What is a Tummy Tuck?
Sometimes, the muscles that run down the middle of the abdomen (your “abs”) get stretched and separate, this is known as diastasis recti. Occasionally, (often during pregnancy), these “6-pack” muscles can stretch in a way that no exercise can restore. When this happens, an abdominoplasty, or more commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, can help. A tummy tuck is when a plastic surgeon:
1. Removes excess skin and tightens it
2. Removes some subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin that is virtually resistant to diet and exercise)
3. Tightens the rectus abdominis – The surgeon sutures the separated rectus abdominis muscles back into place.
This results in a flatter abdomen that may also feel stronger to the patient as their stomach muscles have been restored.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a fairly major surgery so the tummy tuck patient should be in good health. This procedure can benefit women after being pregnant and men or women who have sagging abdominal skin due to weight loss or aging. Dr. Chasan typically suggests this surgery for those who have separated abdominal muscles and are concerned about their protruding tummy. Some patients who are dealing with too much abdominal fat but not separated muscles or excess skin, may have a tummy tuck to achieve desired results. A tummy tuck is also common as part of a Mommy Makeover.
Will a Tummy Tuck Leave a Scar?
Yes, there is always a scar after a tummy tuck however, Dr. Chasan is relentless in his pursuit to leave the least visible scar as possible. In fact, he uses a technique called progressive tension suturing to leave the least scarring possible. The scar will sit low under the belly, in an area typically covered by underwear or a bikini bottom. Dr. Chasan believes that the scar at about 6 months post tummy tuck surgery should look like nothing more than a panty crease. Dr. Chasan will explain his unique method to reduce scaring during your consultation with him.
What is Recovery Like for a Tummy Tuck?
Most patients who have a tummy tuck under Dr. Chasan are back to their normal routines within about 2 weeks but it is recommended to stick to minimal activity for a month while the surgical area is healing.
How is Liposuction Different than a Tummy Tuck?
An abdominal liposuction is a less invasive procedure that targets subcutaneous fat sitting under the skin and on top of the abdominal wall. This fat is virtually impossible to get rid of naturally. Liposuction is when the fatty area is injected with a saline solution, a small incision is made and a cannula tube attached to a vacuum is inserted. Dr. Chasan then moves the wand rapidly to break up the fat and it is then vacuumed out of the abdominal area. Many patients choose to add liposuction to augment a tummy tuck.
What Can’t Liposuction Accomplish? Why Choose a Tummy Tuck Over Lipo?
Liposuction successfully removes fat. It does not tighten the skin, nor does it tighten the abdominal muscles. It is a much less invasive procedure with an easier recovery. Based on the patient’s anatomy, Dr. Chasan will steer patients towards liposuction in San Diego over a tummy tuck if their cosmetic goals align with what the procedure is designed to accomplish.
Ready to Schedule a Consultation?
To learn more about our stomach slimming procedures including liposuction and a tummy tuck cost, please contact us at Del Mar’s Ranch and Coast Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation today.
Tummy Tuck Information
Our San Diego county based medical team gets a lot of patients with many questions about tummy tucks, liposuction and mini tummy tucks. It can be daunting for patients to narrow down exactly what they want. Dr. Paul Chasan wants patients to get exactly what they want when it comes to results; helping them figure out the differences between abdominal flattening procedures is essential. We look forward to meeting you in person so we can fully understand your goals but until then, below is a snapshot of what abdomen area altering procedures are and what they can accomplish. Many of the techniques are based on the patients’ anatomical features.
Tummy Tuck Surgery- Before and After Photos
Have any questions or wish to schedule a consult? Click the link below to contact our office today.
Dr. Chasan Discusses Tummy Tucks on The Wellness Hour
Interviewer: So when does it get to a point where a woman needs a tummy tuck over liposuction?
Dr. Chasan: It all is based on their anatomy, on their skin quality. And that’s one of the things they have to come in, and I have to examine them. A lot of times, after kids, their muscles stretched out in the midline. So a lot of women, very active, they exercise. They work on their abs. And they still don’t have a flat abdomen. Generally, that’s because the tissue strength between their two rectus abdominis muscles has stretched. It’s called diastasis recti. So part of a tummy tuck would be to repair that.
Interviewer: So by the way, so I understand this correctly, so the abdomen muscles stretched.
Dr. Chasan: Yes.
Interviewer: And so even if they’re lean, they may have a little pooch.
Dr. Chasan: Pooch, yeah.
Interviewer: And you are doing what?
Dr. Chasan: I’m actually suturing those muscles together, kind of like an internal corset, and that flattens their abdomen. So I look at that. I look at their skin quality. If they don’t have a separation in their muscle and their skin quality is good, they can have liposuction. And so I always will lean towards liposuction if they’re going to get a good result. And there are people who are clearly liposuction people, and there’s clearly those people who are tummy tuck people. And then I don’t know if you remember those Venn diagrams we used to do in second grade, you know, where those two circles intersect, there’s that group in between where you could do…and I have to talk to ’em and see how much surgery they want. And, you know, it’s a communication. It’s a process. And if I can talk to them and understand what they want for their abdomen, how much surgery they want, sometimes a tummy tuck is a better option. Sometimes liposuction’s a better option.
Interviewer: Now, you are known for low incisions on tummy tuck. And smaller incisions, or scarring, I should say. Tell me why.
Dr. Chasan: Going back to that philosophy of taking tension off the incision. Take tension for your… delicate when you cut the skin and you don’t use any extra cautery on the skin, when you close it, I use a technique called progressive tension suturing. And actually, once you elevate the abdominal flap, what we used to do is just flex the bed and close it. That puts all the tension on the skin. But now, what I do is I suture underneath that flap, progressively suturing down that flap. And what that does is it does two…well, it actually does three things. It allows me to get a scar that’s lower. That’s very important. It allows me to take tension off that incision so I have a better scar. And also, it diminishes the potential for fluid collections or seromas in the abdomen. So this technique, progressive tension suturing, which is a relatively new technique…
Interviewer: And most guys don’t do it that way?
Dr. Chasan: Most guys don’t. And it’s been revolutionary for my tummy tucks.
Interviewer: So just for a thinner, lower…
Dr. Chasan: Thinner, lower…
Dr. Chasan: And then, as I mentioned before, I like that scar to be a perfect, linear crease to look…I want that scar to look like an underwear crease line. That’s what I want it to look like.
Interviewer: So it’s really almost undetectable.
Dr. Chasan: Yes.
Interviewer: And do you see, as a surgeon, I know you wanna be positive here, but you see tummy tuck incisions…
Dr. Chasan: Yes.
Interviewer: …sometimes from other doctors and you shake your head?
Dr. Chasan: I shake my head, because, you know what? If it’s not a curvy, linear line, it’s laziness. It’s just surgical laziness. That’s it. You know what? A dog ear doesn’t go away by itself. An irregular scar doesn’t go away. To me, I’m only as good as my last surgery. I want it perfect. And if I’m on the table and it’s not perfect, I’m going to make it perfect.
Interviewer: What about the belly button?
Interviewer: You can create a natural-looking belly button?
Dr. Chasan: Yeah. Actually, it’s the person’s own belly button that you’re using. And so you actually cut around the belly button. You dunk it. You close the abdomen. And then you tease it out and create a…so you create the frame around it. I’m prideful about how the belly button…the belly button has to look good. So I’m very prideful about that. So, you know, if you go on to my website, you’ll take a look, and you can look at the belly buttons.