If you’re over 35 or 40, just about everyone has at least some degree of a stomach pooch. If you’re a mom and have had a couple children, it’s almost a certainty. Same is true if you’ve gained and then lost a good deal of weight. The skin and underlying muscles have been stretched to a degree for a long enough period of time that they simply cannot return to their former degree of tautness.
That’s where a tummy tuck with Dr. Gaines comes in. And, although are Gainesville winters are anything but bone chilling, it’s still a good time to have a tummy tuck as you’ll be ready for swimsuit season in the spring and summer. You could put it on your Christmas List!
What’s a tummy tuck?
The main job of a tummy tuck is to remove excess skin that has become loose and saggy. This contrasts with liposuction, where the target is pockets of fat, but the skin is not addressed.
Depending on how much of the abdomen area Dr. Gaines needs to address the incision length can vary. For patients with more minimal sagging, a shorter incision along the bikini line will suffice. For those with universal sagging skin, the incision may circle the entire lower abdomen. This length of incision gives Dr. Gaines access to the abdomen, flanks, lower back, and buttocks. In most full tummy tucks, the incision will run from hipbone to hipbone, dipping down to the pubic area so that the scar is hidden beneath a bikini bottom or underwear. Full tucks also usually include a second incision at the belly button to address sagging in the upper abdomen.
What about fat?
Some tummy tucks include the removal of excess fat. Dr. Gaines prefers to remove the excess fat in the center of the abdomen surgically and the excess fat of the sides with liposuction. He believes this delivers the smoothest, most accurate, and effective contouring of the area while still reducing the fat.
What about muscle?
Dr. Gaines also tightens the abdominal muscles when performing tummy tucks. He brings the muscles in the center of the abdomen closer together. During pregnancy these muscles often become permanently separated by the localized weight gain.
We’ll have you in a compression garment for 2-3 weeks after surgery. Bruising in the center of the abdomen will last 1-2 weeks. Areas that have received liposuction will stay bruised for up to 3 weeks. Pain in the abdomen from both the surgery and liposuction can last from 7-10 days, but it can linger at times along your incision. Most patients return to work in two weeks or so. Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise, however, must wait for at least eight weeks, maybe longer.