Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS ABDOMINOPLASTY?
Abdominoplasty, popularly known as “tummy tuck” is a common operation that removes excess soft tissue, frequently resulting from drastic weight loss or pregnancy. Such patients tend to have a fold around the mid to lower third of the abdomen, that may be associated with underlying abdominal wall weakness, or even diastasis recti after pregnancy. Since this tissue has usually been stretched and will not respond to further weight loss or exercises, a tummy tuck surgically removes the excess tissue and tightens the abdominal wall leaving it flatter and firmer.
WHAT IS A MINI TUMMY TUCK?
A mini tummy tuck is a less invasive type of procedure, ideal for someone at normal body weight with only a small, lower belly overhang. Your surgeon will be able to check if your condition qualifies for this procedure. But bear in mind that if you have excess fat or saggy skin above your belly button, lost significant weight, or have diastasis recti as a result of pregnancy, you may likely need a full tummy tuck.
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR A TUMMY TUCK?
When considering a tummy tuck, you should always schedule an initial consultation. In this first meeting, your doctor will discuss your body frame, personal goals, and address any concerns. As an overall parameter, you can benefit from a tummy tuck procedure if your stomach's excess skin is causing sweating, rashes, and skin infections under the fold. Also, if you experience difficulty participating in sports or weakness of the abdominal wall muscles (recti muscles) after pregnancy. But being self-conscious of the appearance of your body or going through psychological distress because of it are also perfectly valid reasons to consider an abdominoplasty.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN ABDOMINOPLASTY?
Abdominoplasty is an extensive procedure performed under general anesthetics that can take from 2 to 3 hours in duration. To enable your doctor and staff to monitor your progress following the surgery you are required to spend at least 1-2 nights as an inpatient in a hospital facility. The surgical technique will depend on your unique procedure, but commonly a long incision is made from hip to hip, just above the pubic area. A second incision may be required around the belly button to detach the area from the surrounding tissue. Then the skin excess fat can be removed from the abdominal wall up to the upper abdomen. With that, the muscles are tightened and pulled closer together. In the end, the incisions are sutured with permanent or dissolving stitches. If necessary, drains may be inserted to channel away any excess fluid from the area post-operation. Depending on the technique used, liposuction will be used to contour your waist and your pubic area. With that, the skin is then stretched down, tightened and excess skin is removed in the process. Your belly button will be then placed within a new hole. Finally, your lower abdomen will be sutured back and padded with dressings.
CAN I GET TUMMY TUCK IF I AM PLUS SIZE?
For better results from an abdominoplasty, you should have a body mass index (BMI) as close to normal (25) as possible. Concerning women, most doctors recommend that you have no further plans of carrying a pregnancy before having your tummy tuck. The same applies if you are planning to lose more weight shortly. It is best to postpone your abdominoplasty until after you have stabilized at your goal weight.
CAN MEN GET A TUMMY TUCK?
The tummy tuck procedure can produce impressive results in both women and men. Tummy tucks aren't just for women. Many men are especially bothered by their stubborn folded abdomen or sagging skin hanging around the belly. Not only can it bring great aesthetic results, but it can also help with abdominal muscles that are stretched or weak and don’t respond efficiently to diet and exercise. A male tummy tuck tightens loose muscles and hanging skin and also removes pockets of abdominal fat to restore a firmer, smoother midsection. Keep in mind that to benefit greatly from a male abdominoplasty should be at a relatively stable, healthy weight and be a non-smoker with overall good health.
HOW IS THE RECOVERY FROM A ABDOMINOPLASTY LIKE?
After the surgery, you should expect your tummy to feel sore and may experience some bruising and swelling for a couple of weeks. Your doctor will prescribe pain relief medication and set instructions for discomfort management when you return home. After the surgery, you will need someone to drive you home and be with you for 24 hours. The recovery timeline varies significantly from patient to patient. But you should consider taking between 2-3 weeks off work, depending on how physically demanding your job is. It’s advisable not to drive for 2 weeks and avoid strenuous activities for up to 12 weeks to ensure there is no strain on the scar.
HOW WILL MY BELLY BUTTON LOOK LIKE AFTER A TUMMY TUCK?
When the skin through the lower abdomen is removed during a tummy tuck, the natural belly button is removed completely at the same time. With that its new location ends up much lower than before. Since the navel is the most central, most eye-catching feature on your belly it can look very odd to have a navel set that far down. It can also be an immediate giveaway from your surgery. The results of your body contouring are directly linked to the expertise of who performs it. A skilled plastic surgeon will plan carefully the placement of your belly button, so it can serve as the perfect finishing touch for your new body.
WHAT WILL MY ABDOMINOPLASTY SCAR LOOK LIKE?
The scarring will depend significantly on the extent of your procedure and the technique required for your goals. But, following the surgery, you can expect some visible scarring usually across the lower section of your abdomen. Fortunately, most people find that it can be easily hidden by underwear and bathing costumes. It can also take up to a year after the abdominoplasty before you can see the final appearance of your scar since it’ll only fade over time.
WHERE CAN I GET A TUMMY TUCK NEAR ME?
Having a profuse stomach can lead to serious issues with your confidence and self-esteem, but a tummy tuck might be able to help with this. It helps to slim down and rejuvenate the appearance in a zone that many men and women would like to see improvement. The results are long lasting and life changing. But the quality of the results you get will greatly depend on the surgeon you choose. At StudioMD NYC you’ll be in great care. Dr. Sharon Giese is a leading authority on plastic surgery. Having completed a fellowship in breast and aesthetic surgery at Georgetown University, Dr. Giese has been featured in many broadcasts, including CBS’ The Early Show, The Dr. Oz Show, FOX, ABC’s Good Morning America, and NBC's Today Show. Dr. Sharon Giese and StudioMD staff will be happy to schedule a consultation about your Tummy Tuck.