Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Salt Lake City & Moab, UT
Are you bothered by a flabby abdomen that doesn’t seem to go away no matter how many hours you spend at the gym? If so, abdominoplasty with renowned Salt Lake City plastic surgeon Dr. Leland Chick may be right for you. The purpose of abdominoplasty, also known as tummy tuck, is to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. Tummy tuck is ideal for patients with excess skin and small pockets of fat that are resistant to weight loss efforts. Following tummy tuck, the abdomen appears leaner, flatter and more toned.
Candidacy for Tummy Tuck
You may be an ideal candidate for tummy tuck if you have any of the following:
- Loose, excess skin on the abdomen as a result of genetics, weight loss, pregnancy or aging
- Stubborn fat deposits on the abdomen
- Weakened or separated abdominal muscles
Dr. Chick will review your medical history, aesthetic needs and goals carefully before recommending tummy tuck. In addition, you must be in good overall health (i.e., not have any medical condition that can interfere with surgery or healing), have realistic expectations of surgery and understand the potential risks and complications associated with surgery.
Before and After
See more samples of before & after photos.
Tummy Tuck & Mini Tummy Tuck Details
The primary focus of tummy tuck is to remove excess skin on the abdomen. If surplus fat is present, it can be removed using liposuction. Many times, especially after childbirth or major weight gains, the muscles of the abdomen are stretched apart. If needed, the muscles are repaired as part of the tummy tuck procedure.
A mini-abdominoplasty or “mini tummy tuck” is possible if the patient is thin, and if only excess skin needs to be removed. In this case, the resulting scar is shorter and no scar is made around the umbilicus. In addition, muscle repair is only done below the umbilicus. This operation, although desirable, is only useful in a select group of patients.
Dr. Chick performs both full tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck as an outpatient surgery if done alone. Abdominoplasty can, in some cases, be done at the same time as a hysterectomy, hernia repair, or gall bladder surgery. However, combining procedures does increase some of the risks of surgery, such as infection and the possibility of blood clots. Consult your gynecologist or general surgeon first.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Our Salt Lake City abdominoplasty procedure takes about two to two and a half hours. Patients wear a binder or girdle for about three weeks after surgery, and are not allowed to lift any significant weight for four weeks. Massage therapy can make a significant difference in recovery, helping to mobilize swelling and reduce internal scarring. With an experienced therapist, we recommend starting two to three weeks after surgery. Most people, if lifting is not a part of their job, may return to work in two to three weeks without too much discomfort.
Tummy Tuck FAQ
How much weight can I lose with tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck is not considered to be an appropriate tool for weight loss. Therefore, you should not expect to lose a substantial amount of weight with the procedure. If you wish to lose weight, we advise you to do so by undergoing bariatric surgery or through diet and exercise, before or instead of tummy tuck.
When will the final results become visible?
While initial improvements in the abdomen will be seen almost immediately after tummy tuck, the final results can take several months up to a year to become visible. This is how long it takes residual swelling to resolve.
How long will my results last?
The results of tummy tuck can last for many years. The key is to maintain a healthy and stable weight. This is because future weight gain can cause fat to reappear, the abdominal skin to loosen and the muscles to separate. Good lifestyle habits, including eating healthily and exercising regularly, can help prolong your flatter abdomen.
Should I wait to have tummy tuck until after I am done having children?
Because future weight gain can affect results, Dr. Chick recommends you wait to have tummy tuck until you are certain you are done having children. Doing this increases your chances of beautiful and long-lasting results and may help you avoid additional plastic surgery procedures in the future.
What are the risks?
Risks of abdominoplasty include, as in any surgery, the possibility of infections, wound healing complications, and bad scars. The risk of a blood clot in the legs, which can be very serious, is significantly increased in patients who smoke, use birth control pills, or are obese. Post-operative swelling is normal, and decreases very slowly after abdominoplasty. It often takes three to six months for swelling to completely resolve.
Does tummy tuck leave scars?
The major trade-off with tummy tuck is the possibility of a long scar. The more fat and skin that need to be removed, the longer the scar. The scar begins just above the public hairline, and extends outwards toward the hips. The scar is intended to be hidden under the panty line. There is usually a scar that goes around the umbilicus as well. When tummy tuck is performed by a well-trained and skilled surgeon like Dr. Chick, and good post-op scar care is taken, these scars should heal well and drastically fade over time.
Is tummy tuck covered by insurance?
It is very unusual that abdominoplasty is covered by insurance, and if so, it is always associated with sores or chronic infections.
What are my alternative treatment options?
If you have experienced severe weight loss or have undergone bariatric surgery and want to redefine your shape, post weight loss body sculpting may be a more fitting alternative. This procedure is highly recommended by Dr. Chick to patients who have lost a large amount of weight and want to get rid of excess skin and stretch marks.
Schedule a Tummy Tuck Consultation
If loose sagging skin and excess fat around the abdomen are causing you to feel dissatisfied with your appearance, tummy tuck surgery may be right for you. Dr. Chick is widely regarded as one of the best tummy tuck surgeons in the area, and is happy to help you understand all of your treatment options. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about tummy tuck surgery.