A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a body contouring procedure that involves the removal of excess abdominal wall skin, tightening of the abdominal muscles and the removal of some excess fatty tissue. This procedure is frequently requested in our Raleigh, N.C. plastic surgery facility. With over 18 years of experience as a board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Morea has performed thousands of tummy tuck procedures in our fully accredited operating suite.
There are multiple reasons why a tummy tuck procedure may be required. Pregnancy, childbearing, weight gain/loss or the aging process in general. The most common reason our patients in Raleigh, Durham and surrounding areas seek Dr. Morea’s services for tummy tuck is to reverse the effects of pregnancy and childbearing on the abdomen. The abdominal wall can become stretched as a result of weight gain due to pregnancy. This weakened abdominal wall provides less support and internal organs may bulge giving the abdomen a larger appearance. This problem is particularly common in women who have had multiple pregnancies. Excess skin and stretch marks can also be of concern following pregnancy.
Other tummy tuck patients may have excess skin on the abdomen caused by significant weight gain and then weight loss. Patients who have had bariatric surgery such as gastric sleeve or gastric band procedures may loose 100 pounds or more. It is not uncommon for these patients to feel frustrated with the appearance of the abdomen following such a large weight loss. Stretching of the abdominal wall and skin following this type of weight loss cannot be reversed with exercise or sit-ups.
Tummy tuck procedures at Morea Plastic Surgery take approximately four hours and are performed in our AAAASF certified operating suite. Our talented staff of experienced Registered Nurses will care for you in our recovery room until you are ready for discharge. Patients go home the same day of surgery. The recovery following tummy tuck or abdominoplasty will vary from patient to patient, however, most patients can return to work both inside and outside of the home in approximately 10 days.
In our Raleigh, N.C. plastic surgery practice, Dr. Morea sees patients of various heights, weights and age who are excellent candidates for a tummy tuck procedure. During your first consultation at the Morea Plastic Surgery Center, you will meet personally with Dr. Morea to discuss your individual plastic surgery goals. He will advise you regarding which abdominal cosmetic surgery procedure is best for you. You will have the opportunity to view our library containing thousands of before and after tummy tuck photos of actual patients from our practice. The cost of a full tummy tuck or abdominoplasty will vary depending upon a patient’s height, weight and complicating medical conditions and can range between $8000 and $12,000.
A small incision on the lower abdomen similar to a C Section incision is utilized to perform a mini tummy tuck. Mini tummy tuck scars are easily concealed under most clothing, lingerie and bathing suits.
Dr. Morea: I would recommend waiting four to six months before considering a breast augmentation revision. The reason for this is because it can take four to six months for breast implants to fully settle and for all swelling to be resolved.
When I see a patient for cosmetic abdominal surgery, I evaluate the three components of the abdomen which I can change. The skin, excess fatty tissue and the strength/weakness of the muscle/fascial layer. The procedures of choice will range from liposuction to full extended abdominoplasty. Depending on what is bothering the patient, their exam and physical findings will determine what procedure is best for them.
A mini tummy tuck is an operation that is designed for women who are unhappy with the appearance of their lower abdomen. Specifically, the area below the umbilicus or belly button. It is the procedure of choice for women with a small amount of excess skin or bulging that is limited to the lower abdomen. It will not address the stretch marks, excess skin or bulging above the umbilicus. It has been my experience that about 1 in 20 women who come to me for tummy tuck consultation are considered to be a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck. During your consultation, I will examine your abdomen to determine which procedure is most likely to give you the results you desire. Factors that will be considered are the amount of excess skin, amount of excess fatty tissue and condition of the underlying muscle wall.
Most patients should plan on being off of work both inside and outside of the home for 10-14 days following a tummy tuck. It will take 3-4 months for all of the swelling to resolve and you will have lifting restrictions for 6-8 weeks following a tummy tuck. I strongly advise mothers with small children to arrange help with child care for 7-10 days following their surgery.
A standard tummy tuck usually involves an incision from hip to hip. Liposuction is done through much smaller incisions frequently at the same time. Most women can still wear a two piece swimsuit following a tummy tuck procedure.
Breast implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, widths and projections. I believe it is important to choose an implant that fits your chest dimensionally well. Breast implants can rotate when they are in the body. If a round implant rotates, there will be no change in the shape of the breast. However, rotation of a non round implant may distort the shape of the breasts. However, some patient’s are better candidates for the non round implant due to their particular anatomy. For this reason, it is important to individualize the surgery for each patient as much as possible.
There are pros and cons to each position placement. As a general rule, I believe most patients who are an A cup initially, are better off long term with submuscular placement or under the muscle. I believe saline implants should always be placed under the muscle. Any implant placed subglandularly, or on top of the muscle, has a greater risk of palpability and rippling. Any implant under the muscle has the risk of implant distortion with use of the chest muscles.
I tell all of my patients that it will be 4-5 months before all of the swelling is gone and the implants have fully settled into place. Most patients can begin a light work out within one week and have no restrictions after one month. Most patients can return to work both in and out of the home in 4-5 days.
Both implants are excellent choices. One is no better than the other. The silicone breast implant is the softer, more natural feeling implant if every other factor remains the same. I believe my job as a plastic surgeon is to review the differences between the two implants. If I feel that one implant is better for a particular patient, I will tell them and explain the reasons why I feel that way. Both saline and silicone implants work well and are FDA approved.