CoolSculpting, Tummy Tuck, or Liposuction – Which One Is Right for You?

When you get in and out of the shower in front of a mirror, do you avoid looking at your reflection? And when your eyes wander to a full-body view of your figure, do they focus on fat pads and bulges? If you answered yes to these questions, congratulations – you’re human.

Part of being human is accepting that diet and exercise can only go so far to give you the physique of your dreams. To resolve stubborn fat, many people turn to body sculpting procedures.

A Look at Each Procedure

If you struggle with problem areas that don’t seem to improve, regardless of what you eat and how hard you exercise, you have surgical and non-surgical cosmetic options to consider. Some of these choices include CoolSculpting, liposuction, and tummy tuck. Each procedure offers unique benefits and drawbacks. So, if you’re interested in contouring your silhouette and need more information, here’s your comparison of CoolSculpting vs. liposuction vs. tummy tuck.


This non-surgical body contouring option employs no needles, sutures, or downtime. You’ll be amazed at the convenience of your CoolSculpting session – during which you can relax, sit back, and read a book or catch up on your emails.

The technology uses controlled fat freezing to eliminate up to 25% of unwanted fat from targeted body areas. Unlike liposuction, the benefits of CoolSculping are not immediately noticeable. Typically, you’ll enjoy your results approximately two weeks after your last session.


This popular cosmetic surgery removes unwanted body fat from targeted areas that have resisted your efforts to shape and tone. Since there are limits to how much fat a surgeon can safely get rid of during this surgery, it’s ideal for people who are already at or near their goal weight.

Liposuction involves suctioning out fat cells through a thin tube called a cannula. Your surgeon will need to make tiny incisions they can use to insert the cannula, but these will be small enough to heal nearly invisibly. This surgical enhancement allows you to participate in daily activities without much downtime.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, resolves droopy, sagging skin and eliminates excess fat from the abdominal region.

Most of our abdominoplasty patients seek this surgery after substantial weight loss or multiple pregnancies. Many mothers find no amount of exercise or dieting will tighten loose skin back to their pre-pregnancy form. This procedure removes unwanted skin and flab for a tighter tummy.

A tummy tuck is about more than toning and tightening. Your surgeon will also reinforce your abdominal wall by suturing weakened muscles back into place.

Schedule Your Fredericksburg Body Sculpting Consultation Today

Your body sculpting consultation is crucial to your desired outcome, and it’s vital to make sure you ask the right questions. To learn more about how these procedures can help you look your best, call Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg today at (540) 371-7730, or contact us online.

5 Ways To Fade and Treat Your Tummy Tuck Scar in Fredericksburg, Virginia?

As one of the most requested plastic surgeries year after year, tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it removes excess skin and fat after weight loss or pregnancy, and secondly, it corrects abdominal muscle laxity. Despite its popularity and high patient satisfaction, abdominoplasty does present a drawback for some people in the form of a significant scar.

Because a large amount of skin and tissue is typically removed with the procedure, a long incision is required, resulting in a scar after surgery.

Our board-certified plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg are experts in performing tummy tucks in Virginia and highly skilled at placing the scar so that it is well hidden, even when the patient wears a skimpy bikini or underwear.

With a tummy tuck, you can expect a scar. However, you can take steps to reduce its visibility both before and after your surgery.

Before Your Surgery

During your consultation with your surgeon, you should share any concerns you may have, especially about the appearance of your scar after your surgery. Depending on your surgery, you may end up with a U- or V-shaped scar, and there could also be a small scar around your belly button. You may also have a scar extending vertically from your belly button down to the horizontal incision in rare cases.

Bring underwear or bikini bottoms to your appointment so you can get a clear understanding of where the scar will be placed. During surgery, your surgeon will make a long, thin incision just above the pubic area, typically located where bathing suits or undergarments will hide it.

After Your Surgery

Apart from diligently following all of the aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon, the five tips outlined in this article should also help you to treat and fade your tummy tuck scar.

One of the reasons your incision results in scar tissue is that your body creates collagen fibers to fill the scar and close it, building up at the wound site and protecting and strengthening the affected area.

