Tummy Tuck in Colombia
Sometimes diet, exercise and weight control programs are insufficient to get rid of the abdomen flab. If you’ve worked hard to reach your desired weight but not your desired shape, it may be time to consider a tummy tuck. Tummy tuck, also know as abdominoplasty, is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen and to restore the weakened abdominal wall, giving a firmer and smoother appearance. Our plastic surgery patients choose this procedure when they are having trouble achieving a flat and toned tummy appearance.
A Toned Tummy with Premium Care Plastic Surgery
Now that you’ve dropped the pounds, you’ve also dropped the skin – it probably hangs on your belly and creates an unflattering look. And no matter how many crunches you do, you just can’t seem to get those abdominal muscles anywhere near a six-pack. Without the help of plastic surgery, you might be stuck. No creams will lift lax tummy skin, no amount of crunches will tighten loose stomach muscles, and oftentimes even the healthiest diet will not be able to reduce certain fat deposits along the abdominal wall. Only abdominoplasty (tummy tuck in Colombia) in Cartagena from Premium Care Plastic Surgery can help you address these problem areas sufficiently.
Tummy Tuck with Premium Care Plastic Surgery
Abdominoplasty is the one of the most popular plastic surgeries for women, and is becoming increasingly popular for men as well. If you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck, additional combination surgeries such as liposuction also may be appropriate. Many women have abdominoplasty in Colombia as part of their Mommy Makeover, which can combine procedures such as breast augmentation, breast reduction, facial sculpting and more.
Premium Care Plastic Surgery in Colombia has created this web site to provide even more information for tummy tuck patients. This is truly a transformative procedure, and many of our patients tell us that they wish they scheduled surgery sooner.
Our qualified plastic surgeons, Dr. Alex Campbell and Dr. Carolina Restrepo bring experience from extensive training to Cartagena and are dedicated to providing you with the personalized attention you deserve.
About Tummy Tuck and Mini Tummy Tuck in Colombia
Loose skin, stretch marks and fat on the abdomen are among the most common reasons patients seek help from a plastic surgeon. In some cases, patients have excess skin and fat on the abdomen from weight loss. In other cases, age or pregnancy has changed the contour of the abdomen. Many are frustrated that diet and exercise do not tighten their lower abdominal skin. Some even lose the motivation to exercise because they can’t see their muscles underneath their loose skin. For many patients, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) in Colombia is their best opportunity to reclaim a youthful figure.
Tummy tuck surgery is one of our favorite operations because of the dramatic improvements our Cartagena abdominoplasty patients achieve.
Tummy tuck surgery provides many patients with a dramatic improvement in the appearance of the abdomen, and our techniques address specific patient problems through a combination of the following elements:
- Extra skin and fat of the lower abdomen is removed through a lower abdominal incision.
- Abdominal muscles are tightened, creating a much flatter abdomen.
- Loose skin of the upper abdomen is then pulled down like a window shade, smoothing the skin and fatty bulges of the abdomen.
- The belly button is often repositioned, and the skin around it is pulled down to a much lower location.
There are various types of abdominoplasty procedures for patients to choose from. Each one is designed to treat a specific set of needs. There are different types of tummy tucks depending on patient needs. In consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon like Dr. Alex Campbell and Dr. Carolina Restrepo, the choice of procedure will be made based on your anatomic features and desired outcome. While all tummy tucks have in common that they tighten the abdominal skin, there are two key differences between the various procedures. The incision lengths vary depending on the amount of skin to be excised, and the abdominal muscles may be tightened if they have excess laxity.
The length of the incision is determined by the amount of loose skin that is to be removed. The incision lengths vary from as short as six inches (Mini Tummy Tuck) to as long as the entire circumference of the waist (Body Lift). The most common incision length runs from hip to hip concealed beneath the bikini line (Full or Traditional Tummy Tuck).
In addition to removing loose skin, localized fat deposits can also be removed during your tummy tuck. It is recommended, however, that you be as close as possible to your goal weight before having the procedure. If your concerns extend beyond the tummy, Dr. Campbell and Dr. Restrepo safely combine liposuction with tummy tucks for more dramatic results.
Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck is a smaller procedure designed to improve the contour of the abdomen only below the belly button. It is best for patients who have subtle skin and fat excesses of the lower abdomen or unattractive scars from previous surgery (such as a C-section). A mini tummy tuck can be used in conjunction with liposuction use to remove the localized fat, and the muscles below the belly button can be tightened. This procedure is recommended for those who are physically fit, have no abdominal problems and are just suffering from belly fat under their button, and neither exercise or diet regimes are helping them to get rid of it
Full or Traditional Tummy Tuck
With traditional tummy tucks, the abdominal skin is pulled so far downward that it is necessary to reposition the belly button to keep it centrally located. This results in a circular scar around the belly button and a dramatic improvement in abdominal contour. The traditional tummy tuck is the best solution for most people.
