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.

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.

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.

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.

Treat Yourself This Mother’s Day with a Mommy Makeover

Kids… you love them, but they are certainly a lot of work. Not to mention the toll they took on your body to bring them into the world. Let’s celebrate this Mother’s Day with a rebirth of your body. Get your flat tummy back and say goodbye to sagging breasts. A mommy makeover is the perfect way to pamper yourself this Mother’s Day.

What Is a Mommy Makeover?

Pregnancy changes the body, often in ways that are not appreciated. Stretch marks, sagging breasts, and abdominal changes are very common after pregnancy. A mommy makeover reverses these changes, restoring a more youthful, rejuvenated body. What can a mommy makeover do for you?

  • Increase breast size
  • Reverse breast sagging
  • Restore a flat abdomen
  • Remove excess skin
  • Shape and contour the body
  • Lift and enhance the buttocks
  • Increase comfort and enhance the labia

A mommy makeover often involves several different surgical procedures including breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck, liposuction, and/or labiaplasty. We’ll design your mommy makeover with you after discussing your biggest areas of concern. We want you to have the body you want and will work with you to make it happen.

Should I Get a Mommy Makeover This Mother’s Day?

Is the timing right for your mommy makeover? Here are a few considerations to help you determine if you’re ready for surgery.

  • Plan on at Least 1 Week off from Work– We’ll combine as many procedures as possible during your mommy makeover to minimize downtime, but you will need some time off from work and other duties. This will vary depending on the procedures you receive. Most patients need help with their regular activities, including childcare, for a couple of days, miss about 1 week from work, and avoid strenuous activities for about 6 weeks.

Love your body again! Pregnancy may change the body, but with a mommy makeover, these changes aren’t permanent. Let your little, or not so little, ones pamper you with flowers and chocolates this Mother’s Day and treat yourself to a mommy makeover. Moms deserve to look great and feel confident too. Call and schedule your consultation today.

How Much Weight Can You Lose From a Tummy Tuck?

Many individuals consider an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck for a myriad of reasons. Some people opt for the procedure to remove excess skin that causes the belly to protrude. Others complement their weight loss goals with an abdominoplasty. Some women, especially those who had multiple pregnancies, choose a tummy tuck to eliminate stretch marks. Other people use te procedure to correct separated muscles and trim excess skin after extreme weight loss.

Indeed, a tummy tuck is great for those who want to flatten and tighten their abdominal areas. While the procedure can help you in your weight loss efforts, it shouldn’t be viewed as an overall weight loss treatment.

All Is Not Lost

The truth is you may lose weight after the surgery but not much. The reason is a tummy tuck is not designed that way.

Yes, you may have heard from previous patients that a tummy tuck has helped them lose weight, and this is true. However, not in the way you expect it to be. After the removal of excess fat and skin in the abdomen, you may weigh an average of five pounds less than your previous weight before the surgery.

This weight loss combined with skin excision and muscle tightening will produce dramatic results.

If you’ve already lost weight and are ready to trim off excess skin for a tighter stomach, schedule a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon. Call Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg today at 540-371-7730.

I Got Bariatric Surgery, Now What?

Bariatric surgery can be a life changing procedure. In fact, 95% of people who underwent weight loss surgery claim that their quality of life has improved somewhat. But what happens afterwards? What kind of lifestyle changes should you expect after bariatric surgery?

The Effects of Bariatric Surgery

After bariatric surgery, you’re expected to lose on average about 40-50% of extra weight. This can change your entire body chemistry and food processing mechanism.
For instance, you might experience things like:

  • Dumping- a term for nausea, vomiting, and weakness after eating foods high in sugar
  • A lack of absorption of nutrients like iron and vitamin D

Nutrition with Bariatric Surgery

But with the right lifestyle changes, you can continue to improve the results of your bariatric surgery.

  • Eat small meals: after surgery, your stomach will shrink to hold about 1-4 oz. of food. So, remember to eat small, frequent portions
  • Eat about 60-80g of protein each day, but don’t exceed 30g in one sitting!
  • Keep hydrated
  • Consult with a dietitian to make sure you’re getting all the proper nutrients in your new diet
  • Consult with a physician to see if you need to take vitamin supplements
  • Have a regular exercise routine

Body Contouring

Massive weight loss can also lead to excess skin sagging, but that can be fixed through additional surgical procedures called “Body Contouring.” What procedure you get depends on what area you want to work on.
One procedure is called a Body Lift, but technically, it’s a series of procedures:

  • tummy tuck that flattens the tummy
  • A lateral thigh lift, with liposuction, tightens the skin around the thighs
  • A buttock lift, with liposuction, removes fat and tightens skin to create smoother curves

You can also get a brachioplasty, otherwise known as an arm lift, to remove fat and excess skin for a firmer upper arm.

