What is a Tummy Tuck?
A Tummy Tuck, also known as Abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure to remove the excess skin and fat tissue from the middle and lower abdomen. Additionally, tightening of the anterior abdominal muscles is also applied to create a firmer and smoother abdominal profile.
Why have a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy Tuck is applied for patients who, due to major weight fluctuations, pregnancy, aging, or former surgery, wishes to get rid of the excess/ saggy skin or excess fat tissue in the abdominal area.
As the skin cannot adapt to the underlying muscle tissue anymore, these problems can generally not be eliminated with exercise and diet
On the other hand, as pregnancies lead to the expansion of the muscles in the anterior abdominal wall, loosening in their connection with each other (diastasis). As a result of this, the abdominal organs can push the overlying muscles easily that causes a bulging tummy appearance.
Tummy Tuck allows you to regain your figure and feel more confident about your body shape.
With a Tummy Tuck surgery, Dr. Serbülent Güzey can improve the effects which dramatic fluctuations in weight, pregnancy, loss of skin elasticity, and effects of aging/ gravity had on a patient’s body.
You might consider a Tummy Tuck to:
- Reduce excess skin on your middle and lower abdomen
- Give a more aesthetically pleasing shape to your abdomen
- Get rid of distorted skin and stretch marks (which are under the actual bellybutton right now)
- Tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall
“As a personal approach, I frequently combine Tummy Tuck surgery with limited/ non-aggressive liposuction in the lower back and abdominal area. In this way, the result might be much more satisfying. So, you will get rid of the fat accumulations around your waist besides getting rid of the excess skin from the middle and lower abdomen and the tightening of disjointed or weakened muscles. The result is a thinner waist curve and a firmer and smoother abdominal profile”. – Dr. Serbülent Güzey
Who is a good candidate for Tummy Tuck?
A Tummy Tuck can be a great option to improve the shape and size of the abdomen; however, certain patients are better suited to the procedure, and it is important to have realistic expectations about the surgery, recovery, and results. In general, you are likely a good candidate for a Tummy Tuck if you agree with the following:
- You are in good overall physical and mental health.
- You have realistic expectations of the outcome
- You have excess skin or sagging in your abdominal area or an excess fat tissue that affects your general appearance/ bothers you
- You have the ability to properly rest and recover post-surgery as you won’t be able to perform certain tasks
- You are willing and able to avoid smoking for at least 2 weeks before and after surgery
- You are at least 18 years old
To undergo a Tummy Tuck, you’d have to be able to plan a stay of 6 days in Istanbul.
Mini vs. Full Tummy Tuck
There are several variations of tummy tuck surgery each designed to target certain areas of the abdomen.
A full (complete) abdominoplasty is usually performed in cases of multiple pregnancies, extreme obesity, or genetic laxity.
The procedure typically involves the removal of excess skin, the tightening of abdominal muscles, and liposuction for reshaping the abdomen. In a full abdominoplasty, the skin is removed from the area above your navel, all the way down to your pubic area. In the full tummy tuck, Dr. Serbülent Güzey will make an incision in the area around your navel and in the lower abdominal area/ pubic area.
A mini (partial) abdominoplasty is usually recommended for those who have just a little excess skin/ fat deposits, located underneath the navel. This procedure will not likely require a repositioning of the belly button.
In a mini-abdominoplasty, Dr. Serbülent Güzey will make just one incision in the lower abdominal area/ pubic area.
Tummy Tuck Consultation
The consultation begins with taking your photographs for our medical archive.
Then Dr. Serbülent Güzey will examine the whole abdominal area and plans the incision shape and length which is determined by the amount of excess skin. Dr. Serbülent Güzey will use a surgical marker to do markings which will assist him during the surgery.
During your consultation, he answers all your questions, listens, and understands your expectations and makes the planning based on your desires.
What is involved in Tummy Tuck Surgery?
A Tummy Tuck surgery is performed under general anesthesia.
Due to the personal approach of Dr. Serbülent Güzey the surgery begins with the limited/ no- aggressive liposuction. Diluted local anesthesia is infused through small, inconspicuous incisions to reduce bleeding and trauma. Then a thin hollow cannula is inserted through the incisions to loosen excess fat using a controlled back and forth motion. The dislodged fat is then suctioned out of the body using a surgical vacuum attached to the cannula.
