When you hear of an abdominoplasty—more commonly known as a tummy tuck—you probably think of women who undergo it to get their pre-baby body back. While these women are common candidates, they are not the only ones!
At Indian Hills Plastic Surgery, our very own board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Chelsea Wallace treats a variety of different patients. An abdominoplasty is a permanent, transformative treatment for a healthy individual who struggles with loose, excess skin and fat.
We believe in prioritizing patient well-being above everything else. Dr. Chelsea Wallace and our team live this mission each day. You’ll find that we are transparent about procedures and won’t shy away from the downsides.
Without further adieu, let’s dive into everything abdominoplasty.
What is an abdominoplasty in Tuscaloosa?
An abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure that treats extra skin, tightens core muscles, and resolves loose pockets of fat in the abdominal area. The goal of this procedure is to help you achieve your ideal toned and contoured stomach where diet and exercise has fallen short.
What it isn’t
A common misconception we see with this procedure is that patients come in hoping to lose weight.
Let’s clear this up: A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure; it’s an excess fat and skin removal procedure that most commonly also includes muscle tightening.
Don’t let this fact take away from the magnitude of this procedure; it is truly one of the most transformational ones we do!
Am I a candidate?
An ideal candidate for a tummy tuck in Tuscaloosa:
- Is within their healthy weight range
- Has a BMI (Body Mass Index) lower than 35
- Lives a generally healthy lifestyle
- Can take time to recover afterwards
We see patients from a variety of different backgrounds at Indian Hills Plastic Surgery. These are some of our most common candidates for abdominoplasty:
- Men or women who have lost a significant amount of weight, leaving them with excess skin
- People who store loose pockets of fat that can’t be targeted with diet and exercise
- Mothers who want their pre-pregnancy figure back
Is there a perfect age for this procedure?
There isn’t a right or wrong age for an abdominoplasty (as long as you’re an adult). If you are a healthy individual with cosmetic goals that align with our procedure, we can help you reach them!
Who is not a candidate?
You are likely not a candidate if you:
- Are not within your healthy BMI
- Plan to get pregnant again soon
- Are seeking a weight loss procedure
- Can’t take time off work/life for recovery
- Do not plan to stop smoking cigarettes/using nicotine during recovery
What happens during an abdominoplasty?
1. Administer Anesthesia
An abdominoplasty in Tuscaloosa is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia.
2. Make Incision(s)
Once you’ve peacefully drifted off, she will make an incision below your belly button and lift the excess skin. Depending on your abdomen contouring goals, Dr. Wallace may also include liposuction as a part of your procedure.
3. Trim Excess Skin and Apply Sutures
After she repairs the muscles, she will trim the excess skin and use sutures to tighten the abdominal muscles and close the incision(s).
The procedure duration depends on the individual patient, as each patient’s treatment area is a different size and shape. You can expect the operative time to range from 2 to 5 hours.
As we mentioned before, a candidate for a tummy tuck has to take time to recover. We aren’t going to sugarcoat it—you should plan to take off work for 2 weeks. Some patients feel comfortable working from home or performing computer work during the 2nd week of recovery.
At Indian Hills Plastic Surgery, you can expect 6 weeks of activity restrictions.
After surgery, Dr. Wallace will give you a comprehensive after-care guide to follow, so don’t feel like you have to remember everything to a tee!
Pain and Discomfort
You can expect some pain and discomfort to be present, but it varies by patient. Plus, the discomfort is nothing that can’t be managed with either prescription medication or over-the-counter medicine and compression.
What other symptoms or side effects can I expect?
You may feel fatigued within the first few days post-op, but you’ll start feeling back to normal by the 1 week mark. Post-op bruising will subside at around 2 weeks.
Swelling, however, can persist for 2 to 6 months after your procedure. To experience the best recovery possible—and therefore the best results—follow all the after-care instructions Dr. Wallace provides.
If you have young children or household chores that can’t go untouched, make sure to recruit help from friends and family during your early recovery.. You shouldn’t be lifting anything or participating in any strenuous activities.
If you have any questions about what you can or can’t do during recovery, ask Dr. Wallace during any of your appointments or call us.
Amazing results come to those who wait and take care of themselves properly after surgery! Final results from an abdominoplasty in Tuscaloosa can be seen sometime between 9 and 12 months. You’ll notice your results gradually improving over time.
Dr. Wallace will make sure you have all the information you need to maximize your results!
