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What is a tummy tuck?

Abdominoplasty, the cosmetic procedure commonly called a tummy tuck, is designed to remove loose skin from the abdomen and tighten the underlying muscles on the abdominal wall. After pregnancy or major weight loss, excess skin and stretched muscles can be a problem for many people.

Restore a flat, firm abdomen

Dr. Richard Rand is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in tummy tuck surgery in Bellevue.

Together with his expert staff at the Northwest Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Rand maintains a patient-first focus, so you feel completely supported from consultation through recovery.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of tummy tuck surgery, please don’t hesitate to contact our office in Bellevue today for more details.

What can a tummy tuck do for me?

Dr. Rand can tailor your Bellevue tummy tuck to meet your individual needs. Some people have problems with loose skin, some have weakened muscles, others have fat deposits in the abdominal area, and many have a combination of these problems. Depending on your condition, Dr. Rand may recommend a full tummy tuck or occasionally a mini tummy tuck. For women who are looking to enhance their figure after their pregnancy years, a Mommy Makeover with a tummy tuck combined with breast surgery is an excellent option. It will not only make your tummy look sleeker, but it can also help re-tighten loose muscles and can restore and enhance core strength.

Tummy Tuck Seattle

Choosing the right procedure: Full or mini-tummy tuck

Two basic types of tummy tuck surgery are performed by Dr. Rand– a full tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck. When excess skin and muscle laxity is limited to the area below the belly button, a mini tummy tuck may be appropriate. However, over 95% of candidates will benefit far more from a full tummy tuck rather than the mini because rarely are the issues isolated to just below the umbilicus.

Mini tummy tuck

Abdominoplasty, the cosmetic procedure commonly called a tummy tuck, is designed to remove loose skin from the abdomen and tighten the underlying muscles on the abdominal wall. After pregnancy or major weight loss, excess skin and stretched muscles can be a problem for many people.

Your tummy tuck consultation
with Dr. Rand

At your consultation, Dr. Rand will personally spend a full hour with you. He will determine which type of tummy tuck is right for you. This will be determined by evaluating your health, the fat deposits on the abdomen, and your skin and muscle tone, as well as your goals.

Every tummy tuck Dr. Rand performs is personalized and customized to the needs of the person undergoing the procedure and your input is vital for a successful tummy tuck. We also want you to be comfortable with the process, so please ask any questions that you might have.

Before & After

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Am I a candidate for a tummy tuck

Those who meet the following conditions may benefit from abdominoplasty surgery in Bellevue:

  • Problems with loose extra skin
  • Stretch marks on the lower abdomen from weight gain/loss or pregnancy
  • Weakened or stretched muscles from pregnancy
  • Within 10-15 pounds of your ideal body weight
  • Non-smokers
  • Physically and psychologically healthy

Candidates also need to have realistic expectations. A tummy tuck in Bellevue can be just the thing you need to get the body you want. It is most effective for those who are close to their ideal weight but cannot seem to get rid of the fat in an isolated area. You should want to do a tummy tuck “for you,” not because you feel pressured by someone else or are looking to impress them.

Benefits of a tummy tuck – beyond just cosmetic

It’s worth noting that a tummy tuck will help with core strength and may possibly reduce back pain. The strength of our core abdominal muscles is directly tied to the stability of our back muscles. A stronger, tighter core means a stronger back. A tummy tuck can help reduce back pain caused by loosened abdominal muscles due to pregnancy or weight gain.

If you plan on losing a lot of weight, it’s best to wait until after you have hit your weight loss goals to schedule your tummy tuck. And to have held that new weight stable for 3-6 months. Also, because pregnancy stretches out the abdomen, it’s best to wait to have an abdominoplasty until after you have finished having children.

Tummy Tuck Seattle

How does tummy tuck surgery work?

Full tummy tuck

A full tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat by making an incision in the lower abdomen from hipbone to hipbone, as well as a second incision around the belly button. Skin and fat are then separated from the abdominal muscles. Dr. Rand tightens the abdominal muscles and sutures them together with strong but dissolvable stitches to achieve a tightened muscle framework. After that, the OR table is flexed like a lounge chair so that more skin can be removed and a new opening is created for the belly button with a small incision. All incisions are then closed. A drain is placed to help remove fluid and reduce swelling after surgery, and these will be removed around a week after surgery. Dr. Rand does not believe in the “drainless tummy tuck” as he has seen patients operated on by other plastic surgeons who had no drains that developed fluid problems and slower healing that would have been prevented simply by using a drain.

Mini tummy tuck

A mini tummy tuck is a procedure for those who struggle with excess skin, fat, and tissue only below the belly button. The incision for a mini tummy tuck is shorter, placed above the pubic bone, where excess fat and skin will be removed to create a firmer tummy zone.