Over the 3-6 months following your surgery, the blood supply to the area increases, and with the increase in collagen, the new scar becomes darker, thicker, and more prominent. As a result, you can expect your scars to appear darker, more textured, and generally worse before they get better, making it even more important to follow the tips outlined below.

Apply topical vitamin E

When applied topically, Vitamin E (100 percent pure) is known to improve the appearance of scars. Regular application can also help keep the scar moisturized and be applied at least once a day for the first 2-3 months. Continue using this oil to massage the scar tissue once it has healed, stimulating the blood flow.

If you experience any skin irritation or allergic reaction to the vitamin E oil, discontinue use and consult your doctor.

Don’t forget the sunscreen

Even though your scar may be covered by clothing, it’s essential that you use sunscreen to protect the area for at least a year after your surgery. If you can, avoid exposing the scar to the sun. Since scars are made of new skin, they react differently to the sun than normal skin.

Using an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen explicitly made for scars will prevent your scar from becoming darker than the surrounding skin and more visible.

Watch for signs of infection

It’s vital that you clean your incision daily. Keeping your scar clean and healthy reduces its appearance and will also reduce your risk of infection.

What else can you if you still experience scarring?

While your scar will be mostly healed after about 12 weeks, it can take up to a year for it to fully heal, after which you can decide if you want to undergo any of the additional procedures mentioned below to minimize its appearance. These methods won’t altogether remove the scar, but they can help to improve its color and texture and reduce its size.

Steroid applications and injections

On your doctor’s advice, you may be able to use steroid applications or injections to reduce raised, thick, or red scars. Treatment with these techniques may be used for scar prevention from the time of surgery or four weeks following surgery.

Laser treatment

Vascular lasers selectively target unwanted or abnormal blood vessels in the skin and shrink the tiny blood vessels on the surface of the skin of the scar that causes redness. Laser surfacing is another option to improve the texture and color of scars since it can resurface the skin. In the process, scarred skin is replaced with healthy collagen, which improves the overall texture and color.

Your doctor at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg will advise you how long you should wait before beginning laser treatment, especially since the treatments are expensive and require two or more sessions over the course of a few months.

Surgical scar revision

Scar revision surgery is an option your doctor might use to bring your scar closer in tone and texture to your normal skin by using a combination of topical treatments, minimally invasive procedures, and surgical revision. The scar will still be visible, but it will be less conspicuous.

As with laser treatment, you should check with your doctor to see how long you should wait after your tummy tuck before having scar revision surgery. You may be advised to wait at least a year to first see how your scar is healing.

Need More Help from the Plastic Surgeons in Fredericksburg, Virginia?

Should you need more help with fading that tummy tuck scar, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at  Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg. Our team is committed to providing each patient with an optimal outcome with natural-looking results, including your tummy tuck scars. Please contact or call us at (540) 371-7730.

Should You Add Liposuction to Your Tummy Tuck?

Are sit-ups and crunches not doing anything to get rid of your belly pooch, loose skin, or that layer of abdominal fat? Are you finding that, despite your healthy diet and consistent exercise routine, your lean, sexy stomach is as elusive as ever?

Well, it’s not your fault. Excess skin, stretched muscles due to pregnancy, or stubborn fat are all conditions that many of us encounter. You might be a good candidate for a tummy tuck, or liposuction, or a combination surgery. Combining the two procedures, known as lipoabdominoplasty, might be the best choice if your goal is to tighten your abdominal area as well as remove excess fat.

Liposuction uses suction to remove isolated pockets of stubborn subcutaneous fat in those pesky love handles, belly fat, and back rolls. What it doesn’t address is excess skin or muscle laxity that may follow pregnancy or weight loss.

On the other hand, a tummy tuck removes excess skin and tightens loose or separated abdominal muscles, resulting in a smooth, toned physique. For those areas of stubborn fat surrounding the abdomen, on its own, a tummy tuck may not be the most effective option.

