What is Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, removes excess skin and fat, as well as restore weakened or separated abdominal muscles. Factors that often contribute to these issues include aging, pregnancy, genetics, prior surgeries, and significant weight fluctuations. A tummy tuck results in a flatter abdomen that is proportionate with your body type.
Am I a good candidate for abdominoplasty?
Candidates for abdominoplasty surgery in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts are healthy men or women who are unhappy with the appearance of their abdomen. It is important that patients are at a stable weight, are non-smokers, and have realistic expectations for the outcome of their surgery. Furthermore, patients should be aware that a tummy tuck should not be used as a primary weight loss solution. A consultation with Dr. Hall can help you decide if a tummy tuck is right for you or if you might benefit from a different procedure.
Abdominoplasty – Patient 177
A mother of 4 in her later 40’s who is bothered by bulging and laxity of her stomach in clothing and in a two-piece bathing suit. She is shown before and again, nearly 6 months after an abdominoplasty. EXPAREL was used to limit her pain and need for narcotics after surgery.
Her case illustrates the importance of proper scar placement, putting the scar in a “thong” position even if it means a vertical slit scar is needed in the lower abdomen from the opening that is made around the umbilicus as the skin is pulled down. The alternative would be to put the entire scar higher where it would be visible on the abdomen. Scars typically become redder and thicker for 6 weeks and then begin to fade and improve over the next 2 years or longer. At nearly 6 months the scar still has some redness but is improving with topical silicone.
Abdominoplasty – Patient 176
An RN mother of 4 in her later 50’S who was bothered by a roll of her abdomen in clothes as well as in a one-piece bathing suit. She was 5’2 and 166 lbs, In addition to bulging of the muscle wall from pregnancy she fatty layer was thicker as well with a caliper pinch of 5 cm ( 3 cm or less is ideal). She elected for a lipo-abdominoplasty which combined liposuction with and a abdominoplasty. She is shown before and again, 6 ½ years after the removal of 1850 cc of fat with liposuction and the excision of skin and fat weighing 1488 grams ( 3 1/3 lbs). She actually feels comfortable wearing a 2-piece bathing suit now! Scars typically get redder and thicker for 6 weeks and then fade and improve over the next 2-3 years. A close-up of her scar is shown at 6 ½ years.
Abdominoplasty – Patient 175
A mother of 2 in her mid 50’s who is bothered by rolls of skin in her abdomen which are difficult to hide in fitted clothing. She is 5’4 ½ and 147 lbs and is shown before and again, 4 months after an extended abdominoplasty. Her scar is low, in a thong position, and a periumbilical hollow and “champagne groove” above the umbilicus were sculpted at the time of her surgery. Exparel was used to decrease her need for narcotics after surgery.
Although swelling will continue to improve for 6 months after abdominoplasty she is already thrilled with her improvement.
Abdominoplasty – Patient 174
A mother of 3 in her early to mid 30’s who is bothered by the appearance of her bulging and excess skin of her abdomen after pregnancies. She is 5’ 4 ½ “ and 148 lbs. She is shown before and again, 4 months after an abdominoplasty. Her scars are hidden in a “thong” position and will continue to improve over the next 18 months. There is typically still a little swelling in the lower abdomen that will resolve by 6 months after surgery. She is absolutely thrilled with her result and is looking forward to wearing a two piece bathing suit again. And she tells me that she is wearing fitted clothes again that she has not been able to wear for years.
Update: Our patient is now seen 1 year after her surgery. The scars have continued to fade and she has an excellent contour.
Abdominoplasty – Patient 173
A mother of 3 in her early 30’s who is bothered by the appearance of her abdomen. She had hyper emesis through her pregnancy which caused her to develop a large umbilical hernia She would like to be able to wear a 2 piece bathing suit again, as well as fitting better in fitted clothing. She is shown before and again, 2 1/1 months after surgery. She is already wearing a 2 piece bathing suit. Scars are at their reddest and thickest at 6 weeks after surgery and then typically fade and improve over the next 2 years. Her scar has been hidden in a “thong” position where is can be hidden by most clothing styles. Patients typically have swelling of the abdomen after surgery that continues to improve for the first 6 momths. She is already thrilled with her early result.
How is an abdominoplasty performed?
How your abdominoplasty procedure is performed will depend on your specific needs and body concerns. Patients choosing to undergo abdominoplasty surgery have the choice of intravenous sedation and general anesthesia, and Dr. Hall will recommend which choice is best for you. During the surgery, Dr. Hall creates a horizontal incision between the belly button and the public hairline, where a bikini can easily cover. The skin is then lifted, and the weakened abdominal muscles will be tightened. Depending on how much excess skin is being removed, a second incision around the naval may be necessary. Skin on the upper abdomen is pulled down, and a new opening for the belly button is created. Incisions will be closed with sutures, tapes, or skin adhesives.
What should I expect during recovery?
During abdominoplasty recovery, dressings are applied to incision sites and a compression garment may be worn to minimize swelling and provide support. Small tubes may also be inserted to drain any excess blood or fluids. You can expect to be assisted with walking as soon as the next day to prevent the formation of blood clots, however, you should be resting for the first week or two after surgery. After your procedure, you will likely experience some swelling and discomfort. Dr. Hall can provide you with prescription medication to manage your pain and make your recovery more comfortable. You will also have some activity restrictions in the first few months. You should avoid strenuous activity or movement such as bending at the waist, that might strain the incision site. Dr. Hall will provide you with specific instructions about your recovery and activity restrictions.
The result of your abdominoplasty can be distorted due to swelling in the first few weeks, however as swelling diminishes you will begin to notice your results and can enjoy a toned abdominal area. Abdominoplasty results are permanent, although substantial fluctuations in weight can greatly diminish these results. Patients who are planning on losing a substantial amount of weight or future pregnancies are advised to delay tummy tuck surgery.
“I saw 3 surgeons before meeting with Dr. Hall and by far
he and his staff was the most compassionate, thorough,
professional and helpful. Can’t say how pleased and
comfortable he and his staff made me feel.”
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