What is a Plus-Size Tummy Tuck?

beautiful plus sized woman

A plus-size tummy tuck is an abdominoplasty performed on patients who fall into the “overweight” or “obese” BMI categories, and it can be absolutely life changing. Dr. Singh and Dr. Abboushi take into consideration their patients’ surgical goals, health and anatomy and tailor the procedure to the individual, rather than using any specific BMI number as a limit. 

Our doctors know that plus-sized women and men can be as healthy (or healthier!) as average-weight patients, and they recognize that thinness does not always equal good health. They believe BMI alone should not determine anyone’s ability to be happy with who they are, or their ability to make a change in their appearance. Therefore, they dedicate a substantial amount of their Atlanta plastic surgery practice to performing higher-BMI tummy tucks on patients who qualify

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What are the qualifications for a plus-size tummy tuck?

  • You are in excellent physical and emotional health
  • You don’t smoke
  • You are able to maintain a stable body weight
  • You understand the procedure and recovery
  • You are not pregnant or planning to become pregnant
  • You have medical clearance from your primary care provider…

And you are ready to transform your tummy!

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What Types of Plus-Size Tummy Tucks Can Be Performed?

tummy tuck incisionAll abdominoplasty surgeries begin with a long, horizontal incision that generally runs from hipbone to hipbone. The type and size of the incision will vary depending on the patient’s needs.

Excess skin is removed, and the underlying muscle is tightened and repaired. The remaining abdominal skin is then pulled taut, surgical drains are placed, and several layers of stitches are placed to close the incision.

Standard High BMI Tummy Tucks

Standard higher BMI tummy tucks are performed by creating a single, horizontal incision in your lower abdomen that runs from hip bone to hip bone.

Limited Vertical Incision Abdominoplasty

up arrowThere are times when a second, limited vertical incision may be necessary. The length of the vertical incision varies depending on the patient’s unique needs and body type, but generally falls between 1″-3″ in length.

High BMI Extended Tummy Tucks

Extended tummy tucks feature a longer horizontal incision that extends past the hipbones and toward the back. This helps to address excess skin in the waist/flank area, leading to a more contoured, “hourglass” shape for those who would benefit.

Less commonly, an extended vertical abdominoplasty may be required instead of, or in concert with, a longer horizontal incision. This  helps to tighten the upper abdominal area enough to achieve the desired contour.

Plus Size Circumferential Abdominoplasty

360 degree circleCircumferential abdominoplasty is also an available option for those with excess skin around their sides and back. This incision extends horizontally, encircling the hips along the same line as a standard tummy tuck. Circumferential tummy tucks not only remove skin, but can also help lift the buttocks, hips, and thighs.

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What happens to my belly button during a tummy tuck?

Belly ButtonIt’s a rare individual who doesn’t wonder what happens to their belly button during an abdominoplasty. No worries; you get to keep it!

An incision is created around the stalk of your umbilicus (belly button/navel). Once your excess skin abdominal skin has been removed, another incision is made and then placed in the ideal position in your newly-tightened tummy.

To put it another way, your belly button stays put; it’s everything around it that moves!

Will a plus-size tummy tuck help me lose weight?

Line drawing of scaleAbdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss. It is simply a way to remove and tighten excess or sagging skin.

Is large-volume liposuction available?

Yes, large-volume liposuction is available.

While also not a replacement for weight loss, a plus-size liposuction procedure, including lipo 360, will often help you achieve the best possible body contouring results. If you are interested in large-volume lipo, during your consult, Dr. Abboushi and Dr. Singh will speak with you about your goals in order to come up with a plan that meets your needs.

Plus-Sized Tummy Tuck Before & After Photos

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What is the Plus-Sized Abdominoplasty Procedure and Recovery Like?

Tummy tuck surgery is performed under general anesthesia, in one of our Atlanta-area partner hospitals. For our patients’ health and safety, our doctors do not perform surgery in our clinic. The length of the procedure is approximately 3 hours, after which time you will spend several more hours in recovery before being discharged that evening.

There are a few non-negotiables regarding recovery that you should know prior to scheduling surgery:

  • You must have someone drive you home post-surgery; it is not an option to drive yourself.
  • You will have two surgical drains placed during surgery. You must maintain them as directed by our staff and the hospital staff at discharge. Drains are usually removed between 2 and 3 weeks post-surgery.
  • You will be given a compression garment to assist in the healing process after surgery which you must wear as directed by Dr. Abboushi or Dr. Singh — usually 24/7 for one month, but this can vary.
  • You will not be able to stand completely upright for 10-14 days. This is normal and necessary.
  • You will need to sleep at an angle until you are able to safely and comfortably lie flat. Many patients choose to sleep in a recliner until this is possible.
  • You must take your meds as directed and explained to you during your pre-surgical appointment at our Inman Park office. We will call them in at least 3 days prior to your tummy tuck, so pick them up early and get it checked off your list.

Recovery times can vary a bit, but, in general, we recommend that most patients plan to take two weeks off after tummy tuck surgery. Full recovery and final results are usually visible after about 6 months, but it is not unusual for it to take as many as 12-18 months for all swelling to recede and scars to flatten and lighten.

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Talk to Our Doctors About a Plus Size Abdominoplasty

We know that it can feel more than a little intimidating to even consider making an appointment to discuss a high BMI abdominoplasty. Many patients plus-sized women and men have not been treated with the respect and consideration they deserve while researching whether or not a tummy tuck is right for them. Our goal at Panacea is to ensure that you are always comfortable, from your first consultation to your final follow-up appointment.

Our Atlanta board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Singh and Dr. Abboushi, believe in empowering their patients by providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions about their health and wellness. They have created a boutique surgical practice that allows our team to care for our patients holistically, and for the entirety of their cosmetic surgery journeys.

Your initial plastic surgery consultation can be completed in person or via video, and is always — always — complimentary. We want you to feel at home with us from your first conversation with our patient care specialists to your final follow up with our doctors. Panacea provides an atmosphere that is simply unmatched, and you’ll feel it the minute you walk through the door at our Inman Park office.

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