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Tummy Tucks in Virginia Beach

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Table of Contents

What is Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to improve the appearance of the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, tightening the abdominal muscles, and restoring a firmer, more toned abdominal contour. It is commonly performed to address concerns such as loose or sagging skin, abdominal bulging, and weakened or separated abdominal muscles, which may result from factors such as pregnancy, weight fluctuations, aging, or genetics.

During a tummy tuck, the surgeon makes incisions in the lower abdomen, typically from hip to hip, and removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal area. The underlying abdominal muscles may be tightened and repaired if they have become stretched or separated, a condition known as diastasis recti. The remaining skin is then re-draped and tightened to create a smoother, flatter abdominal profile. In some cases, liposuction may be performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck to further sculpt and contour the waistline.

Tummy tuck surgery is highly customizable, and different techniques may be used depending on the patient’s individual needs and goals. There are several variations of the procedure, including:
  1. Traditional Tummy Tuck (Full Abdominoplasty): This technique addresses the entire abdominal area, from the lower ribcage to the pubic bone. It involves creating a horizontal incision above the pubic hairline and another around the navel to access and remove excess skin and fat, tighten the abdominal muscles, and reposition the belly button as needed.
  2. Mini Tummy Tuck (Partial Abdominoplasty): This technique is suitable for patients with less significant excess skin and muscle laxity limited to the lower abdomen. It involves a smaller incision and focuses on addressing skin and muscle laxity below the navel, without repositioning the belly button.
  3. Extended Tummy Tuck: This technique is ideal for patients with significant excess skin and fat extending to the hips or flanks. It involves longer incisions that extend beyond the hip bones to remove excess tissue from the sides of the abdomen and improve overall body contours.
  4. Fleur-de-Lis Tummy Tuck: This technique is suitable for patients who have experienced massive weight loss and have excess skin and tissue not only horizontally but also vertically. It involves creating additional vertical incisions to address excess skin and tissue in both directions, resulting in a tighter, more sculpted abdominal contour.
Tummy tuck surgery can provide significant improvements in abdominal contour and overall body confidence. However, it’s essential for patients to understand the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure and to undergo a thorough evaluation and consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine their candidacy and discuss their goals and expectations.

Ideal Candidate for a Tummy Tuck

  1. Good General Health: Candidates should be in overall good health and free from any medical conditions that could increase the risk of complications during surgery.
  2. Stable Weight: Ideal candidates are at or near their target weight and have maintained a stable weight for several months. Tummy tuck surgery is not intended for weight loss but rather for contouring the abdomen and removing excess skin and fat.
  3. Excess Skin and Fat: Candidates have excess skin and fat in the abdominal area that does not respond to diet and exercise efforts. Common concerns include loose or sagging skin, abdominal bulging, and weakened or separated abdominal muscles.
  4. Realistic Expectations: Candidates should have realistic expectations about the outcomes of tummy tuck surgery and understand that it is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle or weight loss. While the procedure can provide significant improvements in abdominal contour, it may not achieve perfection or address all concerns.
  5. Non-Smoker or Willing to Quit: Smoking can impair healing and increase the risk of complications after surgery. Ideal candidates are non-smokers or willing to quit smoking before and after the procedure to optimize healing and outcomes.
  6. Healthy Skin Elasticity: Ideal candidates have good skin elasticity, which allows the skin to contract smoothly and conform to the new abdominal contour after excess skin removal. Poor skin elasticity may result in less favorable results and increased risk of complications.
  7. Post-Pregnancy or Weight Loss: Candidates who have completed their family planning or achieved significant weight loss are often good candidates for a tummy tuck to address excess skin and tissue laxity in the abdominal area.
  8. Emotional Readiness: Candidates should be emotionally prepared for the physical and emotional changes associated with tummy tuck surgery, including the recovery process and potential adjustments to body image.
  9. Consultation with a Plastic Surgeon: It’s essential for candidates to undergo a comprehensive evaluation and consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in tummy tuck surgery. During the consultation, the surgeon will assess the patient’s candidacy, discuss treatment options, and address any questions or concerns.
By meeting these criteria, candidates can ensure that they are suitable candidates for a tummy tuck and are likely to achieve safe and satisfactory results from the procedure.

What Happens During a Tummy Tuck?

