Tummy Tuck

Muscle laxity or excess skin on the abdomen can often result in the appearance of a “pooch.” When the muscles and skin have been severely stretched, no fitness program will repair the damage. That’s where a tummy tuck can help. At St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeons perform tummy tuck surgery to help Missouri and Illinois patients rejuvenate their abdominal areas. This procedure repairs the core muscles and removes extra abdominal skin for a flatter, firmer abdomen.

Your Procedure

A tummy tuck is most often performed after pregnancy or weight loss. Unlike liposuction, which only removes unwanted fat, abdominoplasty is designed to tighten the muscle walls of the torso and remove excess skin. Sometimes, our surgeons use liposuction during a tummy tuck to remove additional fat and ensure smooth, contoured results.

At St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery, our physicians customize abdominoplasty procedures depending on the needs of each patient. We offer different types of tummy tucks:

  • Full tummy tuck: This is the most common form of the surgery and is appropriate for most patients. It involves a horizontal incision stretching across the lower abdomen from hip to hip, as well as another incision around the belly button. These incisions enable the surgeon to repair and tighten abdominal muscles, remove excess skin, and incorporate liposuction of the abdominal area. The belly button is repositioned and reconstructed in an aesthetically pleasing way.
  • Mini tummy tuck: The goal of a mini tummy tuck here in Louis is the same as a full tummy tuck — creating a flatter, tighter abdomen. The main difference is that a mini tummy tuck involves a single incision just above the pubic area that is not usually as long as in a full tummy tuck. Only excess skin below the belly button is removed, and the ability to repair abdominal muscles damaged during pregnancy is limited. This option is appropriate for people who are concerned with bulging and excess skin only below the belly button, and it usually includes a shorter, more comfortable recovery.
  • Extended tummy tuck: Patients who have excess skin and fat on the flanks (sometimes called “love handles”) sometimes need a longer incision to address those concerns. This is called an extended tummy tuck, and it generally requires a more involved recovery period. This option is most common after major weight loss.

Our surgeons usually perform tummy tuck with the aid of general anesthesia, although a local anesthetic with sedation is sometimes an option.

Many women who have had children choose a popular combination procedure called a mommy makeover, which may include breast enhancement in addition to a tummy tuck.

Your Recovery

The amount of downtime varies between individuals, but usually a 2-week recovery is required. Men and women who work in physically demanding jobs may need 3 to 4 weeks of downtime for complete recovery. Many people experience a feeling of tightness in the abdomen, as well as some swelling. For this reason, light walking is typically recommended after surgery. Pain medication may be used to alleviate discomfort.

Your Results

Your tummy tuck results should appear within about a month. You will enjoy a tighter, flatter midsection with improved muscle tone and contour. In some cases, abdominoplasty may be able to improve the look of stretch marks.

Our board-certified plastic surgeon work closely with each patient to create satisfying results that you can be proud of. Request a consultation online or call (636) 530-6161 to set up an evaluation and learn more.

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