Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck” is a major surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the abdominal wall muscles. The procedure usually results in a flatter, tighter abdominal area where fitted clothing and bathing suits can be worn with confidence.

Best Candidates for Abdominoplasty

body21The best candidates for the procedure are men and women who are healthy, but who are bothered by loose abdominal skin, loose abdominal muscles and overhanging fat.

The procedure is most commonly performed on women who, after multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can’t return to normal. Patients who plan future pregnancies or significant weight loss should postpone surgery.

The scars are permanent, usually extending from hip to hip. Sometimes, depending upon the extent of work required, a partial abdominoplasty is performed, leaving a smaller scar.

What to Expect at Your Consultation

Dr Matas and Staff 203At your initial consultation, plastic surgeon James Matas, MD will discuss your goals and motivations for surgery, along with assessing your physical and emotional health and reviewing information you provide about previous surgeries and pregnancies, past and current medical conditions, as well as nutritional supplements, herbal remedies and pharmaceutical medications you take.

He will examine your abdominal region, assessing the amount of fat and loose skin you have. He will explain factors that may affect outcome, along with the risks and benefits of the procedure.

He may require you to take certain steps before surgery, including guidelines on eating, drinking, smoking and taking certain medications and vitamins. When necessary, he may ask you to lose weight before the procedure is performed to obtain best results.

How Abdominoplasty is Performed

First, an incision is made which extends from hipbone to hipbone and is just above the pubic area. An additional incision is made around the navel. Then, the skin and accompanying fat is lifted to access the muscles of the abdominal wall, which run from pubic hairline to just below the bra line. These muscles are brought together and tightened by permanent sutures. The skin, with attached fat, is stretched down and removed. The navel is then repositioned and stitched into place. Finally, the incisions are brought together with several layers of sutures and surgical tapes.

In a “mini” tummy tuck, the skin is separated between the incision line and the navel. The skin and accompanying fat is stretched down, excess skin is removed and then stitched into place.

Abdominoplasty surgery usually takes three to four hours to complete, and is performed under general anesthesia. An overnight stay is necessary, with our specially-trained registered nurse responsible for your care until you are discharged the following morning.

Recovery from Abdominoplasty

before after BeforeAfter
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For the first few days, your abdominal muscles will be extremely tight, with swelling, pain and discomfort, and you may find it difficult to stand up straight during this time. Over the first week, all support staples and sutures will be removed from your abdomen. You will be wearing an abdominal binder for support during the next few weeks.

Over several weeks, our licensed massage therapist will use a special massage technique to reduce your swelling and increase your mobility.

In two weeks, you can usually go back to light work. After several weeks, bruising and swelling will subside and you may gradually increase your activity and exercise. Vigorous exercise is to be avoided for six to eight weeks.

Your scars will be red during the initial months, and should lighten in color and flatten within the first year. It is important to protect your scars for one year from the sun and tanning beds to prevent them from darkening. Abdominal scarring is permanent, but hidden under most clothing and bathing suits. Your Patient Care Kit will include a silicone-based scar reducer with SPF 30, that is highly effective when used as directed.

Dr. Matas, Thank you once again for all your help and kindness. I also want to reiterate how professional your staff was. You nurse stayed in touch with me and kept me informed at all times; calling me on Sundays and after hours, such as on the night of my surgery. I am sure it is a part of her job description; however, truly dependable and efficient employees are a rarity these days! You are not only a prodigious and an adroit doctor, but you are simply the best!

Your New Look

After abdominoplasty, your abdomen will be flatter and tighter. You’ll be thrilled during your first shopping trip to find you fit into clothing and bathing suits you’ve had trouble wearing before! And the results of abdominoplasty are permanent if you do not have excessive weight gain in the future.

Mini Tummy Tuck

While traditional abdominoplasty surgery is designed to tighten and tone the appearance of the entire abdomen, a mini tummy tuck focuses on just the lower abdomen. Mini tummy tuck is often ideal for patients who seek localized improvement of lower abdominal contours and do not desire extensive surgery, but require more than liposuction. Since a mini tummy tuck only addresses the area below the navel, the incision length, scarring, duration of the procedure, and recovery time are all typically reduced when compared to a full tummy tuck.

Best Candidates for Mini Abdominoplasty

The best candidates for a mini tummy tuck are men or women who maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly, but still struggle with excess abdominal skin, loose abdominal muscles, and stubborn pockets of fat along the lower abdomen. Many mini tummy tuck patients are women who are at or near their ideal weight, but have muscle laxity and excess skin in the lower abdominal region from recent pregnancies. Patients who plan to lose a significant amount of weight or have future pregnancies are recommended to postpone surgery until their body shape stabilizes.

What to Expect at Your Consultation

During your initial consultation, plastic surgeon James Matas, MD will review your goals and expectations for surgery, assess your physical and emotional health, and ask about your use of nutritional supplements, herbal remedies and pharmaceutical medications. After an examination of your abdominal region, Dr. Matas will assess your unique needs, discuss your expectations for the procedure, explain the associated risks and benefits, and enable you to make an educated choice about whether a mini tummy tuck is right for you.

Some patients may be asked to change their eating, drinking, or smoking habits prior to surgery. Dr. Matas may also recommend avoiding certain medications and vitamins in the weeks before and after the procedure. To maximize results, some patients may be asked to lose some weight before mini abdominoplasty.

How Mini Abdominoplasty is Performed

First, Dr. Matas will make an incision just above the pubic area. This incision is typically shorter than the hip bone to hip bone length incision required for full tummy tuck. The skin above the incision, up to the navel, is then separated from the underlying stomach muscles to allow them to be tightened. Finally, the skin and accompanying fat is stretched downward and any excess skin is removed for a smoother, flatter lower abdomen.

Typically performed under general anesthesia, mini tummy tuck surgery can take one to three hours to complete. Though usually an outpatient procedure, our specially-trained registered nurse will care for you if an overnight stay is necessary.

Recovery from Mini Abdominoplasty

Though less intense than recovery from a traditional abdominoplasty, mini tummy tuck patients should expect tightness of the stomach muscles, mild swelling, bruising, and discomfort for the first few days. Any physical discomfort can be managed with oral pain medication, and most patients are back to their normal daily activities within one to two weeks. Dr. Matas recommends patients avoid strenuous exercise for about four to six weeks to allow the body to fully heal.

Your New Look

After your recovery, you can enjoy a flatter, more toned abdominal silhouette. Most patients find their clothing fits better and feel a renewed sense of confidence in their appearance. The outcome of mini tummy tuck surgery is considered permanent; however, maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise can help maximize your results.

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