During a tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, several steps are typically involved to improve the appearance of the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, tightening the abdominal muscles, and restoring a firmer, more toned abdominal contour. Here’s an overview of what happens during the procedure:
  1. Anesthesia: Before the procedure begins, anesthesia is administered to ensure the patient’s comfort. The type of anesthesia used may vary depending on the extent of the tummy tuck and the patient’s preferences. Options include general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation.
  2. Incision Placement: The surgeon carefully plans and marks the incision sites based on the patient’s anatomy and the extent of correction needed. Typically, a horizontal incision is made across the lower abdomen, extending from hip to hip, just above the pubic area. In some cases, additional incisions may be made around the navel.
  3. Skin and Fat Removal: The surgeon carefully lifts the skin and underlying tissue away from the abdominal muscles, exposing the underlying muscles and fascia. Excess skin and fat are then removed from the abdominal area, often using a combination of surgical techniques, including cutting, excision, and liposuction.
  4. Muscle Repair and Tightening: If the abdominal muscles have become stretched or separated, a condition known as diastasis recti, the surgeon may perform muscle repair and tightening to restore a firmer abdominal wall. Sutures are used to bring the abdominal muscles together in the midline, creating a tighter and more toned appearance.
  5. Skin Redraping and Closure: Once the desired amount of skin and fat has been removed, the remaining skin is redraped over the abdominal muscles and smoothed to create a flatter, more contoured appearance. The incisions are then closed with sutures, surgical adhesive, or skin staples.
  6. Repositioning of the Belly Button (Optional): In some cases, the position of the belly button may be altered to match the new contours of the abdomen. The surgeon carefully repositions the belly button through a small incision and sutures it into place.
  7. Drain Placement (Optional): To prevent fluid buildup and facilitate healing, the surgeon may place small drains under the skin near the incision sites. These drains help remove excess fluid from the surgical area and are typically removed within a few days after surgery.
  8. Dressing and Compression Garments: After the procedure, the incision sites are covered with sterile dressings, and patients may be instructed to wear compression garments or elastic bandages over the treated area. These garments help minimize swelling, support the tissues, and promote optimal healing.
Overall, tummy tuck surgery is highly customizable, and the specific techniques used may vary depending on the patient’s individual needs and goals. It’s essential for patients to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in tummy tuck surgery to determine the most appropriate treatment plan and technique based on their unique anatomy and desired outcomes.

Recovery Timeline Following a Tummy Tuck

The recovery timeline following a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) can vary depending on the extent of the procedure, individual healing characteristics, and adherence to post-operative care instructions. While every patient’s experience may differ, here is a general overview of the typical recovery timeline following a tummy tuck:
  1. Immediate Post-Operative Period (Day 1-2):
    • Patients may experience grogginess and discomfort as the effects of anesthesia wear off.
    • Pain and discomfort in the abdominal area are common and can be managed with prescribed pain medication.
    • Swelling, bruising, and temporary numbness in the abdominal area are expected.
    • Patients are encouraged to begin walking gently to promote circulation and prevent blood clots.
  2. First Week:
    • Swelling and bruising typically peak within the first few days after surgery and gradually begin to improve.
    • Patients should follow all post-operative instructions provided by their surgeon, including wound care, medication management, and activity restrictions.
    • It’s important to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and bending at the waist during this time.
    • Patients may need assistance with activities of daily living, such as getting in and out of bed or using the restroom.
  3. First Month:
    • Most patients return to light activities and sedentary work within 1-2 weeks after surgery, depending on individual recovery progress.
    • Swelling and bruising continue to subside gradually, and patients may begin to see initial improvements in their abdominal contour.
    • Compression garments should be worn as directed by the surgeon to minimize swelling and support the tissues during healing.
    • Follow-up appointments with the surgeon may be scheduled to monitor healing progress and remove any surgical drains, if placed.
    • Patients should continue to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and vigorous exercise until cleared by their surgeon.
  4. First Few Months:
    • Swelling may persist for several weeks to months after surgery, gradually resolving over time.
    • Patients may gradually resume more strenuous activities and exercise routines as tolerated, following the guidance of their surgeon.
    • Scar healing and maturation continue during this time, and scar management techniques may be recommended to optimize scar appearance.
    • Final results become more apparent as swelling resolves, and the abdomen takes on a smoother, more contoured appearance.
    • It’s essential for patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, to support long-term results and overall well-being.
  5. Long-Term (6 Months and Beyond):
    • By around six months post-surgery, most of the swelling has subsided, and patients can enjoy the full benefits of their tummy tuck results.
    • Scars continue to fade and flatten over time, although they may remain visible.
    • Patients should continue to attend follow-up appointments with their surgeon as recommended to monitor progress and address any concerns.
    • The final outcome of the tummy tuck surgery becomes more evident, and patients can enjoy their improved abdominal contour and enhanced body confidence.
It’s important for patients to follow all post-operative instructions provided by their surgeon, attend follow-up appointments, and communicate any concerns or questions throughout the recovery process. By adhering to these guidelines and allowing ample time for healing, patients can optimize their tummy tuck results and enjoy a smoother, more contoured abdomen over the long term.

