You’ve counted and burned calories. You’ve suffered through sit-ups, abdominal crunches, and plank-holds. You’ve worn out the stationary bicycle, and the treadmill. But you just can’t get rid of that excess, unsightly belly fat. If you’re thinking about a tummy tuck in Fredericksburg, you’re not alone.
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed today. It’s popular because it offers immediate results, dramatically reducing the appearance of a protruding abdomen. It also provides long-lasting benefits for patients who stay fit and maintain their weight.
Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg’s tummy tuck patients are people at different stages in life who wish for a flat belly. Some of our patients are those who have undergone significant weight loss and are now left with the remnants of a previous belly. These patients have lost weight, and want to contour the shape around the abdomen, and may opt for additional procedures to deal with other parts of their body. Others are women who want to regain their figures after childbearing. This group makes up the majority of our tummy tuck patients because, during pregnancy, the abdominal muscles become weakened or separated leaving a less than desirable appearance. A tummy tuck can correct this issue.
Whatever your reasons, the experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery of Fredericksburg can help you look better, and feel confident about your appearance.
What to Expect at Your Tummy Tuck Consultation
Tummy tuck surgery is a big decision, and it should be treated like one. That’s why your Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg surgeon will consult with you personally on your initial visit.
While at our Fredericksburg office, you will receive a thorough medical examination and explain why you want a tummy tuck. If you are a suitable candidate, your surgeon, and our professional staff will help you decide the tummy tuck procedure most suited to your desired goals.
We encourage you to be well informed before meeting with us. The internet is a wonderful tool but can be misleading and confusing in the information provided.
Suitable Candidates for Tummy Tuck
Women who have stretched muscles and skin after pregnancies find tummy tuck useful to restore pre-pregnancy contours. It is also an alternative for men and women who were obese and have loose skin and fat deposits in the abdominal area.
How a Tummy Tuck is Performed
There are two types of tummy tucks – full and partial. Below we discuss how the surgeons at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg perform each. Either can be performed in a hospital at an outpatient facility or in an office surgery setting. Plastic Surgery of Fredericksburg’s facility is accredited and fully meets medical standards.
Full Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that involves removing excess fat and loose skin and includes tightening muscles in the abdominal wall. Tummy tuck procedures can be performed alone, but are also performed with liposuction to improve body contours.
At Plastic Surgery Services, we have a CRNA providing state-of-the-art anesthesia to keep the patient comfortably asleep during the procedure. The length of the procedure usually lasts 2-3 hours.
Your surgeon will make an incision just above the pubic area. The incision is typically made where it will be hidden by bathing suits or undergarments. It is important to understand that a tummy tuck surgery will produce a long, thin scar.
A second incision is made around the navel to free it from surrounding tissue. The skin and fat layers above the abdominal wall are lifted upwards to expose the abdominal muscles. Your surgeon will suture these muscles, pulling them close together – this creates a flatter, firmer abdominal wall, and a slimmer waistline.
Once the muscles are tightened, the layer of skin and fat will be stretched down over the abdominal wall, and a new opening will be created for your naval. Excess skin and fat that hang beyond the original incision are carefully trimmed away.
Drainage tubes are usually placed in the abdomen through tiny holes arranged in the incision, allowing fluid to escape while you heal. The incisions will be sutured and bandages will be applied.
You will most likely need to wear a compression garment to reduce swelling and provide comfort and support while you heal. Drainage tubes and sutures are usually removed within a week or two after the surgery. As with any major surgery, pain, swelling, and bruising are normal, and will typically subside within several weeks after surgery.
At Plastic Surgery Services, we offer EXPAREL® PAIN MANAGEMENT, as an alternative for those unable to take opioid drugs. EXPAREL® is a slow-release analgesic that is injected into the new-surgical incision upon completion of the procedure. EXPAREL® can minimize post-operative pain and maximize comfort up to 72 hours.
Your scar will fade considerably over time, and with proper diet and exercise, you can enjoy a firmer, flatter abdomen for years.
Transversus Abdominis Plane Block
When using EXPAREL®, the slow-release analgesic, the transverse abdominis plane (TAP) block is a peripheral nerve block that anesthetizes the nerves supplying the anterior abdominal wall. TAP block is a relatively new way of anesthetizing nerves, this is performed after surgery to improve patient comfort by numbing the abdomen. The TAP block is performed in the operating room after the patient is asleep.
Patients having lower abdominal surgery, like a tummy tuck, can benefit from a TAP block. In aesthetic abdominal surgery, the TAP block reduces the need for postoperative pain medications. As a result, there are fewer side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Depending on each patient’s perception of pain, there may be a need for additional pain medication after surgery.
Partial or Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck is a less invasive procedure with a faster recovery rate that can be done if you are relatively close to your ideal body weight. Also, called a mini-abdominoplasty, this procedure tightens the lower abdominal wall skin only, providing the shortest possible scar.
A partial or mini tummy tuck involves removing loose fat and skin below the navel. A mini tummy tuck is less complex than a full tummy tuck, because the naval is unaffected, and the incisions are smaller. A mini tummy tuck can also be performed with liposuction to improve body contours.
Fat layers that lay above the abdominal wall are separated from the wall using an instrument called a Cautery Device.
The tissue is then lifted upward, exposing the muscles of the lower abdomen. Your surgeon will suture these muscles, pulling them closer together, which creates a flatter, firmer abdominal wall, and a slimmer waistline.
Once the muscles are tightened, the layer of skin and fat will be stretched over the abdominal wall. Excess drain and fat that hang over the incision will be removed.
