A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure designed to realign the abdominal muscles after they have been spread apart. This muscular separation, called diastasis, is especially common in women who have had children or who have gained weight. The tummy tuck reverses the effects of diastasis, removes stretch marks, and restores a taut, flat tummy.
A tummy tuck is performed through an incision just above the public region, where a cesarean section scar is normally seen. The incision is made through the skin and fat layers until it reaches the fascia, a strong connective tissue that separates the muscles groups from the fat and skin. The abdominal flap (the skin and fat above the fascia) is then lifted up to or above the naval so that the abdominal muscles can be anchored back into alignment with surgical stitches placed in the fascia to reverse the muscular separation.
Once the abdominal muscles have been re-aligned, the fat and skin from the belly button are pulled doewn to meet the incision site and sutured into place. Any excess tissue is removed completely and is gone forever. This stretching and removal of extra skin and fat effectively erases stretch marks for a beautiful, stretch mark-free tummy.
Dr. Shapiro often combines his tummy tuck with abdominal liposuction to remove extra fat from the front of the abdomen, waistline and flanks, or “love handles”. Abdominal liposuction also helps the skin to retract and tighten over the abdominal wall. This added attention to the overall result produces a slender, contoured waistline that the tummy tuck by itself could not produce.
Recovery from a tummy tuck has become much more bearable over the past few years with complications at an all time minimum. Dr. Shapiro uses a pain pump that delivers pain relief instantly into the bloodstream for fast relief during recovery. Patients typically return to their normal routines within 2-3 weeks of surgery.