Tummy Tuck

For many Bay Area patients, the stomach is a concerning area of the body in which an excess of stored fat accumulates. In response, the skin stretches out to accommodate the increase in weight. Furthermore, abdominal muscle and skin droopiness is also the result of pregnancy. At some point, this stretching out of the skin reaches the point of no return. Even if the patient adopts a healthy diet and exercise routine, the skin will often not retract and recover its smooth and contoured appearance. Instead, patients are left with loose, wrinkled skin on the abdomen. The only way to treat this type of skin is by undergoing skin removal surgery. 

Vectra 3D Imaging for Tummy Tuck

Vectra 3D imaging technology helps patients visualize their potential individual outcomes. During the tummy tuck consultation, Dr. Griffin will take a 3D image of the patient. Once the image is displayed on his computer screen, Dr. Griffin will simulate a before and after result by modifying the patients abdominal contours.  The likely outcome can be shown to the patient at any angle.


Abdominoplasty Candidates

Patients who have excess abdominal skin, along with lax abdominal muscles that cause the belly to protrude, are the best candidates for a tummy tuck procedure. The procedure is commonly performed.

Before making the decision to undergo a tummy tuck, patients should be committed to maintaining a healthy weight.

Tummy tuck patients should also be non-smokers and in good health.

Abdominoplasty Techniques

Dr. Griffin will choose the most suitable tummy tuck technique based on the degree of skin laxity that is affecting the patient.

  • Mini: If there is a minimal amount of excess skin that is present below the navel, the mini tummy tuck, which involves a smaller horizontal incision, can be performed. Dr. Griffin also offers advanced endoscopic techniques to treat the upper abdomen in mini tummy tucks.
  • Traditional: A curved, horizontal incision is made near the bikini line, extending outward toward the hips. This approach is best suited to patients with moderate to severe skin laxity that is concentrated in the lower and upper abdominal region.
  • Extended: The extended tummy tuck is performed on patients who have loose skin on the flanks, as well as the lower and upper stomach region. In this technique, the incision reaches around the hips.

Tummy Tuck Procedure Steps

The tummy tuck procedure involves the following steps:

  1. A surgical pen is used to mark the incision area
  2. Antibacterial solution is applied to the abdomen
  3. The incision is made
  4. The skin and underlying tissue are dissected away from the muscles
  5. The muscles are tightened with sutures
  6. The skin and tissue are advanced over the underlying muscles
  7. Excess abdominal skin and tissue are removed
  8. The incision is closed over drains
  9. Bandages are applied

Tummy Tuck Recovery

For the first few days after surgery, patients should rest with the head elevated. Patients are encouraged to get up and walk for short distances the day after surgery to keep the blood circulating. During this time, patients will have drains in place to collect fluid and decrease the risk of fluid accumulation. Patients should empty the drains regularly, and record the outputs in milliliters.

About a week to two weeks after surgery, surgical drains will be removed. The surgical dressing will also be changed at this time.

For the first six weeks after surgery, patients should wear a special pressure garment to reduce swelling and improve post-operative results. Patients should also avoid heavy workouts until Dr. Griffin approves them.

Tummy Tuck Side Effects

The most common side effects from a tummy tuck procedure include:

  • Discomfort
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Skin tightness
  • Itchiness or numbness of the incision site

Depending upon the patient and the extent of the procedure, these side effects may last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Tummy Tuck Risks

The risks include excess bleeding, infection, seroma, hematoma, unfavorable scarring, and possible tissue loss along the incision site. The latter is more common among smokers, patients with diabetes, and those who are overweight.

Tummy Tuck Results

Because of the swelling, it may take up to two months to see the final results of the procedure. The body will gradually take on its new shape as the bruising and swelling subside. Results should last long term, although the abdominal skin may change again with age, pregnancy, or weight gain.

Tummy Tuck Consultations

To schedule a tummy tuck consultation, contact Dr. John Griffin’s practice.