Weakness of your ab muscles, loose skin, and excess fat as occur after pregnancy or weight loss may cause your midsection to appear bloated and misshapen. Some patients turn to diet and exercise to try and slim down their figure, but many continue to struggle with a protruding abdomen despite their best efforts.
Fortunately, New Jersey plastic surgeon Dr. Friedlander utilizes her surgical skills and years of experience to perform tummy tuck surgery and eliminate these persistent issues, helping you achieve the slim, attractive silhouette you have been dreaming of. Tummy tuck surgery can address your lower abdomen to produce a more toned midsection after diet and exercise have failed to do so.Have a Question
What is a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is intended to restore a more youthful appearance to the abdomen. After pregnancy and changes in weight, the distribution of skin and fat will have changed, leaving loose folds in the lower abdomen and extra fullness in the upper abdomen. The abdomen takes on a rounder appearance, signifying a weakness in the ab muscles that no amount of sit-ups can correct. Tummy tuck surgery addresses all of these changes, resulting in a more pleasing shape. Often included as a part of a Mommy Makeover, it removes excess skin and fat and simultaneously tightens the underlying muscle (abs or rectus muscle) to give a flat, firm look. It is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures for both men and women.
Erika talks about her Tummy Tuck journey with Dr Bev
Am I a good candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?
After pregnancy or weight changes, skin and muscles become lax and an overhang, or “pooch”, may develop. The best candidates are women (and men) who are in good health, do not smoke, are close to their ideal body weight, eat healthily, and exercise. Even if you are over your ideal weight, you may still obtain a great result, helping you to feel better about yourself and the way you look.
Dr. Friedlander will review your medical history and perform a complete examination during your consultation. She will also review any questions or concerns you have and recommend the best approach for your procedure. You may benefit from tummy tuck surgery if you relate to one or more of the following issues:
- Loose, hanging skin
- Stretch marks
- Excess fat
- Weak, bulging abdominal muscles
- Not planning on having more children
Is there more than one type of Tummy Tuck?
After examining you, Dr. Friedlander will recommend the procedure that will best address your needs, and review that procedure in detail. There are three different types of tummy tuck:
- Mini Tummy Tuck
- Full Tummy Tuck
- Extended Tummy Tuck
Most often, a full tummy tuck is recommended, but if the problem areas are isolated to the region below the belly button, you may be a candidate for a mini tummy tuck, which involves liposuction and skin tightening. Women are often disappointed with the results of a mini tummy tuck since the procedure does not address muscle weakness. Alternatively, if there are loose folds of skin extending around the waistline on to the back, Dr. Friedlander might recommend an extended tummy tuck or body lift.
Can I combine my Tummy Tuck with Liposuction?
The results of liposuction combined with a tummy tuck are synergistic. Dr. Friedlander frequently performs liposuction at the same time as your tummy tuck surgery to improve your waistline. This combination surgery is called Lipoabdominoplasty. To achieve the best result, it is necessary to assess the abdomen circumferentially and to determine the contribution of the back fat and the upper abdomen to your appearance. A tummy tuck can involve much more than the tummy. It is only by looking at and treating the entire torso that the results can be transformational. The difference between liposuction and a tummy tuck can be confusing. Liposuction only reduces excess fat; it does not remove excess skin or tighten the muscles. All three of these can be problematic, so it is often necessary to perform liposuction on the flanks, hips, or even the upper abdomen at the same time as a tummy tuck to create a more balanced shape.
What will my Tummy Tuck surgery entail?
Tummy tuck surgery is an outpatient procedure that typically takes between two to three hours to complete, depending on the amount of correction needed. Dr. Friedlander will make an incision in your lower abdomen, at the same level of your C-section scar, if you have one. If needed, liposuction will be performed. The ab muscles are tightened, and the extra skin is marked and removed. She uses drains to reduce the likelihood of any adverse fluid accumulation under the skin. The incision is then closed with sutures, resulting in a scar across the lower abdomen that is hidden by most undergarments.
Dr. Friedlander feels you should remain in the facility overnight after your surgery to help you begin your road to recovery. After your procedure, you will be assisted out of bed. Early ambulation is the best way to reduce postoperative complications.
What will my recovery be like?
You will be given a compression garment after surgery to support your new contours and minimize swelling.
Many patients are concerned about pain after surgery. Dr. Friedlander uses a long-acting local anesthetic called EXPAREL® to reduce your post-op discomfort. The EXPAREL®, which has revolutionized pain control after surgery, lasts up to three days and significantly reduces the amount of pain you will feel. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of confidence because you feel good. It is important to remember that you have had a procedure and you need to take it easy.
Additionally, medication will be prescribed to help you transition back to routine activity. Although you may not be able to stand up straight, you should begin walking the day of and after surgery. You may gradually increase your activity level and return to strenuous activity and heavy lifting approximately six weeks after your procedure. Most patients can return to work after about two weeks.
What results can I expect?
You will notice a pleasing improvement in your midsection following your tummy tuck surgery. Swelling and some bruising is normal and disappears after a few weeks. Results will continue to improve over a few months. Your tummy tuck surgery results are generally permanent as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and have no further pregnancies following your procedure.
Are there any complications after Tummy Tuck surgery?
As with any elective surgery, complications are uncommon. Although not a complication, the resulting scar takes time to heal. Dr. Friedlander offers scar management advice to all of her patients. About three to four weeks after the procedure, topical scar reduction products and silicone sheeting are introduced. Massage of the scar is helpful as well. Numbness of the treated areas is normal and improves as healing progresses.
Schedule a Tummy Tuck consultation
If you are interested in learning more about tummy tuck surgery, including what is included in the cost, please contact Dr. Friedlander by calling her at her Short Hills, NJ, office at (973) 524-7124, or you can schedule a consultation online today!