Is Tummy Tuck Surgery Right for Me?

photo912In part 1 of our 3 part blog series, John P. Zimmermann M.D. discusses how abdominoplasty can help a variety of patients with different conditions achieve a more toned and flatter stomach.

For my tummy tuck patients at the Aesthetic Surgery Center of Napa Valley, I use the initial consultation to not only examine the patients abdominal anatomy, but also to delineate and discuss their specific desires and expectations. There is no universal tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) technique, and we treat all types of people with different anatomy and different desires. There may be the patient with only an excess of fat, good underlying muscle tone, and reasonable elasticity of the overlying skin. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there may be a patient with severely stretched out skin and muscular tissues, often post pregnancy or post significant weight loss. In the “middle” are those patients with minimal skin excess, a moderate amount of fat, and a loss of elasticity in the lower abdominal wall muscles. Massive weight loss patients are an entity onto themselves, but fall closer to the severely stretched out patients. There is a different procedure indicated for each of these patient types.

Abdominoplasty patients can be in their 20’s or their 70’s, since a patient’s candidacy depends on their desires (and underlying health), and not solely their age.

In the distant past, we used to perform a standard tummy tuck on every patient who sought a tightened, toned and flatter stomach, with less overall fat. Today, with liposuction as another effective treatment possibility, we take the time to educate our patients on each procedure and the results in their specific situation…allowing them to make the final decision, with our guidance.

Liposuction is used to reduce the amount of fat in the external abdominal layer, but won’t necessarily tighten the skin, although the skin does shrink to some degree, in order to accommodate the lessened volume. If your skin is wrinkled before, it will remain so.

The “full” or “classic” abdominoplasty essentially removes the excess skin and fat (usually all of that between the belly button and the pubic hair) while also tightening the connective tissue (“fascia”) that holds the abdominal wall muscles together.

When a tummy tuck is correctly performed, one can even define the waistline, resulting in an improved contour and a flat abdomen. Overall, the cosmetic improvements achieved by a tummy tuck are much more comprehensive than with liposuction alone.

In the second installment of our blog series, Dr. Zimmermann will continue with a post about the “mini abdominoplasty” or “mini tummy tuck” fad. Be sure to check back to our blog soon.

Contact Our Office

To learn more about how a tummy tuck can help you achieve your aesthetic goals, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zimmermann, please contact our office today.