If you’ve had children or lost a good deal of weight, odds are your abdomen isn’t what it once was. Loose skin and a little pooch — that’s the usual condition. Why? Because when the skin and connective tissue beneath is stretched, due to pregnancy or weight gain, it can only maintain its ability to return to its former tautness for so long. After that, the elasticity is lessened. Now you’re left with a definite pooch on your lower stomach or even more pronounced saggy skin.
But Dr. Gear can bring your abdomen back closer to its former self with a tummy tuck. As with all his surgeries at Providence, he views every patient’s condition as unique. Because of that, Dr. Gear offers a few different options when it comes to tummy tuck procedures.
Mini tummy tuck
Also known as a limited-incision abdominoplasty, a mini tummy tuck targets the lower abdominal area. It can be an ideal solution if you have very little excess skin, but still want to eliminate that pooch in your lower belly. The mini tummy tuck is far less invasive than its traditional counterpart, so recovery is easier and scarring is minimal. Dr. Gear will usually make a shorter incision with these mini tucks, depending on the amount of sagging skin the patient has.
Full tummy tuck
A full tummy tuck is recommended for those women with a good deal of loose abdominal skin. During a full tummy tuck, a larger section of excess skin and fat is removed, and the underlying muscles are tightened to produce a shapelier waistline. This will usually involve two incisions by Dr. Gear, one along the bikini line and another around the navel to address the skin above the navel.
To create the tight, flat abdomen that everyone wants, Dr. Gear not only removes excess skin, but also repairs your abdominal muscles. These muscles often actually become separated in the center of the stomach area by the pronounced localized weight gain of pregnancy. Dr. Gear brings these muscles back to the center and anchors them. This gives the patient a slimmer contour.
There was a time when patients had to choose between a tummy tuck and liposuction, but now the two procedures usually overlap. In addition to loose, saggy skin, most people also have pockets of fat that don’t respond to exercise or dietary changes. Dr. Gear uses liposuction to remove these pockets.