All About Tummy Tucks

A tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure to surgically correct sagging skin and muscles in the abdominal area. For many, this occurs after weight loss or pregnancy. For many, reclaiming your physique means adopting new diets, exploring different exercise trends, and pushing yourself to lead a more active, healthy, and happy lifestyle. While gyms and diet programs can help you reach and maintain that goal weight, they do little if anything for loose skin. Excess skin can exist in many different parts of your body, but a common area of concern is the skin that hangs over your waistline. After the challenge of a weight loss journey or at the end of pregnancy, many feel disheartened at the prospect of never quite reclaiming their toned, defined physique. That is why the plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Specialists in Marin County offer specialized tummy tuck approaches to meet all our patients’ needs. We have an enormous amount of experience in the Tummy Tuck procedure, as you can see in our gallery. These photos are just a few of the many we’ve done. If you would like to see how the Plastic Surgery Specialists can help you reclaim your toned abdomen, please schedule a personal consultation at our Marin County offices. We will construct a personalized treatment plan to address each one of your cosmetic concerns. To speak with our friendly front desk directly, please call (415) 886-0777.

About Loose Abdominal Skin

Skin is the largest organ in the human body. From birth, the complex network of collagen and elastin fibers keeps our skin strong and tensile,[1] while the subcutaneous base of fatty tissue protects our body and vital organs from heat loss, dermal infection, and any external forces or pressures.[2] As our body continues to expand through puberty and adolescence, our skin cells proliferate to keep up with the growing demand for new, fresh tissue. But, after we hit our last growth spurt, our collagen production wanes, and our skin begins to lose its elasticity gradually. Skin can still increase its surface area – but now without the refreshing help of new collagen and elastin fibers, it can’t “snap back.” The mechanical load of a growing baby during pregnancy or increasing fatty tissue can take its toll. This spread often causes what is known as Langer’s lines (stretch marks) in the expanded tissue.[1] With the skin continuously stretched past its physiological limit, even after diet, exercise, liposuction, or a long-awaited delivery, the overlying skin will not return to its former appearance. While most weight loss patients do expect looser skin at the end of their journey, many are unprepared for how much excess skin there actually is once they reach their goal weight.[3]

About Diastasis Recti

A tummy tuck procedure can do more than just excise loose abdominal skin. It can also repair muscles that have separated during pregnancy. Typically, during the third trimester, the growing fetus can apply too much internal pressure on the two vertical abdominal walls. This pressure can cause the two walls to split from the linea alba – the long band of connective tissue that tethers the two muscles together. After giving birth, the stretched linea alba can lead to a prominent bulge of tissue in the abdomen.[4] This condition is called diastasis recti. Patients with this condition often cite poor abdominal appearance and weak pelvic floor disorders like urinary incontinence as common symptoms.[5] For many mothers, this condition only persists for a short amount of time after they’ve given birth and subsides in a few months. But for others, this condition might not heal fully and may persist as an area of concern. Because the abdominal muscles are out of their natural place, reclaiming core strength is oftentimes impossible. 

Additional Liposuction and Renuvion

There may still be unwanted fat lingering on your abdomen. Now is the time to finally bid it farewell! And, if we don’t address this fatty tissue during your tummy tuck procedure, you might be left with underwhelming results. To ensure a slimmer, better-contoured abdomen after your tummy tuck, we often add liposuction to a tummy tuck procedure. By using advanced liposculpture tools to sculpt away the fat around your midsection, we can achieve a more optimal definition of your abdomen. Be sure to ask how liposuction can better achieve your desired aesthetic during your consultation,. 

PSS adds a procedure called Renuvion skin tightening, in combination with Liposuction. This groundbreaking device tightens the skin with plasma derived from helium gas transformed by radiofrequency (RF) thermal energy.

What Is A Tummy Tuck?

Tummy Tuck Marin County

To treat loose abdominal skin and displaced abdominal muscles, the surgeons at Plastic Surgery Specialists employ four different tummy tuck approaches. Because each patient requires unique surgical needs, procedures differ in how much skin is removed, the location of the incisions, and how the abdominal muscles are addressed.