For patients who require less skin excision, it may be possible to “float” the belly button. This means that the belly button will remain attached to the skin and will be pulled downward with the skin. The belly button, however, is not moved so far as to require a circular incision for repositioning. It is also possible to tighten the muscles of the upper and lower abdomen with this procedure. Floating the belly button may result in significantly improved abdominal contour, but the results are not as dramatic as with the traditional tummy tuck.
Extended Tummy Tuck:
This technique is similar to the traditional tummy tuck, except that it treats a larger area of abdomen. The incision is longer, extending from the entire abdomen area to the back of the hips. The large incision is typically made to reach the underlying muscles and fat located in the abdomen, especially the hip and flank areas, and to lift the thighs.
We use modern plastic surgery techniques to create the best-looking scars possible. The main scar for a tummy tuck is located at the lower abdominal waistline. We design our scars to be particularly low so they’ll be concealed when wearing low-cut bathing suits, pants or other clothing. We discuss scar position with our patients and plan the incisions to fit their lifestyle. In general, the longer the incision, the more skin may be tightened and removed.
During pregnancy, the rectus abdominis (“six-pack”) muscles of the abdomen are stretched apart. For many women, the muscles don’t return to their original position after pregnancy. We call this condition diastasis recti. For these patients, we tighten the abdominal muscles without cutting any muscle by using secure two-layer sutures for the fibrous fascia surrounding the muscles. For patients who don’t have a diastasis recti, such as young weight-loss patients, it may not be advantageous to tighten the muscles. Those patients have an even faster recovery from the operation.
There’s a large amount of variability among plastic surgeons in the appearance of the belly button following abdominoplasty. Our special technique is used to create a beautiful belly buttons for our tummy tuck patients.
- Hide the scar by placing it slightly on the inside edge
- Remove some fat surrounding the umbilicus to recreate youthful contours
- Use a crescent- shaped skin excision to create a natural appearing upper fold of skin
- Deepen the base of the umbilicus to create an “innie” belly button
- Bury the external sutures so that stitch marks are not visible on the tension free closure
Rejuvenating the pubic area (mons pubis) is an important part of our abdominoplasty procedures. Many surgeons overlook the opportunity to refine the pubic area. We include lifting and tightening the pubic area as an integral part of the tummy tuck procedure. In our consultations with patients, we are able to show the dramatic enhancement a pubic lift will add to their tummy tuck result.
These are just a few of the many surgical refinements we use to obtain the best possible results from the tummy tuck procedure.
If you are seriously considering tummy tuck surgery you can request your appointment online or call our office at (+57) 312 545 5569 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 848 1909 in United States to arrange a consultation at Premium Care Plastic Surgery in Colombia. During the consultation you’ll meet personally with your surgeon and learn if you are a candidate for surgery and what you can realistically expect from the procedure.
Still doing your homework? You may want to download our free iBook to learn about preparing for surgery, recovery and much more.
Combining Other Procedures With Tummy Tuck
At Premium Care Plastic Surgery in Colombia, many of our patients from the Colombia and from abroad who receive tummy tucks undergo multiple procedures at the time of their abdominoplasty. Reasons for combining procedures with a tummy tuck include patient goals, recovery time, and cost. Most patients desire improvement in multiple areas of their body and frequently the best results are achieved through improving more than one of these regions. If Dr. Campbell and Dr. Restrepo recommend that several procedures may be performed during the same operation, the patient may choose to have combined procedures.
For more information about what combination of procedures may be right for you, contact our Patient Coordinator. She takes pride in supplying thoughtful and discreet answers to all your tummy tuck questions. She also invites you to download the free iBook to learn more about all aspects of plastic surgery at Premium Care.
Tummy Tuck & Liposuction
Combination tummy tuck and liposuction surgeries are common in Cartagena. Suctioning fat from the hips and flanks often complements a tummy tuck by creating a more slender torso. The inner and outer thighs are other areas where patients will often benefit from liposuction at the same time as a tummy tuck. With the newer technique of power-assisted liposuction, these areas may be treated more safely and efficiently than ever before.
Tummy Tuck & Abdominal Etching
Abdominal etching is a refined technique that may complement tummy tucks for men. The procedure creates or enhances the appearance of the “six pack” of abdominal muscles.
The traditional way to achieve visible definition of the abdominal muscles is through diet and exercise. Exercising the abdominal muscles makes them more prominent. In slender patients, a thin layer of subcutaneous fat covers the muscles and permits them to be seen. If a thick layer of abdominal fat is present, even the strongest abdominal muscles will not be visible. Exercise and dieting are the best ways to improve definition of the abdomen.