Maintaining Results

Maintaining the results of a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) requires a combination of healthy lifestyle habits, ongoing self-care, and periodic follow-up with your plastic surgeon. Here are some tips to help you maintain the results of your tummy tuck over the long term:
  1. Maintain a Healthy Diet: Follow a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid excessive consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks, and high-fat foods, as they can contribute to weight gain and compromise the results of your tummy tuck.
  2. Stay Active: Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine, including cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Exercise helps to maintain muscle tone, boost metabolism, and prevent fat accumulation in the abdominal area.
  3. Avoid Significant Weight Fluctuations: Aim to maintain a stable weight within a healthy range to prevent fluctuations that could affect the results of your tummy tuck. Rapid weight gain or loss can cause fat cells to expand or shrink unevenly, compromising the outcome of the procedure.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support overall health. Adequate hydration can also help flush toxins from the body and improve skin elasticity.
  5. Quit Smoking: If you smoke, consider quitting or avoiding smoking altogether. Smoking can impair healing, decrease blood flow to the skin, and increase the risk of complications after surgery.
  6. Wear Sunscreen: Protect your skin from sun damage by applying sunscreen with a high SPF regularly, especially to the abdominal area. Sun exposure can cause skin discoloration and compromise the appearance of scars.
  7. Follow Post-Operative Instructions: Adhere to all post-operative instructions provided by your plastic surgeon, including wearing compression garments, attending follow-up appointments, and avoiding strenuous activities during the initial recovery period.
  8. Monitor Your Body: Pay attention to changes in your abdominal contour and overall body shape. If you notice significant weight gain, asymmetry, or changes in the appearance of the treated area, consult with your surgeon for evaluation and guidance.
  9. Attend Follow-Up Appointments: Schedule and attend all follow-up appointments with your plastic surgeon as recommended. These appointments allow your surgeon to monitor your progress, assess healing, and address any questions or concerns you may have.
  10. Practice Self-Care: Take care of your physical and emotional well-being by practicing self-care techniques such as stress management, adequate sleep, and mindfulness activities. A positive mindset and self-confidence can enhance your overall satisfaction with your tummy tuck results.
By incorporating these strategies into your lifestyle and maintaining a healthy routine, you can help optimize and prolong the results of your tummy tuck surgery. Remember that individual results may vary, and it’s essential to consult with your plastic surgeon for personalized advice and guidance based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Possible Complications

While breast implant revision surgery is generally safe, like any surgical procedure, it carries the risk of potential complications. It’s important to discuss these risks with your surgeon before undergoing surgery. Possible complications of breast implant revision surgery may include:
  1. Bleeding: Excessive bleeding during or after surgery is a potential complication of abdominoplasty. In some cases, blood transfusions or surgical intervention may be necessary to control bleeding.
  2. Infection: Infection at the surgical site is a risk following tummy tuck surgery. Symptoms of infection may include redness, warmth, swelling, pain, and discharge from the incision sites. Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat or prevent infection, but in severe cases, additional treatment may be necessary.
  3. Seroma Formation: Seromas are pockets of fluid that can accumulate under the skin in the surgical area. While some fluid buildup is normal after surgery, excessive accumulation may require drainage through needle aspiration or surgical intervention.
  4. Delayed Healing: Some patients may experience delayed wound healing or wound separation after tummy tuck surgery, particularly in areas with poor blood supply or tension on the incisions. Proper wound care and monitoring are essential to prevent complications and promote healing.
  5. Changes in Sensation: Temporary or permanent changes in sensation, including numbness, tingling, or hypersensitivity, may occur in the abdominal area after surgery. Most sensory changes improve over time, but some patients may experience long-lasting or permanent alterations in sensation.
  6. Skin Necrosis: In rare cases, poor blood supply to the skin may lead to skin necrosis, or tissue death, in the abdominal area. Smokers and patients with certain medical conditions may be at higher risk for this complication.
  7. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE): Blood clots can form in the deep veins of the legs (DVT) and travel to the lungs (PE), causing potentially life-threatening complications. Measures such as early ambulation, compression garments, and blood thinners may be used to reduce the risk of blood clots.
  8. Unsatisfactory Results: Despite the surgeon’s best efforts, some patients may be dissatisfied with the results of tummy tuck surgery. It’s essential to have realistic expectations about the outcomes of the procedure and communicate openly with the surgeon about goals and concerns.
  9. Anesthesia Risks: General anesthesia carries inherent risks, including allergic reactions, respiratory complications, and adverse reactions to medications. Patients should discuss their medical history and any concerns with their anesthesiologist before surgery.
  10. Scarring: While efforts are made to minimize scarring, tummy tuck surgery does result in permanent scars. The appearance of scars may vary depending on factors such as skin type, genetics, and post-operative care.
It’s important for patients considering tummy tuck surgery to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in the procedure and to undergo a thorough evaluation to assess their candidacy and discuss potential risks and complications. By understanding and addressing these potential complications, patients can make informed decisions and minimize the risk of adverse outcomes from tummy tuck surgery.

Abdominoplasty Before & After Photos