An abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck” as it is more commonly called, is a surgical procedure used to improve the contour of the stomach and abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, tightening the muscles of the abdomen wall, and repairing sagging skin.
A flat and well-toned stomach is something most of us strive for. But when diet and exercise alone do not work, an abdominoplasty will restore weakened muscles and create a firmer abdominal profile. The most common reasons people develop a loose, protruding abdomen include:
One of the most commonly performed aesthetic procedures, the tummy tuck can dramatically improve the appearance of your stomach. Also, it is considered a major cosmetic surgery. By educating yourself with the information we provide and by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Brent Moelleken, M.D., F.A.C.S., he will help you analyze your personal situation to see if a tummy tuck is the best solution for you.
As we age, gain and lose weight, or undergo one or more pregnancies, we can develop love-handles, unsightly bulges, and stubborn pockets of fat that don’t respond to diet and exercise. Moreover, our abdominal muscles may become lax which results in sagging, looser skin. If you are in good health and maintain a solid diet and exercise routine, an abdominoplasty may be the perfect way for you to regain a flat, tight stomach. In turn, restore the youthful contour of your mid-section.
Dr. Brent Moelleken is a double board certified, highly-experienced plastic surgeon with years of training in cosmetic body surgery procedures such as tummy tuck surgeries. He and the staff at Moelleken Plastic Surgery, whether in Beverly Hills are well-versed in numerous state-of-the-art abdominoplasty procedures.
A abdominoplasty cosmetic procedure addresses abdominal deformities characterized by excess skin and subcutaneous tissue and laxity of the abdominal wall musculature. There are various types of tummy tuck procedures to contour your body and what procedure is best for you will depend on your unique, particular anatomy.
As a highly experienced tummy tuck surgeon, Dr. Brent Moelleken will remove your excess abdominal fat then carefully address the laxity of your abdominal muscles. After directly suturing the muscles, you will once again have a flat, tight stomach. If you have sagging abdominal skin, you don’t have to be embarrassed another day because you could be the perfect candidate for a abdominoplasty. At our Neo Surgery Center, Dr. Brent will personally tailor the procedure to your anatomy so call us today and schedule your consultation.
There are several types of tummy tuck, ranging from a minor removal of hanging skin to an extended abdominoplasty where a new umbilicus is made and your entire abdomen is tightened.
Some of the different procedures include:
Designed to get rid of the extra bulge by tightening the deep layer through the use of a small incision. According to Dr. Brent Moelleken, he designed the technique to be able to use the existing C-section scar for the incision to prevent plastic surgeons from having to leave their patients with new scar tissue on their abdomen. If a patient does not have an existing C-section scar, Dr. Brent notes that a small incision is then made near the pubic area.
If your fat deposits are limited to the area below your navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a partial abdominoplasty or a mini-tummy tuck. This is usually performed on an outpatient basis and the procedure leaves your belly button in its current place, removes the fat below your navel, and tightens your muscles but only from the navel to the pubis.
During a full tummy tuck, Dr. Moelleken will create a new belly button and tighten the muscles from your lower chest area to your pubis. The scar is usually from hip to hip and this procedure is frequently performed with liposuction to obtain the best results.
An extended tummy tuck is usually performed on obese patients who have a great deal of excess fat and overhanging skin that extends to the back. In order to leave a nice contour, your scar needs to extend beyond your hip area towards your back. Again in this case, Dr. Moelleken will tighten your muscles and create a new belly button.
A circumferential tummy tuck is usually performed on someone who has lost a great deal of weight and fat, usually after gastric bypass surgery. In order to create a nice contour for this procedure, your scar will extend all around your waistline. This allows Dr. Moelleken to lift your outer thigh and buttock creating a better look. Your muscle is tightened and your new belly button is created.
Safety is our primary concern; therefore, you must be in good health to undergo any elective cosmetic surgery. A physical examination and routine lab work will need to be performed by your primary physician and if you do not have one, we will refer you to a local doctor in your area, as we do not provide these services. All pre-op paperwork is required to be in our office at least two weeks prior to your surgery. During your initial consultation, it is very important that you make us aware of any medical conditions you have and all medications you are currently taking.
