Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Procedures

Until Extreme Makeover, and Dr. 90210, abdominoplasties were relatively unknown. Now, I think, their popularity has sky-rocketed because of greater awareness, and more patient education. After pregnancy or massive weight loss, loose skin is forever! That extra wad of stuff you can grab when you sit, that hangs like a fanny pack over your bikini line, will NEVER go away without surgery. When did it get there? It is so frustrating to work out, and not see results because of this extra layer of skin and fatty tissue.

A tummy tuck is done in the hospital under general anesthesia and takes between two to three hours. The incision is made along the bikini line and runs along that fold of skin. Wherever there is a fold, there is the incision. I used to make the incision a nice straight line, but now I make it a nice wavey line because that way, as it heals, it looks more like a stretch mark. All the stitches are on the inside. Some liposuctioning is almost always combined with the surgery – above the umbilicous, on the sides, and the mons pubis, to make everything in proportion, and give a sleeker look. Muscles are tightened, and all the skin between your belly button and bikini line is removed. The skin above the belly button is lifted up like a sheet, and pulled down, and tucked into your bikini line, and a button hole is cut out for your belly button. So basically this is all a big, long wiggly smiley face incision in the bikini line, and a button hole around your belly button.

The surgery usually takes about two or three hours. It can safely be combined with other procedures – a breast augmentation to complete the mommy makeover! – or a breast reduction or lift, or even additional liposuctioning. I require that people spend the night in the hospital. Trust me on this one. Most people are walking even that night of surgery, but it is one week before you can really get around comfortably, and about two weeks before you can return to a desk job, and longer, if you have a more strenuous job.

I am not really a fan of mini tummy tucks, because they do not address any excess skin about the belly button and, in most of my patients, they have extra skin BOTH above and below the belly button. But stop in for an evaluation, and we will see.

Before and After Photos

Patient A

Front View

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Side View

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This young lady had extra skin after weight reduction. Yay for her for being so nice and fit! But also bad for her, having all that extra skin. The abdominoplasty, which removed all that excess skin that never would have gone away, was a well-deserved reward for all her hard work. Now she can wear her cute clothes and not feel so self conscious.

Patient B

Front View

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Side View

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This is a full mommy makeover! After this nice lady had her kids her body changed. Despite hard work and exercise, she still could not see muscle definition. She did not lose weight, but with all that extra skin surgically removed from her tummy, her muscles com through. She had a breast lift with fat transfers at the same time.

Patient C

Front View

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Side View

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This lady worked out regularly, but was a bit discouraged because her abdomen never really looked like she worked out. The excess skin from pregnancy was permanently stretched out. After the surgery, her abdominal muscles show through.

Patient D

Front View

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Side View

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This young lady only had one pregnancy, but she carried her baby straight out in front. This skin is just permanently stretched out. In addition, after breastfeeding she really had lost some volume. She did not want to be really large, just back to where she had been.

Patient E

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Side View

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Patient F

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Side View

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After pregnancy, she always had that little apron above her C-section scar, but with time there was even another fold underneath her bra. Where did that come from? After her tummy tuck, when she works out, it not only feels better, it’s very motivating. Because you can actually see the muscles, she knew
were there all along.

Patient G

Front View

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Side View

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Leaning View

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She is SUPER FIT and athletic. There is no way, without surgery, she can take it to the next level, because she has loose skin, but also loose muscles that can not be corrected with diet and exercise alone. Her rectus muscles have separated down the middle . Think of your two rectus muscles like the sides of a jacket. Usually they are zipped up in the middle. With pregnancy weight gain, the middle just sort of stretches out causing a separation of the two muscles. The muscular sides become unzipped. This is called a rectus diastasis. When she leans back, you can see the abdominal contents push forward. This separation can only be corrected with surgery. Exercise can not correct this. After surgically sewing the muscles back together in three layers, she should enjoy many years of a nice tight tummy. Finally all her hard work at the gym can be seen.

Patient H

Front View

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Side View

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After babies, she also developed a rectus diastasis, but lower down. She always looked pregnant. Frustrating. With a three layer repair of those muscles, and removing that extra fluff, it was so much fun to do! When doing a tummy tuck, it is very important to try to keep the scar as low as possible, so that when you are wearing low rise jeans or a two piece, the scar is down below your belt line. This may not always be possible, but it is always my goal.

Patient I

Front View

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Side View

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Back View

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This mother of four told her husband to buckle up, because after all those babies, there was no way, she was going to live the rest of her life with her post partum figure. She had a tummy tuck. I usually try to tighten things up so much in front, you can actually see the difference from behind! There is an art to abdominoplasties. You want to enhance a curvy form. She also did a lollipop breast lift, and had a small breast implant placed to top things off. Enjoy!

Patient J

Front View

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Side View

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This woman had liposuctioning many, many years ago. Combined with time, gravity, sun exposure, she just felt matronly. So she had a little breast lift, and that extra lumpy tummy skin removed. It literally lifted a weight off her shoulders, and made her feel so much more comfortable about her stomach. Not only in her swim suit, or sitting down, but even with her clothes on. Didn’t have to worry about where to put the fluff.