Abdominoplasty/Tummy Tuck Tacoma

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abdominoplastyWhat is a tummy tuck?

Tummy tuck procedures in the Pacific Northwest are increasing in number because the patients in this area have witnessed firsthand how this procedure works to improve body shape and overall body tone.

Dr. Roy Semlacher says that tummy tucks are now one of the most sought-after techniques to improve the appearance of the patient’s abdominal area. This is because they are able to remove excess fat and skin, as well as tighten the underlying muscles in this region, giving the patient a stronger abdominal profile.

A tummy tuck is a surgery that flattens the abdomen by removing extra skin and fat and tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. This surgery is often confused with liposuction, a procedure where only stubborn fat is removed.

Which types of tummy tuck can be performed?

Two types of tummy tuck are available:

  • Full Abdominoplasty: During this, Dr. Semlacher creates a horizontal curving incision from one hipbone to the other. Another incision may also be created around the bellybutton. The tissue, muscles, and skin are contoured as needed before repositioning the belly button.
  • Partial Abdominoplasty: Also called a mini tummy tuck, this is suitable for people whose abdominal issues are specifically located below the navel. It can address drooping skin, stretch marks, excess fat, and c-section scars. In this procedure, the bellybutton is not moved. A mini tummy tuck involves less surgery and recovery time overall compared to the full tummy tuck.

Who is a suitable candidate for a tummy tuck?

For many people, a well-defined abdomen is a dream come true. Fat accumulation in the abdomen can cause a person to lose those defined contours. Fat accumulation can occur due to reasons beyond one’s control such as genetics, medical condition, and certain medications, or due to a lethargic lifestyle.

While exercise and diet may help you shed extra pounds, they do nothing for loose hanging skin around the abdomen. The best way to get rid of it is with a tummy tuck surgery.

The tummy tuck procedure is suitable for patients who are:

  • Physically healthy and have maintained a stable weight
  • Mentally and physically healthy and do not have any underlying health issues
  • Not pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to be pregnant
  • Non-smokers or are willing to quit immediately
  • Not allergic to anesthesia
  • Not taking blood thinners and do not have bleeding problems
  • Realistic in regard to their expectations for the surgery
  • Unhappy about stubborn abdominal fat deposits and loose abdominal skin

Dr. Semlacher will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure based on your present health condition, medical history, family health condition, medications, and allergies.

What are the benefits of a tummy tuck?

Here are some of the benefits a tummy tuck can offer:

  • Tummy tucks are a great option for patients who have an excessive amount of skin accumulating around the area of the belly button. This condition is very common for patients who have undergone drastic weight-loss but whose skin has become too overstretched, leaving it sagging across the abdominal area.
  • As a person ages, it is common to see protruding abdomens that are caused mainly by fat accumulation and by the loss of skin elasticity. As the lower abdominal walls begin to weaken, the abdomen starts to sag.
  • Mothers that have delivered their children via C-section often experience retracted scarring that can be alleviated with a tummy tuck procedure
  • Liposuction is one of the most well-known methods for fat elimination. However, in cases when this technique does not go very well, a tummy tuck can provide the patient with a quick recovery action to improve the appearance of the abdominal area where liposuction has failed. These two procedures are often used in combination for best results.

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What happens during a tummy tuck?

Your tummy tuck surgery will start with a consultation with Dr. Semlacher, who will determine whether you are a suitable candidate. After a physical examination of your abdomen, a treatment plan is devised, which will include the incision area, the amount of fat to be removed, medication you will need to take, and more.

On the day of the surgery, the treatment area is cleaned with an antiseptic, and anesthesia is administered. After the administration of general anesthesia, the surgeon will make a horizontal incision running across the patient’s pubic hairline. This gives the doctor access to the abdominal area so that he can remove excess fat and skin.

The muscle fascia of the underlying abdominal muscles will also be tightened during the procedure to strengthen the abdominal wall and give the patient a stronger abdominal profile afterwards.

After the excess skin has been trimmed off, the remaining skin will be draped across the abdomen, and the belly button will be repositioned accordingly. The incision will then be closed using stitches, ideally following the patient’s natural bikini line to make the scarring less obvious.

What should I do during recovery?

Recovery differs from one individual to another. It is recommended that the patient be in an upright, slightly raised position for a few days after the surgery to help reduce swelling, bruising, and tenderness of the treated area.

Normally, drainage tubes will be put in place to help drain out excess blood and fluids from the surgical site. The patient will be advised to avoid rigorous activities during recovery to avoid any complications. Compression garments are also recommended for a few weeks after the surgery to help reduce swelling and give the patient extra support during recovery.