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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

A tummy tuck, medically known as “abdominoplasty,” is the premier aesthetic procedure to firm, smooth, and sculpt the abdomen. Pregnancy, weight loss, aging, and genetic predisposition are among the many reasons why the abdomen can sag or bulge outward over time regardless of how healthy a patient’s lifestyle may be. Tummy tuck surgery can repair weakened or separated abdominal muscles and get rid of stretched, excess skin, resulting in a slimmer and flatter appearance. With his background consisting of prestigious fellowship training in aesthetic procedures, plastic surgeon Dr. Garlick also incorporates liposuction during surgery to circumferentially remove isolated fat from around the torso, creating a circumferentially sculpted abdomen and waist to restore that highly sought-after “hourglass” figure. 

At our practice, tummy tuck patients appreciate Dr. Garlick’s drainless approach to abdominoplasty using progressive tension sutures, which can reduce recovery time and lower the risk of complications after surgery. In addition to offering a drain-free tummy tuck, Dr. Garlick also sculpts the body three-dimensionally and pays close attention to keeping your incision low so it is hidden under any bikini or underwear. Dr. Garlick also spends a great deal of time reconstructing a natural-looking belly button. The belly button is arguably one the most important aspects of the tummy tuck procedure. The belly button is seen in any bikini and when performed correctly, it should look natural and not give indication that a tummy tuck was performed.

Is a Tummy Tuck Right for Me?

A tummy tuck can be ideal for patients who want to correct sagging skin or lax tissue in the abdomen after losing weight, having children, or experiencing the effects of aging. In general, this procedure can:

  • Smooth, tighten, and firm the abdomen
  • Repair stretched or weakened underlying muscles
  • Get rid of excess, sagging skin
  • Reduce stubborn fat on the midsection and back
  • Contour the abdominal profile

The best candidates for surgery are usually at or near a healthy weight (under 28 BMI) and have realistic expectations for what a tummy tuck can achieve. It’s also advised to wait until you have no future plans for pregnancy before undergoing abdominoplasty, as having children after surgery can negatively affect tummy tuck results. 

How is the Tummy Tuck Procedure Performed?

Dr. Garlick performs the drainless tummy tuck procedure, which incorporates liposuction and a special progressive tension suturing technique to avoid the need for post-surgical drains in most patients. A drainless approach can greatly improve the comfort during your recovery process, as well as shorten your recovery time with no increased risk of complications.  

Dr. Garlick provides three-dimensional body contouring during a tummy tuck, meaning he treats the body’s entire circumference rather than just the front of the abdomen. Liposuction is typically performed to remove excess fat deposits and further refine the abdominal contour, creating the hourglass figure. During the procedure, stubborn fat is extracted while loose, sagging skin is excised and underlying musculature is repaired. Progressive tension sutures are then used to close down the potential deadspace, which decreases the risks of fluid collections as well as helps contour your abdomen from the underside and shorten your recovery time. Dr. Garlick also uses his refined special technique to refine and create the belly button, ensuring your results look extremely natural.

“Instantly after meeting Dr. Garlick, I felt comfortable and confident in my procedure. He is so amazing with taking the time to go over all the options and helping you find what will work for your body. He has the best staff, everyone makes you feel important and they are always so kind. I love my results and am happy with the entire experience!”

Heather C.

What Can I Expect During the Recovery Period After a Tummy Tuck?

It may take several months to fully realize the outcome of abdominoplasty, although you should notice a vast improvement in as little as one to two weeks. Swelling after surgery is to be expected and can come and go for up to six months depending on each patient. Numbness below the belly button and feelings of soreness are normal following surgery — these reactions are usually well-managed with over-the-counter medications and should subside naturally as your body heals in due time. Heavy lifting, core strengthening, and exercise are prohibited until Dr. Garlick instructs otherwise, which is usually not until 6-8 weeks after surgery. Patients generally return to work one to two weeks after their procedure depending on the nature of their job. Dr. Garlick will provide you with comprehensive recovery instructions and monitor your healing process in post-operative follow-up appointments. 

Abdominoplasty is considered among the most effective procedures to repair a stretched, hanging, or bulging abdomen caused by excess skin and fat. Explore your tummy tuck options by contacting Dr. Jared Garlick for a consultation or to learn more about the procedure. 

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