Full Tummy Tuck
What is a Full Tummy Tuck?
A full tummy tuck also referred to as a full abdominoplasty is normally included with a mommy makeover as pregnancy can change the abdominal area dramatically. When an individual loses a significant amount of weight or experiences one or multiple pregnancies, they can be left with loose, stretched-out skin. They may also be left with damaged, weakened, or separated abdominal muscles. A full abdominoplasty can not only repair these issues but result in a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
What Areas Are Addressed During a Full Abdominoplasty?
During a full abdominoplasty, both the upper and lower portions of the abdomen are re-shaped and the underlying abdominal muscles above and below the belly button will be repaired.
How Does A Full Tummy Tuck Compare To Other Techniques?
A full tummy tuck is the most commonly performed type of tummy tuck and is not the same as a mini tummy tuck or an extended tummy tuck. The difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck is the size of the area being addressed.
1. Full Tummy Tuck vs Mini Tummy Tuck
During a full abdominoplasty both the upper front and lower front regions of the abdomen are addressed. Loose skin is removed and the abdominal muscles in both areas are repaired if needed. Sometimes the belly button is also repositioned.
During a mini tummy tuck, only the lower portion of the abdomen is addressed. The area between the belly button and the pubic bone. The abdominal muscles are repaired and loose skin is cut away. The belly button is not repositioned during a mini abdominoplasty.
2. Full Tummy Tuck vs Extended Tummy Tuck
An extended tummy tuck not only addresses both the upper and lower abdominal areas but also extends around to the flanks. This requires a longer incision, surgery time, and recovery time.
When Is A Full Tummy Tuck The Best Option?
This is often the best option for a patient who has lost weight and has a moderate amount of stretched-out loose skin and stubborn fat deposits in both the upper and lower abdominal regions.
A full tummy tuck will tone and smooth the whole front portion of the patient’s abdomen beginning just below the rib cage to just above the pubic area.
Who Is A Candidate For A Full Abdominoplasty?
- Women who have experienced multiple pregnancies or had twins or triplets, etc.;
- Individuals who have lost a moderate amount of weight;
- Individuals who are in overall good health;
- Patients who do not smoke or have not smoked in over 4 months;
- Men or women who understand what a full abdominoplasty involves and have expectations of realistic results. To fully understand what results you can expect ask your surgeon to show you full tummy tuck before and after pictures;
Who Would Not Be A Candidate For A Full Tummy Tuck?;
- Individuals who actively smoke;
- Individuals who have lost a massive amount of weight and would be better served by a 360-degree tummy tuck or a different tummy tuck procedure;
- Patients who are not currently close to their ideal weight and are going to continue losing weight (It would be recommended to wait until weight loss goals are reached for optimal results);
- Patients who wish to become pregnant in the future as the abdominal muscles are likely to separate again and undermine the results of the tummy tuck.
How Is A Full Tummy Tuck Performed?
- The patient is given general anesthesia so they will be completely asleep during the entire procedure;
- The surgeon makes an incision just above the pubic area that runs from hip to hip. The scar that results from the tummy tuck should be hidden by most bikini bottoms, underwear, or men’s swim trunks;
- An additional incision is made to loosen the navel from the surrounding skin and then the skin is loosened from the muscles that lie underneath;
- The upper and lower abdominal muscles are pulled together and sutured to repair and tighten them;
- Liposuction is often performed to remove any unwanted fat deposits and provide a smooth and contoured finished look;
- The surgeon repositions the belly button or may create the appearance of a new one if necessary;
- The loose skin is then pulled taut, the excess is cut away and the remainder is sutured into place. (This often removes the majority of stretch marks which is a benefit!);
- In some cases, the surgeon inserts surgical drains into the incision site to help mitigate swelling;
- The incisions are covered with a surgical dressing and the patient is taken to the recovery room;
- The patient may spend between 1 and 3 days in the hospital before being released home to continue recovery.
Recovery After Full Abdominoplasty
Recovering from a full tummy tuck usually takes about 8 weeks. The surgeon will provide a detailed plan of care for the patient upon discharge from the hospital or surgical center. Most patients will have drainage tubes to help keep excess fluid from building up and directions on when they can shower. Patients must wear a compression garment for several weeks while they recover to help with discomfort and keep swelling and bruising to a minimum.
Detailed instructions will be provided to patients that will outline how they should care for their incision sites and drains. They will also be advised on driving, sleeping, walking, and activity levels while recovering.
Bruising, swelling, and general discomfort are normal after having a full tummy tuck and the surgeon may provide a prescription for pain medication to alleviate pain and antibiotics to mitigate infection risks.
Most patients who have a full abdominoplasty can start doing light activities after about 4 weeks but should wait until the surgeon clears them before returning to more strenuous activity. This may take up to ten weeks.
How Much Does A Full Tummy Tuck Cost?
The cost of a full tummy tuck will depend on the extent of the surgery and how much excess skin and fat need to be removed but the full abdominoplasty cost usually starts at around $9,700.