Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a procedure that can flatten your abdomen by removing excess fat and skin while simultaneously tightening the muscles in the abdominal wall. It’s also successful at removing some of the stretch marks on your lower abdomen. If you’re dissatisfied with the appearance of your tummy due to loose skin, stubborn weight, or excess fat, a tummy tuck may be for you. Call Georgia Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Marietta, GA today to speak with a medical professional about a tummy tuck cost and what we can do for you.
When Should You Consider a Tummy-Tuck?
Anyone who has flab, stretch marks, or excess skin around their abdomen that does not improve with a healthy diet and exercise is an excellent candidate for the procedure. Additionally, if your abdomen has been affected by pregnancy or significant weight loss and feel that your protruding abdomen is unattractive, or if your self-confidence has been negatively affected by the contour of your stomach, you should consider cosmetic surgery to correct the issue.
These are general pros and cons to consider for anyone thinking about the procedure. Depending on your lifestyle and goals, you will need to consult your plastic surgeon to understand which may be unique to you:
- The procedure restores a flat tummy
- Your clothes and swimwear will fit better
- Your body will have a more youthful appearance
- Additional pregnancies can complicate results
- Significant weight gain can negatively affect results
Are You a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Before you start to think about the tummy tuck cost, you should find out whether you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Have you been dieting and exercising to lose weight but can’t seem to get rid of the appearance of your sagging and protruding abdomen? Have aging, heredity, pregnancy, previous surgery, or significant weight fluctuations left you with extra skin on your abdomen, a weak abdominal wall, or both? To be a good candidate for the procedure, you need to be dissatisfied with your current appearance and desire to make a permanent change.
If you’re thinking about getting the procedure done, your weight should be stable. The best candidates are slender individuals with extra fat and loose skin the lower tummy. Anyone who is considering additional weight loss in their future should probably postpone the procedure until their weight is stable.
How Is a Tummy Tuck Performed?
In a nutshell, a tummy tuck involves the removal of your loose abdominal skin and tightening of the abdominal muscles with sutures.
Before making any incisions, your surgeon will mark your abdomen to indicate the location of the incisions, the center of your torso, and the location of your repositioned navel. A solution consisting of lidocaine and epinephrine will be injected to serve as both an anesthetic.
Your surgeon will then loosen the skin from your abdominal to your ribcage, place sutures in the fascia (connective tissue) of your abdominal muscles and pull them into a tighter position. This is the muscle repair portion of the surgery and is relatively simple. Once the sutures have been placed, your surgeon will remove excess fat via liposuction or another method. Your abdominal skin will then be stretched down over the incision line and the excess skin is removed.
Often, a surgeon will insert one or more drainage tubes to prevent fluid buildup that causes pressure on the healing incision. The drains consist of clear plastic tubes placed through a very small incision, below the main one, which leads out of the body to a small bulb. Your surgeon will provide you instructions on how to care for the drainage tube and receptacle.
What Are Your Surgical Options?
There are many options for surgery, and all will affect your ultimate cost. At your consultation, your surgeon will break down the different procedures and help you understand what your options are.
In addition to the incision that is made across your lower abdomen, a second incision is created around the navel. Excess skin is removed, muscles are tightened with sutures, and liposuction may be used to help define a new contour for your abdomen.
In this procedure, excess skin from above the navel all the way down to the pubic area that has been compromised by pregnancies, weight, or genetics will be removed (as will the stretch marks and scars it bears!). The best candidates for full abdominoplasty have loose skin and a protrusion below their navel.
In this procedure, a single incision is made in the pubic area and placed as low as possible. The size of the incision can range from a few inches to span the entirety of your abdomen. It is through this incision that your surgeon will remove excess skin, tighten abdominal muscles, and sometimes use liposuction to provide further definition to the area.
A mini-abdominoplasty is often recommended for patients who have always been in pretty good shape but are unable to achieve their desired results with diet and exercise alone.