Once the fat has been collected, a horizontally-oriented incision in the area of the lower abdomen/pubic hairline and around the navel is done.
The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin. Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired.
The upper abdominal skin is pulled down, the excess skin is trimmed and the remaining skin is sutured together. A new opening for the belly button is created. The belly button is popped through to the surface and sutured into position.
After that, the drains are placed to drain the fluid from the surgery and the incisions are closed with layered sutures. The area gets covered by dressing and the compression garment is put on.
The duration of the surgery is around 2-3 hours.
After Tummy Tuck
After the surgery, a compression garment is worn to minimize swelling and support your abdomen as it heals following surgery.
The drains will drain the fluid from the surgery and will get removed some days after the surgery (depending on the amount of fluid).
Patients should start light walking after surgery – nothing strenuous, just short walks around the room every other hour. It is good for the circulation and helps prevent blood clots.
Our patients will stay in the hospital for one night after the surgery and get discharged on the following day.
While pain is typically not severe and controlled through pain medication, you will be asked to walk bent over and move carefully to avoid pulling on the anterior abdominal muscles and the incision.
The first shower can normally be taken on the 4th day after surgery and you should be able to resume light daily activities within 1 week and return to work within 10 to 14 days.
Aftercare of Tummy Tuck
For the fastest recovery and best results, it’s essential for you to take special care of your body in the first days and weeks after your Tummy Tuck.
The compression garment we provide for you should be worn at all times except during showering, it reduces the swelling and speeds up the recovery. To make sure that you avoid any wrinkles or folding in the garment, check your garment routinely, as it can cause permanent moldings due to its pressure.
If you wish, you can change your compression garment to a stage 2 faja/ garment 2 weeks after your surgery.
You will be supplied with a comprehensive packet of post-operative wound care utils as well as the instructions, explaining how to take care of the wounds and how to disinfect the incisions.
Be sure to follow these instructions to ensure a healthy wound recovery and eliminate potential risks.
As part of good aftercare, we strongly recommend our patients’ manual lymphatic drainage massages as the prime choice. As multiple studies have shown, lymphatic massage speeds up the recovery process help to accelerate the reduction of swelling and bruising after surgery and smooth, even results are achieved.
“Patients can expect a 50% reduction in recovery times, utilizing lymphatic massage in the early postoperative period.” – Dr. Serbülent Güzey
MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) massages can also reduce the occurrence of eventual skin hardening also known as fibrosis which can be unpleasant and unaesthetic (considered one of the main complications after plastic surgery). Every case is different depending on the type and extent of the surgery. Having the MLD treatment for 6 weeks is ideal for cosmetic procedures: twice a week for the first couple of weeks, to be reviewed after that.
Adequate hydration (drinking plenty of water) and a healthy diet (vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains) are essential for the aftercare of your Tummy Tuck.
Exercise After Tummy Tuck
After your Tummy Tuck, you should take light walks as soon as possible after surgery as a light cardiovascular activity to help your lymphatic system work properly and better.
In patients (especially the ones who undergone muscle tightening) it is important not to lift heavy objects for 1 month after the surgery.
After four to six weeks you can resume low impact cardio/ aerobics (recumbent bike, upright bike, incline walking). After six weeks you can start doing a full aerobic activity, cardio, run, treadmill, stair stepper, spin, swim. Twelve weeks after your Tummy Tuck surgery you can resume high-intensity activity, weights, resistance exercise, and extreme stretchings like Yoga or Pilates.
As a general rule, we also tell patients to listen to their bodies – if they do something that causes swelling or discomfort, stop doing it, and give it a little more time.
Life After Tummy Tuck surgery
Tummy Tuck results are meant to last for many years. However, significant weight fluctuations or a future pregnancy can affect your results. In order to maintain good results, you should focus on good general fitness and incorporate more vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains, and into your diet. While reducing the intake of sugars, simple carbohydrates, and saturated fats.
Your improved body contour will be apparent when the swelling and fluid retention, which are commonly experienced following a Tummy Tuck, subside. Results are typically final within 6 months of surgery and you are fully healed.
By this time, your flatter stomach will be noticeable in how you look and in the way clothing fits.
As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness, but most of your improvement should be relatively permanent.
Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.