Tummy Tuck

We all feel like we have a little bit “extra” around the tummy from time to time and if you’ve been thinking about getting a tummy tuck, Perspectives Plastic Surgery is an excellent choice. Dr. Rachel Mason believes that every woman deserves to look and feel beautiful and that is what she delivers to each and every patient. After an in-depth consultation, Dr. Mason will prescribe a surgery plan designed to meet your cosmetic goals, with your health, physical, and mental well-being in mind. Each plan is customized, so rest assured that what is designed for you, is designed to deliver you the best results.

But what exactly is a tummy tuck or “abdominoplasty?” We know that it flattens the stomach, but how? At the risk of getting too technical; it’s the removal of the excess skin and fat around our stomach that we don’t care for and wish didn’t exist. The skin is cut and then tucked into a different position to create a smooth and often flatter tummy. In layman’s terms, “it makes our tummy look pretty.” You can usually hide the scar under a bikini, and clothes will fit so much nicer. The boost to your confidence is immeasurable.

What are the different surgical options for a tummy tuck?

The options for tummy tucks differ based on the type of scar that is left after surgery. The decision is based on your body, where you have extra skin, and how much extra skin you have.

Mini-Abdominoplasty – If your extra skin is only below your belly button, you might be a candidate for a mini tummy tuck. This surgery has only one scar right at the bikini line, which is shorter than the scar for the full tummy tuck. There is no scar around your belly button. You can expect to have a quicker recovery since you will have a smaller area that is being operated on. The same rules apply to preparing for the tummy tuck.

Full Abdominoplasty – This surgery is for women with extra skin both above and below their belly button. It is also a good option if you have separation of the “six-pack” muscles above the belly button. As this is a natural part of the aging process for women, the majority of women will be good candidates for a full tummy tuck. This surgery makes a longer incision in the bikini line, and one around the belly button. The extra skin is removed, and the waist is tightened by bringing the muscles back together in the middle. Your skin is pulled down and your belly button is put through a new hole in the skin that has been pulled down. Sounds intense, but the results are incredible as it’s turning back the abdominal clock.

Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty – This type of tummy tuck is for women who have more extra skin than can be taken care of with the traditional tummy tuck. Some women who have lost a large amount of weight will need this surgery. This surgery has the same low incision in the bikini line, but also adds an additional incision straight up and down in the middle of the belly to allow more skin to be taken out.

Liposuction with Abdominoplasty – Many women will have areas of unwanted extra fat, such as their love handles, that they would like to have smoothed out. A tummy tuck alone will not fully fix this, so liposuction can be added to the procedure to take care of these areas. Remember, the aging process affects each body differently and the needs of every woman are not the same. It’s important to keep in mind that a tummy tuck focuses solely on the abdominals, that said, liposuction is an excellent enhancement to help you reach your goals.

Who should have a tummy tuck?

Many women qualify for a tummy tuck and to be honest, it’s a great surgery for many women. A lot of us can relate to this, you find that no matter how much you work out, watch what you eat or how much weight you lose, you tend to have some extra skin around your belly. This can be especially true if you have had a baby or lost a good amount of weight in the past. The skin that was stretched out just never goes back to what it was. And we’re here to tell you, there’s no magic pill for this, sometimes surgery is simply your best option. Your belly muscles might also have been stretched out and separated in the middle, making your waistline not quite as tight as it used to be. Some women may also have stretch marks that they would like to get rid of. The sad truth is just what you have already seen: there is no way to get rid of that extra skin or those stretch marks or put your muscles back in place on your own. Truth is that it’s a part of the aging process. The good news is that we can fix these problems with a tummy tuck! Say hello to the new you.

What should I do to prepare for a tummy tuck?

Now let’s get serious, again, there’s no magic here so there are some preparations required. For starters, it is very important that you are at your goal weight at the time of your surgery. A tummy tuck is not a weight loss surgery. So if you want to lose weight, make sure you do it before surgery and do it in a healthy way. Second of all, the more weight you lose, the better your results and the lower your complications will be. And who doesn’t want the best results?! Third, if you lose a lot more fat after you have already had surgery, it will leave extra deflated skin behind again and you could need another surgery. That is completely avoidable by preparing in advance, so please don’t be in such a rush that you jeopardize your results. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet, get enough protein, and plenty of rest. This helps with healing. Do not smoke and avoid being around people who are smoking.

