Undergoing surgery can seem intimidating to many people, but the cosmetic enhancements are unparalleled. Tummy tuck surgery, or abdominoplasty, is one of the top five cosmetic surgeries performed in the United States. It aims to reshape your mid-section by removing stubborn fat pockets and tightening muscles. Once you realize that all your hard efforts with diet and exercise are not making improvements, you may be ready to consider a tummy tuck in St. Petersburg.

At Allure Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Percy Lo is a body contouring expert and knows how to bring out the best for your waistline. After significant weight loss or multiple pregnancies, it can be impossible to return your mid-section to its previous slim contours with diet and exercise alone. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Percy Lo today to learn more about this life changing procedure.

Ideal Candidates for a Tummy Tuck

You should only have tummy tuck surgery in St. Petersburg once you are finished having children or when your weight loss is nearly complete. There is nothing about a tummy tuck that will make it impossible or dangerous to carry another pregnancy, but you may need another tummy tuck after that pregnancy to maintain your desired appearance. A tummy tuck should not be used as a weight loss tool, though it will help complete your weight loss journey as it removes those last stubborn pockets of fat, tightens up muscles, and remove excess hanging skin.

What to Expect During the Tummy Tuck Procedure

During tummy tuck surgery, excess fat and skin are removed while over-stretched muscles are tightened and separated muscles are brought back together in the midline. If your main problems are at or below your belly button, you may be a candidate for a mini tummy tuck. A classic, full tummy tuck is needed when your issues extend above your belly button. Either way, your incisions are made in areas where the scar is hidden such as low enough on your abdomen so that it will be covered by a swimsuit bottom. If you have excess fat riding on your flanks (sides) or back, you may need an extended tummy tuck  (sometimes called tummy tuck 360), where those areas will also be addressed so that you can look good from the back, too. With this amount of surgery, the scars may not be hidden quite as easily, but Dr. Lo always aims to provide the best cosmetic outcome. Liposuction is almost always done with a tummy tuck.

Depending on the extent of the surgery, a tummy tuck can take from three to five hours to complete.  It is done under general anesthesia. If you need only a mini tummy tuck, you may be able to have a local anesthetic plus IV sedation. Either way, you should have a trusted family member or friend drive you home. A tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure performed at our St. Petersburg office, so plan on going home on the day of your surgery.

Tummy Tuck Surgery Recovery

Immediately after surgery, you will be wrapped in a compression garment. It will help minimize swelling and support your abdominal wall while it heals. Having two of these compression garments will make it easier to keep them clean. You will be given instructions on when to visit the office for the removal of drainage tubes or sutures. You will also be instructed on what to look for in case of infection.

After a tummy tuck surgery in St. Petersburg, it is extremely important to avoid lifting heavy items such as small children and large dogs. Even a bag of groceries will be too much weight, so be sure to arrange for all the help you may need for the entire month following your surgery. You may also use strong pain relievers immediately after surgery that could leave you sleepy or unable to concentrate, so childcare arrangements may be needed.

As you recover, you will start walking and then progress to more difficult activities. It could be a week or two before you feel comfortable standing fully upright. As you regain strength, you can return to many of your usual activities as long as you are careful to avoid too much physical stress on healing tissues. You will be ready to return to work about one month after your tummy tuck. If you work from home, you may be able to start working sooner, but if you have a physically demanding job, you may need six to eight weeks off.

Tummy Tuck Results

You will not see the final results from your tummy tuck surgery for up to three months or more. Fluid can stay in your healing tissues, making them plumper than they will be in the end. Your incision scars will slowly undergo a series of changes as your body continues to revise the healing scar over about one year. Once you reach your final result you shall be able to keep that for years to come as long as you maintain a stable weight through diet and exercise. As always, it is important to maintain good skin care as well.

Tummy tuck surgery in St. Petersburg is a safe procedure with rare complications. However, you could have excess bleeding or bruising. A seroma—a collection of sterile fluid—can form within the surgical area. Consistent use of your compression garment will help guard against some of these problems.

Schedule Your Tummy Tuck at Our Office in St. Petersburg

When you reach the point where exercise and diet are not improving your abdominal contours, it is time to call for an appointment with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Percy Lo. After all your hard work, you deserve the expert care Dr. Lo gives to complete your body transformation. Make your appointment today for a tummy tuck in St. Petersburg.