Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure in which skin and fat are removed from your abdomen, and the abdominal wall muscles are tightened to correct any separation. If you have loose abdominal skin and excess fat that no amount of healthy dieting and exercise appears to be able to improve, a tummy tuck may be the answer for you.

What a tummy tuck can do for you
  • Give you a smoother, flatter stomach.
  • Correct diastasis recti, the separation of your abdominal muscles which can make your stomach protrude more.
You’ll experience
  • Liposuction, performed during your surgery to enhance your results and shorten your recovery.
  • Reshaping of your waist and back, which can be targeted at the same time for better results.
  • A scar that is as short as possible and placed correctly to remain hidden by your clothing.
  • The ability to get back to work within two weeks or so.
  • *Your belly button may look natural and aesthetically improve.*
  • The freedom to wear clothes that fit you better.
  • No more love handles, muffin top or looking like you’re still pregnant.
  • A boost in your self esteem and confidence levels.
What makes your tummy tuck at Gartner Plastic Surgery unique

1. Dr. Gartner performs liposuction at the same time as your tummy tuck to create an even better improvement of your midsection. The medical community once believed that combining liposuction with a tummy tuck would be riskier for the patient, but this has been proven to be untrue by a number of studies, including Lipoabdominoplasty: A versatile and safe technique for abdominal contouring[1]. This study actually proves that performing liposuction at the same time can actually drastically reduce complications and achieve a better aesthetic result for you. You may also experience a faster recovery. For this reason, Dr. Gartner uses liposuction to remove fat that is located deeper under the skin, which would be difficult and more traumatic to remove with tummy tuck techniques alone.

2. During your tummy tuck, excess fat in your waist and back can also be removed by Dr. Gartner, areas that would normally not be effectively treated with more traditional techniques. That means your mid-section will be more contoured after surgery, resembling more of an hourglass!

3. Before your surgery, you’ll be asked to put on your bathing suit or bikini, or one that you hope to wear after surgery. Dr. Gartner will then make sure to mark the location of your incision so that the resulting scar will remain well hidden by your bathing suit or bikini. This is done to make sure that your scar is placed below your belly button enough and it’s not too long that it would extend beyond the leg holes of your bathing suit/bikini.

4. One of the primary patient concerns of a tummy tuck is the shape of the belly button after surgery. Dr. Gartner pays special attention to create a natural-looking belly button that is more of an upright oval rather than being perfectly round or horizontal. This belly button shape is more youthful and aesthetically pleasing. Dr. Gartner attempts to match the ideal as outlined by the study, Computer-Aided Analysis of the “Beautiful” Umbilicus[2].

5. Dr. Gartner applies progressive tension sutures (PST) to seal tissues below your skin, eliminating any space where a seroma or hematoma (pocket of fluid) could potentially develop. PST also places less tension on your skin, reducing any strain on blood supply to help with your recovery. One drain (or two if necessary) is placed to further reduce the risk of seroma/hematoma.

Are you a candidate?

Abdominoplasty can achieve a dramatic improvement in your body contour, giving you a leaner, smoother silhuouette that you’ll feel better about. The procedure is suitable for men and women who are the following:

  • Healthy
  • Realistic in their expectations of the surgical outcome
  • At a healthy and stable weight
  • Unhappy with their mid-section due to excess fat, skin and separated abdominal muscles
  • Not pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Able to follow the pre and post-surgical care instructions outlined by Dr. Gartner
Your consultation

Your private medical consultation with Dr. Gartner is the perfect time to talk about your aesthetic goals. You should be honest and frank, as this will help Dr. Gartner better understand what you want to achieve. The tummy tuck procedure will be discussed, as well as any other options that would be able to achieve your results.

To make sure the surgery is safe for you, your medical history and condition will also be reviewed by Dr. Gartner. He’ll go over all of the side effects and risks related to your surgery so that you can then determine if you’d like to proceed.

How to prepare for your surgery

It’s important to follow Dr. Gartner’s instructions on how to prepare for your surgery. You’ll have an easier and faster recovery if you do.

  • Stop smoking at least four weeks before your surgery.
  • Maintain your stable and healthy weight with a sensible diet and exercise regimen.
  • Reduce the amount of sodium you consume. This is to reduce the rate of swelling and bloating you’ll experience after surgery.
  • Stop taking any medications that thin the blood, such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen.
  • Start taking any vitamins that could help improve your recovery rate, such as those containing vitamin C and iron.
  • Don’t eat or drink anything at least eight hours before your surgery.

Before your surgery, Dr. Gartner will ask you to bring in a bathing suit that you’re hoping to wear after your surgery. He’ll ask you to put it on so he can mark the incision placement, making sure that your resulting scar remains well hidden by your bathing suit.

Your surgery

Dr. Gartner will customize surgical techniques to safely achieve your aesthetic goals. This is a general outline of what you can expect during your surgery.

1. General anesthesia is administered.

2. An incision is made in the pre-marked location. A second incision is made to free the navel from the surrounding tissue.

3. The skin is carefully lifted up to the ribs and the muscles of the abdominal wall are tightened if necessary.

4. Excess skin and fat are removed by excision.

5. Liposuction is performed to remove excess fat deposits.

6. The navel is positioned and sutured in place.

7. The lower incision is closed in multiple layers, creating a finer scar.

8. The incisions are dressed and a drain (or two) is inserted to reduce the risk of seroma or hematoma.

Your recovery

You will be affected by swelling, bruising, numbness and discomfort in the first few days after your surgery. These side effects will subside as the weeks pass. If one or two drains were placed, they will be removed in a few days.

How you'll look while you recover

At first, you may look worse than you did before surgery. This is because swelling and bruising will hide your new shape. Make sure to wear your compression garment as advised, as it will help ease swelling. You may also feel tight and be unable to stand straight up. This tightness will gradually subside as your tissues relax.

Keeping clean

You’ll be able to take a shower the day after your surgery. Remember to use a mild soap and avoid touching the incisions.

In a couple of weeks, the steri-strips covering your incisions will slowly start curling at the edges and finally fall off. At that time, your incisions will probably be strong enough to start applying a topical scar treatment, such as silicone sheeting. This can help improve the appearance of your scars.

When you can go back to work

You can return to sedentary work within a week or two. Physically demanding jobs may require waiting a month or two.

When you can get back to the gym

You can start working out again in about three weeks. However, you should wait at least six weeks before you start weightlifting.

Your results

You’ll enjoy a more flatter and firmer mid-section. The love handles or muffin top that you once had before surgery will be gone, allowing you to wear form-fitting clothing that shows off your new shape.

Complications and risks associated with a tummy tuck
  • Infection
  • Seroma and hematoma
  • Wound separation
  • Blood clots
  • Necrosis
  • Lasting discomfort and pain
  • Under or over-correction
  • Dissatisfactory results
*Disclaimer: No guarantees of any kind unless they are money-back guarantees. No claims of permanent results. No "Miracle cures" for medical ailments.*

Copyright © 2015 Gartner Plastic Surgery and Laser Center
All rights reserved. Any subsequent further processing, publication or permanent storage for commercial or other purposes without the explicit prior permission of Think Basis Inc. is prohibited.

Article credits

  • Reviewed By:Dr.MichaelGartner
  • Place:3 Winslow Pl, Paramus, NJ, US, 07652
  • Created: 10 May 2015
  • Published: 10 May 2015
  • Last Modified: 26 Sep 2015
  • Reviewed: 19 May 2015

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