Dr. Genaro Valladolid understands that the abdomen can be very difficult to tone and tighten, particularly after certain life events like pregnancy. He offers the popular tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure, which is designed to restore a flat, firm quality to the abdomen. He uses a drainless tummy tuck technique which eliminates the need for drains after surgery. An expertly performed tummy tuck can create a slimmer, sleeker waist for an overall more proportionate figure.
For the most attractive results, tummy tuck should be performed by a fully trained plastic surgeon such as Dr. Valladolid. He stays up to date on the latest advances in technique and technology so he can offer patients the very best. Under his care, patients can achieve a flatter, firmer abdomen and a more balanced physique.
Appropriate candidates for tummy tuck are individuals who want to improve the appearance of a flabby or protruding abdomen caused by pregnancy, dramatic weight loss, aging or prior surgery. Tummy tuck can correct the appearance of the following:
Tummy tuck candidates should be in good general health and close to their ideal weight. The procedure is not a weight loss solution and patients will see the best results if they are at, or within a few pounds of, their goal weight.
Dr. Valladolid consults with every candidate to evaluate their needs and determine whether tummy tuck is the most suitable solution.
Tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. To begin, Dr. Valladolid uses liposuction to eliminate unwanted pockets of fat from the abdomen; he can also perform liposuction on the flanks and hips to define a better contour. Then creates a horizontal incision low on the abdomen, right above the pubic hairline. Through the incision he separates the skin and subcutaneous tissues from the underlying muscles. Dr. Valladolid repairs the muscles of the abdominal wall, suturing them into position, which helps to give the waist a narrower appearance. Repairing the abdominal wall can also help strengthen the core for patients with rectus diastasis.
Once the muscles have been repaired and fat has been removed, Dr. Valladolid pulls the abdominal skin downward, trimming the excess skin. Depending on the amount of excess skin, he may need to create a new opening for the belly button.
Dr. Valladolid uses a drainless technique for abdominoplasties. This allows tension relief on the skin suture line and postoperative drains are not needed with this approach.
Finally, the incisions are closed with absorbable sutures.
After surgery, the abdomen is usually swollen, bruised and tender. A compression garment should be worn for several weeks to control swelling and help the healing tissues. Activities and range of movement should be very limited in the first few weeks after surgery; short walks are encouraged to help promote good blood flow.
Most patients resume work after one to two weeks or more, depending on the nature of their work. Light exercise is usually fine after three to four weeks, but more strenuous activity should be avoided for up to six to eight weeks.
The results from tummy tuck can last indefinitely, which is not something all cosmetic procedures can promise. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle and do not permit your weight to fluctuate significantly, you should see your stomach remain flatter and tighter for a lifetime. This makes it a worthwhile investment for people who are committed to diet and exercise.
Tummy tuck is not weight-loss surgery. In fact, it works best on patients who are close to their goal weight. Although a limited amount of fat can be removed with abdominoplasty (more if liposuction is included), it is most effective when eliminating stubborn pockets of fat that are resistant to diet and exercise to achieve nicer contours. If you would like to lose a significant amount of weight, Dr. Valladolid suggests making lifestyle changes or seeking bariatric surgery prior to having abdominoplasty.
Skin that stretches to accommodate a larger belly (either via weight gain or pregnancy) may not be elastic enough to snap back to its previous position even after the stomach shrinks in size. This sagging skin can ruin your appealing contours. While diet and exercise are great ways to target fat cells and build muscle, they unfortunately do nothing to eliminate loose skin. The only practical solution is plastic surgery, which is why tummy tuck is so popular.
Scarring is an inevitable part of plastic surgery, with tummy tuck being no exception. The scar will fade significantly after given time to heal, but it will never be completely invisible. For that reason, Dr. Valladolid deliberately places his incision low enough that the scar is easily concealed by most clothing. So long as you are wearing underwear or a bathing suit, the scar should be unnoticeable to others.
Nothing about tummy tuck surgery impairs your ability to have children in the future. The reason Dr. Valladolid and other plastic surgeons generally encourage women to put off having abdominoplasty until after they are done having children is because a subsequent pregnancy expands the belly and stretches the skin again, thereby undoing the results achieved with surgery.
Rather than having to pay for and recover from this procedure twice, if you are considering having more children, it makes sense to postpone tummy tuck until your family is complete.
Whereas a traditional tummy tuck addresses loose skin and fat above the belly button, mini tummy tuck focuses on the region below the belly button exclusively. While many people are interested in mini tummy tuck because the incision is smaller and recovery is easier, this modified procedure is only recommended if you have a small pooch low on the stomach. Dr. Valladolid can evaluate your body during a consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for mini tummy tuck.
You may see some improvements to your stretch marks, specifically those that exist in the region between your belly button and underwear line. When the skin is pulled tighter by surgery, this helps to smooth out the skin. However, if you have any stretch marks above the navel, they will remain unaffected.
For more information about tummy tuck surgery with Dr. Valladolid, please contact our Scottsdale or Mesa offices by calling (480) 770-5015 and request an in-person consultation.