Tummy Tucks By Jim Lowe, MD on July 08, 2016

Do I need a tummy tuck?

Patients with a history of weight changes, child birth, and skin and soft tissue redundancy may be candidates for tummy tuck.  Some patients look better with a small bit of skin redundancy than with a tummy tuck scar. In most cases, the need for tummy tuck is obvious, but in others it may not be clear.  Patients are typically concerned about lower abdominal bulging and skin overlap at the waist. Patients not planning future pregnancy with stable weight are the best candidates.

What is the difference between a mini-tummy and standard tummy tuck?

There are a number of different types of tummy tucks.  Most surgeons define a mini-tummy tuck as a limited procedure involving skin removal and tightening below the belly button. A standard tummy tuck requires more undermining, skin removal, and muscle tightening.  The patient’s age, anatomy, and overall health usually determine the best operation.  Regardless of the terminology, the terms, mini or standard, are most commonly used to determine price. In our practice, patients requiring less work and time in the operating room are rewarded by a smaller fee. 

Is the tummy tuck scar really worth it?

Some patients want a smooth and flat abdomen and others only a small improvement.  In most cases, it is best for patients to have as much skin and fat removed as possible to ensure a lasting result. The longer the surgical incision the more skin redundancy may be removed. Some patients prefer limited incisions that they can concealed in the panty line or under a bathing suit. The best option depends on the patient’s anatomy, preference, and willingness to compromise. A frank discussion with a board certified plastic surgeon helps patients chose the best option. 

Where and when should I have surgery?

One of the most important decisions for patients considering a tummy tuck is where and when.   Tummy tucks can be performed at a hospital with overnight stay or surgical facility with home care.  The benefit of a hospital setting is the overnight pain management and care.   Patients in a surgical facility will be given a period of recovery and then go home the same day.  There is a saying “you can hurt at the hospital or hurt at home.”  Most tummy tucks are best performed in outpatient setting.  Most patients require assistance at home for several days; feel better in a week, and recover within several months.

What are the restrictions after surgery?

Patients undergoing tummy tucks are asked to limit activity for 4-6 weeks.   Patients wear a support garment or binder, day and night, for at least 2 weeks after surgery.  Most patients require small drains for a limited time to decrease fluid collections and control swelling.  Sutures usually stay in place for several weeks.  Patients report swelling, numbness, scarring, and pain for several months after tummy tucks.

What about patient safety?

The safety of a tummy tuck is most dependent on your surgeon and surgical facility. Tummy tucks are elective operations reserved for patients in good health in an outpatient setting. Dr. Lowe is a real plastic surgeon, who performs real surgery, in a real surgical center.  As a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) he is required to follow guidelines designed to ensure the best patient safety and outcomes.  Dr. Lowe proudly performs cosmetic surgery only in accredited hospitals and surgical facilities. Most of his patients undergo surgery at his fully certified in-office operating suite.  

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James B. Lowe, MD, FACS

Lowe Plastic Surgery

Dr. Lowe is a triple board-certified surgeon with over 20 years of experience providing comprehensive cosmetic and reconstructive care. He is affiliated with several prestigious organizations:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons 
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • Fellow, American Association of Plastic Surgeons
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons 
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand 

Schedule your consultation by contacting us online or calling us at (405) 942-4300.

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