A narrow waist and flat tummy are often seen as the hallmarks of good health and fitness. A common misconception is that with hard work and dedication, anyone can achieve the sculpted physique of his or her dreams. Unfortunately, for many of us, proper nutrition and exercise are unable to diminish the appearance of certain pockets of stubborn fat. For others, weight loss or pregnancy have left excess skin and fat in the midsection that are resistant to diet and fitness regimens.
When all else has failed, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Miller may be able to help you achieve a tight, attractive core with tummy tuck surgery. Call 702-369-1001 today to schedule a free consultation. We help men and women from Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin and nearby areas in Nevada.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a surgical body contouring procedure designed to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal region. A tummy tuck can:
- Remove excess skin and fat
- Narrow your waist
- Tighten your core
- Remove C-section scars and stretch marks
Am I a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty offers a variety of benefits, but the procedure isn’t always right for every patient. Generally speaking, ideal tummy tuck candidates:
- Are at least 18 years old
- Are at or near their ideal body weight
- Are in generally good health
- Do not have serious medical issues
- Are not pregnant and do not plan on having children in the future
- Do not smoke
- Have time to fully recover
- Have realistic expectations
The list above is a general guideline, and by no means a substitute for meeting personally with Dr. Miller to discuss your candidacy. During your free initial consultation, Dr. Miller will take time to understand your concerns and what you hope to achieve with abdominoplasty. He will evaluate your physical condition, explain all of your treatment options, such as liposuction, and determine if a tummy tuck can fulfill your expectations.
How soon after a pregnancy can you get a tummy tuck?
It is best to schedule a tummy tuck at least six months after giving birth or after breastfeeding has ended. There are several reasons for this wait. First, the body simply needs that much time to recover from pregnancy and nursing. Pregnancy stretches the deep tissues of the abdomen, but some of the elasticity may return. It just takes time. It also takes time for the body to restore its natural hormone levels. These are affected not only be pregnancy but also by breastfeeding, which is why women should be done nursing before scheduling their procedure.
Another reason to wait six months or more after giving birth is because a new baby requires a lot of holding and lifting, actions that are not possible after a tummy tuck. Frequent lifting stresses the healing muscles and skin and can diminish the outcome of surgery. Waiting until there is a set routine and plenty of help with everyday tasks like lifting a child into a crib can significantly reduce the stress of tummy tuck recovery.
How much weight will you lose after a tummy tuck?
While abdominoplasty is not intended for weight loss, patients may notice that they weigh 4 to 10 pounds less after they have fully recovered from their procedure. This is attributed to the removal of excess skin and the thin layer of fatty tissue beneath.
Will the weight you lost during the surgery come back?
The changes achieved with abdominoplasty can last indefinitely, including the weight that the patient lands at after they have recovered. That said, aging and lifestyle habits can influence the longevity of the flatter, tighter tummy. Patients are encouraged to stay within 10 to 15 pounds of their ideal weight to avoid excessive belly-fat accumulation and skin stretching.
What Is the Difference Between a Full and Mini Tummy Tuck?
While both full tummy tucks and mini tummy tucks are designed to remove excess skin and fat from the midsection, a mini tummy tuck is focused specifically on the abdominal region from the waist to just below the belly button. Mini tummy tucks require smaller incisions than full tummy tucks (about the size of a c-section scar, as opposed to a full abdominoplasty incision made from hipbone to hipbone). This gives the mini tummy tuck a reduced surgical time, recovery time and risk of complications.
The mini tummy tuck is intended for the very rare patient who only suffers from excess skin in the pubic area. Dr. Miller will let you know which procedure is appropriate for your situation during your free initial consultation.
"I am two weeks post op with my tummy tuck and could not be more pleased with my results already. Dr. Miller has taken care of me every step of the way. Other plastic surgeons I met with before I decided to go with Dr. Miller only cared about the money. Dr. Miller really cared for me as a patient and I couldn't be more satisfied." -Amber, Google Review
Can you combine the Tummy Tuck with other procedures?
In some situations, it makes sense to combine plastic surgery procedures. Doing so puts all procedures into one session of anesthesia, one recovery period, and in the hands of one experienced surgical team. Patients often combine their tummy tucks with other body contouring procedures. Examples include liposuction, thigh lift surgery, and breast procedures such as augmentation or breast lift. It is not unheard of to combine abdominoplasty with facial procedures if that is the preference. During our consultation, patients discuss their concerns and desired outcome. From there, Dr. Miller develops a unique treatment plan based on these overarching goals.
How to prepare for a Tummy Tuck procedure
There are several things a patient may do to prepare for the most successful tummy tuck possible. One of the best things that can be done is to reach a healthy, stable weight that can be maintained with relative ease. A tummy tuck is not something to “train” for with extreme diets or exercise. This surgery is about creating lifelong results, and lifelong results come from consistent habits. Feeling fully prepared is integral to the best possible surgical experience. Some of the additional steps patients may take include:
- Strictly avoid smoking and nicotine, both of which impair healing.
- Avoid medications and supplements that thin the blood.
- Get ready for recovery by creating a comforting, relaxing space for rest.
- Pre-make meals and have plenty of healthy snacks at home.
- Arrange childcare and pet care.
- The day before surgery, drink plenty of fluids with electrolytes.
- Set aside a few outfits that will be comfortable to wear and easy to put on and take off.
How long will the procedure last?
A tummy tuck can take 2 or more hours. Patients can expect to be at the surgery center for at least another hour beyond their anticipated surgery time. The extra time is spent administering anesthesia and observing the initial recovery from that aspect of surgery. Some procedures can take several hours depending on whether a patient chooses to also incorporate other surgeries, such as a breast augmentation or liposuction. We discuss expected surgery time as a part of our consultation.
Tummy Tuck Recovery and Aftercare
It is important to arrange a ride to and from your surgery. After your tummy tuck, you may experience some swelling, bruising, tenderness and/or numbness. You will be prescribed pain medication to manage any discomfort you may experience during the beginning of your recovery. You should rest the day of surgery and limit, but not exclude, activity for two days following your procedure. Strenuous activity and exercise should be avoided for four to six weeks.
Dr. Miller will insert a drain that will remain in place for a week or less. He will remove sutures or staples in about one to two weeks. An abdominal binder should be worn for a few weeks for support. Patients are usually able to return to work in one to three weeks.
Over the course of several scheduled follow-up visits, Dr. Miller will monitor your recovery to ensure you are on track and advise you when you can return to work and your regular routine. Prior to your surgery, he will thoroughly explain exactly what to expect and provide you with detailed pre and postoperative instructions. The success of your recovery will greatly depend on how well you adhere to Dr. Miller’s instructions and follow-up schedule.
Schedule Your Free Tummy Tuck Consultation Today
Dr. Stephen Miller is a board-certified plastic surgeon with 20 years of proven experience in tummy tuck surgery. We invite you to visit our before and after gallery and call 702-369-1001 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our state-of-the-art facility welcomes patients from throughout Nevada, including Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin and nearby areas.