Liposuction, combined with other procedures, is completely safe and growing in popularity. For example, for the mommy makeover procedure, your board-certified plastic surgeon offers, liposuction may be combined with a tummy tuck. Doing this in one combined procedure removes excess fat and reduces abdominal stretching, returning your body to its former, more desirable, sexy shape.

How Does Liposuction Complement a Tummy Tuck in Fredericksburg, VA?

At the start of your tummy tuck surgery, your surgeon first performs liposuction throughout the abdominal area to eliminate excess fat. A tiny tube, known as a cannula, is inserted through small incisions in the abdomen, and the fat cells are removed with an aspirator.

Once the fat has been removed, the tummy tuck is then performed,  removing excess tissue and skin, and tightening the abdominal muscles, resulting in a flatter, firmer abdominal profile.

What Are the Benefits of Adding Liposuction to Your Tummy Tuck?

The most significant benefit of adding liposuction to your tummy tuck is that exercise- and diet-resistant fat can be removed during the same procedure where loose skin is tightened, and stretched muscles are repaired.

Scheduling only one surgery with just one recovery period and less overall downtime is an excellent benefit for someone with a busy schedule.

Finally, when your tummy tuck is combined with liposuction, body contouring results are maximized. Removing excess fat and stretched loose skin at the same time is often the most efficient and effective approach in getting ready for that new bathing suit!

How Do You Decide to Add Liposuction to Your Tummy Tuck?

Learn how you can combine these two procedures during your initial consultation with your surgeon at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg in Virginia. The result of this meeting will be a fully individualized surgery plan to suit your anatomy and the desired result. Schedule a personal consultation online or by calling (540) 371-7730 today!

What Is the Difference Between a Full Tummy Tuck and a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Caused by pregnancy, rapid weight loss, or even family genetics, loose or stretched skin on the abdomen can be incredibly frustrating and lead to feelings of embarrassment and a low body image.

Many women (and men) may have found that a healthy lifestyle can help them shed excess pounds and build muscle. However, that flat, washboard tummy continues to elude them. As an option, cosmetic surgery offers an effective solution to remove that saggy stretched skin.

Specifically, abdominoplasty procedures are designed to target this extra skin, excess fat, and muscle laxity in the abdominal region. Partial abdominoplasty is known as a mini tummy tuck. In contrast, full abdominoplasty is described as a full tummy tuck. Both can effectively smooth and tighten the midsection, reduce excess fat, and tighten muscles that have become separated.

Deciding on your best treatment options begins with learning about the differences between the two abdominoplasty procedures. Since there are variations of the tummy tuck procedure, your plastic surgeon at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg in Virginia will customize the procedure and your individualized surgery plan during your initial visit to suit your anatomy and the desired result.

With every surgery being performed differently and producing different results, many patients are initially unsure which procedure would work best for their bodies. Let’s review the differences between the two procedures:

Full Tummy Tuck

The initial incision length is one of the most notable differences between a full and mini tummy tuck. In the case of a full tummy tuck, the incision typically runs all the way from hip to hip.

A full tummy tuck firmly pulls in the skin and repairs the abdominal muscles from the ribs down to the pubic area. For this reason, in almost all cases, patients who start with skin or muscle slackness through the upper part of the abdomen will achieve better results with a traditional tummy tuck procedure.

Mini Tummy Tuck

Unlike a full tummy tuck, the mini tummy tuck incision is shorter in length. Nevertheless, it is placed in the same low position on the abdomen to allow the patient to wear a bikini or bathing suit without the incision showing.  With corrections beginning just below the existing belly button, the mini tuck is less extensive and invasive. It tightens only the skin and muscle of the lower belly.

What Are the Major Differences Between Full Tummy Tuck and a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Incision Length

One of the most noticeable differences between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck is the length of the incision. A full tummy tuck incision will typically run from hip to hip, while a mini tummy tuck has a shorter incision.

Possible Correction Level

A full tummy tuck firmly pulls the skin from the ribs down to the pubis and tightens the abdominal muscles. As a result, patients with skin or muscle laxity throughout the upper part of their abdomen can achieve better outcomes with a full tummy tuck surgery. A subset of patients may benefit from a mini tummy tuck, but this operation only serves those looking for changes beneath the belly button.

