A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, restores a smooth, toned appearance to the abdomen. This procedure involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten weakened or separated muscles, creating a smoother and firmer tummy.
A tummy tuck typically involves a horizontal incision below the abdomen and just above the pubic area. As a result, a scar at the bikini line will be permanent, though it will fade with time and is generally unseen with most underwear or swimsuits.
If you are still working toward substantial weight loss, you might need to hold off on this procedure until you have seen how your body adjusts, and how much elasticity your skin bears once your weight is stable.
Depending on the case, a tummy tuck can be fairly minimal, dealing with the lower abdomen only. In other cases, tummy tuck can be combined with minor liposuction or a thigh lift in order to reshape the midsection.
At our practice in Fairfax, the price of a tummy tuck ranges from $3675 for a mini tummy tuck, up to $6875 for a full tummy tuck. Refer to our full page of plastic surgery prices for more detailed tummy tuck cost information.
Good candidates will typically meet these conditions:
After a tummy tuck, the abdomen will be swollen for a few days and some pain is likely. Dr. Hess will prescribe a pain medication to alleviate any pain or discomfort. Surface stitches and deeper stitches are usually dissolvable and do not need to be removed.
Full recovery may take weeks or months, depending on the individual and procedure. Those with stronger abdominal muscles will find a shortened recovery as their body more easily adapts. Regardless of physical condition, it is crucial to work out an exercise program, as this will help reduce the swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and work to further tone your new body.
Once fully recovered, a tummy tuck can produce excellent results, generally lasting as long as a balanced diet and regular exercise are maintained.
To reduce post-op pain for tummy tuck patients, Dr. Hess frequently uses the TAP block during surgery. The transverse abdominis plane (TAP) block is a peripheral nerve block designed to anesthetize the nerves supplying the anterior abdominal wall.
Anesthetic is injected between the internal oblique and transverse abdominis muscles between the plane through which the sensory nerves pass. Studies have shown that the TAP block reduces the need for postoperative pain medication and provides more effective pain relief. It also decreases post-surgery side effects related to pain medication such as nausea and vomiting.
The left belly button, by another surgeon, demonstrates the common closure during a tummy tuck - just a round, uninspired belly button.
The right belly button, by Dr. Hess, restores the belly button to its original shape-oval with a hood over the top. Since it is the focal point of the abdomen after the tummy tuck it must be aesthetically pleasing.