It is also possible to enhance the appearance of the abdominal musculature through the sculpting or etching of fat. We commonly perform this as a part of a tummy tuck. Techniques used to create these changes include precision liposuction, incising fat and superficial fibrous layers, or direct excision of fatty tissue. Abdominal etching may be complementary to the tummy tuck operation.
Tummy Tuck & Breast Enhancement
Breast enhancement surgery is also frequently combined with a tummy tuck. After pregnancy and breastfeeding, or after substantial weight loss, the breasts may become droopy. A breast lift may be the best answer for these patients. During a breast lift we use the patient’s own tissues to create an internal bra that results in perkier breasts and a longer lasting lift. Patients who have small breasts without droopiness may want to combine breast augmentation with a tummy tuck. The increase in breast size for these patients may help them to achieve more attractive bodily proportions.
Tummy Tuck & Facial Procedures
Facial rejuvenation procedures are also commonly performed with a tummy tuck. The same processes that contribute to laxity of the abdominal tissues will cause similar changes in the face. The eyelids, for example, may have puffiness from orbital fat or hooding from excess skin. With eyelid surgery it is possible to achieve a more youthful, alert and well-rested appearance. The cheeks, jowls and neck may also show the signs of aging and the force of gravity.
Repositioning of these tissues with a face and neck lift may create dramatic improvements in a patient’s appearance. A minimal incision facelift (a new procedure) may help patients to achieve this goal with shorter scars and a faster recovery. Fine wrinkles around the mouth and eyes may be improved with laser resurfacing. Laser resurfacing of the face is an effective way to soften these wrinkles and uncover more youthful appearing skin.
Plans to combine procedures with a tummy tuck should be made only after a thorough consultation with our plastic surgeons at Premium Care. The wide variety of patient needs requires that these procedures be individualized. The results of combined procedures may be dramatic and lead to high levels of patient satisfaction.
If you are seriously considering tummy tuck surgery you can contact us online or call our office at (+57) 312 545 5569 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 8481909 in United States to arrange an in person consultation at Premium Care Plastic Surgery in Colombia. During the consultation you’ll meet personally with your surgeon and learn if you are a candidate for surgery and what you can realistically expect from the procedure.
A Mommy Makeover refers to the common group of procedures that many mothers seek after they are finished having children. Many times, the operation is performed in one stage, but other moms will prefer to do the procedures over time. In either case, it gives many mothers comfort to know that the changes they see in their bodies following pregnancy may be improved dramatically by a skilled plastic surgeon.
Mothers dedicate a great deal of themselves to their families. It starts with the pregnancy, where the mother’s body changes dramatically. Finally, there comes a time when mothers feel they’re able to address their own needs. After multiple pregnancies and breastfeeding, many women find it impossible for diet and exercise alone to restore their figures. Fortunately, mothers with permanently altered figures find that a Mommy Makeover in Cartagena is an excellent solution. The Mommy Makeover is a term for the group of cosmetic procedures that many mothers seek following pregnancy.
Effects of Pregnancy
During pregnancy, skin may be stretched to the point that microscopic fractures form in the skin, or dermis, resulting in stretch marks. Caesarean section scars may accentuate fatty bulges by tethering the skin to the underlying muscles, causing the fat and loose skin to fold over the scar. The rectus abdominis (“six-pack”) muscles on the abdomen may become separated in the midline, creating a potbelly appearance. Fat also redistributes with age, becoming concentrated in the lower abdomen. The hourglass waistline of youth gives way to a larger midsection. That’s why many women choose abdominoplasty as part of their “Mommy Makeover”.
Although tummy tucks can achieve dramatic improvements, it’s important to also consider adjacent areas of the body for optimal results. For many patients, liposuction around the waist and thighs will provide more comprehensive results. Mothers will frequently choose breast surgery as well. This combination of procedures completes their transformation back to the hourglass figure they once had, restoring a youthful appearance and confidence.
For many women, the Mommy Makeover may include the following:
There are multiple variations of the Mommy Makeover, of course, and our plastic surgeons individualize the plan for each patient depending on their needs. Many women will not need or desire all of these procedures. Each patient determines what her personal Mommy Makeover will involve after we discuss her concerns and options in a thorough consultation.
A Mommy Makeover may be performed in one or more stages. Age, health, needs and desires are all considered carefully when we formulate a plan for each patient. The majority of ourmy patients choose to do more than one procedure at a time.
The abdomen tends to experience the greatest change following pregnancy with
stretch marks, loose skin and lower abdominal fat being the most common complaints. The abdominal muscles may also be stretched to the point that they remain separated in the midline, accentuating the patient’s lower abdominal bulge. To treat these problems, we perform a tummy tuck where we remove the excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tighten the muscles.
After having children, fat tends to redistribute to new areas on the body where it may be unwanted. This is frequently true even if women are successful at losing their baby weight. Most often, bulges of fat accumulate around the waist and on the thighs. On these areas, we frequently perform liposuction as part of a Mommy Makeover. Our preferred technique is power-assisted liposuction, the safest and most effective way to remove fat from these areas.