Belly Button

During a full tummy tuck, the belly button is recreated on a new section of the skin during surgery. A mini tummy tuck removes skin only beneath the belly button. As a result, there’s no risk of a scar around the belly button, as is often the case in full tummy tuck surgery.

Love Your Results!

At Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, our goal is full client satisfaction and exceptional results.

For a consultation regarding your tummy tuck or any other plastic surgery procedure, call us today at (540) 371-7730 or contact us online by completing our consultation request form.

What is the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck?

As one of the top 5 aesthetic procedures in the U.S., the tummy tuck provides both functional and cosmetic benefits to over 130,000 patients every year. 

A full tummy tuck involves making an incision along the lower abdomen from hip bone to hip bone, through which musculature is tightened and excess abdominal skin is excised. 

For some patients, a full tummy tuck is necessary to address medical and aesthetic concerns. However, for others needing less drastic changes, a full tummy tuck may be excessive. The mini tummy tuck offers an ideal alternative in such cases. 

But what exactly is the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck?

Full Tummy Tuck  

A full, or traditional, tummy tuck is used by surgeons to remove significant amounts of skin from the abdominal region and correct issues with the core’s internal musculature.

Particularly after drastic weight loss or pregnancy, the abdominal wall’s muscles can become separated. This separation leads to compromised support for the spine and organs, which can manifest in medical conditions such as poor posture, back pain, hernias, and loss of bladder control.

A full tummy tuck reconnects the muscles of the abdominal wall and tightens the lower abdomen, which provides the necessary structural support for healthy posture and organ function. For new mothers, a more comprehensive procedure in the form of a mommy makeover often provides highly satisfactory results. 

A full tummy tuck is also beneficial when there is a large amount of loose, flabby skin surrounding the lower abdomen. This skin can be removed to contour the entire abdominal region, including the pubic area, and can even recreate the belly button. When combined with Liposuction, a full tummy tuck provides some of the most dramatic results.  

As discussed, some patients may only be concerned with excess lower abdomen skin and do not need a full tummy tuck. 

Mini Tummy Tuck 

A mini tummy tuck follows the same principles of a full tummy tuck, only on a smaller scale. 

Whereas the full tummy tuck is performed through an incision spanning hipbone to hip bone, the mini tummy tuck requires a considerably smaller incision. As such, the abdominal musculature is not modified during a mini tummy tuck; rather, the skin is typically removed for purely aesthetic reasons. 

By removing skin from the lower abdomen, the waistline is decreased and skin tension and texture is improved. A mini tummy tuck results in a smaller, less noticeable scar than a full tummy tuck. 

Learn More from Our Experts!

At Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, we aim for maximum client satisfaction and outstanding results. We guide patients towards which procedure is best suited for their needs and wishes. 

If you would like to improve your midsection’s aesthetic or are experiencing complications caused by weakened abdominal muscles, reach out to our panel of expert surgeons for help. Please call 540 371 7730 to learn more about which procedure will best address your needs. You can also arrange an online consultation here. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

How Long Do I Need to Sleep Elevated After a Tummy Tuck?

Recovering from tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, takes rest and relaxation.

Plenty of sleep is one of the best things you can do to get your body back to firing on all cylinders. Sleeping is an essential human function and something that many people don’t get enough of. Fortunately, recovering from a tummy tuck is the perfect time to catch up on some much-needed Z’s.

Here, the expert team of plastic surgeons at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg tell you just how you should sleep while recovering from abdominoplasty and how long you should maintain these positions while allowing your body to heal.

Benefits of Sleep

Research has shown time and again that sleep is vital for both mind and body. Most people need at least eight hours a night, with highly active people sometimes needing nine to ten hours to recharge properly. Getting too few hours of sleep a night will inhibit brain function, reduce memory capacity, and suppress the immune system’s ability to fight off infection.

Conversely, a well-rested individual will experience higher-functioning memory and a faster recovery rate from invasive procedures such as tummy tucks, due to the body’s immune system functioning at full capacity.

