Abdominoplasty or “Tummy Tuck,” is a surgical procedure carried out to remove the excess wrinkled skin and fatty tissue from the abdomen and to tighten abdominal muscles. The overall effect is to produce a smoother, flatter tummy.
The best candidate for this surgery has normal or excessive body weight, weak muscles and excess skin.
The typical patient who presents for tummy tuck is the patient who has lost considerable weight with diet and exercise and is unable to gain the definition in their abdomen that they desire.
Obese patients (those with a calculated body mass index greater than 30) may be advised to lose weight prior to surgery.
What Technique does Dr. Chugay Utilize and How does it Differ from Standard Tummy Tuck Procedures?
After performing thousands of Tummy Tucks, Dr. Chugay has created a procedure that incorporates the exceptional technique of Ivo Pitanguy along with his own unique methods and modifications.
Dr. Chugay makes incisions deep within the bikini line, according to the style of bikini that the patient normally uses, to minimize scarring. The incision is made in the hairline, not above it, as it is commonly done by most surgeons. The technique utilized by other surgeons can often leave noticeable scars in the lower abdomen area.
On patients who do not have much excessive skin a short horizontal cut can be made and a procedure frequently referred to as a mini tuck can be performed.
Skin is lifted utilizing an electrocautery (“hot knife”). Many surgeons do it with a blade or scissors.
Electrocautery (hot knife) produces very atraumatic dissection, thus achieving:
- Less risk of bleeding and hematomas
- Less risk of injury to nerves and other tissues
- Reduced surgical trauma to the patient
- Faster healing
- Faster recovery
The excess skin is marked off with Pitanguy marking clamps, which allow precise removal of excess skin.
Abdominal muscles are sutured together to reconstruct the integrity of the abdominal wall and bring in the waist. These sutures are placed in the midline with knots buried deep to prevent artificial-looking bumps.
A new belly button is made, and the skin is closed in layers with absorbable sutures. This method of closure leaves a smaller scar and eliminates hash marks common in the removable-suture procedures.
Eliminating “dog ears”
Frequently after a Traditional Tummy Tuck, small pockets of skin form at each end of the long horizontal incision used in the standard procedure. Such skin pockets, due to their appearance, are often referred to as “dog ears”. These “ears” have to be surgically removed several months after Tummy Tuck when the healing is complete.
To avoid complications and a secondary procedure, Dr. Chugay has developed a method of eliminating “dog ears” before they are formed. Sparing the unnecessary detail, this technique involves, after fully suturing the abdominal wall, going back to the incision site and re-excising additional amounts of skin at each end of the original incision. Such additional excision is elliptical in shape. The ends of the excisions are then sutured meticulously.
What is a “Mini Tummy Tuck”?
This rather confusing term simply means that your surgery will not have to be as extensive as the regular Tummy Tuck. This will be achieved by making the initial horizontal incision very small and completely hidden in the hairline, by not bringing the muscles together with permanent stitches or by combining both of these features. The candidates for this procedure will have less hanging skin and little or no protrusion of the abdomen.
Dr. Chugay utilizes IV sedation in conjunction with local anesthetic. You will be comfortably asleep during the procedure. Dr Chugay is pleased to offer Goldilocks Anesthesia.
- Is Less Risky
- Assures Quicker Recovery
- Causes Less Nausea and Vomiting
Many surgeons still utilize general anesthesia. After all, the patient is completely paralyzed and is easier to work on. However, surgeon’s ease does not translate to the patient’s advantage. Another reason why so many surgeons choose general anesthesia over IV sedation is the experience of their anesthesiologist. It takes more experience to administer IV sedation. Many anesthesiologists and nurses anesthetists do not know how to handle it properly. Many anesthesiologists have little practical experience with sedation. It takes a lot of skill to make certain that patients are comfortably asleep and do not wake up during surgery.
After your Surgery
Although there will be some soreness and discomfort, Dr. Chugay can prescribe medications to make you more comfortable post-operatively. You should avoid strenuous activity for three to four weeks. Dr. Chugay will discuss resumption of activities with you on an individual basis. You will have to wear an appropriate abdominal support for several weeks.
Abdominoplasty, though a major operation, is generally very satisfying. The scar across the lower abdomen will be hidden beneath the bikini line and, as much as possible, in the natural hairline. The abdominal muscles will be flat, and your skin will have a taut and younger-looking appearance.