A disproportionate midsection can impact your confidence, cause discomfort, and make it difficult to find clothing that fits properly. For patients who are unhappy with sagging abdominal skin or excess fat, Dr. Greg Gaines performs tummy tuck surgery at our Gainesville, FL, practice. Although it is not intended as a weight loss surgery, a tummy tuck can help firm the area and improve the appearance of stretch marks. Many patients choose to undergo the tummy tuck procedure following major weight loss or after pregnancy.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, involves the removal of excess fat and skin from the abdomen, and in some cases, a subsequent tightening of the muscles underneath to further flatten the area. For a full tummy tuck, Dr. Gaines will make incisions across the lower abdomen from hip to hip and around the navel, while a mini tummy tuck will only require one incision on the lower abdomen. The doctor may elect to include liposuction as part of your tummy tuck to remove stubborn fat deposits.
Tummy Tuck Candidates
The ideal candidate for the tummy tuck procedure is concerned with extra abdominal skin, coupled with weak abdominal muscles. Women whose muscles and skin appear stretched after pregnancy may elect to undergo the surgery for an improved figure. The procedure also works well for men and women who have recently lost a substantial amount of weight and still have excess skin and fat deposits in the belly area.
Tummy tuck candidates are often concerned with the after-effects of pregnancy. The surgery also works well for men and women who have recently lost a substantial amount of weight.
Candidates for the surgery should be in good health and committed to maintaining a stable weight. If you plan to lose more weight, you should do so before undergoing a tummy tuck procedure, as weight fluctuations in either direction can significantly affect the results of your surgery. Obese patients typically do not make good candidates, so Dr. Gaines usually recommends patients do not undergo surgery if their BMI is over 36.
Patients should quit smoking at least six weeks prior to surgery, as smoking slows the healing process and increases the risk for complications. Those who plan to have children should postpone the surgery, since pregnancy can separate the muscles tightened during surgery. Ideal candidates should also have a positive attitude and realistic expectations of the results.
How is the tummy tuck procedure performed?
Your procedure will begin with the administration of general anesthesia. Our highly qualified CRNAs utilize IV sedation to provide a less invasive anesthesia process that does not require intubation. The anesthesia will wear off slowly, so you will need someone to drive or escort you home. Since our anesthesia is provided through an IV, there is less risk of nausea after your procedure and you shouldn’t feel groggy or sluggish the day after.
To begin a standard tummy tuck procedure, Dr. Gaines will make an incision above the pubic area. The amount of excess skin present will largely determine the size of the incision. The doctor will lift the abdominal skin, repairing the weakened muscles underneath in a process called plication, or muscle repair. For excess skin on the upper abdomen, the doctor will need to make a second incision around the navel. Once he has repaired the abdominal muscles, the doctor will tighten the overlying tissue and trim away any excess. He may move the belly button to a more natural-looking position, and then will carefully close the incisions to allow for as thin a scar as possible.
A mini tummy tuck will only address the area below the navel. The doctor will make a small incision hidden along the bikini line similar to a standard tummy tuck, tighten and remove excess skin. The smaller incision using during a mini tummy tuck will result in less noticeable scarring and a quicker recovery time. A mini tummy tuck is better suited for women and men who do not need muscle repair and have only a small bit of sagging skin or overhang below their belly button.
Check out what Dr. Gaines’ patients have to say
“On a scale of 1 to 10 Dr. Gaines and his staff rate a diffident 10! I had a face lift, breast augmentation, and tummy tuck all within one week. Dr. Gaines explained each procedure in great detail and he and his staff made me feel very comfortable going into surgery.” - A.C
” I am now 5 months post-op with my tummy tuck and am very pleased with the result. My clothes are better fitting and it has changed how I feel when I wear them. Dr Gaines is approachable and knowledgeable, and both he and his staff ensure you have all the information you need and support you along the way. “ - L.G
“Dr. Gaines and his staff are amazing. I have had a full extended Tummy Tuck with muscle repair, arm reduction and medial thigh lift by Dr Gaines. His staff are all very friendly and knowledgeable. I am more than happy with the work Dr Gaines has done for me and highly recommend him, and will be back for more procedures in the future to finish my makeover after 130 pound loss.” - C.D
Learn More During a Consultation
Feeling wholly confident in your skin can be life-changing. If you feel that you might benefit from a tummy tuck, and would like to learn more about the procedure, contact our office today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Gaines. Our team will help you make a customized plan for your procedure depending on whether or not muscle repair is needed and the amount of skin that you would like removed.