Abdominoplasty or "Tummy Tuck"

.... regaining your silhouette after child bearing or weight loss.


Abdominoplasty or "Tummy Tuck"

As we age, especially after childbirth or after losing and gaining weight, the skin on our abdomen can stretch, our abdominal muscles can weaken and fat can tend to accumulate. Diet and exercise often cannot solve these problems.

Abdominoplasty can help your abdomen become firmer and flatter by removing excess skin and fat, and by tightening the abdominal muscles. Although abdominoplasty cannot get rid of stretch marks, it can often dramatically improve them by partially removing the stretched skin and by tightening up the remaining skin.

How is the surgery done?

Breast augmentation surgery is done as an outpatient procedure. The surgery typically lasts 3-31/2 hours, and is undertaken by Dr. Anna at the Virginia Ambulatory Surgery Center under general anesthesia administered by a Board Certified anesthesiologist. The physician anesthesiologist works alongside a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), both of whom are part of the group Atlantic Anesthesia.

After lifting the skin and fat from the underlying muscles of the abdomen, a large wedge of skin and fat is removed along the lower edge of the tummy, leaving a scar that can be hidden beneath underwear or a bathing suit. The muscles are usually tightened and sutured together as they may have stretched or separated (especially after pregnancies). The navel is left in its normal position, but the skin around it may be lifted, leaving a small scar hidden within the navel.

Variations to the surgery can include a partial or “mini” abdominoplasty (treating the lower abdomen only) or using liposuction in conjunction with the abdominoplasty.

What to expect following the surgery…

Pain following the surgery is controlled with prescription medications. Patients who have had C-Sections say its not unlike the pain they experienced with that surgery.  Despite the discomfort we encourage leg movements and walking the first few days, with increasing movements and activity during the first week.  Most patients return to work and their usual daily activities in 1-2 weeks, but heavy lifting and strenuous exercising may not be allowed for up to 6 weeks.

What are the possible complications?

All surgery runs the risk of bleeding, infection and scarring. There is little blood loss with this surgery and infection is rare in patients who are healthy and who do not smoke.  Although all scars are permanent, over a period of 6 to 12 months they will fade, becoming white, flat and smooth. Two rare but very serious postoperative complications after abdominoplasty are the developement of a deep venous thrombosis (DVT - a deep blood clot in the muscles of your leg) which can lead to a pulmonary embolism (PE - when the blood clot dislodges from the leg and travels to the lungs). It is important to understand why patients are at risk after any abdominal surgery for DVT/PE, and what precautions are taken to prevent these from happening. All of these complications are discussed with each patient during the consultation and written information is given tp review at home.

Detailed information about abdominoplasty can be obtained from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, as well as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.