An extended abdominoplasty procedure might be suggested if you have excess skin in your love handles or hips because the incision can be made longer to address these issues. Also known as the high lateral tension tummy tuck, this procedure was originally developed to address excess skin after significant weight loss or pregnancy. The technique is a little different from those outlined above as it uses a layer in the deeper tissue to support and maintain the repair.
The procedure includes a tummy tuck in the front of the abdomen, but the lift is transferred over the hip to the side of the thigh to improve the contour in this area. You can get an idea of the effect an extended abdominoplasty has by grabbing the skin on the sides of your waist and pulling up like you’re putting on a pair of pants.
What Are the Incisions and Scars Like?
The incision used in a full abdominoplasty runs from one hipbone to the other and is sometimes in a V-cut or U-cut shape so that it can be more easily hidden beneath a bikini. Your surgeon will determine the length and shape of the incision based on your preferences, the shape of your body, and your desired results. You will also likely have an incision around your navel.
If you opt for a mini tummy tuck, the surgeon will place the incision as low as possible, often hiding it in the pubic bone area. The abdominal skin that is removed sits below the navel, and there are no incisions around the navel itself. The length of the incision, as well as any resulting scarring, will vary based on how much skin is removed during the procedure.
Finally, with a high lateral tension abdominoplasty (extended abdominoplasty), the scars will be longer and most often higher than the scars in traditional tummy tuck procedures. Not much centrally located skin is removed, so it is common not to have incisions made near the navel with this procedure.
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
There are a variety of factors that go into your tummy tuck cost. On average, the surgeon’s fee sits around $6,000. However, your individual tummy tuck cost will vary depending on the type of procedure you and your surgeon decide on, the type of anesthesia used, where you have it done, and other factors you may come across during your recovery.
Ultimately, it’s difficult to accurately estimate a tummy tuck cost before you’ve spoken to your surgeon.
Your Initial Consultation
During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to talk about your goals and all concerns you might have. Your surgeon will evaluate you as a candidate for the procedure and clarify which approach is best for you and why. As your surgeon gets a better understanding of your goals and condition, they will be able to make suggestions on alternative or additional treatments that may help further your goals and enhance your results.
How to Prepare for Your Procedure
Before your procedure, your surgeon will provide you with pre-operative instructions, answer any questions you have about the surgery, take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to ensure you’re physically fit for the procedure.
You’ll be asked to do a few things in advance of your procedure. First, if you smoke, you will have to cease at least 6 weeks prior to the surgery. You will probably also be advised to stop taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications (such as Advil or Motrin) that can increase your bleeding during the surgery. Hydration is also extremely important both before and after surgery. Your surgeon will let you know how much water you should be drinking in the days leading up to the procedure as well as those that follow.
It would be wise to prepare your home for your recovery before your day of surgery. If you have children, you may need to make arrangements for assistance in caring for them while you heal. You should choose healthy meal options, and if nobody will be available to cook them for you, cook or prepare them ahead of time to minimize the amount of work you have to do after your surgery. Make sure everything you’ll need, from food to toiletry to clothes is placed well within reach so that you don’t have to stretch or bend over much to reach things.
While a tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure, it’s still invasive and you need to take your recovery period seriously. You will, at the very least, need to make arrangements with someone to get you home after your procedure and associated recovery are complete. It’s often best to have someone around for at least a week to help you with tasks that require more strenuous physical activity.
There are a variety of tummy tuck procedures developed to meet the cosmetic needs of many differently shaped bodies. If you’re unsatisfied with your silhouette thanks to your protruding abdomen or loose skin, you may be an excellent candidate for the procedure. There are many things that can factor into your tummy tuck cost, including the type of procedure you and your surgeon decide upon as well as any additional treatments or procedures recommended to achieve the results you want.
Don’t let tummy tuck cost stand in the way of a newer, happier you. If you’d like to learn more about the procedure, contact us at Georgia Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Marietta, GA today at 770-464-5485 and schedule a consultation.