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Plastic Surgery Center of Tulsa

2107 E 15th St. Tulsa, OK 74104

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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Are you looking for a way to get rid of excess belly fat and skin around your middle? Maybe you have lost a great deal of weight and the result is sagging, drooping abdominal skin. Or maybe you're a mom, who hides excess fat, a c-section scar, and untoned muscles that are the result of your age and having children. Whatever your reason for seeking a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), Dr. Greg Ratliff can help you regain a tummy you will want to show!

Only a few plastic surgeons in the region are performing drainless tummy tucks, a procedure, which uses a progressive tension suturing technique to join together the tissue that was separated during the tummy tuck to close spaces where fluid can collect in the surgical area, thus eliminating the need for the drains. Dr. Ratliff does drainless tummy tuck procedures for many of his patients.

While the drainless tummy tuck is not an option for all patients, for those who are able to take advantage of the technique, recovery is reported to be faster and less painful.

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Who Needs It?

Women and men can both enjoy an enhanced profile after a tummy tuck procedure. Most often, those looking to have a tummy tuck are women who are are not planning on having more babies and are ready to regain their shapes, or women and men who have lost a tremendous amount of weight and now have excess skin around their middles. Patients who are good candidates for a tummy tuck should be close to their ideal body weight, with good muscle tone, and they should be generally fit. If you are planning on losing significant weight or getting pregnant, you should postpone having a tummy tuck procedure.

Examples of Before and After Images

Preparing for Your Procedure

During your initial consultation, following a thorough evaluation, Dr. Greg Ratliff will discuss the various tummy tuck options that are available to you, including a full tummy tuck, an extended tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck (partial abdominoplasty). We may also recommend including liposuction with your tummy tuck procedure to ensure you get the look you desire.

We will work closely with you to develop an individualized plan that is designed specifically to achieve your personal goals.

Surgery -- What to Expect

The tummy tuck, whichever type of tummy tuck you are having, is a major surgical procedure that removes fat and skin and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. Your procedure will be performed under general anesthesia in one of our surgical suites. Typically, during a full tummy tuck, excess fat, loose skin and tissue in the upper and lower abdomen and abdominal muscle are reinforced and a new belly button is formed. The surgical incision is made just above the pubic area and usually extends from hip to hip. A second incision in the navel area may be necessary to remove excess skin.

Another, more extensive tummy tuck is the extended tummy tuck, which is the same surgery as the full tummy tuck, but the incision continues fro the sides toward the back, removing "love handles" at the top of the hip area. If the fatty areas that are problematic for you are only below the navel, you may be a candidate for a less complex procedure called a partial abdominoplasty, or a mini tummy tuck. Liposuction is often used in the mini tummy tuck.

How far the incision and surgical work extends depends on the individualized plan you and your surgeon have agreed upon. Each of the tummy tuck procedures is a major surgery, usually lasting several hours. They are usually considered only after trying other options to correct trouble spots.

Following surgery, your incision will be covered in a dressing or bandage and you will wear an elastic compression garment to help minimize swelling and also for support. You may have temporary drains, which will be removed within the first few days after surgery. As previously mentioned, many patients do not require the drains. Dr. Ratliff will give you specific instructions to follow during your recovery. You need to carefully adhere to those instructions.

Your Results

As we have said, the tummy tuck is a major surgery and you will experience swelling and some pain as the healing process begins. However, within a week or two, you will be able to see that your profile has changed and you will begin feeling more like yourself. It may take several weeks for your incision scars to begin to fade and for the full effects of your tummy tuck to be realized. It is important to realize there will always be a scar from your surgery. Most patients feel the scars are worth the new profile they enjoy following their surgeries.

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