An abdominoplasty, more often referred to as a tummy tuck, is a specialized surgical procedure designed to remove unwanted fatty tissue and stretched skin along the upper and lower abdomen. As we get older, genetics, weight fluctuations, and pregnancy can cause the stomach tissues to stretch, losing their youthful shape. Over time, fatty tissue can accumulate across the abdomen, causing the stomach to bulge. While diet and exercise can be helpful, this accumulation of fat, loose muscle tissue, and stretched skin can be stubbornly resistant to lifestyle changes. Those who go through a massive weight loss may notice their excessive abdominal tissue does not improve; conversely, the stretched tissue may actually look worse as it has lost its ability to bounce back to a youthful shape.
At the Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation, Dr. Leonard Miller and Dr. Sean Doherty have created a revolutionary abdominoplasty technique, designed to eliminate unsightly tissue while tightening the underlying muscles for a tighter, smoother stomach. Each procedure is custom-tailored to meet the individual patient’s personal needs. Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty’s abdominoplasty can be performed on its own, creating a dramatically sleeker stomach, or used as part of a larger combination technique, such as the Mommy Makeover. As one of the most popular procedures at the Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation, the tummy tuck can result in a younger-looking shape with little to no lower abdominal bulge, increasing both confidence and self-esteem.
ABOUT THE ABDOMINOPLASTY PROCEDURE
The abdominoplasty has been a trusted surgical procedure for decades, designed to eliminated stretched tissue and fat build up around the stomach in both men and women. Not only reserved for those patients dealing with weight issues, the tummy tuck can be of help to those noticing physical changes after pregnancy or with age. Consistently in the top five most common cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States, abdominoplasty rates have increased by 104% since 2000.
The tummy tuck improves excessive abdominal tissue that results from:
- Previous abdominal surgery
- Weight Fluctuations
Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty are two of Boston’s most trusted cosmetic surgeons. Their abdominoplasty techniques are among the most sought after in the United States. Through an in-depth patient consultation process, Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty will assist each individual in determining if a tummy tuck is right for their aesthetic needs. To achieve optimal physical rejuvenation, additional techniques may be recommended, as well, including liposuction. Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty often include their abdominoplasty procedures in combo-techniques such as the Mommy Makeover and Body Lift.
THE IDEAL TUMMY TUCK CANDIDATE
While Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty’s tummy tuck procedure can provide dramatic results for most people, not everyone is an ideal candidate. Potential abdominoplasty patients should be in generally good health, a non-smoker, someone who understands the surgical requirements and holds realistic expectations for the final results. Additionally, a successful abdominoplasty requires a patient to be close to their ideal weight, as dramatic weight fluctuations can undo the results. Women considering pregnancy in the future may be recommended to postpone their tummy tuck procedure.
The best way to find out if you are a good tummy tuck candidate will be through a consultation with Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty. At this time, the surgeon will get to know your needs and aesthetic desires. Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty will carefully explain the abdominoplasty procedure, showing before/after photographs of their recent tummy tuck patients. After all of your questions have been answered, it will be determined if the abdominoplasty is right for you. If so, a personalized tummy tuck plan will be created, including any additional techniques that can help to achieve an optimal result.
Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty will perform the abdominoplasty procedure either in one of their fully accredited, state-of-the-art surgical suites or in a reputable, area hospital. While each procedure varies according to the patient’s individual needs, the tummy tuck normally takes from two to three hours, performed under general anesthesia. While many patients will have a tummy tuck on an outpatient basis, in some cases, an overnight hospital stay is recommended.
To begin, Dr. Miller or Dr. Doherty will make a curved, transverse incision across the lower abdomen, running from hip to hip. A second, thin incision will be made around the navel, allowing for a large skin flap that will reveal the vertical abdominal muscles. The surgeon will tighten these muscles, providing a firmer abdominal wall and a smaller waistline. After the unwanted fat and stretched skin has been excised, a new navel is created, providing the desired physical aesthetic.
