Tummy Tuck

Looking your best means reflecting health and vitality, and a flatter tummy is one of the top indicators of these qualities. Events such as pregnancy or significant weight changes can cause the skin and the underlying muscles to stretch, preventing them from returning to their original shape. If you are tired of trying to flatten a tummy bulge that will not respond to diet and exercise and tighten excess sagging skin, the board-certified plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Center of the South can help you look your best by performing abdominoplasty, often called tummy tuck surgery, at their metro Atlanta practice in Marietta, GA.

Who Is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

The best tummy tuck candidates usually agree with at least one of the following statements:

  • You’re generally healthy and in good shape but bothered by large fat deposits or loose skin around your abdomen that don’t respond to diet and exercise.
  • You’ve had multiple pregnancies that have left your skin and muscles stretched beyond the point that they can return to normal.
  • The skin of your abdomen has lost a significant amount of tone and elasticity as the result of aging or weight fluctuations.

If you’re slightly overweight and frustrated by the presence of excess skin, a tummy tuck can greatly enhance your appearance. If you plan on losing a lot of weight or becoming pregnant, you should postpone the surgery. In some cases, your doctor can help you choose an alternative procedure that’s more appropriate for your lifestyle.

Dr Harkins, Dr. Petrosky, and Dr. Depew

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Should I Have Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck?

While liposuction and a tummy tuck both can improve the appearance of your midsection, these plastic surgery procedures have different purposes. Liposuction removes fat, making it good for patients who simply have a belly bulge and relatively elastic abdominal skin, meaning it will “bounce back” after underlying fat is removed. A tummy tuck is appropriate when there is loose, stretched skin and/or separated abdominal muscles. Many patients make good candidates for a combination of both treatments, which can be determined after a personal consultation with the plastic surgeon.

Your Tummy Tuck Procedure

Our patients choose tummy tuck surgery, technically called abdominoplasty, at our metro Atlanta practice to renew their abdominal areas. Performed while you are under general anesthesia, abdominoplasty typically treats 3 specific areas of concern:

  • Loose skin: In a process called redraping, your surgeon removes some of the loose, stretched skin from your abdomen and pulls the remaining skin taut for a smooth, proportionate contour.
  • Excess fat: Your surgeon carefully reduces fat deposits, using selective tumescent liposuction where it’s needed.
  • Weakened muscles: Occasionally, pregnancy and even a significant weight loss can leave the abdominal muscles weakened, loose, or displaced. During your tummy tuck, your surgeon can repair these muscles, strengthening them with internal sutures.

The result of these 3 components working together is a deep, comprehensive, long-lasting change that improves both the strength of the abdomen as well as its appearance. If the loose skin and fat deposits are limited to the lower abdomen, a partial abdominoplasty, or “mini tummy tuck” may be recommended by your Marietta plastic surgeon.

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Plastic Surgery Center of the South won Family Life magazine's "Best Of" contest for Canton for 2016, 2018, and 2019, and for Woodstock in 2017. Experience our difference for yourself.

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What Is a Full Tummy Tuck?

The traditional tummy tuck is often called a full tummy tuck to distinguish it from the more limited mini tummy tuck. Most patients with excess skin and separated abdominal muscles are candidates for a full tummy tuck. This technique involves a horizontal incision running from hip to hip just above the pubic area, as well as an incision around the navel.

The surgery involves repositioning the belly button, repairing abdominal muscles that are stretched or separated, and tightening excess skin both above and below the abdomen. Tumescent liposuction is also commonly used to reduce fat during the operation.
Full tummy tuck incision goes from hip to hip and around the belly button. Mini tummy tuck incision goes just above pubic bone.

What Is a Mini Tummy Tuck?

In certain cases, a patient doesn’t require a more extensive procedure to get a flatter stomach. When excess skin is limited to the area below the bellybutton, a modified abdominoplasty—often called a mini tummy tuck—is enough to get the desired results.

The primary difference between a mini and full tummy tuck is that the surgeon makes only a single, horizontal incision, which is usually shorter, and the bellybutton isn’t involved in the procedure. A good candidate for this procedure is someone whose skin retains much of its elasticity and whose abdominal muscles remain relatively tight. This version of the procedure tends to provide an easier recovery period, but it’s not appropriate for everyone.

How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?

The average cost of a tummy tuck in Atlanta, GA, is based on a number of factors, including the type of tummy tuck performed, the surgeon’s expertise, anesthesiology fees, and hospital or surgery center fees. Our surgeons provide patients with a personalized cost estimate after the one-on-one consultation. Learn more about tummy tuck costs in our related blog post, Understanding the Price of Your Tummy Tuck.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Tummy Tuck?

Some tummy tuck patients return to work about 1 to 2 weeks after surgery when sutures and drains are removed, although many patients will continue to wear a compression garment for several more weeks. Others take additional time off, especially if they have a physically demanding job. Expect to be able to return to most normal activities in a couple of weeks and strenuous activities within 4 to 6 weeks. Review our Tummy Tuck Recovery page for more details.

After your recovery is complete, you can enjoy an enhanced body contour and increased comfort in your clothing. In fact, many of our patients say they wish they had chosen to have a tummy tuck sooner, so they could start enjoying their enhanced looks even earlier.

Tummy Tuck FAQ

How much weight can I lose with a tummy tuck?

We like to remind patients that although this procedure removes excess skin and fat, it’s not a weight-loss treatment. Rather, it’s usually appropriate for people who have already lost weight and need to remove skin that’s left behind. Good candidates are close to their ideal weights and lead healthy lifestyles to maintain their results.

Why do you need surgical drains after a tummy tuck?

Surgical drains are small tubes that drain fluid away and out of the body. When tissues are separated, repositioned, and removed, space is created that will fill with fluid (called seroma). Drains play an important part in recovery from a tummy tuck by preventing seromas and the numerous complications they cause. Fluid will gradually stop accumulating at the surgical site, and then your surgeon will remove the drains. This painless process usually takes place about a week after your surgery.

How long should I wait to get a tummy tuck after pregnancy?

Our surgeons recommend waiting at least 6 months after delivery to have a tummy tuck. It is important to give your body a chance to fully recover from pregnancy and return as close to its original size and shape as possible. You should be at a stable, healthy weight before the procedure as well.

Can you have a baby after a tummy tuck?

A previous tummy tuck should not interfere with your ability to become pregnant. However, pregnancy can alter your tummy tuck results, stretching out once-tightened skin. Our surgeons generally recommend that you wait until you are finished having children before pursuing a tummy tuck.

We understand that you have a lot of factors to consider when it comes to abdominoplasty. Explore answers to more of the common questions we hear from our patients on our Tummy Tuck FAQs page.

People come to Plastic Surgery Center of the South for tummy tuck surgery from Roswell, Woodstock, Canton, and Acworth, GA, because our experienced, highly trained plastic surgeons achieve beautiful results. Request a consultation online to meet personally with one of our surgeons, or call us at (770) 421-1242 to schedule an appointment.

Locations surrounding Marietta

How to Visit Us in Marietta

Because of our top-notch patient care and beautiful results, Plastic Surgery Center of the South has built a strong reputation in the region. If you are interested in visiting our Marietta practice from a nearby community, choose your area below to get easy-to-follow driving directions.

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