So, as you recover from abdominoplasty, don’t be afraid to snooze that alarm clock. In fact, don’t even set it. Just sleep.

But, be sure to sleep in the correct position.

Tucked Tummy Sleeping Posture

While recovering from abdominoplasty, your body needs to seal the incisions made by your surgeon. The best way to do this is to ensure you place no pressure or strain on the sutures, which means keeping your abdomen tucked in and relaxed.

While you sleep, elevate your head, neck, and knees. Use plenty of quality pillows, so that you curl similar to a hedgehog sleeping on it’s back. This position will protect your sutures and incisions and encourage rapid healing. Most find that sleeping in a recliner is the easiest way to stay in this position.

I Like Sleeping on by Belly – How Long Will I Have to Sleep Like This?

Patients recovering from tummy tuck surgery will need to sleep in this protective slight-curl for four to six weeks following surgery. This might be longer if patients have opted for joint operations, such as mommy makeovers or breast lifts, but generally, six weeks is a good benchmark healing time. This gives the body time to properly heal incisions without hindrance needing to revise any of the sutures. Many patients also choose to “practice” sleeping like this leading up to surgery, so that they are accustomed to these new sleeping positions.

Make Yourself Comfortable

As you recover from your tummy tuck, take the time to pamper yourself. Arrange your living room with plenty of pillows and bean bags to facilitate comfortable sitting and lying. Prepare plenty of movies, tv-series, and books to read. Also, be sure to fill the fridge with pre-made meals and healthy snacks to graze on throughout the day, which will provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to recover quickly.

Learn More!

If you have any more questions about recovering from a tummy tuck, or any other procedure, please reach out to us at 540 371 7730 or fill out our online consultation form to book your visit with us today.

How Pregnancy Affects a Tummy Tuck

Pregnancy and childbearing are two of the most significant events in a woman’s life. Not only do personal priorities and lifestyle do a full 180 degrees, but the body changes in ways many women don’t expect.

Fortunately, surgical procedures such as the tummy tuck are available to restore pre-pregnancy figures, but there is some confusion surrounding the best times to get the procedure for maximum results.

Here, the team at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg discusses the impacts pregnancy has on previously performed tummy tucks, and when the best time to get a tummy tuck may be.

First, let’s review what physical changes occur during pregnancy, so we can better understand the effects carrying a growing child will have on a tummy tuck procedure.

What Happens to My Body During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the average woman will gain anywhere between 20 to 40 pounds, with the uterus and lower abdomen stretching significantly as the child grows during the nine months.

Due to this abdominal swelling, after childbirth, there is often a significant amount of excess stretched skin around the belly. Furthermore, some, but not all, women will experience a separation of the abdominal wall due to the swelling of the uterus – a condition called diastasis recti.

Diastasis Recti

Diastasis recti compromises the structural integrity of the abdominal wall and weakens it so that the core of the body no longer supports the body’s weight. Symptoms of this condition often include:

  • Poor posture
  • Lower back pain
  • Constipation
  • Bloating

The explicit goal of a tummy tuck procedure, often involved in a more comprehensive procedure such as the mommy makeover, is to address the medical condition of diastasis recti and to solve the aesthetic concern of excess skin.

Labia Change

For some women, pregnancy, and childbirth change the shape and size of the labia minora, which can bring discomfort and self-consciousness. Along with a tummy tuck or mommy makeover, a labiaplasty is another surgical procedure women who have finished childbearing may wish to consider.

What Does a Tummy Tuck Do?

In performing abdominoplasty surgery, a surgeon will tighten and reinforce the entire abdominal area by removing excess skin and suturing any separated muscles back into their original, supportive placements.

By tightening the whole midsection of the body, a tummy tuck can restore support to the internal organs, lower back, and spinal column, which solves most of the medical issues caused by pregnancy.

What we sometimes see, however, is patients either requesting a tummy tuck too soon after pregnancy or considering the procedure before they have finished their planned family.

How Does Pregnancy Affect a Tummy Tuck?

