Abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" is the removal of excess skin and fat from the belly, combined with deep stitches that tighten the abdominal wall and redefine the waist. If your abdomen has excess fat, but not much excess skin, liposuction alone may be appropriate.
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Abdominoplasty is usually the best way to tighten and flatten the stomach after having children. The results are quick and dramatic. Patients who have lost a great deal of weight, and have looseness of the abdominal skin, also may benefit from abdominoplasty. Women who have had a C-Section also are improved with an abdominoplasty. When an abdominoplasty is combined with breast surgery (either a lift or implants), this is called the "mommy makeover".
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A tummy tuck leaves a long scar, from hip to hip, but it should fall just above the pubic hair area, so it is covered by your underclothes or bathing suit. Because the skin is lifted all the way up to just below the breasts, then pulled down, you also will get a scar around your belly button. While these scars do fade with time (this patient is one year out from her abdominoplasty), they are permanent. If you have had a C-Section or hysterectomy, the scar should look similar but it will be longer (and the new scar will be slightly lower than your C-Section scar, and therefore will remove your old scar). A small drain is placed under the skin and stays in for one week. Most patients report the healing to be easier and less painful than a C-Section or hysterectomy.

I take extra care to create a natural-looking belly button, and use special techniques to minimize your scars. As is true with all plastic surgery procedures, this is more “art” and skill than many people realize, so different surgeons may get very different results.

A “mini” tummy tuck is very different than a regular abdominoplasty. This is done by just removing skin from the lower part of the stomach, and using liposuction to remove fat from the upper part of the stomach. No deep stitches are used, so the abdominal wall does not get flatter as in a regular tummy tuck. Women who have not had children or men may be better candidates for a “mini” tummy tuck.

Surgery: Abdominoplasty requires general anesthesia, takes appx. 3 hours, and we will arrange for a private nurse to follow home with you and stay with you the first night. Patients love this extra attention, and the nurse can help you get out of bed, show you how to empty the drain, and answer questions that your spouse can't. I can also check with the nurse the first night and see how your are doing. The nurse then leaves early the next morning.

Healing time: The drain is removed after one week in the office. You will be wearing an abdominal strap or binder for 2-3 weeks. Walking is started immediately, limited exercise at 2 weeks, but no heavy lifting or abdominal work for 6 weeks. People usually drive around day five. Most people take 2 weeks off from work or major social activities.

Pain level: Most people take pain pills for 3-5 days, then switch to Tylenol®. Rank=5 Pain information

Risks: You will have a long scar and one around the belly button. You will be numb above the incision, but this improves with time. Seroma, or fluid collection under the skin is possible, but easily treated. Skin loss or healing problems are unusual. Other risks. Risk information

Costs: $9,500 to $10,000 total. Cost information