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Tummy Tuck FAQ

Plastic Surgeon in Charleston, SC

Q:
What is the difference between a tummy tuck and lipo?

A:
As a Plastic Surgeon, this is a question I am asked practically every day. The short answer: Tummy tucks remove excess skin and fat, and tighten underlying abdominal muscles. Liposuction removes excess fat located between the skin and muscle. If you are not sure whether you need liposuction or a tummy tuck, I will work with you during your consultation to assess where you are, better understand your goals, and communicate the results you can expect with either procedure. Many people will benefit greatly from liposuction, which is less invasive with minimal incisions. It can be performed with oral sedation or IV sedation provided by an anesthesiologist. Liposuction works great for patients with good skin elasticity who want to improve their contour. Those who have lost a lot of weight and still have excess skin may need a tummy tuck. This is a surgical procedure involving removal of excess skin and fat, and tightening underlying abdominal muscles performed under IV sedation. It involves a longer incision and a longer recovery time, but in many cases it is the only way a patient can get the results they want. Learn more about Tummy Tucks at Port City Plastic Surgery. Learn more about Liposuction at Port City Plastic Surgery. Schedule your consult with Dr. Widenhouse today.

Plastic Surgeon in Charleston, SC

Q:
What is the average recovery time for a tummy tuck?

A:
Although the recovery time can take up to a month, I find that my tummy tuck surgery patients have some of the highest satisfaction levels post-operatively. Without fail, time and again, they tell me it was all worth it. Most of our patients can use the following guidelines when planning for tummy tuck recovery time: Driving- 1 – 2 weeks Sports- 4 – 6 weeks Sexual activity- 2 weeks Travel- 2 weeks Social and work activities- 2 to 4 weeks I generally recommend two weeks “off” from school or work. During the first week, the skin on your abdomen will feel very tight and you may not be able to straighten up completely. By the end of two weeks, you will be able to stand up straight. You are able to drive when you are no longer taking narcotic painkillers. I recommend that my patients wear a compression garment for the first six weeks post-surgery. Exercise can resume at six weeks, but don’t expect too much of yourself too quickly. Give yourself a month or so to get back to your pre-operative routine. Your tummy tuck incision will be closed with absorbable sutures, they will not have to be removed. No staples are used. I like to follow up with patients and monitor their scar for the first year after surgery to ensure their satisfaction. Suggestions I have for patients undergoing this procedure: * Make sure you have a strong support system in place. Seek support from people who have the time and patience to take care of you. * Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. * Expect less of yourself. Do not go back to work too early and let others take care of you (for a change). * Keep in close communication with me and my staff. Do not hesitate to communicate questions and concerns about the physical and emotional issues you are experiencing. We’ve seen it all and we can help! * My tummy tuck surgery patients experience a high level of patient satisfaction. If you focus on the positive end result and how happy you’ll be with your new look, recovery will generally go very well for you. You deserve to look your best! Learn more about Tummy Tucks at Port City Plastic Surgery in Charleston, SC. Schedule your Tummy Tuck consult with Dr. Widenhouse today.

Plastic Surgeon in Charleston, SC

Q:
Will liposuction, body contouring or tummy tuck work best for bulges?

A:
Liposuction is an effective, flexible, and safe treatment for the removal of fat deposits. Liposuction is a not a weight loss procedure, but it can significantly reduce localized fat deposits to improve your overall body contour. It can be used on nearly every area of the body. SmartLipo minimizes downtime and allows patients to return to normal activities more quickly. The procedure can also tighten loose skin, because it promotes collagen production.  Many of our patients prefer a non-surgical, non-invasive option and don’t mind waiting to see results. For them, CoolSculpting is an excellent choice. CoolSculpting is most effective for treating larger fat deposits, such as those on the abdomen, including “muffin top” and “love handles.” After one CoolSculpting procedure, most patients see a noticeable reduction of fat from the area and over the following two to three months, patients fully realize the effects of the procedure as their body naturally sheds dead fat cells.  A tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that can help you achieve a flat, toned abdomen. If you have been trying to get a pleasing body contour with diet and exercise but still have a protruding or sagging belly with excess fat or skin and slack muscles, a tummy tuck may be the right procedure for you. The best procedure for you depends upon a variety of factors, including your health and goals. Contact me, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Brian G. Widenhouse, to determine which procedure you may be a candidate for, and which is right for you. My staff will schedule a consultation where we can discuss your options.