Tummy tuck surgery has one of the highest satisfaction rates of any elective cosmetic procedures. Because of this, tummy tuck surgery continues to be one of the most common plastic surgery procedures. Below are five facts about tummy tuck surgery.

Belly Button

During your tummy tuck surgery, you keep you belly button. That is, in the normal full tummy tuck surgery process, your belly button is not removed. You also don’t get a new belly button. Rather, your belly button is released from the abdominal skin and then brought back out through the skin that is pulled down. Our belly button is like a straw with one opening on the surface of our skin and the other end inside our abdomen. The “straw” is maintained and it’s then brought out through the new skin that now overlies it during the tummy tuck process. What makes one tummy tuck belly button look better than another is how the incision is made initially, how the opening is made when bringing it back out, and how the belly buttoned is sutured back up.

Muscle Repair

People often talk about loose muscles and the need to repair them with a tummy tuck. If you think about it, muscles are designed to flex and extend. Therefore, pregnancy or weight loss will not lead to a change in the muscles themselves. What people often notice is the looseness of their abdominal wall. Since the muscles are wrapped up in connective tissue it’s the connective tissue that is loose and it’s the connective tissue that needs tightening during a tummy tuck procedure. Muscle repair, therefore, is really more like connective tissue repair. Doing so during a tummy tuck will repair rectus diastasis and tighten the abdominal wall.

Fat Redistribution

Many patients ask me if the fat that is removed during a tummy tuck will appear somewhere else on the body after the procedure. The answer to this question is if weight is maintained, no new fat will appear. If weight is gained, the body will distribute that weight evenly based on your genetics like it always did but less will go to the abdomen since there are fewer fat cells there.

Incision location

Some patients think that how low the tummy tuck incision can be placed depends on their body. There is some truth to that, as someone a small amount of skin looseness will have more difficulty in pulling the upper abdominal skin all the way down to the pubic bone. There are modifications that can be done however that can still make this happen. In my practice I always mark the incision super low near the pubic bone and use the techniques that are available to allow the upper abdominal skin to be pulled down and maintain a low abdominal incision.

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