A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a commonly performed body contouring procedure that improves the appearance of the abdomen. By treating skin laxity, excess fatty tissue and separated abdominal muscles, a tummy tuck can restore a fit, youthful appearance to your midsection. However, there are many misconceptions about the complications associated with tummy tuck surgery that may prevent good tummy tuck candidates from learning more about the procedure. Here are three common tummy tuck worries you can put to rest.
1. Your Scar Will Be Too Obvious
Like all surgeries, a tummy tuck results in a scar. The tummy tuck scar, however, shouldn’t be obvious to the casual observer. In nearly all cases, the tummy tuck requires only a short, horizontal incision placed well beneath the bikini line, meaning your scar shouldn’t be noticeable even if you’re wearing a bathing suit. Choosing a tummy tuck specialist for your procedure will minimize your chances of any adverse scarring. We often ask patients to bring in garments, to help guide surgical markings, that they wish to wear after surgery.
2. Your Belly Button Will Look Surgical
Since a tummy tuck normally requires reinsertion of the belly button, some patients worry that their belly button will appear artificial. Actually, skilled surgeons routinely create beautifully natural-looking belly buttons for both men and women, placed in the same location as your belly button was before. Many tummy tuck patients like their post-surgical belly buttons even more than their natural navel.
3. No More Crunches Allowed
A tummy tuck should not affect your ability to include abdominal exercises in your workout regimen. Although patients should avoid straining the abdominals during their recovery period, around six weeks post-op, you can start to ease gradually into an exercise routine. We strongly encourage the performance of core strengthening type exercises such as those advocated in Pilates or Yoga routines.
Otto J. Placik, M.D. received his medical degree from Northwestern University where he also completed residencies in general and plastic and reconstructive surgery. He completed a fellowship in the aesthetic reconstruction of complex nasal and facial deformities at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago and an additional fellowship in microvascular and hand surgery at Davies Medical Center, an affiliate of the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Placik is certified as a diplomate by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is an active member of several local and national professional organizations. Dr. Placik is a member of the Northwestern University Division of Plastic Surgery Teaching Staff. He holds an academic appointment as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery (Plastic) at Northwestern University Medical School.