Tummy tuck skin removal is a highly precise body contouring surgery. The surgeon must strike the perfect balance between removing the hanging skin without creating too much tension or leading to over-resection that it destroys the natural valleys and contours of the waistline.
Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley regularly posts educational videos on his Snapchat account to demonstrate how he achieves good results from tummy tuck skin removal surgery, which is almost always combined with muscle repair, umbilicoplasty (navel repair), and/or mons pubis lift to achieve proportionate results.
In his recent Snapchat video post, the celebrity plastic surgeon says “having artistic eyes” is the key to achieve natural-looking, smooth results from tummy tuck surgery; hence, he highlights the importance of doctor’s experience, which allows one to hone his skills.
“The amount of skin removal will primarily depend on the tension. We don’t want to over-resect the tissue because doing so does not allow for good wound closure, which of course precludes good scarring,” he says.
At the other end of the spectrum, removing too little skin could result in residual sagging and surface irregularities, Dr. Smiley warns.
Aside from the amount of excised skin, another key issue is the “shape.” Doctors typically remove a wedge-shaped skin on each side of the lower abdomen for natural but tight results. Nonetheless, all efforts are made to ensure that the resulting hip-to-hip scar will lie very low that the underwear can conceal it easily.
Wound closure is another critical aspect of tummy tuck skin removal. To ensure that the scar will fade into color and remain thin (almost the width of a hairline), Dr. Smiley sutures the wound in several deep layers so the skin surface will receive no or very little tension.
And with little “superficial” tension, “the scar is encouraged to heal and fade to the best of its ability,” he says.
Aside from skin removal, Dr. Smiley almost always tightens the pair of vertical muscle that runs between the breastbone and the pubic area with the use of permanent sutures; this is a critical part of surgery that ensures flatter, smoother abdomen.
Tightening the abdominal muscle with permanent sutures could also minimize the effect of “unexpected” pregnancy and moderate weight gain, says Dr. Smiley.