Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to recontour the abdomen for a smoother, firmer, and flatter appearance. Commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, this body sculpting procedure addresses aesthetic concerns in the abdomen that do not respond effectively to diet and exercise alone, such as stretched and torn musculature, localized areas of stubborn fat, and an abundance of hanging or loose skin. A tummy tuck is designed to create a sleeker and more contoured abdominal profile by reshaping and tightening the abdomen for an improved silhouette. Award-winning plastic surgeon Geoffrey Leber, MD, FACS personalizes the abdominoplasty procedure according to your unique needs and anatomical indicators—including the extent of your abdominal separation (diastasis recti) and amount of skin laxity—to produce a natural-looking final outcome.
Who is a Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty is often performed after pregnancy or significant weight loss, as both of these events can cause a loss of shape and definition in the abdominal wall. However, any individual who experiences loose or hanging skin in the abdominal area can be a candidate for tummy tuck surgery. Because the procedure is not meant to be a method of weight loss, those considering surgery should be at or near their ideal weight. The surgery can generally benefit individuals with:
- Notable skin laxity in the abdominal region
- Stretched, torn, or separated abdominal musculature
- Isolated pockets of fat in the abdominal area
Aside from pregnancy and weight loss, these characteristics can also be caused by genetics, prior surgeries in the midsection, or the natural aging process. During a consultation, Dr. Leber will review your medical history and perform a physical examination to help you determine whether a tummy tuck can fulfill your aesthetic goals.
What Can a Tummy Tuck Do for Me?
Abdominoplasty can be a powerful way to reverse the effects of pregnancy on the abdomen, or simply achieve a slimmer and flatter waistline where exercise and dieting prove ineffective. Tummy tuck surgery can also serve as part of a comprehensive mommy makeover for individuals who desire a full return to their pre-pregnancy figure. While the procedure is tailored to produce the best aesthetic result according to your unique needs, a tummy tuck can typically:
- Tighten and repair abdominal musculature
- Remove excess skin and pull remaining skin taut
- Extract stubborn fatty deposits
Individuals who do not plan to become pregnant or undergo significant weight loss after surgery usually experience the most successful and long-term results. Many patients choose to combine a tummy tuck with liposuction to contour additional body areas, such as the arms, thighs, flanks, or back.
How is the Tummy Tuck Procedure Performed?
Tummy tuck surgery is generally an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. Depending on the details of your treatment plan, incisions may extend horizontally from hipbone to hipbone, or be placed vertically in the middle of the abdomen. Abdominal muscles are tightened through the incisions, while excess skin and fatty tissue are removed. There are several techniques that can be utilized in abdominoplasty to achieve the most optimal result for your unique body shape.
Stretch Mark and Scar Removal
Depending on their location, abdominoplasty may be able to completely remove abdominal stretch marks and scarring from C-sections or appendectomies. The possibility of scar and mark removal is generally greater if they are found below the navel or in the lower midline.
When separation of the abdominal muscles is severe, significant skin laxity and a loss of shape in the abdominal wall can cause a total loss of definition and tone—even creating the appearance of pregnancy in some cases. By folding and suturing excess tissue, tummy tuck surgery can correct cases of severe diastasis for a smoother and more contoured abdomen.
Below are a few cases from our extensive gallery, click here to view more.
What is Recovery Like for a Tummy Tuck?
While the exact nature of your recovery period will depend on your treatment plan, tummy tuck surgery usually necessitates an overnight stay in our recovery center. A compression garment will be worn after surgery to minimize swelling and facilitate the healing process. An intraoperative injection of a local anesthetic may be administered to ease discomfort in the first few days of the recovery period; oral pain medications can also manage any temporary bruising or swelling that may occur. Work and other daily activities, with the exception of strenuous exercise, are usually resumed within one to two weeks after the procedure.
The natural aging process will continue, but the outcome of tummy tuck surgery can be long-lasting without the need for retreatment if patients maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. To prolong the aesthetic results, it is generally recommended for women to undergo a tummy tuck after they are finished with childbearing, as pregnancy will likely reverse the cosmetic outcome of the procedure.
Before making up my mind on where to go to for a tummy tuck surgery, I had done a lot of internet research on local plastic surgeons, before & after pictures, and their reviews. I listed out a handful of surgeons to do a consultation with. When I met with Dr. Leber, I decided to look no further. I instantaneously felt that he is the doctor that I can trust to deliver the expected outlook. To me, a truly great plastic surgeon is first a doctor then an artist, and Dr. Leber is both. He understands how to make you look better and has the whole package skill set to make it happen. I’m so glad that I followed my instinct. Now, I have had my surgery for 4 months. The result is superior, so is the recovery process. Because of my body type (“thin” category without sufficient excess skins), I ended up having a vertical cut which I was informed earlier on. Dr. Leber recently completed a revision to my vertical scar and substantially reduced it. I’m very happy with how it looks now and thanks Dr. Leber for going above and beyond what he committed to. Also, a lot of kudos must go to Ashleigh and other girls in the front office. They are knowledgeable and compassionate, and helped me tremendously in the recovery journey.
February 15, 2018
If you have any questions or concerns about abdominoplasty, or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leber, please reach out to our practice today.