What is a tummy tuck?

If, despite the fact that you are on a healthy diet and exercise regularly, but you cannot achieve a flat abdomen or get rid of excess skin in this area, you can be a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery with Dr. Rodolfo Castillo board-certified plastic surgeon. 

Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer that will make you reflect your healthy lifestyle.

The following conditions could indicate that a tummy tuck is right for you: 

  • Tightening excess skin to eliminate loose and sagging skin
  • Tightening the underlying abdominal muscles to create a firmer abdominal wall
  • Removing excess fat to eliminate a protruding tummy
  • Maintaining a stable weight, with no plans for future pregnancies

You should not undergo a tummy tuck as a substitute for weight loss or as a method for removing stretch marks.

Before and During the Procedure

Before undergoing a tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo board-certified plastic surgeon in Mexico makes a detailed consultation and assessment. During this appointment, determine if you are a candidate, explain the procedure, discuss your expectations and take action. The doctor may require some preoperative studies and ask that you stop certain medications before treatment.

The tummy tuck consists of making a horizontal incision at the pubic level that extends towards the hip bones, keeping the incision at a level where it can be covered by the underwear. It deepens through the skin and fat of the abdomen until it reaches the abdominal muscles and from there it rises parallel to the muscles to the edge of the ribs. 

The muscles come back together adjusting them from the edge of the ribs to the pubis, giving them tension. Excess skin and fat is resected and a more aesthetic belly button is made. Keep in mind that this procedure does not remove all stretch marks, but it can make them less noticeable by removing excess skin.

After the Procedure and Recovering

After a tummy tuck, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo places small tubes along the incision site to drain any excess blood or fluid. You will likely feel moderate pain, which will be controlled by pain medication. It’s normal to have swelling in the abdominal area.

Drains might be left in place for several days after surgery. Dr. Rodolfo Castillo will show you how to empty and care for your drains.

Most patients usually have to stay one night in the hospital. You should be very careful during the first days and avoid strong physical activity for at least eight weeks. Dr. Castillo will advise on the best ways to sit and lie down and give you more detailed instructions on returning to work and physical activities.

There will be a significant improvement in your appearance after surgery, but the final results of your tummy tuck may be appreciated in a period of six months to one year after surgery. The results may take time, but once you notice the firm and toned appearance of your abdomen, you will know that the results are worth the wait.

Self-care

Following your tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo will recommend you to:

  • For the first six weeks after a tummy tuck, you’ll need to be careful when moving around 
  • Avoid positions that strain your incision line
  • Avoid any water that’s still (not running) for two weeks after surgery. This includes bath water, swimming pools, lakes, and oceans
  • In case of any infection, wash the wound with soap and water. If discomfort persists, contact your Patient Care Coordinator