Tummy Tuck in Raleigh, NC
Whether you are a woman hoping to flaunt your contours in a form-fitting dress or a man hoping to bare his chest at the beach or pool, a firm and flat midsection is a shared desire. That being said, achieving that toned definition naturally is challenging, especially after pregnancy or weight fluctuations.
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, tightens and repairs weakened or separated muscles. This process helps create an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.
Specialists in Plastic Surgery provide a wide range of high-quality cosmetic surgical procedures, including tummy tucks, in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Why Should You Choose Specialists in Plastic Surgery for Your Tummy Tuck
Specialists in Plastic Surgery, is known throughout the state for offering the highest quality cosmetic plastic surgery options, including tummy tuck surgery. This procedure is designed to remove excess skin and fat in the abdominal area and tighten the muscles.
With over 75 years of combined experience, our board-certified plastic surgeons can be trusted and often see new clients as a result of referrals from other area doctors.
Is a Tummy Tuck Right for You?
Even healthy individuals who are near to their ideal weight can develop a loose and protruding abdomen. The most common causes of this include:
- Significant fluctuations in weight
- Prior surgery
Tummy tuck surgery is a highly individualized procedure, and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or try to fit any sort of unrealistic image expectation.
You may be a candidate for a tummy tuck if:
- You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
- You have realistic expectations
- You do not smoke
The outcome of an abdominoplasty procedure is considered permanent, although it won’t prevent you from gaining and losing weight, which can have a detrimental effect on your results.
For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who are considering future pregnancies may be advised to postpone abdominoplasty surgery.
What a Tummy Tuck Won’t Do
Tummy tucks are not a substitute for a healthy diet or an appropriate exercise program. Also, tummy tuck operations cannot remove stretch marks unless they are located on the excised skin, which is generally the area below the belly button.
What Are the Benefits of a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty can provide dramatic results and significantly improve one’s figure by addressing loose skin and localized fat pockets.
Liposuction may be used in conjunction with a tummy tuck to remove more abdominal fat.
Tummy tuck surgery ranks high in patient satisfaction with a rate of 96 percent. One of the most impactful benefits of this procedure is the way it can increase confidence.
If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck surgery and how you can benefit, contact Raleigh’s Specialists in Plastic Surgery today.
How Should You Prepare for Your Tummy Tuck?
If you are considering any plastic surgery, you should start preparing as soon as possible. In your initial consultation, be sure to tell your surgeon if you smoke and if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs.
Be honest with your surgeon, as this is vital to receiving the most detailed and individualized instructions.
Your surgeon and our staff will give you specific instructions on preparing for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding specific vitamins and medications.
If you smoke, plan to quit at least four weeks before your surgery and not to resume for at least four weeks after your surgery. Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your abdomen, and do not go on a stringent diet, as both can inhibit your ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection, please inform our nurses.
Whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out for a few days.
How Is a Tummy Tuck Performed?
Our surgeons perform many abdominoplasty variations in our surgical center. Occasionally, we may need to perform the surgery at Rex hospital, depending on your medical history or other issues.
Our surgeons work closely with our anesthesia team to select the appropriate anesthesia for your procedure. Generally speaking, most abdominoplasties will require general anesthesia, so you’ll sleep through the entire operation. Your surgery discomfort will be minimized with our new pre-operative pain protocol. This protocol will also be discussed with you at your consultation.
Tummy tuck surgery is a multi-step procedure:
- Typically, your surgeon will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. It is important to note that the length of the incision is dependent on the amount of excess skin you have. Minimal excess skin requires a shorter incision, while moderate skin excess requires a longer incision.
- Next, the surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall up to your ribs and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. These muscles are tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.
- The skin flap is then pulled down, and the extra skin is removed.
- A new hole is cut for your navel, then stitched in place.
- Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and you’ll be placed into a snug-fitted garment.
Your surgeon will determine if you are a candidate for a “drainless” tummy tuck versus a “drain” tummy tuck. If the latter is used, this temporary tube will remain in place to eliminate the excess fluid that may build up under your abdominal skin. This drain is usually kept in place for one to two weeks.
What Are My Other Tummy Tuck Options?