Abdominoplasty surgery is performed under a “light” general anesthetic, which will cause you to sleep. This method provides excellent operating conditions while affording maximal comfort and safety for you. A board certified anesthesiologist (M.D.), who monitors you throughout your operation, will administer the anesthetic. Prior to surgery, your anesthesiologist will provide additional information and answer any questions you may have. An I.V. is routinely placed in your hand or arm prior to surgery for fluid maintenance. A urinary catheter may be inserted at the time of surgery and this is removed after surgery. A complete abdominoplasty takes approximately two to three hours, depending on the extent of work required. A partial abdominoplasty can take one to two hours.
There are usually two incisions associated with this type of surgery. Your abdominal skin is lifted in order to reveal the underlying fascia and abdominal muscle. In elevating your skin, the umbilicus has to be preserved and this is accomplished by making a second incision around your belly button so that it can be freed from the surrounding tissues. Once your skin is elevated, the abdominal muscle is tightened from the xyphoid (solar plexus) to the pubis. Suturing the muscle close together tightens your inner girdle and narrows your waistline. Stretch marks, where possible, will be removed along with your excess skin however; stretch marks on the remaining abdominal skin cannot be removed. The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin and fat is removed. The skin flap is now ready to be closed but prior to closing, a small incision is made in the skin flap and your umbilicus is brought out through your abdominal skin and repositioned. Drains may be placed in order to collect the fluid that forms inside your body after your tummy tuck and if used, they will be removed approximately seven days after your surgery. The skin flap is then closed, completing your abdominoplasty. Liposuction can be combined at the same time as your abdominoplasty but this will depend on Dr. Moelleken’s recommendation. With a partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may or may not be moved. Your skin is separated only between the incision line and your navel and this skin flap is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the flap stitched back into place. The length of the incision will depend on your particular skin and muscle anatomy.
Tummy tucks are now frequently performed on an outpatient basis, which is a big change from the traditional inpatient hospitalization for up to 2 days. A recent report highlights and supports the safety and effectiveness of abdominoplasty performed on an outpatient basis and the extent of your surgery will determine your release time. In terms of discomfort, the first three days are the hardest but can be easily controlled with medications and ice packs. You will immediately notice a great change in your shape but you will not be able to show off your new body with tight clothes since you will be required to wear your Spandex garments. It will take one month before your clothes start to fit properly and approximately two months before you have to change your wardrobe. Because your stomach muscle has been tightened, you will notice a difference in your breathing and this will require you to make a conscious effort to concentrate on deep breathing techniques until you are comfortable. Returning to work will depend on how well you recuperate; the majority of patients are back between 10-14 days. Some patients heal incredible well however and have returned after only one week. When you first return to work or your normal activities, you will tire easily and it will take at least a full month before you are back to your old self.
All surgery carries risks and some of these include:
Some additional and rare complications include, necrosis of the skin, lower abdominal bulging, bleeding, and tissue damage. Possible complications will be discussed during your consultation and if you have any additional complications or concerns, feel free to contact us immediately.
In determining which abdominoplasty procedure is best for you, Dr. Moelleken will evaluate three vital components: your fat, skin, and muscle. He will determine the amount of fat present and where your fat is located. He will decide if you have intra-abdominal or extra-abdominal fat as the difference between the two are crucial because the treatment options are completely different. If your fat is extra-abdominal, it can be removed with a tummy tuck but if it is intra-abdominal, the fat cannot be removed.
Dr. Brent Moelleken will evaluate the quality of your abdominal skin and the amount of excess skin you have. Your loss of skin elasticity and the ability of your skin to reshape itself will determine the best procedure and the length of your scar. Dr. Brent Moelleken will also evaluate the looseness of your abdominal muscles called diastasis. Muscle looseness can be located either below your belly button area or the entire abdomen from xyphoid to pubis.
When deciding your best treatment option, this differentiation is the key. If your abdominal bulge is located below your belly button and it is due to weak muscle and a mini-tummy tuck is usually an excellent choice. If the looseness is in your entire abdomen however, a full abdominoplasty is required to tighten the entire muscle. The most effective procedure for you will depend on your skin, fat, and muscle components and how they interact.
At Moelleken Plastic Surgery we understand that every person is unique, and will work with you to develop a personalized approach to meet your aesthetic goals and give you the body you deserve. If you would like additional information about tummy tuck surgery, please call for an individual consultation with Dr. Brent Moelleken today!