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Michael C. Fasching, M.D. F.A.C.S.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Tummy Tuck Surgery in Minneapolis

tummy-tuckSometimes, individuals who are at or slightly above their ideal body weight can still have loose abdominal skin that hangs off the body. They may also have extremely damaged or separated abdominal muscles that cannot be toned through diet and exercise alone. For these individuals, Dr. Fasching offers abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck” surgery. With abdominoplasty, Dr. Fasching eliminates sagging abdominal skin and repairs the underlying musculature. The result is a tighter, toned tummy.

How to Tell Whether It’s Time for Tummy Tuck

As we age, the body gradually stops producing collagen and elastin, two proteins that are vital for maintaining healthy, supple skin. Without an ample amount of collagen and elastin, the skin begins to sag and droop off the body.

Major rapid weight loss, such as weight loss following bariatric surgery, can compound this aesthetic concern. Often, substantial weight gain stretches out the skin, so it loses its ability to shrink back to a smaller size and shape once the excess weight is lost. The significant fluctuations in weight that accompany pregnancy can also have this undesirable effect on the abdominal skin, especially following multiple pregnancies. In addition, pregnancy can severely damage the abdominal muscles, sometimes causing them to separate. Once these developments occur, surgical intervention (in the form of tummy tuck surgery) is required to remove excess abdominal skin and restore muscle tone to the abdomen, for a flatter, firmer midsection.

What Tummy Tuck Does Not Correct

Tummy Tuck diagramAlthough tummy tuck surgery is an effective means of achieving a tighter, trimmer abdominal profile, it is not intended to be used as a tool for major weight loss. In fact, many patients seek the expertise of Minneapolis tummy tuck surgeon Dr. Fasching afterthey have lost a substantial amount of weight with the help of bariatric surgery, following pregnancy or as the result of transitioning to a healthier lifestyle.

It is important to mention that regaining a significant amount of weight following tummy tuck surgery can actually reverse the aesthetic benefits of the procedure. For this reason, Dr. Fasching highly recommends that patients reach a stable body weight that they feel they can maintain before undergoing tummy tuck surgery. Also, women are advised to wait until they are finished having children before pursuing abdominoplasty.

In addition, tummy tuck surgery will not necessarily improve the appearance of stretch marks on the midsection. That being said, stretch marks that are located on the excess skin below the belly button might be removed along with the skin that Dr. Fasching eliminates during abdominoplasty. Any residual stretch marks on the abdomen might also become less noticeable once Dr. Fasching has pulled the remaining skin taut during surgery.

Tummy Tuck FAQ

The Abdominoplasty Procedure

Abdominoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure, performed under general anesthesia. The duration of surgery generally lasts between one and four hours, depending how complex the patient’s body contouring needs are.

Dr. Fasching starts surgery by performing liposuction of abdomen, if needed, to remove localized deposits of fat from under the skin. He then makes a horizontal incision that extends across the lower abdomen, in the pubic region, from one hipbone to the other. Although the incision is substantial, it is easily concealed by the underwear or bikini line.

The plastic surgeon then eliminates the loose excess skin before repairing the underlying muscle and tissues structures. He does so by strategically positioning permanent internal stitches in the muscle fascia, in a crisscross pattern that resembles the laces of a corset. The stitches are used to pull together separated abdominal muscles and hold them in place after surgery.

Once muscle tone has been restored, Dr. Fasching re-drapes the residual skin, pulling it tight in the process. He closes the incision with sutures. Finally, using a second incision concealed within the navel, Dr. Fasching moves the belly button, so it is in line with the new, flatter abdominal contour.

The treatment area is dressed with bandages and a compression garment on top. The compression garment minimizes swelling and provides added tissue support during the healing process. Individuals who have undergone tummy tuck surgery must wear the compression garment for several weeks following surgery, as directed by Dr. Fasching.

Modified Mini Tummy Tuck

pic-abdo5Certain patients may be appropriate candidates for a modified abdominoplasty procedure, known as partial, or mini, tummy tuck. These patients typically have poor skin elasticity and muscle tone, but their loose excess skin is limited to the region below the belly button.

With partial tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Fasching eliminates excess skin from the lower section of the abdomen only and tightens the underlying musculature. He can use a shorter incision with this modified technique. In addition, the recovery period following mini tummy tuck is usually quicker and less intense than with full abdominoplasty. Liposuction can also be included in the modified procedure for optimal contouring.

What to Expect After the Tummy Tuck Procedure

Patients who have undergone tummy tuck surgery should expect to take about two weeks off from work or their normal routine to recover. It is important to get as much rest as possible and avoid strenuous activity, including heavy lifting and exercising, during this time. However, patients should take short walks around the house periodically, when they are able, to minimize the risk of developing blood clots in the lower extremities.

The abdomen may feel numb, tender or sore, and it may be swollen and / or bruised. These are normal postoperative symptoms that should improve gradually. Some of the aesthetic benefits of the procedure are noticeable immediately after surgery, but it takes about 12 weeks for the final results to become visible. This is because that is how long it takes for any residual swelling to resolve and for the tissues to heal fully.

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Learn More About Abdominoplasty

Tummy tuck surgery is a positive, life-changing experience that improves individuals’ self-esteem as well as their overall quality of life. Dr. Fasching is committed to giving patients the results they desire from abdominoplasty, so they enjoy life more. To schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Fasching to learn more about abdominoplasty, please contact his practice by calling (763) 577-7500.