Tummy Tuck in Salt Lake City, UT
Dr. Jerry Chidester performs Tummy Tucks in Salt Lake City, Utah. An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) helps flatten the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles. The best candidates for abdominoplasty are in good physical condition, with pockets of fat or loose skin that have not responded well to diet and exercise. Abdominoplasty can also be appropriate for slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity, and for women with skin and muscles stretched from pregnancy. Anyone planning on losing a significant amount of weight, and women planning on having (more) children, should wait before undergoing abdominoplasty.
Problems Tummy Tucks SolveThe localized weight gain of pregnancy, or from gaining and then losing a good deal of weight, stretches the abdominal skin and support tissues to the degree that they cannot return to their former degree of tautness when the weight is lost. In many cases, the stomach muscles in the center of the stomach actually become separated due to the localized weight. These issues cannot be corrected with changes in diet or exercise. A tummy tuck removes the excess skin and it brings the separated muscles back to the center where they are re-anchored. This actually slims the waist in many patients. Dr. Chidester also includes some amount of liposuction with his tummy tuck procedures to remove stubborn pockets of fat in the area. This surgery will flatten your stomach, remove loose skin and pockets of fat, and dramatically change your contour.
Tummy Tuck Options
- Full tummy tuck — A full tuck involves two incisions, one stretching from hipbone to hipbone, and a second incision around the navel area. A full tummy tuck removes sagging skin both above the navel and from the navel down to the pubic area.
- Mini tummy tuck — A mini tuck usually only requires the single lower incision. The length of this incision varies depending on the degree of loose skin. These are best for patients who have a small pooch in the center of their lower abdomen and less overall sagging.
- Extended tummy tuck — An extended tummy tuck also targets the flanks. It basically is a full tummy tuck, but the lower incision stretches past the hipbones all the way out to the sides of the hips. This incision can even slightly advance around the side of the flanks.
Preparing For A Tummy TuckAbdominoplasty is major surgery, so your preparations will mirror those involved with any surgery, i.e. stop taking certain medications and supplements, stopping smoking, eating well, avoiding excessive alcohol for a few days before and after, etc. The most important preparations for a tummy tuck really involve your recovery. Because of the long incision made in this procedure, you won’t be able to lift much of anything for a period of time. Even standing straight up will be a challenge for a few days. That means you’ll need to get your recovery area ready beforehand. Fill your pain medicine prescription. Get your bed and other areas ready for convalescence. Stairs will be challenging, so you may want to sleep downstairs if you have multiple floors. Most important — enlist help. You won’t be able to do much with the kids and chores will be off-limits. Get a spouse, relative, or friend to help out at least for the first week after your surgery.
Abdominoplasty takes approximately 2 to 5 hours to perform; the patient is placed under general anesthesia. Two incisions are made: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and another around the navel. Skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin flap is then stretched down over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached where it looks natural. The incisions are then closed, and sterile surgical dressings are applied over the sutured areas.
Getting The Best ResultsA tummy tuck with Dr. Chidester is a rewarding procedure, delivering dramatic results. It removes sagging abdominal skin and tightens weakened or torn abdominal muscles, giving the patient a tight, toned tummy. To get your best results, Dr. Chidester has a couple of recommendations:
- Be at or near your ideal weight It’s better to lose any extra weight before you have a tummy tuck than after. Why? The loss of weight after we tighten your abdominal skin and muscles can create new loose sagging skin.
- Keep a consistent weight at least 3 months prior to surgery If you’ve lost weight, it’s best to be sure you can maintain that weight when you return to normal foods and eating practices. Once you settle into your new lower weight, this surgery will only make you want to maintain your new contour.
- Don’t smoke If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for at least two weeks prior to and after your surgery. Smoking is shown to impact healing.
The Best Time To Get A Tummy TuckIf you plan on having additional children, Dr. Chidester advises patients to not have a tummy tuck until after your final child is born. This is because gaining and losing weight will negate all of the changes made with your tummy tuck. Plus, it can actually cause your incision scars to become distorted. So, wait until you are sure you are finished having any more children before having this procedure. As for the season, it depends what you like to do outside in Utah. If you’re a big skier, you’d want to have this surgery done in the late summer so that you’re fully recovered by ski season. If summer’s your outdoor time, winter is the time to schedule this procedure.
Recovery After Abdominoplasty
After surgery, a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. An overnight hospital stay may be necessary. Recovery time ranges from 2 weeks to 2 months. Abdominoplasty leaves a scar spanning the lower abdomen from hip to hip, although it is low enough to be concealed by a bikini. Maintaining weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise provides long-lasting results.
Risks Of Abdominoplasty
In addition to the usual risks associated with surgery and anesthesia, risks associated with abdominoplasty include the following:
- Poor aesthetic result
- Unsightly scarring
- Loose skin
- Numbness in skin sensation
- Need for revisional surgery
Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery may find that their old scars look more raised, have stretched or are more noticeable in general. Undergoing a scar revision may minimize their prominence.