Is the recovery for a skin only tummy tuck relatively easier than if I opt to do muscle repair?

Q:

I am a mother of three and want to get a tummy tuck to remove excess skin but I have anxiety about potential complications! I am not a smoker but I do on occasion smoke vapor and cigs. Because I will need to return to work in two weeks, my plastic surgeon has agreed to do a skin only tummy with and liposuction to my hips. Is the recovery for a skin only tummy tuck relatively easier than if I opt to do muscle repair? Will it give me satisfactory results, minimize complications and minimize recovery time?

A:

There are trade-offs with skin only abdominoplasty, depending upon individual circumstances. Recovery is faster without the muscle repair, but there is no difference in terms of risk of healing problems from exposure to nicotine. After 3 pregnancies, it is likely that there is some muscle separation so not repairing it means less improvement in contour (less flattening and less waistline definition.) Only a plastic surgeon who has examined you can tell you how significant this issue is in your case.

Richard A. Baxter, M.D.
Mountlake Terrace, WA

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