If you get pregnant after a tummy tuck procedure, the significant changes to your body will undo all the benefits of the tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck will not prevent your body from gaining weight again, nor will it stop the uterus from stretching to accommodate a growing child.

Furthermore, your body needs to adapt to post-pregnancy, and your body needs to return to its healthy weight after childbearing and nursing.

Because of all these factors, we strongly recommend women wait at least 3-6 months after pregnancy before getting a tummy tuck or mommy makeover procedure. This waiting period gives your body enough time to recover from pregnancy and reach a healthy post-pregnancy body weight.

Also, if you are considering multiple pregnancies, we advise not getting a tummy tuck until you have finished growing your family as subsequent pregnancies will reverse the aesthetic and functional benefits of this surgery. However, if you were to get pregnant after a tummy tuck and develop recurrent muscle and skin laxity, it would be possible to perform another tummy tuck to correct this.

Tummy Tuck in Fredericksburg, VA

Childbearing is a gift, an exciting and transformative time in your life. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy motherhood alongside procedures like the tummy tuck and mommy makeover, but timing is critical.

If you follow the advice outlined in this article, you will get the best results possible from your tummy tuck. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with the expert team at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, don’t hesitate to call 540-371-7730 or fill out our online form  now. We look forward to hearing from you.

Excess Skin or Excess Fat? – Why the Difference Matters

If you ask most people what causes a flabby-looking belly, they’ll immediately answer “excess fat.” However, while excess fat can certainly be a contributor to poor abdominal tone, it’s not the only reason why people struggle to get a flat stomach. Excess skin can also cause this condition, and the treatment used to get rid of it is very different to the one required for stubborn fat deposits.

How to Tell if You Have Excess Skin

If you’re a healthy weight but have distinct stomach “rolls,” you should check for the presence of loose skin before deciding on a plan of action. The following factors make the presence of loose skin more likely:

You’ve been overweight or pregnant in the past.

Whenever our stomach expands, our skin must expand to accommodate it. For some people, this isn’t a big deal; thanks to excellent genes, they have unusually strong, elastic connective tissues that snap back into place after they lose weight or give birth. Alas, for most people, this isn’t the case. Their skin remains stretched even after their stomach has shrunk back to its former size. This loose skin forms unsightly rolls that are easy to mistake for excess fat, particularly because they do often contain some subcutaneous fat. Most healthy people have about an inch of fat under their skin, but when the skin is taut, it’s not very noticeable.

You’re over 40.

As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen and elastin, two compounds that keep our skin strong and firm. This process occurs very gradually, so you probably won’t notice your skin getting looser until it starts to form visible folds. Adding to this issue, our bodies redistribute fat as we get older; fat leaves our extremities and instead collects around the abdomen. This can worsen the appearance of loose skin, and the additional weight this fat places on the skin tends to cause further skin stretching over time.

To verify the presence of loose skin, cosmetic surgeons suggest trying the pinch test. If you can pinch more than an inch (especially if you’re not overweight), then you probably have at least some amount of excess skin.

Keep in mind that while we think of excess fat as always being jiggly and “pinchable,” this actually isn’t the case. One of the most harmful types of belly fat—visceral fat—is actually quite dense and typically packed around the organs, making it all but impossible to pinch. Ergo, if you have a belly that protrudes but you can’t pinch more than an inch of subcutaneous fat, your problem is probably excess fat. If, on the other hand, you can pinch two or more inches, or your skin stretches two or more inches away from your abdomen when you pull it, you’re probably dealing with excess skin.

Why the Difference Between Loose Skin and Excess Fat Matters

Treating excess fat is surprisingly easy, thanks to advances in aesthetic medicine and liposuction techniques. Today, patients who want to get rid of stubborn fat deposits have a range of procedures to choose from. Fat can be frozen away, heated and destroyed via laser technology, or removed through liposuction. Liposuction can be performed with just local anesthetic and very thin tubes called cannulas, so it’s one of the easiest plastic surgery procedures to recover from.

