Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”)
Women troubled by laxity of the abdomen and excess skin that can result from weight fluctuations and/or pregnancy may be candidates for abdominoplasty. An abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck,” is the surgical excision of excess skin and abdominal wall fat. It usually involves tightening of the abdominal fascia (the “girdle” of the abdomen) to flatten and firm the abdomen. We specialize in “mini”-abdominoplasty, which focuses on the lower abdomen and does not involve repositioning the navel. This type of abdominoplasty is readily performed at the time of other gynecologic surgery or as a primary procedure.
What can I expect after surgery?
When done as a primary procedure, abdominoplasty can be performed as an outpatient at the Linden Oaks Surgery Center. We recommend patients plan approximately eight weeks of minimal activity after surgery to allow the abdomen to heal in its new, tighter configuration. This time will vary based on factors including the patient’s age, general health, and whether other procedures were also performed. To prevent fluid build-up under the skin, a drain will be placed during surgery and remain for one to three weeks. Post-operative pain is managed with Tylenol or narcotic pain medication. The incision is usually hip to hip to allow smooth tightening of the lower abdominal skin. The scar is initially prominent but will fade significantly over time and is located to be covered by most underwear.
What are my options for dealing with a sagging belly?
Abdominoplasty is an excellent procedure for patients who have achieved a normal weight through diet and exercise but are unable to obtain a toned abdomen because of excess skin or a lax fascia from prior childbirth or weight loss. Some patients require a full tummy tuck with re-positioning of the navel, while others will get a good result with a mini tummy tuck. Patients who have localized fat deposits of the upper or lower abdomen may choose liposuction as a less invasive treatment. We specialize in AWAKE liposuction of the abdomen and torso. AWAKE liposuction is performed in our office or an outpatient surgicenter and is safer than traditional lioposuction under general anesthesia. Please see our AWAKE liposuction page if you feel you may be a candidate for this procedure.
Does insurance cover a tummy tuck?
Abdominoplasties are considered cosmetic procedures and therefore not generally covered by your health insurance. When performed at the time of medically necessary surgeries, there may be a reduced cost to the patient for operating room and anesthesia expenses. Our billing experts will be happy to meet with you and give you an estimate of the costs involved. Consultations with Dr. Harvey are free of charge. If you are considering abdominoplasty primarily or in conjunction with another procedure, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Harvey to review your individual care. He will discuss the procedure in detail, answer your questions, and review expectations and realistic outcomes.