Scarring: What to Expect
The great part about surgical procedures? Transformation and confidence restoration! The not so great part? Scarring.
A tummy tuck is no exception, but Dr. Wallace is a surgical wizard who makes incisions that can easily be hidden beneath the waistline.
The scars may be brownish or pinkish lines that fade over time, but won’t completely go away on their own.
The Indian Hills Surgery Process
Our goal at Indian Hills Plastic Surgery is to make our patients feel as comfortable and at ease as possible. We follow an in-depth process for each of our procedures in which you will always be an active participant in.
You value being informed, and we will make sure you are during every step of the process.
Before your abdominoplasty in Tuscaloosa, you will meet Dr. Wallace for a consultation. She will explain the procedure, get to know you and your concerns, and ask about your goals and expectations.
This process will help our team decide if you’re a good fit for a tummy tuck. We strongly urge you to ask us questions as well—we’re here to provide you with resources and any support you need.
The second appointment before your surgery is typically your pre-operative appointment. At this appointment you will have the opportunity to ask any last minute questions. Your final “before” pictures will be taken. Our team will go over instructions for the day of surgery and also answer questions about post-operative care.
2. The Procedure
When you arrive for your procedure, you will see Dr. Wallace prior to the beginning of surgery. Dr. Wallace will perform markings for the procedure and make sure you’re comfortable and ready to begin.
Our anesthesia team will administer the anesthesia, and then Dr. Wallace will begin making incisions. After she repairs tissue, trims any excess skin necessary, and seals it up with sutures, you’re all done.
Since it’s an outpatient procedure, you can go home shortly after, but you will need a driver.
If you’d feel more comfortable staying overnight, we can make arrangements for you to stay overnight. Either option is available based on your preference. We’ll discuss this during your consultation. Patients who live > 1 hour from Tuscaloosa, are required to stay in Tuscaloosa on the night of surgery.
Before you go into your abdominoplasty in Tuscaloosa, you will have all the instructions you’ll need for a smooth recovery. Your job is to spearhead your healing journey by following the instructions and attending your post-op visits.
After your procedure, Dr. Wallace will typically want to see you at your 1 week,1 month, 3 month, and 6 month mark.
At week 1, she will check on your progress and perform any dressing changes necessary.
The remaining appointments will also be check-ups to make sure you’re healing healthily. We encourage you to share any concerns you may have during these appointments.
If questions come up in-between appointments, you’re always welcome to call us.
Maximize Your Results with Liposuction
Liposuction targets fat deposits that a tummy tuck alone can’t. While a tummy tuck targets some pockets of fat, its main purpose is to repair muscle tissue and remove excess skin.
Liposuction is great for removing excess fat from different areas of the body. These two treatments can be completed in the same appointment, working together to maximize your results and build your confidence.
Excess skin removal + muscle tightening + fat removal = the waistline of your dreams!
Frequently Asked Questions: Abdominoplasty
1. Can I undergo abdominoplasty in Tuscaloosa before having children?
You can, but we recommend waiting to have the procedure done until after you know you’re finished having children. This ensures the best results! One exception to this is patients who have had major weight loss prior to childbearing and would benefit from skin removal.
2. When can I expect to enjoy my full results?
Your full results will be visible anywhere between 9 and 12 months.
3. Who is the best candidate for a tummy tuck?
The best candidate for a tummy tuck is within their healthy weight range with a BMI lower than 35 and has loose skin and/or excess fat.
4. How long can I expect recovery to take?
Tummy tuck recovery takes around 6 weeks. After this time, you should be able to return to your normal activities and be feeling back to normal.
5. Will my scars be visible?
Dr. Wallace does her best to hide any scarring below the waistline; underwear and swimsuits will cover them. They will fade over time, but will likely not go away completely on their own.
At Indian Hills Plastic Surgery, we value being transparent with our patients about everything we do—this includes pricing.
Although pricing for many practices can seem taboo, it’s not to us. Before your abdominoplasty in Tuscaloosa, you’ll know your costs. In fact, before you even come in for a consultation, you can receive an estimate of your costs!
Talk With Our Compassionate Care Team
Committing to cosmetic surgery is a significant decision that we don’t take for granted. We want you to feel like you’re investing in something for yourself that’s positive and long-lasting.
Phase 1: Get in Touch
Any and all questions are welcome!
Phase 2: Schedule a Consultation
Our team is eager to hear about your tummy tuck goals and devise a plan to make them happen.
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