Treating excess skin, on the other hand, requires a more invasive approach. Tummy tuck surgery is almost always needed in this case, as loose skin must literally be cut away before the skin can be pulled taut again. Sometimes patients with just a small amount of loose skin can have what’s known as a “mini” tummy tuck, where loose skin is removed from the lower abdomen only. However, most patients who have been pregnant or obese in the past need a full tummy tuck. These patients have usually sustained some amount of damage to their abdominal muscles, and this needs to be repaired, in addition to skin removal.

While tummy tuck surgery is fairly low-risk, the invasive nature of this surgery means that patients need to prepare for it properly. If you have a significant amount of loose skin, you should be aware that recovering completely from tummy tuck surgery usually takes about two months, and you’ll need to take at least one week off work. You’ll also need to avoid lifting heavy objects. However, when you’re done healing, your abdominal muscles will be fully functional again—allowing you to strengthen them via core exercises. If you put in the effort required, you’ll be able to achieve not only a flat stomach, but one with visible muscle tone. For this reason, most tummy tuck patients say that their surgery was more than worth it.

Interested in learning more about what we can do for excess fat and skin? Discover your best surgery options with a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg. Please contact or call us today at (540) 371-7730.


Core Workouts to Maximize Your Tummy Tuck Results

If you’re planning to have tummy tuck surgery, you’re probably already familiar with the many ways in which this procedure can improve your core. Not only does tummy tuck surgery remove loose skin and subcutaneous fat (allowing your muscles to show more prominently), it can heal damaged muscle tissue. For some patients, having a tummy tuck is a necessary step on the road towards achieving strong abdominal muscles. Take a look at our tummy tuck before and after pictures in our photo gallery to get an idea of what can be accomplished.

Why Do Some People Need Tummy Tuck Surgery to Strengthen Their Core?

Those who have been pregnant or significantly overweight in the past often struggle profoundly with their core. They usually labor under the erroneous idea that diet and exercise alone can restore lost muscle tone and create a “flat” stomach. Only to discover, after many hours of exercise, that this simply isn’t the case. The problem isn’t their dedication or technique; instead, the issue is within their muscle tissue.

When a large amount of weight (from fat deposits or a growing baby) exerts stress on the walls of the abdominal cavity, the tissue that connects the two lateral halves of the abdominal muscles often tears. When this happens, the muscles are prevented from working in unison; they therefore cannot be strengthened properly with exercise alone. Unfortunately, these tears don’t usually heal on their own because tissue needs to be connected in order to heal (this is why deep cuts require stitches in order to close). Sutures must be placed in the tissue during tummy tuck surgery to start the healing process, which often takes about two months to complete. After this occurs, the patient is ready to start working on his or her core via conventional means like diet and exercise.

The 5 Best Core Workouts for Tummy Tuck Patients

As a tummy tuck patient, it’s essential that you wait until your surgeon tells you that it’s okay to start exercising again. Exercising too early can cause your muscle tissue to tear again, making revision surgery necessary. However, once you have been given the “all clear,” exercise is a great way to accentuate the results of your procedure. Strong abdominal muscles exert a “corseting” effect on the abdomen, pulling in subcutaneous fat stores and compressing the organs. This makes the stomach flatter as these tissues protrude less.

If you’re ready to start working out your core and creating those six pack abs you’ve always dreamed of, the five exercises below are a great place to start:

1. The Raised Plank

Enter a standard plank position, resting on your elbows and toes with your body elevated off the ground. Raise one foot off the ground and hold it aloft for 5 to 10 seconds, making sure to keep your body level. Don’t bend or twist your torso. After holding, switch legs. Repeat this exercise at least five times.

2. The Side Plank

While resting on your side, raise your body up on one elbow. Hold your position for at least ten seconds, then relax. Repeat this exercise at least five times, then switch sides.

3. Reverse Crunches

Unlike a traditional crunch, the reverse crunch involves raising the lower part of the body to create an intense lower ab workout. Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides and slowly raise your buttocks off the ground while keeping your legs raised. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this exercise 20 to 30 times.

