The abdomen is the hardest part of the body to maintain for many men and women. In cases of weight loss, pregnancy or even the natural aging process, many people find they are unable to rid themselves of stubborn fat deposits or sagging skin around their stomach. Diet and exercise are not always enough to fix these problems, which is why many people turn to a tummy tuck procedure.

A tummy tuck, also referred to as an abdominoplasty, focuses on removing excess skin and fat deposits around the abdomen to produce a more taut, youthful contour throughout the midsection. It may also include muscle repair if the abdominal wall has laxity. A tummy tuck is the preferred solution for diastasis recti, the partial or complete separation of the abdominal muscles that often follows pregnancy.

If you are ready to learn more about this procedure, our expert surgeons at Crantford Costa Plastic Surgery are here to provide medical care you can trust and rely on. Contact our Charleston office today at 843-722-5904 or through our online contact form.

What Is Abdominoplasty?

Our physicians personalize tummy tuck procedures to meet each patient’s unique needs. If you are dissatisfied with any of the conditions or concerns in the previous section, there may be a tummy tuck variation that can give you a slimmer, sleeker physique.

Candidates for any surgical procedure should be in stable physical and mental condition before undergoing surgery and should have reasonable expectations for the results they will achieve. Abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure, not a weight loss operation. The best abdominoplasty candidates are in good physical condition but have excess fat, loose skin or stretched muscles that cannot be improved with diet and exercise.

Tummy tuck procedures, like all plastic surgeries, are generally safe operations. However, if you have preexisting medical conditions such as nicotine/tobacco addiction, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, you are at a higher risk of developing complications during surgery and recovery. The best way to find out if you are a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery is to meet personally with a Charleston plastic surgeon in a confidential consultation.

Why Consider Tummy Tuck Surgery?

If you are unable to sculpt the shapely abdomen you desire through diet and exercise alone, a tummy tuck can yield dramatic improvements that bring you closer to your body goals. This procedure can address an array of aesthetic issues, including:

  • Stubborn pockets of fat
  • Skin laxity around the waist and stomach
  • Stretch marks from weight gain or pregnancy
  • Abdominal muscle separation (diastasis recti)
  • Lack of tone in the belly
  • Protruding stomach even at goal weight
  • Belly “pooches” formed after weight gain
  • Lack of confidence due to poor contours

Who Is a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty?

Our physicians personalize tummy tuck procedures to meet each patient’s unique needs. If you are dissatisfied with any of the conditions or concerns in the previous section, there may be a tummy tuck variation that can give you a slimmer, sleeker physique.

Candidates for any surgical procedure should be in stable physical and mental condition before undergoing surgery and should have reasonable expectations for the results they will achieve. Abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure, not a weight loss operation. The best abdominoplasty candidates are in good physical condition but have excess fat, loose skin or stretched muscles that cannot be improved with diet and exercise.

Tummy tuck procedures, like all plastic surgeries, are generally safe operations. However, if you have preexisting medical conditions such as nicotine/tobacco addiction, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, you are at a higher risk of developing complications during surgery and recovery. The best way to find out if you are a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery is to meet personally with a Charleston plastic surgeon in a confidential consultation.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty?

Can My Tummy Tuck Be Combined With Another Procedure?

Combining your tummy tuck with another procedure is not only possible, it is preferred in many cases. Patients frequently choose to combine their tummy tucks with procedures that improve their body’s contours further, such as liposuction, breast augmentation and/or breast lift. 

There are notable benefits to taking this approach. By combining procedures, you achieve more dramatic final results and your surgeon can fine-tune their techniques to maximize the proportions and aesthetic harmony of your body. You also lower surgical, facility and anesthesia fees because you do not need multiple surgery days, and reduce the risks associated with anesthesia because you only have to be put under once.

If you are interested in pairing your tummy tuck with additional procedures, let your surgeon know during your initial consultation.

What Happens During a Consultation?

The first step in the tummy tuck process is to set up a consultation with one of our expert surgeons. We recommend bringing a prepared list of questions and concerns to ensure you leave your appointment feeling as educated about the process as possible. It is also helpful to come with a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve with your procedure. That way, your surgeon can customize your tummy tuck and recommend complementary procedures that could help you achieve your desired outcome. 

After listening to your concerns and goals, reviewing your medical history and performing an examination of your abdomen, your surgeon will work with you to develop a personalized surgical plan with the highest chance of successfully meeting your needs.

What Is Involved in a Tummy Tuck?

What Is Involved in a Tummy Tuck?

Abdominoplasty is done under general anesthesia and takes several hours to perform. The technique your surgeon uses will depend on the amount of excess skin and fat that must be removed, whether or not muscle repair is needed, your personal goals and what type of recovery you are prepared for.

In general, the procedure can be divided into the following steps:

  • Anesthesia - In most cases, we use general anesthesia for tummy tucks since it provides the most comfort for our patients. This ensures you are completely comfortable and relaxed throughout the surgery. Local anesthesia with IV sedation may be appropriate for smaller procedures.a
  • Incisions - There are three main abdominoplasty incision options. A standard incision spans the front of the lower abdomen under the bikini line, providing optimal access for correction. A mini tummy tuck incision utilizes a shorter incision in the same area. This is used for patients who require minimal correction to achieve their goals. An extended tummy tuck incision can reach all the way to the back of the patient’s hips, correcting much more substantial skin laxity and sagging.
  • Adjustments - Excess abdominal skin and fat are removed. If necessary, the rectus muscles are tightened.
  • Redraping - The remaining skin is pulled down and redraped to create tighter contours. The belly button may be moved to a more natural and attractive position.a
  • Sutures - Once all the necessary corrections have been made, the incisions are closed and dressed. Surgical drains may be used to help prevent a build up of fluid.

Schedule A Consultation

Book Appointment

What Is the Recovery Timeline for Tummy Tuck?

Directly following your procedure, you will be given a set of postsurgical instructions. It is imperative that you adhere to these instructions to have the smoothest, safest recovery. Failure to follow could result in poor wound healing or suboptimal scarring.

You can expect some pain, discomfort and swelling directly after the procedure. Your incision line will initially be red and tender. Try to be patient as you await your results. This stage is a temporary and normal part of the healing process, and what you see in the first few weeks is much different from what you can expect once you are fully recovered.

Discomfort managed through medications prescribed by your surgeon. Refrain from exercise and other strenuous activities to avoid putting strain on your abdomen. Wear your compression garment as directed. You will continue to make a steady recovery and should be able to resume your usual activities around six to eight weeks after your abdominoplasty.

What Results Can I Expect From a Tummy Tuck?

Abdominoplasty is a powerful body contouring procedure with durable results. A tummy tuck will remove any loose, sagging skin or pockets of stubborn fat trapped in your abdomen area. You can expect a firmer, flatter, more youthful appearance around your waist and stomach, which will also lead to a more balanced body-wide contour. These improvements are long-lasting, affected only by future weight gain, pregnancy or natural aging. Making healthy choices will increase the longevity of your results.

Request a Consultation and Reclaim Your Figure

If you are interested in learning more about tummy tuck procedures or would like to get started on creating your ideal figure, we would love for you to contact Crantford Costa Plastic Surgery in Charleston at 843-722-5904 or through our online contact form. Our surgeons are standing by to help get you started with a consultation. They have decades of experience performing tummy tuck procedures and are excited to lend their expertise to your goals.

Schedule A Consultation

If you have questions, comments or would like to schedule a consultation, please fill out a form on our contact page. If needed, an office representative will contact you as soon as possible. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Book Appointment