Mini Tummy Tuck

Beginning with a minimal incision just above the pubis, a mini tummy tuck addresses the loose, excess skin that hangs just below the waist. Mini tummy tuck patients only have mild to moderate skin laxity in this area. The skin is pulled down and excised while the positioning of the belly button and underlying muscles remain untouched. 

Full Tummy Tuck

For those with too much loose abdominal skin or excess skin higher on the midsection, a full tummy tuck is often the best option. With an incision just below where the waist line of a bikini falls, and one encircling the navel, a plastic surgeon gently lifts the freed layers of tissue to access the abdominal muscles. If the patient has diastasis recti, the surgeon will suture the two muscles back to their natural alignment. They will then liposuction away any fat around the muscles and in the subcutaneous layer. After carefully redraping skin, they will expertly create a small new hole for the belly button’s new home. Once the surgeon has everything in place and adjusted the tension, they will excise any redundant skin and suture the incisions closed. The patient will then have their abdomen dressed in a compression wrap. 

High-Tension Tummy Tuck

To create a more defined and tighter all-around abdominal profile, we use a high-tension tummy tuck. Unlike a full tummy tuck, a high-tension tummy tuck tightens tissue horizontally and vertically, and uses incisions placed in both directions. This approach is ideal for those who have loose abdominal skin on their flanks, hiding their obliques. By tightening the lateral contours of the abdomen, a high-tension tummy tuck can create a better-sculpted midsection with its more encompassing approach. 

Male Tummy Tuck

For men with excess skin around their abdomen, a male tummy tuck is different from a female tummy tuck in that the muscles aren’t pulled together, but rather tightened. This process can rebuild a stronger core as well as improve any weak pelvic floor conditions. For those interested in seeing what their tummy tuck looks like, please don’t hesitate to schedule a personal consultation at our Marin County offices. 

Am I A Candidate?

Tummy tuck candidates are typically patients celebrating the end of a weight loss journey or the birth of their last baby. We ask our patients to be at a healthy, stable weight because any postoperative weight gain will seriously diminish the tummy tuck’s results – including subsequent pregnancies. Also, we ask our patients who smoke or use blood-thinning medications to stop a couple of days before their surgery and the entire duration of their recovery. 

Personal Consultation

We will begin your consultation with a physical examination. After we review your medical and surgical history, we will examine your loose abdominal tissue, inspecting for any separated or weak muscles. We’ll want to learn about your fitness or aesthetic goals and discuss how any of our other services can help you in achieving them. Then, we will discuss our tummy tuck options with you and point out which approach better fits those goals. Here, we will also decide if liposuction will yield the best results. This will all help us in constructing your personalized treatment plan. If you have any questions, check our patient resources page or give our front desk a call at (415) 384-0787.

How Much Does A Tummy Tuck Cost In Marin County?

The cost of your tummy tuck procedure will depend on the approach we utilize during your surgery. Because the surgical requirements of each procedure vary, the total cost of your procedure will need to be calculated during your consultation. If you would like to see our monthly specials, please visit our specials page. If you liked this blog and want to stay up to date on all things PSS, please peruse our collection of blog posts. To speak with us directly, call (415)-384-0787.

FAQ

Are there different types of tummy tucks?

Depending on the amount and location of your excess abdominal skin, there are a variety of tummy tuck procedures available. From mini, to full, to high-tension, there is an approach for any patient with loose, abdominal tissue. 

References

  1. Tepole, A. B., Gosain, A. K., & Kuhl, E. (2012). Stretching skin: The physiological limit and beyond. International journal of non-linear mechanics, 47(8), 938–949. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnonlinmec.2011.07.006
  2. Kwok, K., Lam, K. & Xu, A. Heterogeneity of white adipose tissue: molecular basis and clinical implications. Exp Mol Med 48, e215 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/emm.2016.5
  3. Boswell C. B. (2010). Body contouring following massive weight loss. Missouri medicine, 107(3), 189–194. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6188338/
  4. Jessen, M. L., Öberg, S., & Rosenberg, J. (2019). Treatment Options for Abdominal Rectus Diastasis. Frontiers in surgery, 6, 65. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsurg.2019.00065
  5. Benjamin, D. R., van de Water, A. T., & Peiris, C. L. (2014). Effects of exercise on diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscle in the antenatal and postnatal periods: a systematic review. Physiotherapy, 100(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2013.08.005
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