The breasts go through dramatic changes with pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Patient concerns about their breasts vary greatly, but the most common breast procedures we perform as part of a Mommy Makeover include:
Facial rejuvenation procedures are also commonly performed as part of a Mommy Makeover. The same processes that contribute to laxity of the abdominal tissues will cause similar changes in the face. In order to look and feel younger, many patients in Cartagena are seeking corrective procedures for eyelids, cheeks, jowls and neck
- Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
- Neck Lift
- Face Lift
- Nonsurgical Facial Rejuvenation (Botox, Fillers, Laser Resurfacing)
Plans to combine procedures with a tummy tuck in Cartagena should be made only after a thorough consultation with our plastic surgeons. The wide variety of patient needs requires that these procedures be individualized. The results of combined procedures may be dramatic and lead to high levels of patient satisfaction.
If you are still wondering if you are a candidate for a tummy tuck, why not contact our patient coordinator? She can provide you with discreet and thoughtful answers to your tummy tuck questions. Or, you may want to get our free iBook to learn more about preparing and recovering from surgery, choosing your plastic surgeon and more.
You will be amazed about how affordable cosmetic plastic surgery can be, and with an experience like no other.
Your Tommy Tuck Consultation at Premium Care Plastic Surgery
Is it right for me?
If you are bothered by loose skin, stretch marks, abdominal wall laxity, and/or excessive fat on your abdomen that don’t respond to diet or exercise, a tummy tuck may be right for you.
The success and safety of your procedure depends on excellent analysis and planning prior to the procedure.
During your consultation, you’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
- Your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Previous surgeries
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, and tobacco
Ideal candidates for tummy tuck are:
- Adults within 30% of their ideal weight who have excessive fat deposits, elastic skin and good muscle tone
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for body contouring
Your plastic surgeon at Premium Care will also:
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of tummy tuck and any risks or potential complication
Be sure to ask questions: It’s very important to ask your plastic surgeon questions about your tummy tuck procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon. The entire practice is here to support you through your journey to a new you.
Am I a Candidate?
Candidates for Tummy Tuck in Colombia have some (or all) of the following problems:
- Loose skin on the lower abdomen
- Stretch marks on the lower abdominal
- Abdominal muscle laxity
- Pubic laxity
There are a number of important variables that determine whether a patient is a candidate for tummy tucks. For abdominoplasty to be a complete success, medical and psychological fitness for surgery is prerequisite. The ideal patient is a non-smoker who is close to their ideal weight. Anatomic features that may be improved with a tummy tuck include loose skin, excess fat and lax muscles of the abdomen.
While fat may be reduced through diet, the problems of loose skin or relaxed muscles are typically not improved with diet and exercise alone. Tummy tucks are designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen. Many patients will also benefit from a simultaneous tightening of the abdominal muscles, which is done during the same procedure.
The distribution of fat is one determinant of the improvement a patient will have from a tummy tuck. Fat in the superficial tissues is the type that it is possible to pinch. This superficial fat may be removed through excision (tummy tuck) or aspiration (liposuction). If skin laxity is significant, the skin and fat should be removed with a tummy tuck. The result is a tighter and flatter abdomen. If the skin elasticity is adequate, however, the superficial fat may be removed through liposuction alone. Liposuction may flatten the abdomen, but it will not tighten the skin.
In addition to the superficial layers, fat is also distributed in the deep layers surrounding the internal organs. This fat may be reduced only through diet and exercise. Patients who have firm, distended abdomens typically have significant amounts of deep fat. Excess deep fat makes it difficult to tighten the abdominal muscles during a tummy tuck. Patients who have soft, distended abdomens (as opposed to firm, distended abdomens) frequently have lax muscles. This is common after multiple pregnancies making it a great procedure for Mommy Makeovers or significant weight loss. Loose muscles respond well to tightening as part of a tummy tuck.
Who are not good candidates?
- Women that are planning to have more babies as the pregnancy separate the muscles that are tighten during the procedure.
- Also, patients planning to lose weight should wait for their tummy tuck procedure until they are near their ideal weight so that all excess abdominal tissue can be removed for optimal results.
If you are ready to discuss your options for a slimmer, more attractive body contour, call Premium Care Plastic Surgery at (+57) 312 545 5569 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 848 1909 in United States or use our convenient online form to schedule your consultation online.
Preparing for your Surgery
Premium Care Plastic Surgery encourages you to take a few simple steps in preparation for your tummy tuck procedure. Following the steps presented below will make your recovery from surgery as safe, short and relaxing as possible.
Your surgeon will provide you with a list of specific steps you should take leading up to your procedure. This list might include limiting your use of certain medications, alcohol and cigarettes, and minor changes in your grooming habits. These changes are temporary but very important to your comfort and safety.
