Abdominal fat accumulation can be a challenge for many people. At eSSe Plastic Surgery in Fort Lauderdale, FL, we are dedicated to providing you with the most advanced body contouring procedures so that you can achieve the look you desire. Our range of services includes a tummy tuck designed to help patients get rid of excess abdominal skin and fat.
Are you curious about how long this procedure typically takes? At eSSe Plastic Surgery, we are here to provide you with all the information you need so that you feel confident when discussing your individualized treatment plan with our skilled practitioners.
How Long Does a Tummy Tuck Take?
A tummy tuck is a popular surgical procedure that can give you the toned and tight abdomen you’ve been working hard for without success. It reshapes sagging skin, tissue, and fat in this area for a sleek body contour. Depending on the extent of the surgery and other factors, it can take 2-4 hours to complete an abdominoplasty procedure.
Factors such as the amount of fat and skin being removed, any additional procedures being done simultaneously, such as liposuction or muscle repair, and your surgeon’s experience can all affect how long the tummy tuck takes.
In cases where only a small amount of excess skin is removed, it could be as little as two hours. However, if more extensive modifications are needed for a large area of fat removal, then it could take up to three hours. Additionally, if multiple procedures are performed simultaneously to achieve optimal results, the total operation time will likely extend.
What Causes Discontent With the Appearance of the Mid-Section?
Pregnancy is one of the chief causes of excess fat accumulation in the midsection. During pregnancy, a woman’s body naturally accumulates more fat as it prepares to nourish the growing baby. After childbirth, this stored fat may not be entirely burned off by the body, leading to it being stored around the abdominal area.
Additionally, when a woman experiences rapid and extreme weight loss after delivery, it can lead to sagging and excess skin due to stretching during pregnancy.
Significant Weight Loss
When people drastically lose a large amount of weight, their skin may not have time to shrink and contract with the new body shape, resulting in loose and sagging skin in areas such as the abdomen and waist.
Aging can also result in excess fat accumulation in the midsection area, as muscle mass decreases with age. As tissue breaks down over time, it is replaced by adipose (fat) cells, causing the abdominal girth to increase. Additionally, aging tends to slow down metabolism, so calories are no longer burned through physical activity as efficiently as before, leading to more stored energy in the form of fat reserves around your middle section.
High Estrogen Levels
Estrogen, one of the major hormones produced by the endocrine system in both men and women, plays an essential role in the body’s metabolic process. When estrogen levels become too high, that delicate balance is skewed and can lead to rapid accumulation of abdominal fat. A rise in this hormone slows down cholesterol metabolism, which can hasten weight gain.
A decrease in fat metabolism can, therefore, lead to peripheral obesity, a condition where there is excess weight around the abdomen, hips, and thighs. Not only does peripheral obesity affect physical appearance, but it can carry other health risks, such as heart disease and diabetes. If you find yourself gaining belly fat despite healthy eating and regular exercise, it might be worth speaking to us about the possibility of elevated estrogen levels.
What Happens During Surgery?
A successful tummy tuck procedure begins with a consultation in which the patient and doctor discuss the benefits and goals of the surgery. We will review your medical history during this consultation and order various tests to evaluate your health markers. Body Mass Index (BMI) is crucial when determining if a patient is healthy enough for such a procedure. We will also discuss any pre-operative instructions for the best outcome.
Once all the consultation steps have been completed satisfactorily, and we are confident that you meet all markers of good health, we will schedule a day for your abdominoplasty procedure.
It’s also critical that patients have realistic expectations regarding their results from this cosmetic surgery. During the consultation, we will discuss what kind of outcome can be achieved with this particular procedure, given your body type and overall health status. Understanding your goals helps us determine if an abdominoplasty is an appropriate option for you or whether you would benefit more from other forms of body contouring surgeries, such as liposuction or a mommy makeover.
Before Surgery: Anesthesia Options
Patients undergoing abdominoplasty need not worry about pain or discomfort during the procedure, as anesthesia will be used to ensure the utmost safety and comfort. The most common anesthetic option for this procedure is general anesthesia, which involves administering drugs that cause unconsciousness and provide analgesia (pain relief).
Local anesthesia is another option, and it’s used to numb the area around the incision while allowing the patient to remain awake during the surgical procedure. Local anesthesia may be combined with intravenous sedation, also known as twilight sleep, for additional relaxation.
Before Surgery: Marking for Incisions
Once the patient is sedated, we will begin to mark areas of the abdomen that need to be addressed during the procedure. This marking process is essential in helping us understand the dimensions of any surgical incisions that need to be made and plan for any liposuction or contouring needed. The purpose of this marking is three-fold:
- It allows our team to ensure we accurately deliver the desired outcome.
- It helps us prevent potential bleeding and bruising during the procedure.
- It ensures that symmetry between both sides of the body is achieved.
Once all the areas of concern have been marked, the surgeon will begin making incisions. These are generally made from hip to hip, and just above the pubic area so that they will be hidden by clothing afterward. After making the incisions, the surgeon separates the skin to access the underlying tissue. Then, fatty tissues and excess skin are removed, and some muscle tissues may need to be tightened depending on the patient’s condition.
Liposuction may also be used at this point to remove any additional fatty deposits that traditional surgical methods cannot reach. Finally, once all these steps are completed, the skin is pulled down and sutured back together in order to tighten it up. During recovery, drains may need to be placed to reduce fluid build-up underneath the skin flap. All these steps work together to achieve a smoother contour of your stomach area.
After Surgery: Post-Operative Instructions
It is important to follow post-operative instructions carefully to ensure a swift, complication-free recovery. Here are some of the things you should do during your recovery period:
Rest is the most important thing you can do after your procedure, and is crucial to making a good recovery after your tummy tuck. Immediately after surgery, the patient should rest and elevate their legs whenever possible to improve venous flow in the abdominal area. Doing so will help promote circulation and speed up healing.
Wear Compressions Garments
Additionally, patients may need to wear compression garments for at least two weeks following surgery. These garments help with lymphatic drainage and support the abdominal muscles during recovery. Patients must wear compression garments as instructed by the doctor in order to achieve optimal results from the procedure.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating nutrient-dense foods can provide the energy needed to recuperate while ensuring the body receives enough protein and vitamins to heal properly. Moreover, avoiding unhealthy processed foods and limiting sugar intake can help prevent inflammation and maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, having fiber-rich meals will help keep digestion regular and aid in wound healing.
Start Your Transformation Journey
Unlike temporary solutions like diet and exercise, the results of a tummy tuck are permanent. You can enjoy a flatter, smoother stomach that enhances your overall appearance. At eSSe Plastic Surgery, we have years of experience performing successful abdominoplasty surgeries. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized care and achieving beautiful, natural-looking results for our patients. Call or visit us at eSSe Plastic Surgery in Fort Lauderdale, FL, to learn more about how abdominoplasty can transform your body and boost your self-esteem.