Abdominoplasty for the Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr, & Newtown Square
Sometimes, achieving a flat and toned belly takes a little help beyond lifestyle improvements. While smart food choices can lead to weight loss and regular exercise can firm up abdominal muscles, the fact remains that laxity and excess skin in the stomach area can persist, creating a flabby look that will not go away no matter how many sit-ups you do. A tummy tuck in the Philadelphia area with Dr. Laura Gowen can tackle this issue. Men and women alike choose the Cirillo Center for Plastic Surgery in Bryn Mawr and Newtown Square to help give them the flat abdomen they seek.
A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is not intended to be a weight loss procedure. By removing excess tissue and tightening the abdominal wall, it will create a flatter, firmer stomach. A consultation with our skilled board-certified, fellowship-trained plastic surgeon, Dr. Gowen, will allow you to discuss your concerns and help you determine whether a tummy tuck is right for you.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Since an abdominoplasty brings tone and definition to a flabby or loose abdominal area, it is ideal for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and are now only affected by sagging, loose skin. This prior weight loss could have occurred due to a variety of reasons, such as a change in diet, physical exercise, liposuction, or even pregnancy.
For this reason, a tummy tuck is recommended for people who have reached their goal weight. A large weight gain after a tummy tuck, including that caused by subsequent pregnancies, can undo some of the procedure’s benefits. For this reason, the staff at the Cirillo Center for Plastic Surgery recommends that women considering a tummy tuck wait until they are finished having children, and that men and women alike who want the procedure be satisfied with their weight.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
Patients interested in a tummy tuck in the Philadelphia area should know that the procedure is made up of several steps that generally include:
- Anesthesia: A tummy tuck is typically performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis.
- Incision: Dr. Gowen will make an incision below the belly button, generally in what is known as the "bikini line," where a scar would be covered by a swimsuit bottom or underwear.
- Tightening: If the abdominal muscles and their overlying layer of tissue (known as fascia) are lax or even separated, they will be tightened and pulled together during the procedure.
- Skin removal: Once the abdominal wall is tightened, the doctor will pull the skin flat and evaluate how much is safe to remove. Once the excess is removed, the remaining skin is sutured together at the bikini line and the navel is brought back through the skin at its new position.
- Liposuction: To put the finishing touches on a sleek abdominal contour, a small amount of liposuction may be performed if deemed necessary to remove any small pockets of excess fat. More aggressive liposuction can negatively impact recovery and healing if it is combined with a tummy tuck procedure simultaneously, so if the removal of a larger amount of excess fat is necessary, it may require a second procedure performed at a different time.
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A tummy tuck may also improve certain aesthetic issues, such as stretch marks, due to the fact that some or all of the skin bearing the marks may be eliminated during the surgery. However, men and women who want to be sure that their stretch marks or other skin issues are addressed should not count on a tummy tuck, and would be better served by contacting a skin expert at the Cirillo Cosmetic Dermatology Spa to learn more about their options.
Mini Tummy Tuck
For relatively minor tightening of the abdomen, a mini abdominoplasty may be an option for some patients. Many women in particular find that they develop excess, sagging skin at the lower abdomen in particular after pregnancy.
As a less invasive procedure, it is designed to remove some excess skin and tighten the muscles at the lower abdomen only. While the results of a mini tummy tuck or abdominoplasty may not be as dramatic or comprehensive as those that can be achieved with the full procedure, many patients find that it is all that is required to achieve their desired goals.
The type of tummy tuck that may be suitable for you will depend on a number of factors, such as the number and length of areas that need tightening and the extent of improvement you are looking to achieve.
Recovering from a Tummy Tuck
Allow yourself enough time to rest and heal after a tummy tuck and common post-surgical side effects, such as swelling and bruising. While each patient heals differently, most find that they are able to return to all their regular activities about six weeks after the operation.
Avoid stretching or other positions that may put undue strain on fresh incisions or sutured skin and muscle.
What Are My Other Options Besides Abdominoplasty?
Patients who are concerned primarily with fat removal, or interested in a less invasive procedure, may want to consider liposuction. Men and women with sufficient skin elasticity to see their abdomen revert to a flat and toned look after this procedure, or who are having only small amounts of fat removed, may find that a tummy tuck is not necessary.
Final Words on Tummy Tuck
Dr. Laura Gowen will meet with each patient for a thorough consultation to discuss the details of abdominoplasty, including what the procedure’s steps may be to suit your unique concerns, cost, recovery, follow-up care, and more.
Patients can request to see before-and-after images to get a better idea of what a tummy tuck in the Philadelphia area could do for them. Though every patient and surgery is unique, the visuals can give a concept of what to expect.
During the consultation, patients should be open and honest about what they hope a tummy tuck will achieve. The doctor will help them to be sure their expectations are appropriate and that the abdominoplasty is the best procedure for them.