4. The Body Hold

As the name suggests, this exercise requires holding your body up for a set duration of time. It sounds easy, but it’s surprisingly difficult to maintain. To perform the body hold, lie on the ground and raise your shoulders, arms, and legs, with your arms stretched out in front of you. Hold your position for at least ten seconds. Release and repeat the exercise five to ten times.

5. The Bicycle

While lying on the floor with your arms behind your head, raise your legs and bend them at the knee. Start pumping one leg forward, then the other, as if you’re riding a bicycle. Do at least 25 repetitions before relaxing your stance.

The beauty of the exercises described above lies in their simplicity. You don’t need expensive gym equipment or a lot of room to perform them; you only need a mat and your own willpower. This makes strengthening your core something you can work into your routine anywhere, anytime.

Interested in learning more about tummy tuck surgery? Discover your best surgery options with a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg. Please contact or call us today at (540) 371-7730.

Mommy Makeover Series: Tummy Tuck

Most of the best things in life are challenging—that’s what makes them so satisfying. Nowhere is this truer than the experience of motherhood: Carrying a child and raising him or her is a miraculous, fulfilling, and inspiring journey… But it’s hard work, for both your mind and your body. While some women are lucky enough to heal completely after their pregnancies, others are left with residual damage in the form of a bulging stomach that will not respond to diet or exercise. This issue is far from being skin-deep, too. The presence of a pronounced tummy “pouch” can signify underlying damage to the muscles of the abdomen.

The above issue is so prevalent among new mothers that almost all “mommy makeovers” include a procedure known as abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery. Tummy tuck surgery can correct aesthetic issues, such as loose skin and stretch marks, while also addressing deeper structural problems. Here’s what you need to know about this procedure:

Having a Tummy Tuck is Often Necessary to Restore Your Shape

When the muscles of the abdomen have been damaged by pregnancy, no amount of exercise is capable of repairing them. This is because the tissue between the lateral portions of the abdominal muscles becomes torn (due to the pressure exerted on it by the growing fetus). Once this occurs, the muscles can no longer be used in unison, making exercise ineffective. Only the surgical sutures that are placed during a tummy tuck can mend the torn tissue and restore full muscle functionality. After the patient recovers, the mended muscles will both respond properly to exercise and exert a “corseting” effect on the abdomen. (They will compress the abdominal tissue as they did prior to pregnancy, meaning that it will no longer be able to push forward and distort the abdomen.)

Tummy Tuck Surgery

A tummy tuck is a powerful procedure that can help patients achieve a slimmer, more athletic abdomen. Like liposuction, a tummy tuck can remove the stubborn pockets of fat on the belly that prevent people from attaining a slimmer belly. But, unlike liposuction, a tummy tuck can actually remove excess skin and tighten a portion of the abdomen. Tightening the abdomen is important for some of our female patients because diet and exercise alone can’t reverse the effects of pregnancy on the abdominal muscles.

Like most surgical procedures, there is a recovery required after a tummy tuck. After the tummy tuck, patients are advised to refrain from lifting heavy objects for about 2-3 weeks, but patients are able to go back to work within a week.

Some of our patients qualify for a mini-tummy tuck, a milder version of the tummy tuck designed for patients who want to localize their treatment to the lower abdomen.

Tummy Tuck Surgery Can be Combined with Liposuction

Sometimes women discover that they have new deposits of stubborn fat on their stomachs, flanks, or thighs after going through pregnancy. If this is the case, you can ask your surgeon about having liposuction administered at the time of your tummy tuck.

Your Mommy Makeover Should Form Part of Your Family Plan

While having a tummy tuck will not impair your ability to have children, subsequent pregnancies can compromise the results of this procedure. Most women therefore wait until they’re done having children to schedule a mommy makeover. However, if you would like to undergo a mommy makeover in between pregnancies, you may be able to do so. Just talk to your surgeon about the possibility of future revision surgeries and make sure to budget accordingly.

Having a mommy makeover can help you enjoy family life with greater confidence and peace of mind. Moms who are happy with their bodies typically have healthier relationships and may even enjoy more robust careers. When it comes to motherhood, the key to success is balance: By looking after yourself, you’ll be better able to look after those around you.