What is Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, removes excess skin and fat and also restores 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 shape.
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.
Tummy Tuck – Patient 48
A mother of 1 in her middle 40’s has always been bothered by the fullness of her stomach but finds that after her pregnancy this is bothering her even more. She Is bothered by bulging and rolls of her abdomen in fitted clothing and would like to be able to wear a 2 piece bathing suit.
She is shown before and again, 10 months after lipo-abdominoplasty. In her case, we were able to perform liposuction of the abdomen at the same time as the abdominoplasty to thin the area even more. Scars will typically continue to fade and improve over the next 1-2 years and it is placed where is hidden by a thong, which allows her to wear most clothing and bathing suit styles.
Tummy Tuck – Patient 47
A mother of 2 in her early 50’s who is bothered by her abdomen following her 2 pregnancies. She describes it as “ a lump of blob” and does not like the roll of skin and bulging above the waistline of her pants and in fitted clothing. She is 5’5” and 145 lbs. She is shown before and again, 6 ½ months after abdominoplasty.
Discussion: Scars typically get redder for 6 weeks and then begin to soften and fade over the next 2 years or more. Sharp eyes will notice a small vertical scar in the lower abdomen- this was the original aperture or opening around her umbilicus ( belly button) that is pulled down like a window shade after the muscles are tightened. It is better to have the longer scar low and in a thong position with a small vertical slit if needed, instead of having the entire scar higher on the abdomen. She is thrilled with her new shape and size. Exparel was used to limit her reduce pain and limit need for narcotics after surgery.
Abdominoplasty – Patient 189
A woman of color and mother of 3 in her late 50’s who is bothered by the size and appearance of her breasts as well as the bulging of her abdomen. Her BMI was 32 and I had her reduce her weight to a BMI of 28 or less. There is typically fat around the intestines (“omental fat” ) that fills the space created from the pregnancies and prevents tightening the stomach wall if a patient is overweight. I tell patients that you “can’t put 40 lbs of potatoes in a 20 lb bag” and if we operate at the higher weight there is not only a greater risk of a blood clot because of pressure on the large veins in the abdomen, but more pain and a greater likelihood of the muscle wall stretching back out again. So I prefer my abdominoplasty patients to have a BMI of 28 or less. ( the exception being a bariatric patient who has lost 100 lbs or more and can sometimes be accommodated up to a BMI of 35)
She is shown 5 months after breast reduction, and 2 months after lipo-abdominoplasty. This is an early result and swelling will typically diminish and improve over the next 4 months, and the scars will continue to soften and fade. She is already thrilled with her early result!
Abdominoplasty – Patient 188
A mother of 1 in her mid 40’s who has always been bothered by fullness of her abdomen, even when younger, but now this is worse since her pregnancy.
She is bothered by bulging in fitted clothing and would also like to be able to wear a 2 piece bathing suit. She had an external laser treatment to reduce fat in her stomach somewhere else but said this was painful and didn’t work. Sh has also had cool sculpting to her inner thighs, again, without improvement.
She is shown before and again, 7 months after a lipo-abdominoplasty along with liposuction of her medial thighs. Her weight is up 10 lbs since surgery ( now 5’4” and 150 lbs) but she maintains an excellent contour of the stomach.
Discussion. Her abdominal skin has excess fat with a caliper pinch of 4.5 cm I find 3 cm or less to be more idea. Liposuction can be done separately as another procedure but in some cases can be cautiously added at the time of the abdominoplasty to thin the layer more and give a better result, as we did here. Despite a significant weight gain she has maintained her contour in the abdomen.
Abdominoplasty – Patient 187
A nurse and mother of 2 in ther later 30’s who had polyhydramnios with her second pregnancy and became quite large. She has an umbilical hernia, a ventral hernia and a large diastasis of the rectus muscles. She is frequently asked if she is still pregnant. She is shown before and again, 6 months after abdominoplasty combined with umbilical hernia repair.
How is an Abdominoplasty Performed?
How your abdominoplasty procedure is performed will depend on your specific needs and body concerns. Tummy tuck patients choosing to undergo surgery have the choice of intravenous sedation and general anesthesia, and Boston plastic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Hall will recommend which choice is best for you.
During the surgery, Dr. Hall creates a horizontal incision between the belly button and the pubic hairline, which results in a tummy tuck scar that a bikini can easily cover. The loose skin is then lifted, weakened abdominal muscles will be tightened, and a natural contour achieved by removing excess fat. Depending on how much excess skin is being removed, a second incision around the navel 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 to the adjusted tissues. 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.
Results of Tummy Tuck Surgery
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. The abdominoplasty scar will fade to be barely visible, and can be easily concealed in clothing and swimwear. 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.
Schedule A Tummy Tuck Consultation Today
During a consultation, you can find out much more specifically what to expect from a tummy tuck procedure, including what results you can achieve, whether you need a full tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck, and the overall tummy tuck cost to anticipate. Dr. Hall is known for his down-to-earth, transparent approach to consultations, and he’s committed to helping each plastic surgery candidate get the right cosmetic surgery procedure for their unique circumstances. Get started with your journey toward having a toned abdomen today by calling our office or contacting us online.
“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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