and directly access the abdominal muscles by separating them from the surrounding tissue and pulling them toward the midline of your body, creating a firmer and flatter abdominal surface.
How does a tummy tuck remove stretch marks?
Good question! Stretch marks are physically eliminated by removing the affected skin during a tummy tuck. Any remaining stretch marks that we are unable to remove will likely be left on your lower tummy and will not be visible in a bathing suit or other garment.
How long does a tummy tuck last?
The results of your surgery should last indefinitely. However, events such as pregnancy or significant weight gain can undo the results, so be sure to think ahead as you plan your surgery.
Tummy Tuck Financing
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Theo Gerstle, MD
Theo Gerstle, MD
Theo Gerstle, MD