What happens at the initial consultation?

During the initial consultation, you will be asked about your medical history to make sure you are in good health and a candidate for the tummy tuck surgery. You will then discuss tummy tucks specifically, and what your goals are. Dr. Mason will examine you to make sure this is the right surgery for you. You will make decisions together on what surgery is going to be best for your body. Remember, there are no one-size-fits-all, Dr. Mason will customize a plan just for you.

What happens on the day of surgery?

You are likely to feel both anxious and excited, both are normal and expected. remember, you’re doing something for you and you should feel excited! You will have a scheduled arrival time on the day of surgery. The Surgery Center team will be expecting you and check you in upon arrival. Please do not eat the morning of surgery. Dr. Mason will come to talk to you before surgery and will make marks on your skin where your incisions will be, these will be as discussed in your treatment plan. You will be able to talk about this, ask questions, and agree on it together. She will make sure there have been no changes to the original plan you agreed to. You will also meet your anesthesiologist. From there you will go back to the operating room and the anesthesiologist will put you to sleep. This is where you say goodbye to your current tummy and await your incredible results. The surgery can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours depending on the particular plan you have made. After the surgery is done, a tight binder will be placed around your abdomen to help keep everything in the correct place and to keep swelling down. You will be brought to the recovery area, and once you are released, you will ready and able to go home the same day. While you are taking narcotics pain medication, you will not be able to drive so you will need to arrange for someone to pick you up from the surgery center. This is a good time to switch your mindset to “let them look after me for a while,” as you will need your rest.

What will happen after surgery?

You will have an immediately visible result, but things will keep improving as they heal for the next several months. Swelling and discomfort will of course vary, but the recovery rules apply to everyone. You will need to rest and take time off work. Most women take about two weeks off. It may be as much as six weeks before you are fully recovered and back to your normal routine.

While you are recovering, you will need to stay flexed at the waist (in a hunched over position) for the first 3 weeks to allow the abdomen to properly heal. You are to avoid overexerting yourself for about 4-6 weeks. This is the time for you to relax, heal, and take care of you.

You will need to wear a “compression garment” for about 6 weeks after surgery. This is a tight piece of clothing that will help keep the swelling down and keep fluid from building up. It also provides comfort and makes you feel more supported and stable.

The majority of the swelling will be gone after 6 weeks. It is important to stick with your scar care routine which Dr. Mason will teach you.

Do’s & Don’ts for tummy tuck.

Do celebrate your decision. Do enjoy your new tummy. Do allow your confidence to skyrocket. Do take time to properly heal and take care of yourself. Don’t push yourself too hard. Don’t skip scar care or wearing of your compression garment.

What happens if I get pregnant or gain weight after I have a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck will not prevent or cause problems with you getting pregnant. However, if you do get pregnant or gain significant weight after undergoing a tummy tuck surgery your risk undoing the results due to stretching. As a result, you might need another surgery to correct these changes. This is why Dr. Mason recommends that you wait until you are done having children to have a tummy tuck procedure.

Can I have a tummy tuck with another procedure?

Yes, you can often have a tummy tuck with another procedure. Talk to Dr. Mason to help make the surgical plan that is best for you. Many women have liposuction with their tummy tucks. If you have had children, a tummy tuck can be a common part of a mommy makeover. Women often have a breast lift or breast augmentation at the same time. Some women may wish to have a thigh lift or a labiaplasty. And of course, if you want any sort of facial injectables like fillers or Botox this can be done while you are sleeping. At Perspectives Plastic Surgery, our goal is for you to have the body you’ve always wanted and the confidence to match. There are many options to achieve this, talk to Dr. Mason about your goals!

How much is a tummy tuck?

$9,500 to $11,000.