Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Before & After Photo Gallery of Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
An Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck tightens the abdominal region, helping to restore your body to a more youthful and vigorous lost shape.
There are many new options, making the procedure easier and speeding recovery. Many modern choices permit an outpatient procedure which allows you to go home the same day. Hidden incisions are used where possible.
This page is designed to help you on your journey and provide information regarding the procedure and options.
What is the purpose of a Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty, and why choose this as a treatment option?
An abdominoplasty (a.k.a. Tummy Tuck) is designed to tighten loose abdominal skin. Excess, loosened, stretched skin is removed along with the stretch marks (striae distensae) located within this skin.
The stretched lower abdominal muscles lying beneath this loose and stretched skin often have a condition known as “diastasis recti”. This condition is caused by stretching the lower abdominal muscles by the developing uterus during pregnancy. This condition, also known as a “mommy pouch” is repaired at the same time as an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck.
This muscle repair is a key part of a “Mommy Makeover”.
When the skin is removed, and the muscles tightened, the belly button (umbilicus) is pulled downward. Because of this, it must be place back into its normal position (neoumbilicoplasty). This creates an aesthetically pleasing effect.
Abdominoplasty is also helpful for those who have lost weight, or who have abdominal scars from prior surgery or injuries. The goal of abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck is to create a pleasing, natural profile.
Who are the best candidates for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)?
Men and women having loose, sagging abdominal skin are the best candidates for this procedure. It is best for those with BMI (body mass index )of 30 or below.
For those with a BMI (body mass index) above 30, a pannulectomy may be the procedure of choice. This involves removal of excess hanging, often irritated skin (that interferes with normal hygiene and fitting in one’s clothes). This differs from an abdominoplasty in that, although the excess skin is removed, no procedures are done on the underlying muscles. Its purpose is to remove the extra skin which helps with hygiene and fit into clothing.
While women often undergo this procedure as part of a “Mommy Makeover”, men seek removal of excess skin due to weight loss.
What does an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) actually accomplish ?
A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty procedure helps correct sagging and stretched skin. This skin is no longer able to return to its normal shape due to stretching beyond its elastic limits (similar to a spring overstretched that is unable to return to its previous normal shape). Inability of the abdominal skin to return to its normal shape is similar to a rubber band that has been over stretched and cannot tighten.
What are the steps of an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck?
The important steps of an abdominoplasty include:
- Removal of stretched and sagging skin
- Removal of stretch marks where possible
- Repair of stretched and torn underlying abdominal muscles
- Placement of incisions so that they are hidden
- Repositioning of the belly button (neoumbilicoplasty).
Summary of abdominoplasty or tummy tuck:
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) recontours the abdomen. A more youthful shape is restored as a lost waistline is regained. Due to pregnancies, weight gain and loss, the lower abdominal muscles separate resulting in a “mommy pouch” in women. This is due to stretching and separation of the lower tummy muscles (rectus abdominus muscles). Repair of this muscle separation is usually done at the same time as the abdominoplasty.
Can Liposculpture (liposuction) be done at the same time as an abdominoplasty?
With newly developed techniques of liposculpture, selective liposculpture may be performed at the same time. Latest techniques include lipoabdominoplasty and the Avelar Abdominoplasty which includes superficial liposculpture to remove of fat and reposition the skin while preserving its blood supply. This is important because traditional surgical methods result in a compromised blood supply to the overlying skin so that liposuction is not possible without the risk of skin damage. This procedure preserves a robust blood supply to the overlying skin, and is the procedure of choice where there is scarring from prior abdominal surgery.
Can I wear a Bikini after an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck?
Women can often wear a 2 piece bathing suit following the procedure and recovery. This is possible due to incisions placement along natural body folds and in shadowed areas.(hidden incisions)
Can pubic region droop (ptosis) be treated at the same time?
With stretching, weight gain or loss, and pregnancy, the public region often droops. This condition is known as pubic ptosis. A consultation determines if the repair can also be done at the same time as the abdominoplasty.
This is an option when the sagging skin is mainly in the lower abdomen. Advantages include smaller incisions which are easily hidden under a 2 piece bathing suit. (The incisions are about the same size as a lower c section scar).
What are the major advantages of these abdominoplasty or tummy tuck options
- Rapid recovery
- Decreased discomfort
- Outpatient basis
- Conscious sedation
- Return home the same day
Avelar lipoabdominoplasty (no drain abdominoplasty) is a very popular option for men and women with excess fat and loose skin.
What are the advantages of this abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) compared to a traditional procedure?
Is there an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck ) option for those who have scars from prior abdominal surgery (i.e. after prior trauma, bariatric surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, following open cholecystectomy, appendectomy)? This group of patients may have a compromised blood supply to the abdominal skin due to scarring from prior surgery. Lipoabdominoplasty helps preserve of a robust blood supply to the abdominal skin.
How is the Awake lipoabdominoplasty procedure performed?
The procedure is performed under conscious sedation. A very long acting local anesthetic is used during the procedure, providing comfort extending into the next day. Patients are able to go home the same day, and often, no drains are placed.
Dr.Burke uses Quill barbed sutures for additional incision and wound strength. Nonresorbable sutures are used for muscle repair and absorbable sutures are used for fascial and subdermal skin closure. This provides additional wound strength during the 90-120 days that it takes for your body to resorb the sutures. The overall result is decreased scar visibility. In the majority of cases he uses tissue glue for final skin closure, eliminating the need for staples and skin suture removal. This has been referred to at the Lock and Glue technique of lipoabdominoplasty.
Dr. Burke discusses the outpatient rapid recovery Awake Tummy Tuck:
Many Patients are Curious about Cosmetic Surgery Pricing including costs for Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck).
Who is a Candidate
- If you have loose or sagging abdominal skin.
- If you have abnormal relaxation of the (front) abdominal wall muscles due to weight gain or loss, pregnancies, or prior surgery.
- Unable to tighten abdominal wall skin with exercise
- Pubic ptosis, or drooping of the pubic region (often patients complain that clothes don’t fit and they “look like a man” in shorts or pants).
- A smoother flatter abdomen
- Improved “definition” of the abdominal-waist region
- If extensive, the procedure is usually performed at the hospital under general anesthesia with either an overnight admission, or as an outpatient.
- The tumescent lipoabdominoplasty is performed under conscious sedation on an outpatient basis in our AAAHC accredited surgicenter.
- Mini-abdominoplasty is performed under conscious sedation on an outpatient basis in our AAAHC accredited surgicenter.
- Hidden scars are used where possible.
- Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin leaving a standard scar.
- Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall skin only, leaving a shorter scar.
- Many procedures do not require drains.
- A long acting local anesthetic is injected at the time of the procedure and often has an effect for 8 or more hours.
- Discomfort is controlled with oral medications and/or medication delivered by nasal spray.
- All sutures are usually removed within 2-3 weeks. (In some cases no sutures are placed and tissue glue is used for final skin closure instead).
- A compression garment with dressings over the incision sites is usually used.
- Light activity may be resumed within 7-21 days. Sports will probably not be comfortable for about 6 weeks.
- The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.