Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty by Dr. Douglas Mackenzie Santa Barbara
Dramatic weight gain or loss, pregnancy, age, or genetics can lead to a concentration of fat and skin around the abdomen, which can cause both physical discomfort and uneasiness about the appearance of the body. Diet and exercise often have little impact on this, for a couple of reasons. Although diet and exercise are extremely important, they don’t tighten loose skin, and for women who have had children, there is often a diastasis (looseness of the central abdominal wall) that won’t narrow even by toning the muscles. Abdominoplasty can fix this.
With the tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, procedure offered at our Santa Barbara office, you can significantly improve the contour of your abdomen and torso. Sometimes people also experience an improvement of chronic back pain after a tummy tuck, owing to the tightening of the abdominal wall, the removal of the excess weight of tissue, and an improved ability to exercise. If you have an abdominal hernia, incisional hernia, or umbilical hernia, Dr. Mackenzie can also take care of it at the same time as the abdominoplasty.
The abdominoplasty procedure requires Dr. Mackenzie to make an incision extending from hip to hip. Working from this incision, the surgeon lifts the skin and fat layer to reveal the underlying abdominal muscles. He tightens the abdominal wall (muscle layer) together and stretches the skin back over the new, firmer muscle wall, removing excess skin and fat. The waist is reformed and the space under the skin closed with so-called quilting sutures. The umbilicus (belly button) is sutured, and a compression garment is placed over the dressings. Liposuction on the sides of the abdomen is commonly done to complement the tummy tuck procedure and give a nice shape to the waist.
In cases where fat and loose skin is concentrated in the lower abdomen, a mini tummy tuck may be the best option, which may allow a smaller incision. The mini tummy tuck procedure at our Santa Barbara practice almost always uses liposuction to help sculpt the abdomen and waist.
While the tummy tuck will result in some scarring, Dr. Mackenzie will make sure that this scarring is as inconspicuous as possible. Scar care and skin care are integral components to getting the best aesthetic result after surgery; see our page on products that we include in your surgery package HERE. Following the procedure, patients can expect to experience some pain, soreness, swelling, or bruising around the abdomen. Dr. Mackenzie offers Exparel, a long-acting local anesthetic medication which can be used for lessening pain following abdominoplasty surgery.
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If you are interested in a tummy tuck procedure, contact us today at (805) 898-0700.