Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck, helps our patients in Ann Arbor, MI rejuvenate their midsections after pregnancy or significant weight loss. At the Center for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, our team of 4 board-certified plastic surgeons has over 100 years of collective experience performing plastic surgery. They consistently provide attractive, natural-looking tummy tuck results that enhance the way our patients look and feel.

Tummy Tuck Candidates

Woman with blond hair wearing a white bikini on a bedCandidates for abdominoplasty include women and men who are at a healthy weight and are dissatisfied with the appearance of their abdominal areas in spite of exercise. Our plastic surgeons perform this procedure to:

  • Tighten loose, sagging abdominal skin
  • Repair stretched or separated abdominal muscles that create a belly bulge
  • Reshape the waist
  • Recontour a misshapen belly button

Intended Result

Tummy tuck gives patients a smoother, flatter abdomen.

Procedure Description

A tummy tuck procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia, either in a hospital or an outpatient setting. However, not all patients have the same concerns. Depending on your body, there are three different variations of a tummy tuck that require more or less extensive procedures with varying results and recovery. Below is a general idea of the standard procedural options:

  • Mini-abdominoplasties are the less invasive option for those with loose skin from the belly button to the bikini line. The incision for this procedure is made just below the bikini line. The excess skin is then removed and the abdominal wall tightened. A mini-abdominoplasty can be performed under sedation with local anesthesia.
  • Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscle extending from the bottom of the chest to the top of the bikini line. An incision is made from hip bone to hip bone below the bikini line, then the excess skin is removed and muscles are tightened.
  • Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdominal wall skin, muscle, and the flanks or sides. This procedure is for those with hanging skin not only around the stomach, but also at the lower back. It requires an incision that extends farther around the waist  onto the flanks.
  • In addition to abdominal muscle tightening, our plastic surgeons may also recommend a vertical wedge resection, or vertical extension, which pulls excess skin from the sides to create a more defined waist contour to match the vertical tightening of the abdominal skin. It is often performed in conjunction with the abdominoplasty to yield optimal results. It requires a vertical incision from the lower sternum to the lower abdominal incision.

Additional procedures that may enhance the result:

Recuperation and Healing

One or two days of hospitalization or skilled nursing care is usually required after a tummy tuck procedure. Most patients experience swelling and bruising for the first week, so it is important to allow yourself to rest in bed. You may need assistance from a loved one during this week of recovery as movements even to the bathroom or kitchen may provide some discomfort. Light activity is comfortable in 10 to 20 days and you can expect to return to work between two and three weeks depending on your recovery. Sports or heavy activity will not be comfortable for about 6 weeks.

Learn more about the recovery process following a procedure here.

Insurance Guidelines

Occasionally, if the tummy tuck procedure is being performed for medical reasons, it may be partially covered by insurance. Usually, the patient is responsible for payment. Surgery to correct diastasis recti, or separation of the abdominal muscles, is not covered by insurance but can be corrected as part of a cosmetic abdominoplasty.

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