Before tummy tuck surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
- What to do on the day of surgery
- The use of anesthesia during your tummy tuck
- Post-operative care and follow-up
- Medications and compression garments to purchase and bring with you on the day of surgery.
A patient’s final result will be enhanced through active participation in preparing for abdominoplasty. Patients considering abdominoplasty need to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet to prepare for surgery. Patients should strive to reach their ideal weight by using a disciplined approach to nutrition. Consultation with one of our specialized nutritionists may assist a patient in achieving that goal. When a patient is at or near their ideal weight, it is possible for the surgeon to tighten the abdominal muscles. Interestingly, many patients are inspired to diet and exercise more diligently when they see the postoperative results from a tummy tuck. Patients who lose additional weight after the tummy tuck procedure will usually see further improvement in their figure.
Smoking increases the risks of many potential complications of surgery and should be avoided. Patients who smoke should stop at least two weeks before surgery, but even then they are still at increased risk when compared to non-smokers. Nicotine patches or gum are also associated with increased complications and should not be used in preparation for surgery.
A regular exercise routine is also helpful preparation. By building muscle, a patient increases their basal metabolic rate. This makes it easier to avoid weight gain, especially in the postoperative period when physical activity is minimal. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and promotes a faster recovery from surgery. If a patient has a regular exercise routine, it is much easier to resume these activities after recovering from surgery. Using a trainer to supervise workouts is a safe and effective way to approach preparing for abdominoplasty in Cartagena.
Medical problems should be optimally managed before surgery. Patients who have their own internal medicine physician are encouraged to visit their doctor in preparation for a tummy tuck. Your surgeon will perform a history and physical examination as a part of the pre- operative visit. If additional medical consultations are necessary, your surgeon will assist you in locating the appropriate specialist.
Preparations for a tummy tuck should include these steps of diet, exercise and health maintenance. Patients who actively participate in this way will have the greatest improvements, fewest complications and fastest recovery from surgery.
Preparing your home before your procedure will help ensure a safe and relaxing recovery. If your procedure will impact your ability to stand or walk for long periods, or reach high places, you may want to prepare meals in advance and move kitchen items out of cupboards and onto the counter. Having a phone, medications and other necessities on a night stand or side table will keep you from having to get up and down. Having extra pillows and blankets already on your bed or couch can also keep you comfortable. If you have pets or children, you should make sure someone is available to care for them while you are recuperating.
On the day of your surgery, we ask that you wear no jewelry or make-up and avoid deodorant, skin lotions and perfume. We recommend warm, loose fitting clothing, such as pajamas or sweat pants with thick socks or slippers to prevent the chills commonly experienced after surgery. Please inform your surgeon if you have a cold, sore throat, active allergies or an open cut or sore on the day of your tummy tuck.
Most of our patients will be able to go home the same day they undergo tummy tuck, though many choose to stay in the hospital one evening for ease and comfort. It is important to make arrangements in advance for someone to drive you home and provide watchful care during the first 48 hours after surgery.
You’ll need help. Arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery. Effective planning prior to undergoing tummy tuck can make your recovery as brief and relaxing as possible.
To take the next step, arrange a personal consultation with Premium Care Plastic Surgery in Colombia by calling (+57) 312 545 5569 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 8481909 in United States or use our convenient online form to schedule a consultation online.
Potential Risks and Complications
The tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that can create dramatic improvements in abdominal contour. As with all surgeries, however, tummy tucks are associated with certain risks and complications.
The decision to have tummy tuck surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential abdominoplasty complications are acceptable. At Premium Care our plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail potential tummy tuck complications. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
Most patients are asymmetrical before surgery. Patients should expect that some asymmetries will exist after surgery as well. In order to remove a large amount of skin and fat, it is necessary to use long incisions. It is possible to have bleeding, infection, slow-healing wounds, skin necrosis or widened scars along these incisions. Because the umbilicus (belly button) is moved during the procedure, there is a small risk that it may not survive and will require an additional procedure to recreate it. When the skin and fat of the lower abdomen is removed, some of the smaller nerves supplying sensation to the central abdomen are removed as well. Most patients experience numbness of the central lower abdomen that may, but does not always, improve with time.
Patients will have small suction drains in place for one to three weeks after surgery. The drains evacuate any fluid that is produced under the skin and allow the superficial tissues to more quickly adhere to the deep tissues. After the drains are removed, it is possible that some fluid will accumulate again. This is called a seroma and is treated with simple aspiration during office visits. It usually resolves within a few weeks.
The abdominal muscles are often tightened with sutures as part of a tummy tuck. If a patient strains those muscles during the early months after surgery, or if the patient gains a significant amount of weight, it is possible that the sutures will not hold. In that case the muscles would be expected to return to the more relaxed shape they had before surgery.
