- 1 Description
- 2 Before & After Photos
- 3 Options
- 4 Anatomy of the Abdomen
- 5 Indications
- 6 Evaluation
- 7 Option Details
- 8 Procedure Details
- 9 Recovery
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
- 10.1 What is a tummy tuck?
- 10.2 Who are the best candidates for a tummy tuck?
- 10.3 Who should not consider a tummy tuck?
- 10.4 How is abdominoplasty surgery performed?
- 10.5 What type of anesthesia will I have for my tummy tuck?
- 10.6 What is recovery like after a tummy tuck?
- 10.7 What is a complete abdominoplasty?
- 10.8 What is a mini abdominoplasty?
- 10.9 What complications can arise after a tummy tuck?
- 10.10 What about tummy tuck scarring?
- 10.11 What are some of the techniques used in a tummy tuck?
- 10.12 How do I know whether or not I only need a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck (FTT)?
- 10.13 How do I know if I need muscle repair (MR)?
- 10.14 Do non-surgical tummy tuck methods work?
- 10.15 Can I get liposuction or breast surgery at the same time as my tummy tuck?
- 10.16 How long will I have to stay slightly bent over?
The abdomen is an area of the body where fat often accumulates in both women and men. Skin laxity (looseness, loss of firmness) in the abdominal region can be caused by a number of factors, including: aging, pregnancy, stress, improper diet, hormonal imbalance, genetics, and massive weight fluctuations. All of these factors contribute to the appearance of a loose, flabby stomach and unfortunately in many cases, no amount of exercise or dieting will resolve this problem. Many patients are unhappy with the shape and appearance of their abdominal region, and for these patients, a tummy tuck may be the perfect option*. Tummy tucks remove the surplus fat and skin from the middle and lower abdomen, and tighten the muscles along the abdominal wall to give the appearance of a dramatically flatter, smoother stomach*.
Some of the specific problems a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) will correct include:
- Removing excess skin
- Tightening muscles
- Removing stubborn pockets of abdominal fat
- Reshaping a flabby abdomen
- Defining an expanded waist
- Flattening a protruding belly
At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, Dr. Joubin Gabbay, M.D. offers the latest in advanced technology to remove excess fat or skin from the abdomen*. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is the fourth most common surgery among women(breast augmentation, liposuction, and eyelid surgery are the top three). In some cases, optimal results are achieved when a tummy tuck is performed in conjunction with liposuction for a full abdominal rejuvenation*. A protruding or sagging stomach can be a cause of displeasure for many individuals, but Dr. Gabbay’s skillful precision and years of experience ensure that his tummy tuck patients will find renewed self-confidence and excitement about their abdominal appearance*.
*Results May Vary
Before & After Photos
*Results May Vary
There are many options and choices to review when considering a tummy tuck surgery.
A standard tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal regions below the belly button, while a partial (mini) abdominoplasty tightens only the skin in the lower abdominal region (below the belly button). In both procedures, the muscles of the abdomen are also tightened to improve the contours of the abdomen*. With advancements in medical technology, surgical techniques have significantly reduced the amount of scarring that results from a tummy tuck surgery*. Some patients require a wider incision that extends to the hip area, and patients with moderate to severe excess skin often require their belly button position to be shifted during the operation.. During your consultation, Dr. Gabbay will go over the various incision types, techniques, and placements for your individual surgical needs, and will help you to find the ideal surgical treatment plan for your specific aesthetic goals.
The majority of abdominoplasty surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis; however, some patients elect to have their surgery performed in a hospital setting. Before your tummy tuck procedure, you will receive either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation.
A full tummy tuck procedure involves a horizontal incision in the area between the pubic hairline and the navel. Atrophied or weakened abdominal muscles are repaired and sutured through this incision, while excess fat, tissue and skin is removed. In some cases, a second incision around the navel may be necessary in order to shift the belly button to a new and more attractive position*. Your incisions will be closed using sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips, and your initial results will be visible immediately, with the result only improving over the following months, when swelling subsides*.
Abdominoplasty, whether partial or complete, produces excellent results for patients who have weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin, and your results will be long-lasting in conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise*. Whatever your age, if you are uncomfortable or displeased with what you consider an “abnormal” stomach, please contact Gabbay Plastic Surgery and let us answer any questions you have regarding a tummy tuck or any other cosmetic procedures we offer. We proudly welcome patients from California and beyond so please call today and let us schedule your consultation with Dr. Gabbay. You may also click the link below to read a more in-depth description of the abdominoplasty procedure.
Anatomy of the Abdomen
Abdominal Fat Layers
There are three primary layers of abdominal fat:
- Superficial Fat: dense layer of fat directly under the skin, and is composed of blood vessels and nerves. The superficial fat layer is not commonly removed in cosmetic surgery (although patients with very loose skin may need superficial liposuction to achieve the best abdominal sculpting results).
