Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty
The abdominal area can be difficult to tone if you have flabby skin or weakened muscles, especially after pregnancy or weight loss. An abdominoplasty, or ‘tummy tuck’, can correct these issues by removing loose skin, stretch marks, and fat, as well as tightening the abdominal wall muscles. Dr. Capek frequently performs this popular procedure using a variety of techniques that best suit your needs. Patients frequently report that tummy tuck surgery is a ‘life changing’ procedure that improves their confidence and quality of life. Patients throughout the Capital District areas of Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga trust New York Plastic Surgeon Dr. Lucie Capek to perform their abdominoplasty. Many of our patients also travel from New York City, Vermont, Massachusetts and beyond to receive her skilled and compassionate care.
Is a Tummy Tuck surgery right for me?
If you have some of these concerns, a tummy tuck may be a great solution for you.
- You have excess, flabby or loose skin on your belly
- You have weak or separated muscles in your abdominal wall after pregnancy or weight loss
- You have difficulty finding clothes that fit because of your protruding belly
- The excess fat and loose skin on your belly do not respond to diet and exercise
- You have so much loose skin that it interferes with your exercise regimen
As with all cosmetic procedures, good health and reasonable expectations of the outcome are important. Dr. Capek will also consider the following before recommending tummy surgery:
- You should not be obese, especially with excess fat internally around your organs. Weight loss prior to tummy tuck surgery would be required.
- You cannot smoke for at least 6 weeks before or 6 weeks after this surgery. Major wound healing problems and other life-threatening complications are much more likely in smokers
- You should be done having children because a pregnancy after tummy tuck surgery is likely to stretch your skin and abdominal wall back out of shape. The safety of the pregnancy is not affected, however.
- You can accept the trade-off of permanent scars for the major shape improvement you are likely to see.
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Before Your Procedure
An initial consultation with Dr. Capek is necessary to discuss your goals and to review the best course of treatment for your specific abdominal concerns. Dr. Capek uses different types of tummy tuck surgery, often in combination with liposuction, to give you the best possible contour. She will carefully examine you, review your health history and answer your questions. You will have a thorough understanding of your surgery plan at the end of your visit. Being prepared for the procedure is your first step in ensuring a positive outcome.
As always, you want to be in optimum health when considering elective surgery. Follow a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise, don’t smoke since this decreases your body’s ability to heal normally, and follow your primary care physician’s advice when treating chronic conditions like high blood pressure.
Tummy tuck surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia at a fully accredited surgery center. Dr. Capek usually recommends that your spend one night in the surgery center, where you will have one-on-one nursing care, a private room and lots of TLC.
During your operation, Dr. Capek will make incisions based on the type of tummy tuck selected for your particular needs. This is usually very low on the abdomen, sometimes in the belly button and in a ‘corset’ abdominoplasty, vertically up the central abdomen. Dr. Capek uses the state-of-the-art HARMONIC® scalpel, an ultrasound instrument that has been shown to be gentler on the tissues and results in less pain after surgery. She also uses the On-Q Pain Pump to minimize your post-surgical discomfort as well as drains to remove excess fluid.
Dr. Capek may also realign and tighten your abdominal muscles to their optimal position. Many patients report improved core strength after ‘rectus and fascial plication’. On occasion, patients may also have a small hernia in the belly button that can be repaired at the same time. Some liposuction is also typically performed to fine tune your tummy contour for a natural-looking and smooth result.
Types of Tummy Tuck
The incisions are located in the lower belly, just above the pubic area and extend hip-to-hip, as well as within the belly button. This procedure corrects loose, flabby skin both above and below the belly button. Muscle or fascial repair is usually performed as well. An extended variation with high lateral tension is sometimes done in patients with extensive loose skin extending onto the hips. Dr. Capek routinely lifts sagging pubic tissues (mons pubis) when performing abdominoplasty surgery.
Mini Tummy Tuck
If you have loose skin and stretch marks only below the belly button in the lower abdomen, this may be a good option. The belly button is left in place and only the lower abdominal skin is partially removed. Liposuction is usually done to shape the waist and upper abdomen.
Mini Tummy Tuck with Umbilical Float
A variation on the mini-tummy tuck, this procedure allow a complete muscle repair to be performed by ‘floating’ the belly button from below.
This procedure is usually performed in massive weight loss patients who have large amounts of excess skin in the side-to-side dimension, as well as up-and-down. It is very effective at restoring an hourglass waist as long as you have lost most of your excess internal fat as well. The biggest trade-offs are the longer and more noticeable scars.
Tummy tuck procedures usually result in a firm, flat abdomen area that allows you to look your best in clothing, bathing suits and to feel more confident about your figure.
After Your Procedure
The recovery time after a tummy tuck procedure will depend on many factors, including the type of surgery you have as well as your age, health and fitness level. After your one night stay in the surgery center, you will go home with the ON-Q® PainBuster Pump, drains and a compression garment such as a binder. You can shower 2 days after surgery and most people go back to sedentary work after 10-14 days. After surgery, you should be moving around and walking frequently during the day but strenuous activities are restricted for at least 2 weeks. Full recovery, when you are allowed to resume core abdominal exercises, takes about 8 weeks. Dr. Capek and her staff give you detailed instructions to follow after your procedure and their careful monitoring and care will help you recover as quickly as possible.
What are the risks?
In general, significant complications associated with tummy tucks are infrequent and the satisfaction rate is high. Dr. Capek is an experienced, Board-certified plastic surgeon and has performed hundreds of tummy procedures in accredited operating rooms with the collaboration of board-certified anesthesiologists. However, all surgeries carry some associated risks and complications. These may include bleeding or infection, wound healing problems, seromas (fluid collections), poor quality scars, blood clots and reactions to anesthesia. You can help to minimize the risks of surgery by following Dr. Capek’s recommendations and aftercare instructions.
Make your consultation appointment with Dr. Capek today to find out more! Our office is just 13 miles from Albany and 9 miles from Schenectady, New York.