We perform our tummy tucks at a JCAHO-certified ambulatory surgery center.
The tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure to tighten lax abdominal wall muscles and remove excess skin and fat.
Most types of exercise can be restarted eight weeks after a tummy tuck. Performing physically strenuous activities earlier than this can impair healing.
Most patients can resume driving 10 days after a tummy tuck.
All surgical procedures result in scars. The main tummy tuck scar extends across the lower abdomen starting just above the pubic hair. The length of the scar varies from patient to patient but, in most cases, is from hip to hip. We use advanced multilayer incision-closure techniques and custom design each incision to accommodate the clothing styles you prefer. Nonetheless, tummy tuck scars will typically remain visible when you are undressed.
Most tummy tucks also require a small circular scar around the umbilicus (belly-button). We have developed techniques that will often hide this scar inside the belly button and produce a more natural looking “innie.”
Some insurers may cover a tummy tuck following massive weight loss. The vast majority of tummy tucks are cosmetic and therefore, not covered.
Most patients with desk jobs can return to work in 10-14 days. Patients with more physically demanding jobs will require a longer recuperation.
Your tummy tuck will be performed under general anesthesia (i.e. you will be asleep). We use only board-certified physician anesthesiologists.
After pregnancy, many women find that their tummies never return to their previous flat contour. The abdomen often bulges forward and is covered by loose, hanging skin covered with stretch marks. These women are excellent tummy tuck candidates as are men and women who experience similar problems after significant weight loss.
We provide all of our tummy tuck patients with the On-Q pain pump system. The pump bathes the tightened muscles with local anesthetic for several days. This dramatically reduces post-operative pain and lessens the need for narcotic pain medicine. Our tummy tuck patients are usually able to return home several hours after surgery.
In the first few weeks after a tummy tuck, it's best to avoid anything that causes a forceful contraction of the abdominal muscles. This obviously applies to heavy lifting but also includes sneezing, coughing, straining because of constipation, and vigorous laughter. Any activity that creates a sensation of pulling or tearing should be immediately ceased.
Stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched beyond the limits of its elasticity. A tummy tuck removes excess skin that has already been stretched. The remaining skin is tightened but not excessively. Overtightening would not only cause stretch marks but would also produce an unnatural contour.
Liposuction and tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) are both excellent contouring procedures for the abdomen. But they serve different and complementary purposes:
So if your abdomen is relatively lean but protrudes outward, you probably need a tummy tuck. Likewise, if you have loose, hanging abdominal skin, a tummy tuck is probably right.
On the other hand, if your skin is relatively smooth and elastic but there is a fat layer you can't get rid of, liposuction is probably the procedure for you.
Of course, sometimes the problem is fat, skin and/or muscle. In that case, both liposuction and a tummy tuck may be needed.
During your consultation, we examine your abdomen carefully and assess you goals to determine which procedure better meets your needs.
Sore throat can happen after surgery. It is usually caused by the endotracheal tube the anesthesiologist uses to help you breath. It is somewhat more common in women than in men. The soreness is usually mild and goes away within a few days. A severe sore throat or one that lasts for more than a few days should be reported to Dr. Schwartz.
Donating blood causes a temporary anemia. This usually corrects within 1-2 weeks. Nonetheless, we recommend that patients do not donate blood for at least one month before cosmetic surgery.
Some patients have expressed interest in donating blood for their own use, if needed. Since most cosmetic procedures are designed to produce minimal to moderate blood loss, transfusion is almost never needed. While you are, of course, free to self-donate blood, this would almost always be unnecessary.