- Extra-Abdominal Fat: second layer of fat beneath the skin, and the most common layer of fat removed during a liposuction procedure
- Visceral Layer: the deepest layer of fat located within the abdominal cavity (also called the intra-abdominal fat). The visceral layer surrounds and protects the intestines and other abdominal organs. Because of its function and location, most liposuction procedures do not target the visceral fat.
Although there are many muscles located in the abdomen, the three sets of muscles that are addressed during a tummy tuck include:
- External Obliques
- Internal Obliques
- Rectus Abdominus
The best candidates for an abdominoplasty are men or women who are in good overall health, but are unhappy with stubborn fat deposits in the abdominal region, or loose abdominal skin that has not responded to diet or exercise. Tummy tuck surgery can correct the negative aesthetic changes brought about by factors such as: significant weight loss in a short time frame, pregnancy, childbirth, and the slowed metabolic rate and hormonal changes associated with aging.
Abdominoplasty is not recommended for:
- People who intend to lose a significant amount of weight
- Men or women with unrealistic goals or expectations
- Women who plan to become pregnant in the future
- Individuals with scarring from previous abdominal surgery
During your consultation with Dr. Gabbay at Gabbay Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gabbay conducts a thorough medical evaluation, and will discuss your abdominoplasty goals and aesthetic preferences. If Dr. Gabbay believes you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck, he will discuss the details of your surgery in greater specificity (ie. anesthesia, incision type etc). Dr. Gabbay’s vast expertise and experience will help him to ensure that your surgical goals are realistic and can be accomplished with a tummy tuck procedure. As with any surgical procedure, abdominoplasty does carry with it some degree of risk, so it is important that you are open and honest when informing Dr. Gabbay about any past surgical procedures and current medications you are taking*.
*Results May Vary
Full or Complete Abdominoplasty
A complete tummy tuck is the most comprehensive type of abdominoplasty, and is usually recommended for patients with lax muscles and a large amount of redundant skin, frequently observed in patients following pregnancy or massive weight loss*.
A mini-abdominoplasty, also known as a partial or modified abdominoplasty, is for patients who have a minimal degree of excess skin or fatty deposits located in the lower abdominal region just below the navel. Although the post-operative recovery period is considerably shorter than after a full tummy tuck, the mini-abdominoplasty procedure only treats the lower abdomen, and does not address or correct issues pertaining to the upper abdomen*.
An endoscopic abdominoplasty does not address the issue of loose abdominal skin, so it is best suited for patients with relatively tight abdominal skin, but who suffer from weakened muscles of the lower abdomen and excess abdominal fat.
There are several techniques that may be used to perform a tummy tuck. Abdominoplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia although patients receiving an abbreviated abdominoplasty may elect to have only local anesthetic and (IV) sedation.
A complete abdominoplasty can take from 2-5 hours, depending on the extent of work required. Once you are properly anesthetized, Dr. Gabbay will make a “u” shaped incision that extends across the lower abdomen from one hipbone to the other, and a second incision around the navel. He will then lift, suture and tighten the abdominal musculature and excise any loose or surplus skin. Dr. Gabbay will reconstruct and reposition the navel before closing the incisions and applying bandages and dressings. A temporary drainage tube will be inserted to prevent the buildup of fluids beneath the skin.
During a partial abdominoplasty, the technique is similar to a full abdominoplasty, but on a reduced scale, and the abdominal skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down, the excess skin is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.
An endoscopic abdominoplasty is performed with the help of a small camera (endoscope) attached to surgical instruments, which is inserted through a small incision (usually above the pubis or in the navel). The abdominal muscles are tightened and sutured through the incision, and fat may also be removed with liposuction at this point in the procedure.
*Results May Vary
Following your full, partial, or endoscopic abdominoplasty, your abdominal incisions will be stitched closed and bandaged with a firm, elastic band to promote proper healing. After 2-3 hours rest in our recovery room, you will be discharged to allow you a more comfortable recovery in your own home; however, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you for a few days following your procedure.
You will receive instructions on how to best position yourself while sitting or lying down after your surgery, and will be given pain medication to help alleviate any discomfort. You may experience a degree of numbness in the abdominal area, and you will have to limit strenuous physical activity for at least six weeks*. Although the exact recovery period length will depend upon your body’s unique capacity to heal, some patients take up to one month off from work after their tummy tuck surgery to ensure proper recovery*. Potential, although rare, complications of tummy tuck surgery include: numbness, bruising, hematoma, infection, bleeding under the skin flap, or blood clots*.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
What is a tummy tuck?
