Tummy Tuck Mobile, AL
Tummy tuck surgery is one of several plastic surgery procedures popular today. Among women whose tummies have excess skin, fat, or muscle weakness after pregnancy or weight gain, it can be life-changing. Many women can diet and exercise to help reduce their abdominal bulge while for many it just isn’t enough. Once the skin and muscle layer has been stretched with pregnancy, the elasticity of the tissues may not be able to rebound to pre-pregnancy proportions. With the advances in weight loss surgery (gastric bypass and banding) Dr. Proffitt sees the effects of loose skin and lax abdominal walls.
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Remember that all patients are unique, so results vary depending on many factors.
How is the surgery done?
Abdominoplasty is done either as an outpatient procedure or an overnight stay, depending on each patient’s health requirements. It is done under general anesthesia and takes from one to two hours depending on the length of the incision. After a transverse incision in the lower abdomen, the skin and fat are elevated off the muscle layer up to the ribs. This allows exposure to tighten the muscle layer with sutures. The belly button remains where it always has been. Then the skin and fat are pulled tight and the excess fat is removed. The belly button is brought out through its new location in the skin and sutured in place. The remaining incision is closed with absorbable sutures under the skin. One or two drains also are placed prior to closure. The drains allow excess fluid to escape and reduce swelling. Usually, the patient will go home with dressings and drains intact. After four to six days they are removed in Dr. Proffitt’s office. For the next six weeks, the patient wears a snug-fitting girdle.
This graphic illustrates a common incision for a tummy tuck
A mini tummy tuck is a variation where surgery is performed only below the belly button. Some women only have looseness of skin and muscle below the belly button and don’t need a full Abdominoplasty. This incision is also shorter in length.
Will fat be removed?
In all tummy tucks, the fat immediately below the skin that is removed is also taken out. In a full tummy tuck, liposuction is not performed under the remaining skin that has been mobilized. Liposuction can be done over hip areas or pubic areas at the same time. However, with a mini tummy tuck, liposuction may be used on the areas where the skin was not mobilized.
Do I have to wear a girdle?
A compression garment or girdle must be worn for six weeks following your surgery. It reduces swelling and helps to re-drape the skin.
Planning Your Surgery
In order to prepare for your surgery, Dr. Proffitt has several recommendations:
- If you smoke, you must completely stop smoking for at least 6 weeks before your surgery. Dr. Proffitt will prescribe a medication that may help you stop.
- Many medicines, herbal remedies, vitamins, and over-the-counter medicines should be avoided at least two weeks before your surgery and one week after. We will provide you with a list of drugs to avoid before your surgery.
- As with many abdominal surgeries, exercise, lifting more than ten pounds, and driving is not allowed for a period of time after surgery. You will need to plan on helping after your surgery and leave work if necessary.
- Usually a tummy tuck can be performed as an outpatient surgery but sometimes it may be necessary to stay overnight. This depends on your overall health and the extent of surgery.
- An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is best suited for the patient who has completed her family planning.
- A tummy tuck is also best suited to the patient who is at their desired weight. If you are planning a major weight loss campaign, a tummy tuck should wait until weight loss has reached a plateau.
Many risks associated with surgery can be lessened or avoided with careful planning. The risk of excessive bleeding, infection, and poor healing can be minimized with the avoidance of certain medications before surgery and appropriate antibiotics at the time of surgery. The risk of blood clots in leg veins is greatly reduced with compression leg pumps. In patients at high risk for blood clots a blood thinner may be administered. Patient compliance with all of Dr. Proffitt’s recommendations before and after surgery will diminish many risks.
Your New Look
The scar from your surgery will be pink for one to two months and then gradually fade but never completely disappear. It will also soften over time. Most of the swelling from your surgery should have resolved after six weeks but in some patients may take up to six months.
When you’re ready to discuss tummy tuck surgery in Mobile, Alabama, with a board-certified plastic surgeon, call or email the office of Dr. Randy Proffitt. Use the online email form to get in touch or call 251-344-0322.
Many patients are interested in seeing if their insurance company will pay for their “tummy tuck” or “abdominoplasty”. Indeed, there are certain circumstances under which the insurance company will consider a “panniculectomy” medically necessary. What is the difference between abdominoplasty and panniculectomy? An abdominoplasty involves the excision of redundant skin and fat on the anterior abdomen, as well as “plication” or tightening of the muscle layer. A panniculectomy involves the removal of the redundant skin and fat only. It does not include tightening of the muscle layer.
During my 25 years practicing plastic surgery, I have never seen an insurance company pay for or consider tightening the abdominal muscle layer medically necessary. If a patient is undergoing a panniculectomy that is being covered by their medical insurance company and desires to have the muscle layer tightened, this can be performed at an additional fee.
42 yr old mom of 2 grown kids. Time to find me again. My weight has bounced around all my life and left me with droopy breasts and saggy skin on my abdomen. I researched the procedures for 16 years but didn’t go through with them due to fear. This time I kept myself pumped up by reading forums here and putting a couple of inspirational before and after shots on my fridge. I finally did it this time and at 5 days post-op I say it’s totally worth it as I can’t wait to get to know the new me!!
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For those patients who desire to see if their insurance company will cover their panniculectomy procedure, it is the patient’s responsibility to obtain supporting documents from their primary care physician or gynecologist. Insurance companies will require the office notes from the treating physician’s office documenting that the patient has skin problems (rash or infection) underneath the overhanging abdominal skin which is directly caused by the redundant skin. Records also have to include treatment in the form of a prescription for antibacterial cream and/or pills or antifungal cream and/or pills for this skin problem. Documents also have to include a second visit 3-6 months later noting that the treatment has been ineffective. Letters from the treating physician or a note written on a prescription pad saying the patient needs this procedure or that they consider it medically necessary, are not acceptable. Only office records made at the time of the office visit are acceptable. Once these documents are received by my office, then I will dictate a letter, as well as take photographs of the patient’s abdomen in the frontal as well as side views, and a photograph of the skin rash/infection itself. Occasionally insurance companies will only approve coverage if the overhanging skin and fat completely obscure the pubic area in addition. Again, it is the responsibility of the patient to supply these documents before a letter can be sent to the insurance company requesting coverage.
I have enclosed links below for two insurance company websites outlining their policy regarding coverage for abdominal panniculectomy.
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama: “Management of Excessive Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue”
- United Healthcare
How Much Does Tummy Tuck Cost?
The total cost of a tummy tuck is determined based on factors like your medical examinations, surgeon’s fees, hospital charges, post-surgery garments, and anesthesia. The exact techniques used will also impact cost, as will the total time needed to perform the surgery.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have any questions about tummy tuck in Gulf Coast in Mobile, Alabama, or would like to book a consultation with Dr. Randy Proffitt, please contact Randy Proffitt MD, FACS today. Our skilled team can help you get the sculpted body you have always desired.
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