Some patients may benefit from liposuction in addition to a tummy tuck. If a substantial amount of liposuction of the abdomen is recommended, the surgeon may suggest that this be performed at a second stage. For some patients this may improve the safety and efficacy of the procedure.
Blood clots in the legs or lungs are potential complications from many surgical procedures. To decrease the risk our patients wear pneumatic compression boots during the operation. These boots massage the legs and discourage clot formation by assisting blood circulation while the patient is sleeping.
Before surgery, you should consider the potential risks as well as the benefits of an abdominoplasty procedure. Our plastic surgeons will go over all aspects of surgery in consultation with you and make sure you have time to ask all your questions.
Ready to come in to discuss things further? Call us today at (+57) 312 545 5569 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 8481909 in United States to schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons.
Tommy Tuck Procedure
Tummy tuck procedures (and results) vary substantially between surgeons. As specialists in body contouring surgery, our tummy tuck techniques have evolved significantly in an attempt to achieve the best possible results for our patients.
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during abdominoplasty surgery. This typically involves general anesthesia. At Premium Care, our plastic surgeons work together with our anesthesiologists to develop an individualized treatment plan to optimize safety, comfort, and results for each patient. Local anesthesia infiltration to minimize blood loss and decrease post operative pain.
Step 2 – The incision
A horizontally-oriented incision is made in the area between the pubic hairline and navel. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the degree of correction necessary. Through this incision, weakened abdominal muscles are repaired and sutured while excess fat, tissue and skin is removed. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen.
Step 3 – Abdominal Reconstruction
The plastic surgeon removes a large amount of skin (and stretch marks) and fat from the lower abdomen, and tightens the rectus abdominis muscles of the abdomen. The upper abdominal skin is then redistributed the over the entire abdomen, and a new belly button is created within the tightened abdominal skin
The pubic area is tightened as needed.
Step 4 – Closing the incisions
Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the skin incisions. We use intricate plastic surgery anchoring and suturing techniques to optimize final scar results.
Step 5 – See the results
Your abdominoplasty procedure will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight. The final results may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete. Within a week or two, you should be standing tall and confident about your new slimmer profile.
For more information on tummy tuck surgery, request a consultation online or call us at (+57) 312 545 5569 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 8481909 in United States.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
You will be given specific instructions to aid your recovery from tummy tuck surgery: how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
Following a tummy tuck, patients should prepare to rest for one week after their procedure. An elastic compression garment will be worn under clothing for several weeks. Patients with jobs that do not require physical labor may return to work one to two weeks after surgery. Normal exercise routines and lifting may typically be resumed approximately 6 weeks following surgery.
The abdominal skin and muscles will be tighter, and the patient is encouraged to minimize tension on the incision. This can be done by temporarily keeping the hips flexed while in bed and by slouching while standing. The skin will relax gradually over the first week so the patient will again comfortably be able to stand upright. Many patients will feel strong enough to resume activities early, but we encourage patients to minimize unnecessary motion for the few weeks following surgery. Vigorous exercise should be avoided for six weeks following surgery.
Drains may be used to evacuate fluid that is produced under the skin; they are generally removed the week after your tummy tuck surgery. This allows the skin and superficial tissues to adhere again to the underlying muscle and fibrous tissue. Tummy tuck patients who minimize activity in the weeks following surgery are frequently able to remove their drains sooner.
Most of the sutures that are used to close the incisions are absorbable and do not require removal. The new incision usually appears slightly red in the months following surgery. As the healing progresses and the scar matures, the incision typically fades to a paler color. Improvement in the scar can be expected for up to two years following surgery. The location of the incision is designed so that it is low enough to be concealed by a bathing suit.
How you will feel right after surgery
On the first day after surgery, you will not feel too bad. You will be fairly groggy from the anesthetic, so your level of discomfort on the first day is less than day two and day three.
Be diligent about taking your pain medication around the clock. Do not wait to feel the pain in order to assess how much medication you will need. It is best to take the pain medication as directed by your surgeon for the first three days and then think about tapering it off. If you wait to feel the pain, you will have to play catch up with the medications which leads to high anxiety and the need for more pain medication.
Constipation is inevitable with surgery, anesthesia, pain medications, and decreased mobility. Helpful suggestions for dealing with constipation are over the counter medications such as: Colace, Dulcolax Suppositories, and Fleet enemas. Natural remedies like prune and apple juices work as well.
What will bother you the most will be the drains. They are a “necessary evil” in the recovery process. Drains are small tubes used to remove fluid such as blood or serum from the site of surgery. The drains may be in anywhere from one to three weeks.
Sleeping comfortably will be somewhat challenging for the first one to three weeks. A foam pillow wedge can help you with sleeping by keeping you at a specific angle. It can also help in getting you get in and out of bed.
