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Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)

For years, patients in Charlotte, North Carolina, have relied on Novant Health Appel Plastic Surgery for tummy tuck surgery.

What is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is a procedure done to remove excess fat and skin from a patient's midsection. It can also restore weakened or separated muscles to create a smoother, firmer midsection. Many people who are interested in tummy tucks have experienced life changes including pregnancy, prior surgery or significant fluctuations in weight. If exercise and a healthy diet is not enough to return tone and firmness to your midsection, a tummy tuck might accomplish your goals.

Men or women who are in good shape but have bothersome fat deposits or loose abdominal skin that cannot be corrected with a healthy diet and exercise. The surgery is helpful to women who have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin because of multiple pregnancies.

What does a tummy tuck involve?

Anesthesia is used to minimize discomfort during a tummy tuck. In a full tummy tuck, Dr. Appel will make a horizontal incision between the pubic hairline and the belly button. He will use this incision to access and repair weakened muscles, and to remove excess fat, tissue and skin. A second incision might be needed to remove skin from the upper abdomen.

A tummy tuck is often done in conjunction with other surgeries or procedures, and is often included in what is known as a Mommy Makeover.

What to expect after a tummy tuck

Immediately following your surgery, you can expect some swelling and discomfort. You might have to wear bandages or other garments for a time to minimize bleeding and swelling. In some cases, a small tube might be placed under the skin to drain excess fluid. You can return to work in as little as two weeks, although some people need up to a month to recover. 

Scars can take up to a year to flatten out and fade, and they might appear to get worse before they get better. Exercise can help lessen swelling, tone muscles and lower the chance of blood clots after surgery, so patients are encouraged to begin an exercise regimen quickly; vigorous exercise, however, should wait until you are healed. Tummy tuck results are long lasting with continued healthy diet and exercise.

Tummy tuck side effects and risks

Bleeding, infection, unfavorable scarring or poor healing are uncommon but serious risks of tummy tuck surgery.

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Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.