A partial abdominoplasty, or mini tummy tuck, can successfully improve the abdomen for patients that are not in need of the dramatic changes that accompany a larger procedure. The mini tummy tuck involves shorter incisions, and no navel reshaping or tightening of the abdominal muscles is involved. The partial abdominoplasty takes only an hour to perform and requires less recovery time.
ABDOMINOPLASTY RECOVERY AND RESULTS
Patients should expect their abdominoplasty recovery to take from two to three weeks. Initially, there will be some tenderness and bruising. A surgical compression garment will need to be worn from two to six weeks, to ensure proper healing and keep swelling to a minimum. Swelling is common and generally peaks around the third day after surgery. In two to three weeks, the majority of swelling will have dissipated, although residual swelling can last up to six months or more. Drain tubes will be put in place during the procedure. These are normally removed during the first, one-week postop appointment with Dr. Miller or Dr. Doherty.
Most patients are feeling good enough to return to work in two weeks or less. However, everyone will heal at their own rate. Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty encourage their patients to begin walking and moving around as soon as possible. Heavy lifting, straining, and vigorous exercise needs to be postponed for at least four to six weeks.
Scarring is normal after an abdominoplasty. Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty take their time to meticulously place thin incisions that can easily be concealed under clothing and swimwear. The scar will run from hip to hip, closely following the pubic bone. Over time, the scar will generally fade somewhat, although it will remain visible.
While some improvements from the tummy tuck can be seen quickly, it will take several months to appreciate the full results of surgery. As the swelling resolves, patients can begin to note a flatter, firmer abdomen, without the unsightly sagging skin and fatty tissue. With a proper diet and routine exercise schedule, patients can see their abdominoplasty results last for years to come.
HOW MUCH DOES ABDOMINOPLASTY SURGERY COST?
The exact cost of your abdominoplasty will vary according to the specific technique used and your desired correction. To find out how much your tummy tuck will cost, schedule a private consultation at the Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation. Appointments are available with Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty, at either the Newbury Street location, or our office in Brookline. Call our Boston office at (617) 735-8735 for more information, or fill out our online Contact Us form. Remember, while the Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation does not accept medical insurance, as cosmetic procedures are generally not covered, we do accept a variety of payment options, such as cash and all major credit cards. Speak to your patient coordinator about your medical financing option through CareCredit.
What is a tummy tuck?
An abdominoplasty often referred to as a tummy tuck, is a common surgical procedure designed to eliminate loose, stretched skin, muscle, and fat along the stomach. Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty have established their own, state-of-the-art abdominoplasty techniques to smooth the abdomen, creating a youthful figure and more pleasing physical silhouette.
Can the tummy tuck be combined with other procedures?
Yes, Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty often combine the tummy tuck with additional techniques to provide optimal physical rejuvenation. A Mommy Makeover will include an abdominoplasty, liposuction, and breast augmentation. The Body Lift will pair a tummy tuck with a thigh lift, buttock lift, and liposuction. During your consultation at the Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation, the best technique(s) for your unique needs will be determined.
Am I a good candidate for the abdominoplasty procedure?
The tummy tuck can offer significant body contouring results for many people who are struggling with sagging, excess tissue on their abdomen. An ideal patient will be in overall good health, holding an understanding of the abdominoplasty procedure, and hold realistic expectations for the final results.
Will a tummy tuck leave visible scarring?
While a tummy tuck does scar, Dr. Miller and Dr. Doherty carefully place their abdominoplasty incisions so that the scarring cannot be seen under clothing or swimwear. Using a lower transverse incision, the abdominoplasty scars will run from hip to hip, above the pubic bone.
When can I return to work after a tummy tuck?
While every patient heals differently, most people are feeling well enough to return to work 10-14 days after their abdominoplasty procedure. However, patients will need to postpone heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for four to six weeks.