Showering after surgery can also be a little bit of a challenge. A sponge bath is recommended for the first three to four days. You honestly won’t have the energy to shower until day four or five. When you do get into the shower, you will take off all compression garments and dressings. Put on an old belt and attach the drains to the belt so your hands are free to wash and steady yourself in the shower. Prepare to be absolutely exhausted after the first couple of showers.
Walking and standing
You will be walking hunched over for the first week. During week two you will be able to stand more erect. By week three you will be standing and walking normally.
Time off from work
With a full abdominoplasty, we recommend you take at least two weeks off work to recover. If you have a more physically demanding job, more time may be needed.
The surgery is done with absorbable sutures, so there won’t be any stitches to take out. Our physicians do not use staples, so there won’t be any hatchmarks. You will have steri strips over the incisions for the first four to six weeks after surgery. Once the steri strips come off, we recommend a silicone sheeting that aids in the healing process of your scars. You will wear the silicone sheeting for approximately three months.
For more information on Tummy Tuck, request a consultation online or call us at (+57) 312 545 5569 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 8481909 in United States to meet with a plastic surgeon at Premium Care.
Tummy Tuck: Words to Know
- Abdominoplasty: A surgical procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over your abdomen.
- Diastasis: Condition in which abdominal muscles have separated.
- General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
- Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
- Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
- Liposuction: Also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, this procedure vacuums out fat from beneath the skin’s surface to reduce fullness.
- Local anesthesia: A drug is injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
- Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together
- Tummy tuck: A surgical procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over your abdomen.
Tommy Tuck: Frequently Asked Questions
Researching abdominoplasty often leads to a number of questions from patients. In a consultation, our plastic surgeons help patients sort through the information they’ve gathered and answer all patient questions. Although a personal consultation is the only way to get information that is specific for you, here are the answers to some FAQs.
Who is a candidate for a tummy tuck?
Patients who come to Premium Care Plastic Surgery for tummy tuck generally have excess skin and fat on their abdomens. Those who have laxity primarily below the umbilicus (belly button) are candidates for a mini- tummy tuck. Loose skin and fat above the belly button require a full tummy tuck to achieve optimal results. After pregnancy or substantial weight gain, the abdominal muscles are frequently stretched beyond their ability to bounce back. In these cases abdominal exercises will not be effective at flattening the torso. Once the internal pressure distending the muscles is removed, as with weight loss, it is possible to tighten the muscles during the tummy tuck procedure. The combination of tightening muscles and excising excess skin and fat from the abdomen may result in dramatic improvements in abdominal contour. The best candidates are also healthy and do not smoke.
Is it advisable to do multiple procedures at one time?
It is common to perform multiple procedures in one operation as a combination procedure. Liposuction of surrounding areas will frequently achieve complementary changes in the patient’s figure. Breast surgery and facial surgery are also frequently performed at the same time. In a thorough consultation Dr. Alex Campbell and Dr. Carolina Restrepo will advise the patient on whether single or staged operations would be appropriate.
What procedures are commonly combined with a tummy tuck?
Many of our abdominoplasty patients also have liposuction around their waistline or thighs to enhance their results. It’s also common for our patients to have breast surgery at the same time as well. We call this combination of procedures a “Mommy Makeover.
Is it safe to do other procedures with a tummy tuck?
Clinical research on the safety of tummy tucks and combinedProcedures have shown no increase in complication rates when combining a tummy tuck with other operations. Of course, not all patients are candidates for combined surgical procedures. We will make that decision on an individual basis in a detailed consultation with our patients.
Will an abdominoplasty procedure remove stretch marks?
Stretch marks of the lower abdomen may be removed entirely when the skin in that area is excised by a tummy tuck.
Stretch marks above the belly button may still remain, but the tummy tuck skin tightening improves the appearance of the remaining stretch marks making them less noticeable.
Where are the scar locations from a tummy tuck?
The scar for a tummy tuck is horizontal at the lower abdominal waistline (bikini line). The incision is designed so that it may be easily concealed with a bathing suit. Depending on a patient’s preferences for bathing suit styles, the lateral incisions may be made higher or lower. Our plastic surgeons will discuss this with the patient when drawing the pre-operative markings. For the full tummy tuck procedure, there is also a circular scar around the belly button.
Is there a difference in the size of the scars between the mini and the full tummy tuck?
The amount of skin excised with the tummy tuck determines the length of the scar. For full tummy tucks, a large amount of skin is removed and the resulting scar is usually from hip to hip. The scar resulting from a mini tummy tuck may be one half that length. The size and location of the scar is planned with the patient based on their individual anatomy and desires.
Is it better to do a tummy tuck before or after pregnancy?
