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Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty and Tummy Tuck Surgery

ABDOMINOPLASTY AND TUMMY TUCK SURGERY:

 

Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, is one of the most common procedures involved in a mommy makeover.  An abdominoplasty corrects the extra skin and muscle laxity that results from pregnancy and childbirth. The terms abdominoplasty and tummy tuck are the same.  In current plastic surgery practice, you may hear the terms mini-tummy tuck, bikini tummy tuck, and full tummy tuck; which all refer to variations in abdominoplasty techniques.  Dr. Karamanoukian can help you understand the differences between the different abdominoplasty types during your consultation and help you decide on the type of abdominoplasty that will best suit your needs. There are many reasons to undergo abdominoplasty or a mommy makeover, as listed below:

  1. Remove excess skin and fat from the lower part of the abdomen (belly).
  2. Correction of a bulging or protuberant abdomen.
  3. Correction of muscle laxity caused by pregnancy.
  4. Removal of stretch marks caused by pregnancy and weight gain/loss.
  5. Obtain a slimmer waistline that is more proportional to the breast and hips.

 

TUMMY TUCK ALTERNATIVES: 

 

  1. LIPOSUCTION: A Liposuction procedure can contour the abdominal and flank areas with less surgery and less downtime.  During liposuction, small incisions are made and a liposuction cannula is used to remove fat without large tummy tuck incisions.  The major benefit is that scars are minimized and fat is removed less-invasively.  
  2. LIPOSONIX: Liposonix is a non-invasive modality that uses ultrasound to melt away fat from the abdomen and waistline.  Unlike liposuction, Liposonix requires no incisions and no surgery.  Clinical studies have shown that Liposonix effectively reduces subcutaneous fat from beneath the skin by heating up and destroying unwanted adipocytes. 
  3. MINI-TUMMY TUCK: A mini-tummy tuck is another alternative to tummy tuck. Unlike a full tummy tuck or traditional abdominoplasty, a mini tummy tuck treats the lower part of the abdominal wall from the pubis to the belly button. During the procedure, the lower abdomen is tightened and the excess skin is removed.  In most cases, the belly button is left intact and most of the tightening is performed around the belly button. 
  4. C-SECTION SCAR REVISION: 


RECOVERING AFTER SURGERY:

Abdominoplasty procedures include a mini-tummy tuck, full tummy tuck, and C-section revisions.  Recovery after an abdominoplasty depends on the extent of surgery and whether the abdominal muscles were tightened during the procedure.  On the evening of your surgery, you will most likely be discharged to your home or an aftercare facility.  Most often, you will have abdominal drains placed into the surgical site which acts to remove any excess fluid from accumulating in the area.  These drains will be removed within days of your procedure.  Once you are home or in the aftercare facility, you will be advised to refrain from strenuous exercise and will be positioned with several pillows behind your back and neck. The most comfortable position after abdominoplasty is with your knees flexed and your head elevated, which minimizes stretching of your incision. Within a few days, you will be asked to return to Dr. Karamanoukian's office for a follow-up visit.  At that time, Dr. Karamanoukian will examine your abdominoplasty incision and determine the amount of activity you can tolerate.  

 

Some patients who request an abdominoplasty or mini-tummy tuck may also have a small hernia around their belly button, known as an umbilical hernia.  Umbilical hernias are common and may cause problems in the future so it is advisable to have them repaired simultaneously with the abdominoplasty procedure. During the operation, a small umbilical hernia can be repaired using durable reinforcement sutures that also help create a more youthful contour to the mid-abdomen.  An umbilical hernia can sometimes be covered by insurance because of medical concerns.  Dr. Karamanoukian's office will provide you with details regarding insurance coverage for abdominoplasty and will work with your insurance company to obtain such authorization.  Abdominoplasty procedures alone are rarely covered by insurance companies as they are primarily used to correct a cosmetic concern. 


QUESTIONS ABOUT ABDOMINOPLASTY / TUMMY TUCKS:

  1. What is an Abdominoplasty? An abdominoplasty procedure is performed on women after pregnancy and childbirth to surgically remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen.  The excess skin may often include stretch marks and hanging skin known as a small abdominal pannus.  In some cases, Dr. Karamanoukian will also tighten the abdominal muscles in order to trim the waistline and recontour the waist. Men can also undergo a tummy tuck after weight loss in order to remove excess skin and fat from the waist. 
  2. What are the advantages of a tummy tuck over liposuction? Abdominal liposuction removes extra fat from the abdomen and waistline.  However, some patients may still have excess hanging skin and fat along the lower part of the abdomen.  For these patients, a tummy tuck removes the skin and also helps tighten the abdominal muscles.  A tummy tuck is best for women who have undergone childbirth and cannot regain their prepregnancy waistline.
  3. Can I use my C-section scar as part of my tummy tuck? Tummy tuck scars can vary depending on the amount of excess skin you have on your abdomen and whether or not you have a horizontal or vertical C-section scar.  The office of Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian offers advanced solutions for tummy tuck surgery as a body contouring procedure or as a mommy makeover procedure combined with breast enhancement surgery.  Tummy tuck scars can be placed at the C-section scar, below the C-section scar, or as a replacement of a C-section scar depending on the location of the C-section incision and the amount of skin laxity and skin excess along the abdominal wall.  During the tummy tuck, the extra skin and fat is removed from the lower abdomen, including stretch marks and loose skin.  The rectus muscles on the abdomen are then strengthened with sutures in order to tighten the abdominal wall.  The new incision can be placed in a well-hidden location below a bikini line or panty line.  If you are concerned about keloid scar with your tummy tuck, Dr. Karamanoukian can provide you with outstanding surgical options for decreasing scar growth and minimizing the visibility of your scars.
  4. Can stretch marks be removed during my tummy tuck surgery? Women who have undergone pregnancies or massive weight loss can develop stretch marks along the lower abdomen.  These stretch marks can appear as flabby skin, redness, red scars, and white scars.  Stretch marks can be removed from the lower part of the abdomen during a tummy tuck surgery or a mini tummy tuck surgery.  During the procedure, excess skin from the abdomen is removed and a new incision is placed below the bikini line in order to tighten the skin and the interior abdominal muscles.  If you have a lot of stretch marks with excess skin, both of these skin problems can be removed during a single procedure.  Dr. Karamanoukian performs tummy tuck surgery in combination with mommy makeover procedures or as an isolated cosmetic surgery for the mid torso.  Consultations are required to assess the amount of skin excessed on your abdomen as well as the amount of muscle looseness on the upper and lower abdominal wall.


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