What to expect after abdominoplasty

There will be discomfort after your tummy tuck, but prescription medications can help manage your symptoms. Staying calm and having a positive attitude will help during recovery as well. All sutures will dissolve on their own. Dr. Rand tells patients they will feel 75% normal after one month and totally normal between 2 to 3 months after surgery.

Follow up appointments during recovery

Regular postoperative visits will be scheduled: the first is the day after surgery. The next visit is about 1 week later to change dressing and potentially remove the single drain. Another visit is 3 to 5 days later to check everything and another is at 6 to 8 weeks. After 3 weeks lighter exercises may return and after 8 weeks, exercise using the abdominal muscles can be fully resumed.

Abdominoplasty FAQ's

What is abdominoplasty?

It’s a surgical procedure to flatten the abdomen by removing excess skin and fatty tissue while tightening abdominal muscles. Upper abdominal contour sculpting also characterizes Dr. Rand’s unique results.

How long does a tummy tuck take?

Abdominoplasty typically takes between 2 to 2.5 hours to perform. Most patients are ready to go home an hour after surgery. Due to preparation time and the recovery period, it’s best to keep your schedule clear the day of the surgery and the two weeks after so you can make a complete and comfortable recovery.

What should be done to prepare for a tummy tuck?

In preparation for your tummy tuck:

  • Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the surgery and be with you 24/7 for 2 days.
  • Make sure you also have someone to take care of you for 5-7 days after surgery.
  • You’ll want to avoid taking anti-inflammatories and other medications Dr. Rand will list out in your pre-operative instructions.
  • Be sure to fill prescriptions you will need in advance.
  • You also may want to buy laxatives to help minimize with constipation. Metamucil is a good choice and it also comes in pill form.
  • It’s a good idea to pre-prepare enough soft food for two weeks, since your stomach will not be up to regular food and you will likely not feel like cooking or going anywhere.
  • A shower-chair and a hand-held shower head may help with showering for the first few weeks after surgery.
  • Wear loose, easy to remove (and put on) clothing to your surgery.
  • Last but far from least, follow Dr. Rand’s instructions closely!

What type of anesthesia is used during a tummy tuck?

Patients are placed under general anesthesia for all abdominoplasty surgeries. If you have medical issues that can cause complications while under anesthesia, be sure to discuss them with Dr. Rand. You have a board-certified physician anesthesiologist who will be there from before surgery begins to the recovery period immediately afterward.

Are there possible side effects of abdominoplasty?

Some of the most common side effects of a tummy tuck include temporary pain, swelling, numbness of the abdominal skin, bruising, and fatigue. All of these should go away after a few weeks. We will give you a timeline of what to expect as you recover. There are always some side effects for a time after the surgery and the effects of the procedure will not be immediately obvious. You probably will not see the final results of your tummy tuck for a few months until after the swelling goes down.

Are there any serious risks?

As with any surgery, there are rare but possible serious complications. Blood clots can dislodge and travel to the lungs. Also, bleeding can occur under the skin flap cut during the surgery, while poor wound care can cause infection. Poor healing can result in conspicuous scarring or skin loss. We place the utmost priority on patient safety, health, and comfort, so please bring up any concerns you might have. Dr. Rand will discuss all possible complications with you before you move forward with your tummy tuck.

How long does it take to recover from a tummy tuck?

Most people are ready to go back to work about 2 weeks after their Seattle abdominoplasty surgery. Returning to more strenuous activity usually takes 8 weeks or more. Your scars will be raised and dark for a while but will start to fade, a process that lasts between 3 months and 2 or more years. You will be given emu oil to apply to scars starting at a week after surgery.

Your abdomen will need to stay bandaged for around a week, which is around the time when your drain will be removed. Pain and swelling can be controlled using prescribed pain medication. The incisions will need to stay covered with surgical tape for around 2 weeks to ensure they heal properly.

You can help your recovery around in several simple ways. For the first week, keep your hips gently flexed to help keep the sutures from being strained. Walk around every few hours during the first 2 weeks to help prevent blood clots from forming in your calves. Wait to shower until your drain is removed and take sponge baths instead. Feel free to shower for the first two weeks after the drain is removed but hold off on baths or swimming until given medical approval from Dr. Rand. If anything causes discomfort, limit that activity. Most importantly, follow our instructions and you should recover quickly.

As part of our preparations, we provide you with a timeline for your recovery before you undergo the procedure. Dr. Rand and his team will also be helping you through the process to ensure that your Bellevue tummy tuck looks and feels great.

Tummy Tuck Seattle

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