A tummy tuck is usually performed after childbearing has been completed. If a pregnancy is planned for the distant future, however, some women may be considered candidates for tummy tuck. A patient who has lost large amounts of weight, for example, may have substantial overhanging skin of the lower abdomen. If she plans on pregnancy in only the distant future, the advantages of doing a tummy tuck now may outweigh the disadvantages. The surgeon may recommend doing a modified tummy tuck that addresses the lower abdomen only. This would also be the case for women with undesirable scarring on the lower abdomen from previous surgeries (such as a C-section). A mini tummy tuck may sometimes be advisable even if future pregnancies are planned.
A patient may still have children after a tummy tuck, but abdominal stretching during pregnancy may offset much of the benefit of the procedure. Further abdominal contouring procedures may be recommended after childbirth. There are a large number of variables that affect a patient’s candidacy for a tummy tuck in Cartagena. The decision to undergo the surgery should only be made after a thorough consultation with one of our qualified plastic surgeons at Premium Care Plastic Surgery.
Is it better to lose weight before or after a tummy tuck?
The closer a patient is to their ideal weight, the tighter the abdomen can be made during a tummy tuck. Many patients will be inspired by their surgical improvements and lose additional weight through diet and exercise after surgery. If a patient needs to lose substantial amounts of weight, however, it is better to do it before surgery.
When is liposuction possible instead of a tummy tuck?
Liposuction (especially power-assisted liposuction) is an effective way of removing fat, but not skin. Patients are candidates for liposuction when their skin has adequate elasticity to tighten after removal of fat. Patients who are younger and who have localized deposits of fat are the best candidates. Patients who have excess skin and fat on the abdomen are best treated with a tummy tuck. Longer incisions are required, but the improvements in tightening the skin and muscle may be dramatic. During a tummy tuck, abdominal fat is removed in addition to skin excision and muscle tightening. Many patients will also benefit from liposuction of the surrounding areas to achieve their ideal figure. Liposuction of these areas is commonly performed at the same time as a tummy tuck.
How long does the tummy tuck operation take?
Tummy tuck surgery lasts approximately two hours.
How long is the recovery from a tummy tuck?
Patients should plan to miss one to two weeks of work after a tummy tuck. An elastic compression garment is worn under clothing for several weeks following surgery. Vigorous exercise should be avoided for about six weeks following surgery.
Is the recovery time different for full and mini tummy tuck?
A mini tummy tuck is a significantly smaller operation than a full tummy tuck, and the recovery is faster. Most patients will miss only one week of work. Vigorous exercise should be avoided for about six weeks following surgery.
How common is tummy tuck surgery for men?
Tummy tuck is a common procedure for men. Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight frequently have excess skin that may be excised with a tummy tuck. This skin usually would not tighten with exercise or dieting alone. Abdominoplasty can help patients achieve their ideal figure following a successful program of diet and exercise.
What is the main difference between a mini and full tummy tuck?
There are several important differences between a mini and a full tummy tuck. The majority of patients will benefit from the full procedure. The full procedure tightens the skin of the upper and lower abdomen. The mini tummy tuck tightens only the skin below the belly button. The full procedure tightens all of the muscles of the upper and lower abdomen. The mini tightens only the muscles of the lower abdomen. The full procedure removes enough skin that it requires repositioning of the belly button with a circular scar resulting. The mini removes a smaller amount of skin and does not require repositioning of the belly button. The improvements made with a full tummy tuck are more dramatic than those made with the mini.
What is a pubic lift?
A pubic lift tightens the mons pubis and surrounding areas that tend to sag after
pregnancies or weight loss. We consider it to be an important part of the tummy tuck procedures that we perform.
What kind of anesthesia is used?
For tummy tuck procedures we use general anesthesia administered by a certified anesthesiologist to maximize patient safety and comfort. We also use a long-acting local anesthesia solution at the end of the operation. This helps to minimize patient discomfort in the hours following the tummy tuck and leads to a smooth recovery.
What happens to the muscles during a tummy tuck?
The rectus abdominis muscles of the abdomen frequently become separated from pregnancy. During a tummy tuck, the muscles may be repositioned by tightening the fibrous fascia. The muscle is not cut, so recovery is faster.
What types of complications may occur with a tummy tuck?
Complications that may occur from a tummy tuck include bleeding, infection, seroma, delayed wound healing and venous thrombosis. The complication rate may be decreased with experience and diligent postoperative care. Even patients with complications are still likely to ultimately be pleased with the improvements they receive from an abdominoplasty.
How long will the results last after a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck permanently removes excess fat and skin, and tightens abdominal muscles for an improved waistline. This often results in a dramatic improvement in overall abdominal contour and appearance, which can be permanent for the motivated patient. A healthy lifestyle including proper diet and exercise helps to improve overall body appearance, and avoid putting on excess weight.
You’ve done your homework, you’ve considered your options. Are you ready to discuss abdominoplasty with one of our plastic surgeons at Premium Care Plastic Surgery in Colombia? Give us a call at (+57) 312 545 5569 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 8481909 in United States or use our convenient online form to book a consultation online.