Depending on what areas you want to target, different procedures can be performed together or done at a later time. Either way, you can completely customize your body contouring experience. If you consult with a surgeon, you can find out which of these procedures are right for you and when it’s the right time to get them.

Body contouring can really emphasize how hard you’ve worked to lose weight. If you feel like post-bariatric surgery is for you, don’t hesitate to contact the Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg for a free consultation with their surgeons.

May Is Mom’s Month … Time for a Mommy Makeover!

We’re continuing our celebration of moms all throughout May. They sacrifice so much for us and do so willingly, but one unfortunate thing many moms have given up is the body they used to love. Don’t despair, moms. We can help restore your pre-baby body with a Mommy Makeover. Wonderful children and a sexy body, too—who says you can’t have it all?

Has Pregnancy Changed Your Body?

Being a mom is filled with sacrifices, but your body doesn’t have to be one of them. Many women experience unwanted changes to their body and appearance during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, including:

  • Breast Changes– The breasts may become larger or smaller and often develop sagging.
  • Unwanted Fat Deposits– Hormone changes can lead to stubborn fat pockets in areas like the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, etc.
  • Stretch Marks– Stretch marks are common after pregnancy due to the quick expansion of the abdomen.
  • Loose Abdominal Skin– Abdominal skin and muscles can be stretched out, resulting in a post-baby belly that is difficult to tighten up, even when you return to your pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Changes to Genitalia– Changes to the labia and vagina are common. Some women experience discomfort, especially during exercise.

If pregnancy changed your body, a Mommy Makeover may be able to reverse some of those changes. Say goodbye to post-baby belly and sagging breasts!

Is My Mommy Makeover Customized to My Needs?

A Mommy Makeover is highly customizable, designed to meet your unique needs and desires. During your consultation, we’ll examine your body, discuss your goals, and offer treatment recommendations. We may recommend procedures like breast augmentation, a breast lift, a tummy tuckliposuction, etc. These surgeries can often be combined, reducing the amount of time you’ll need to spend in recovery.

Everyone should love their bodies—especially mothers! Schedule your Mommy Makeover consultation today by calling 540-371-7730.

Rejuvenate for Summer with Specials on Breast Augmentation & More

Summer’s coming in hot—is your body ready? Get your last-minute summer prep done while saving money with our current specials. Hurry in, as these deals are available for a limited time. Call 540-371-7730 today and reserve your savings.

Gorgeous Summer Curves Ahead – Savings on Breast Augmentation

Do you feel a bit lacking in a bikini top? If you’d like to fill your suit out a bit more, we can help. Breast augmentation can increase the size and perfect the shape of your breasts. Breast augmentation currently starts at just $4,750. This special price can’t be combined with other savings or specials. Surgery must be performed by May 31st to take advantage of this pricing.

Whether you’ve lost breast volume after pregnancy, have always wanted bigger breasts, or want to correct asymmetry, breast augmentation can make your bikini dreams come true. You’re going to love how you look this summer!

Get Surgery and Save 50% at Our MedSpa

Get plastic surgery this summer and you can enjoy a procedure in our MedSpa at a 50% discount. Ask about lymphatic massage to speed healing after your facelift, or come in for a pampering facial after your tummy tuck. This special only applies to services, not products. The maximum discount is $50.

Thinking About Plastic Surgery this Summer? Get a Free Consultation.

If you’re thinking about summertime plastic surgery, hurry in for a free consultation. We are currently offering free consultations with our board certified plastic surgeons. Ask questions and get personalized advice. We can strategize with you to determine which procedures can help you meet your goals. You still have time for last minute liposuction before summer. Call today!

Refer a Friend and Save!

We hope you enjoy your experience at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg. When you do, share with a friend. You will receive a $200 (two hundred dollar) credit for each new patient that you refer who has $2000 (two thousand dollars) or more of cosmetic surgery performed at our practice (limit of $1000.00 total credit). You can use these credits on surgery, services, and products for up to one year. Help your friends to look their best.

A gorgeous summer starts now!