The goal of a tummy tuck, or an abdominoplasty is to remove excess, wrinkled skin, and subcutaneous fat from the abdomen. When necessary, the underlying muscles may also be tightened resulting in a smoother, flatter abdominal area*.
Who are the best candidates for a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is suitable for men and women who are in good health, with excess fat deposits, or loose skin around the belly, that does not respond to diet or exercise. An abdominoplasty is effective for tightening their abdominal muscles and reducing skin*.
Who should not consider a tummy tuck?
A woman planning to get pregnant should not have a tummy tuck until they are finished having children. During pregnancy the vertical abdominal muscles separate allowing for expansion of the abdominal cavity. In an abdominoplasty, vertical muscles are tightened which would, during future pregnancies, become undone. For people planning to lose a large amount of weight, a tummy tuck is not recommended because it is not an alternative to weight loss.
How is abdominoplasty surgery performed?
There are several techniques that may be used to perform an abdominoplasty and the most common involves a “u” shaped incision that extends across the lower abdomen from one hipbone to the other. A second incision is usually required, around the navel, and the skin is separated from the abdomen and lifted up. When required, abdominal muscles are tightened and excess skin and fat is removed. The navel is reconstructed before the incision is closed and the procedure time varies with the amount of tissue to be removed.
What type of anesthesia will I have for my tummy tuck?
General Anesthesia is typically used for a full tummy tuck and for a mini tummy tuck, your procedure can sometimes be performed under Light Sleep IV Sedation. For patients requiring muscle repair, general anesthesia is used because of the involuntary contraction of abdominal muscles in patients who are not deeply anesthetized.
What is recovery like after a tummy tuck?
Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are moderate after a tummy tuck and resolve in a few weeks*. At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, you will be provided with pain medication and specific instructions to help speed your recovery. Strenuous activities should be avoided and a support garment must be worn for several days to aid in the healing process. Since a tummy tuck is major surgery, it will take time to see the full benefits*.
What is a complete abdominoplasty?
A complete tummy tuck is usually recommended for patients with a lot of excess skin that is typically seen after pregnancy or massive weight loss. This procedure involves the removal of excess fat and skin from the lower abdominal region, and the muscles in the middle of the abdomen are often tightened as well.
What is a mini abdominoplasty?
A mini, or partial, tummy tuck is for patients who have minimal excess skin in the lower abdominal region and a smaller incision is made below the bikini line. The skin is tightened and the muscles may or may not be pulled together. Recovery is less than a full tummy tuck and this procedure does not tighten the upper abdomen*.
What complications can arise after a tummy tuck?
Although rare, bleeding and infection are risks of any surgery, as well as fluid collection, asymmetry and poor scarring*. You can help reduce any complications by following all of Dr. Gabbay’s postoperative instructions*.
What about tummy tuck scarring?
The scars from a tummy tuck are low on the abdomen, so they are usually hidden, and a full abdominoplasty will also leave a scar around the belly button, which is not very noticeable*.
What are some of the techniques used in a tummy tuck?
There are several incision methods and surgical techniques used when performing an abdominoplasty that may include endoscopic rectus diastasis correction, reverse abdominoplasty, and vertical scar abdominoplasty. After your complete examination, Dr. Gabbay will be able to determine which option is best for you.
How do I know whether or not I only need a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck (FTT)?
Only Dr. Gabbay will be able to determine which technique is best for your needs, however, if you have a considerable pooch and your abdominal fascia and muscles are stretched out, normally a full tummy tuck is required. If you have tight muscles and minimally loose skin, you may qualify for a mini-tummy tuck.
How do I know if I need muscle repair (MR)?
If you have been pregnant or overweight for some time, the fascia covering your abdominal muscles may have stretched and no amount of exercise and diet will correct the problem. If you are at a healthy body fat percentage and the fascia is stretched, the “pooch” that you see is normally the visceral fat and organs pressing against the overlying fascia. Dr. Gabbay will be able to determine if you need muscle repair, after a full physical examination.
Do non-surgical tummy tuck methods work?
The skin tightening effects of non-surgical methods, such as lasers or radiofrequency (RF) cannot give you the significant improvement a tummy tuck surgery can, nor do their benefits last*. They also have no effect on the underlying muscles and fascia.
Can I get liposuction or breast surgery at the same time as my tummy tuck?
Many patients commonly get complementary liposuction around the treatment area (flanks and hips) for contouring and a breast lift procedure however this is entirely dependent upon your health and what Dr. Gabbay recommends.
How long will I have to stay slightly bent over?
For the majority of patients, the inability to stand up straight lasts no more than two weeks, you will notice that even after that period of time you may still bend your knees slightly to compensate for your surgery. The length of time it will take you to stand up completely straight depends on the tightness at the incision line and underlying muscles, as well as the amount of tissue removed and your personal pain tolerance.