Drainage tubes will be placed in the abdomen through tiny holes arranged in the incision, allowing fluid to escape while you heal. The incisions will be sutured and bandages will be applied.
As with a full tummy tuck, you will most likely need to wear a compression garment to minimize swelling and provide comfort and support while you heal. Drainage tubes and sutures are usually removed within a week or two after the surgery.
Pain, swelling, and bruising are normal and will subside within several weeks. Scarring will fade with time, and with proper exercise and diet, you will enjoy a firmer, flatter abdomen for years.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Both the full and mini tummy tucks are same-day procedures, so you can leave our Fredericksburg center and return home the day of your operation. Because the mini tummy tuck is less drastic, recovery time is much less than with a full tummy tuck.
Following either type of surgery, your abdomen will be swollen for a few days, and you will be given medication to control the pain and discomfort. You will be asked to rest and take it easy for a while. You may not be able to stand straight at first, but your surgeon will give you instructions on when you should start to try walking.
Most patients return to work after one week, but some may take longer. There is a relatively low risk of surgical complications or infection after a tummy tuck.
Postsurgical Pain Management
Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg introduces EXPAREL® pain management, as an alternative for those unable to take opioid drugs. EXPAREL® is a slow-release analgesic injected into the new-surgical incision upon completion of the procedure. EXPAREL® can minimize post-operative pain and maximize comfort up to 72 hours.
Tummy Tuck Cost
As patients consider cosmetic surgery, they frequently need information about the various payment options. We hope the following information regarding payment options and approximate surgical fee estimates will be helpful.
Please call Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg at (540) 371-7730 or contact us online to receive personalized quotes on tummy tuck cost and our other cosmetic surgery procedures. Our patient coordinators have helped many patients achieve their dreams with payment plans that fit comfortably in their budgets.
Picking a Plastic Surgeon
Choosing a surgeon in the Fredericksburg area for any surgery is of paramount importance. It is vital for your Fredericksburg plastic surgeon to have the right qualifications and credentials. These include board certification and good standing with the various medical boards. It also includes education, experience, and satisfied patients.
Don’t forget the support staff, certified anesthesia providers, and if surgery is done in the office, check on accreditation. Make sure they are professional, friendly, and caring. These will be the people to lean on during your recovery. Make sure you are comfortable with the entire team.
It is important to do your research and visit with the doctor personally. It is important to visit the facility where the surgery will take place. Don’t rush! You should take the time to get well informed.
Why Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg?
Dr. Howard Heppe completed his surgical internship and surgical residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois, and his residency in plastic surgery at the Medical Center of Georgetown University in Washington DC. With the emphasis on cosmetic surgery at Georgetown University, he had the opportunity to train with outstanding leaders in plastic surgery. He also received instruction in drawing and aesthetic analysis.
Dr. Heppe is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is also an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and a diplomat of the national Medical Examiners.
Dr. Harold Bautista earned his Bachelor of Science in Physics, magna cum laude, from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. Dr. Bautista received his medical degree from New York Medical College in 1986.
He completed his residency in plastic surgery in the Division of Plastic Surgery at the Medical Center of Nassau County in New York under the instruction of Long Island Plastic Surgery, Inc., the largest group of plastic surgeons in the United States. This group of 12 surgeons provided Dr. Bautista with extensive experience in aesthetic surgery, breast augmentation, body contouring, and facial aesthetics. Dr. Bautista also completed his residency in general surgery at the Medical Center of Nassau County.
Dr. Bautista is Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at Mary Washington Hospital. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons and is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. He has recently proven his dedication to maintaining his knowledge base in his chosen specialty by passing a recertification examination given by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in April 2016. He joined the Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg in 1993 and has privileges at Mary Washington Hospital, Stafford Hospital, and Spotsylvania Regional.
Dr. Pejman Aflaki completed his training at the prestigious Johns Hopkins Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery program. Having been trained by the leaders in the field of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Aflaki has gained tremendous experience and skills in a wide spectrum of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery procedures of the face, breast, and body. Dr. Aflaki is board-certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
Do I Need a Full, Extensive Tummy Tuck, or Are There Other Options?
The tummy tuck surgery falls into what we call “abdominal contouring.” Your surgeon can shape and define the entire abdominal region, according to your needs and goals.
Accordingly, there are several abdominal contouring procedures available, not only full tummy tucks. Many patients experience stunning results from a partial or a mini tummy tuck, or in some cases liposuction. It depends entirely on your desires and requirements.
I’m a New Mom. My Tummy Needs Help, but So Do My Breasts – What Can You Do?
We have a customizable surgery, a mommy makeover, which addresses precisely what you have described.
During pregnancy, after birth and nursing, a mother’s body experiences drastic changes – primarily weight gain, extended stomach, and enlarged breasts. After the baby has grown out of infancy, it can be challenging, if not nearly impossible, to get your physique back to pre-motherhood. That’s where a mommy makeover comes in. We can perform abdominal contouring in conjunction with breast augmentation to help restore your body to its youthful form.
Many mothers also dislike the changes that happen to their vagina during birth, and a mommy makeover can also include labiaplasty to reshape and restore the vagina after birth.
Will a Tummy Tuck Help My Stretch Marks?
Many people who have experienced rapid weight gain express concerns about stretch marks in the lower abdominal region – and this is precisely the area treated by a tummy tuck.
Your surgeon will remove excess skin in this area, and by doing so, will take away those unwanted lines. However, if you have stretch marks further around your waist and love handles, these will remain after a tummy tuck.
Discuss what results you are looking for from your tummy tuck procedure with your surgeon in your initial consultation, so to get a realistic and positive outlook on what the surgery can do for you.