If you possess a mild to moderate amount of excess skin and fat, you may benefit more from a full abdominoplasty done in conjunction with liposuction.
If you have an extreme amount of excess skin and moderate fat content, you may benefit from our extended abdominoplasty.
During your consultation, the surgeon will explain the reasons for his recommendation, the anesthesia involved, and the facility where the surgery will be performed.
Our cosmetic coordinator will then explain the costs involved. In most cases, health insurance policies do not cover the cost of abdominoplasties.
Should You Combine Your Tummy Tuck With Other Procedures?
Other common procedures to combine with a tummy tuck include:
If you’d like to combine these or other surgical procedures, discuss this with your plastic surgeon during the consultation.
We do not advise undergoing surgical and non-surgical procedures simultaneously. If you are looking for both, your treatments will be scheduled separately.
What Is a Mini Tummy Tuck in Raleigh?
Specialists in Plastic Surgery also offer mini tummy tucks. If your fat deposits and minimal skin excess are limited to the area below the navel, you may be a candidate for this less complex procedure.
In a mini tummy tuck, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is pulled down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place. A drain may or may not be required.
After Your Tummy Tuck
What Is Recovery Like for Tummy Tucks?
For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen, and you’re likely to feel some discomfort which can be controlled by medication. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may be released within an hour or whenever you are comfortable.
Your doctor will give you instructions for showering and changing your dressings. And though you may not be able to stand straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible.
Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days, and deeper absorbable sutures will dissolve on their own. The dressing on your incision will remain in place, and you will continue to wear your support garment. Further instructions are provided during your post-operative visits.
It may take you at least a month to feel like your old self again. If you start in top physical condition with relatively strong abdominal muscles, recovery from abdominoplasty will be faster. Some people return to work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate.
What Risks Are Associated With Tummy Tuck Surgery?
When done by a qualified plastic surgeon trained in body contouring, the results are generally quite positive. Nevertheless, there are always risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
Post-operative complications, such as infection and blood clots, are rare but can occur. Infection risks can often be minimized with proper drainage and antibiotics. You can minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon after the surgery as possible.
Poor healing, which results in conspicuous scars, may necessitate a second operation. Smokers will be advised to stop, as smoking increases the risk of complications and can delay healing.
You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon’s instructions before and after the surgery, especially concerning when and how you should resume physical activity.
When Will I See My Tummy Tuck Results?
Abdominoplasties produce excellent results for patients with weakened abdominal muscles and/or excess skin. Your final result will be noticeable around three to six months following your surgery. In most cases, the results are long-lasting if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
If you are concerned with excess skin or fat in your abdominal area, abdominoplasty may be the answer for you. However, you must be prepared for a significant recovery period and a permanent scar.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
At your consultation, the cosmetic coordinator will provide you with a detailed individual estimate according to your surgeon’s recommendations. Please call us if you would like a generalized price estimate for a tummy tuck.
Most traditional abdominoplasties usually take four to five hours, depending on the extent of work required, while a mini-abdominoplasty may only take an hour or two.
There is significant downtime to consider, and this will include varying amounts of discomfort. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications when necessary and follow you closely to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.
Exercise will help you heal better. Even people who have never exercised before should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided until you can do it comfortably. Your doctor will give you an exercise recommendation when it is safe to do so.
Your scars may actually appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Expect it to take at least a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color. Your doctor will give you scar management instructions during your post-operative visits. While they’ll never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, even bathing suits.
Pregnancy stretches the skin and can cause weight gain. These two factors are likely to impact your results, so postponing this surgery until after you have children is always recommended.
Thousands of abdominoplasties are performed successfully each year, and when performed by a reputable plastic or cosmetic surgeon, it is a safe procedure. However, as with any surgery, there are risks involved, including blot clots, infection, poor healing, and others.
You will be somewhat bent over when standing and walking for the first week. As the tissues heal, you will be able to stand up and walk in an upright position.
Schedule Your Abdominoplasty Consultation Today
Our plastic surgeons have over 75 years of combined experience in cosmetic plastic surgery. If you’re ready to learn more about undergoing tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) in Raleigh, North Carolina, please call us at 919-785-0505 or book a consultation above.