Despite being physically fit and in relatively good shape, many people are still bothered by an excess of skin and fat in the abdominal region that proves to be virtually impossible to get rid of with traditional diet and exercise. Often resistant to even the most nutritious diets and rigorous exercise routines, this buildup of redundant skin and fat can be caused by pregnancy, significant weight loss, genetics, and/or simply the natural aging process.
At 740 Park Plastic Surgery, our board certified plastic surgeon offers tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) to tighten abdominal muscles and remove extra skin, resulting in a firmer, toned midsection. Additionally, liposuction can also be performed to precision sculpt the treatment area. By utilizing innovative surgical techniques, Dr. Stafford R. Broumand can help you achieve a rejuvenated figure with beautiful, natural-looking results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Abdominoplasty can be a great surgical option for many men and women seeking to restore a flatter, tighter midsection. Good candidates for this procedure include individuals who have:
- Excess, hanging skin in the abdomen (with or without the presence of fat).
- Stretched and/or loose muscles of the abdominal wall.
- Stretch marks throughout the abdominal region
- Lost a significant amount of weight and/or undergone bariatric surgery.
In addition to these qualifications, candidates for tummy tuck surgery should be relatively healthy (no unmanaged medical risks), at or very near their desired weight, and have realistic expectations for the procedure. Those who smoke and/or use tobacco products must quit at least two weeks before surgery and have no intention of resuming afterward. During your consultation, all of these details will be discussed to determine if abdominoplasty is the right treatment for you.
To begin the abdominoplasty consultation, your plastic surgeon will carefully listen to your cosmetic desires and perform a physical evaluation to ensure tummy tuck surgery can effectively achieve your goals. Next, he will review your medical, family, and surgical history in full detail to make sure he has a full understanding of the complete picture. Once your plastic surgeon has a clear picture of your desired result, he will continue by outlining a personalized procedural plan based on your specific needs and anatomy. He will also help you visualize attainable goals and realistic expectations using VECTRA® XT 3D imaging—an innovative technology that enables ultra-high resolution digital images taken of your own body to be modified based on the proposed treatment plan. This provides an excellent opportunity to ensure you and your surgeon are on the exact same page in regard to expected results.
It is important to avoid blood thinners for two weeks prior to surgery. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise is highly encouraged. Our office staff can recommend a personalized plan based on your needs. Routine blood tests or appropriate medical clearance is also obtained. After your initial consultation, instructions are given as part of our informational pre-surgical packet and reviewed with you prior to surgery. Prescriptions are electronically submitted, picked up and brought the day of surgery.
When you arrive on the day of your surgery, you will be greeted warmly by our staff and introduced to the members our operating room team, several have worked with our doctor for over two decades. Next, your plastic surgeon and our staff will walk you through the pre-operative process and guide you to the operating room where you will change into surgical garments and sign pre-operative paperwork. Every effort will be made to ensure you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible leading up to the time of your surgery.
Custom-tailored for each patient, the abdominoplasty technique Dr. Broumand typically employ is a modified approach that blends the respective advantages of mini and full tummy tuck methods. During the procedure, an incision is first made inconspicuously along the lower abdomen. Through this incision, abdominal muscles spanning from the pubic region to the ribcage are gently tightened, and excess skin is removed. Remaining skin is then pulled tight and secured for smoother, firmer appearance. If needed and/or desired, liposuction can also be performed to eliminate localized fat buildups in the midsection, and the belly button can either be preserved or relocated for an optimal result. The abdominoplasty procedure is conducted under general anesthesia and generally takes approximately two hours to complete, though this will ultimately depend on the individual’s specific needs and cosmetic desires.
Following treatment, you will awake feeling as if you have just taken a restful nap. Our operating room team (along with our board-certified anesthesiologist) will be present to greet you, and they will help you walk with assistance to the recovery room, ensuring that you are in no pain. After about an hour in this recovery room, a staff member will evaluate your condition to make sure you feel well enough to return home. If so, they will coordinate a close friend or relative to pick you up and return home that day.
Some degree of scarring is expected following abdominoplasty. The length and width of your tummy tuck scar will depend on how much skin is removed, as well as how closely scar management directions are followed after surgery. The abdominoplasty incision is made along the lower abdomen, enabling it to remain concealed underneath most bathing suit and underwear varieties.
Some minor swelling and/or bruising can often be expected following tummy tuck surgery, but these side effects will gradually subside over time. At our practice, Dr. Broumand generally uses a 72-hour anesthetic known as EXPAREL® to help minimize any pain that may be experienced in the first few days post-op. After this time, any discomfort—though rare—can typically be managed with medication. The majority of individuals feel well enough to return to non-strenuous work and regular daily routines after about seven days, but it is advised that strenuous activities and vigorous exercise be avoided for a minimum of one month, as any action that places strain on the abdomen during this time may negatively impact proper healing. Once the swelling from surgery has dissipated, patients should begin to notice the full effects of the procedure—a smoother, flatter-looking abdomen.
Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?
While both abdominoplasty and liposuction can be used to effectively achieve a more toned and contoured appearance in the abdominal region, the most appropriate technique will depend on the patient’s unique indications.
In general, liposuction can improve the form of the abdomen but it will not alleviate excess skin or disruption of the abdominal muscles. As a result, it is typically a better method for targeting specific areas of fullness in individuals whose concerns are limited to excess accumulations of fatty tissue. In contrast, a tummy tuck can tighten lax muscles of the abdominal wall and eliminate extra skin in the stomach region. For this reason, tummy tuck surgery is often the best option for women whose abdominal skin and muscle tissues have stretched during pregnancy, as well as for both men and women who have undergone significant weight fluctuations that have led to redundant skin and loose abdominal muscles. Should excess fat also accompany these concerns, liposuction can usually be employed during an abdominoplasty to help further shape and refine the hips and abdomen.
Body Contouring vs. Weight Loss Surgery
Abdominoplasty should never be considered a weight loss solution. While it is true that fat is often removed via liposuction as part of the procedure, this is not a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise routine. The goal of tummy tuck surgery is to remove excess skin and tighten stretched musculature for an improved abdominal contour, not to help individuals lose weight.
Pregnancy and Abdominoplasty
If you anticipate having one or more children at some point in the future, Dr. Broumand usually suggests waiting to undergo tummy tuck surgery until after you are done having kids. Reason being, the physical changes typically associated with pregnancy can often have a negative impact on the results of a previous abdominoplasty. For instance, many women experience re-stretching of abdominal skin and/or musculature during pregnancy, both of which may not return to their pre-pregnancy state despite a nutritious diet and regular exercise. In several cases, this leads to the need and/or desire for another abdominoplasty procedure to restore the previous outcome.
That said, if you are not sure if you are going to have children in the near future, a tummy tuck can certainly still be performed—there is no reason to live many years with a weakened abdominal wall and loose, excess skin based solely on the chance you may have kids sometime down the road. If you do choose to have an abdominoplasty and subsequently become pregnant, there is a possibility that a secondary operation will not even be necessary. Everything depends on the physical changes you experience, how your body reacts to these changes, and whether or not you are happy with your post-pregnancy figure.
Following a thorough evaluation of your specific needs and desires, our doctor will be able to recommend the most appropriate option (or combination of methods) for you.