Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Philadelphia
The abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedure is a widely popular body-contouring surgery. An abdominoplasty in Philadelphia helps to flatten and shape the abdomen and waist by removing excess fat and skin while tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. These muscles commonly separate after childbirth, which is called a diastasis of the abdominal muscles.
Patients love the look of their new flat stomachs after surgery under our doctors’ exceptional care.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
The best candidates for this body procedure are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that haven’t responded well to diet and exercise. We can also help older, slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity. Heavier patients may also cosmetically benefit from an abdominoplasty but may not have as good a contour post-operatively.
Abdominoplasty can also be useful for women with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy. Stretch marks that are between the belly button and pubic area are commonly removed during abdominoplasty procedures.
Good candidates have realistic expectations for the procedure. To ensure that you have realistic expectations, it is helpful to look over abdominoplasty before and after photos in our gallery.
Results from the tummy tuck procedure can be diminished if the patient becomes pregnant at a later time. This can usually be corrected with a minor procedure 3 months after delivery.
If patients are losing weight prior to an abdominoplasty, we encourage patients to be at a stable weight for about three months prior to undergoing the procedure. Fluctuations in weight over shorter periods of time will yield sub-optimal results from surgery.
I had a long journey to get here. But even after losing over 150 lbs, the extra skin made me feel self-conscious, especially as a gay male. I felt ashamed despite my hard work and even more unwanted than before weight loss. From the first day I met Dr. Ryan Hoffman and his staff, they made me feel like a person and not just a number. They were extraordinary. [… Post-surgery, Dr. Hoffman and his staff were very involved in my recovery and kept in touch with me to ensure that I was healing nicely and feeling well. My surgery has been a life-changing and positive experience for me, and I owe it all to Dr. Ryan Hoffman and his staff
Customized Treatment for Optimal Cosmetic Results
We take the time during every pre-operative consultation to learn what patients want to achieve from a tummy tuck, both for their bodies and for their self-confidence. By listening to what patients have to say and closely examining them rather than performing a one-size-fits-all procedure on every person, we provide patients with completely customized treatment that takes into account their specific goals.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure and Recovery
Abdominoplasty takes approximately two to five hours under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make two incisions: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and another around the navel.
The surgeon will separate the skin from the abdominal muscles. The sagging muscles are pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The surgeon will then stretch the skin flap down and over the newly tightened muscles, remove excess skin, and reattach the navel in a natural position.
The abdomen is closed with buried sutures, and drains are placed. The drains usually come out within one week after the procedure. Patients are moving around the next day after surgery. Swelling from the surgery remains for some time, but results are seen immediately.
Tummy Tuck Results
As soon as the swelling and bruising have completely disappeared, patients will be able to see the full extent of their tummy tuck results. These come in the form of a toned, sculpted, and defined abdomen without excess fat or drooping skin. With a balanced diet and regular exercise, results are long-lasting.
Abdominoplasty will leave a scar spanning the lower abdomen from hip to hip and a scar around the belly button. The incision can usually be concealed by underwear; most conservative bathing suit bottoms can also cover the scar.
Though rare, post-operative complications from surgery are possible. They may include infection, blood clots, and poor healing, which may require further surgery.
Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery should know that their old scars could be raised, stretched, or generally more noticeable after the procedure. A scar revision procedure after abdominoplasty may minimize the appearance of an unsightly scar.
Short Scar Abdominoplasty (Mini Tummy Tuck)
For patients with just a small amount of excess skin, a short scar abdominoplasty or mini tummy tuck is an option. This procedure utilizes a shorter incision usually the size of a C-section scar to tighten the abdominal skin.
The skin is lifted to the level of the belly button and then redraped. The excess skin is then removed. Liposuction is used to sculpt the remainder of the abdomen.
No Drain Tummy Tuck
Though drains are often used to help minimize swelling over the first few day of the procedure, Dr. Hoffman is able to use a technique that eliminates the need for drains. This is achieved by using special sutures and suturing techniques under the skin to allow rapid healing without the need for drains.
This can be particularly helpful for people with young children who have to get back to their daily activities more quickly and who can’t afford to be slowed down by the presence of drains.
The operative time may be increased in a drainless tummy tuck, but to some people, it is worth this extra time. Dr. Hoffman can review the benefits of using drains versus not using drains during your consultation.
Post Op Abdominoplasty
For abdominoplasty patients with drains placed:
- Remain in hospital binder until drains are out.
- ✔ 1st drain is removed approximately 3 days after surgery.
- ✔ 2nd drain is removed approximately 5-7 days after surgery.
- After drains are removed, you may continue with the hospital binder or switch to secondary garments. The following links are recommended for these garments:
It is fine to use Spanx at this time as well. Please be sure that whatever compression garment you choose to use, ALL the operated areas must be cared for properly.
For all tummy tuck patients, follow the above instructions for after drain removal.
What Is the Cost of a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy Tuck: $8,000-$11,000
What Is the Cost of a Mini-Tummy Tuck?
Mini-Tummy Tuck: $5,500-$7,500
Pricing for a tummy tuck and a mini-tummy tuck includes doctor fees, hospital fees, and anesthesia.
*Prices may vary based on the specific needs of the patient and scope of the procedure
Tummy Tuck Q&A
How long should I take off from work after a tummy tuck?
Answer: Every plastic surgeon has a different requirement for time off after a tummy tuck. It is usually about 2 weeks for a desk job and a little longer for more physical jobs. You can start exercising about 2 weeks after surgery, but are not allowed to exert your core (no pilates, or yoga.) These issues are discussed with Dr. Hoffman during your consultation.
Is there anything I can do or take prior to a tummy tuck to help have a better outcome?
Answer: We offer a pre-op vitamin package that is started prior to surgery and is continued after surgery. Its combination of vitamins and natural supplements helps with energy, bruising and healing after surgery. Since instituting this program, we find that the patients who have taken the vitamins have in general an easier recovery with less bruising.
As for losing weight or any other things that can help prior to a surgery- we feel that the better shape you are in before surgery, the easier recovery you will have. People who exercise and eat healthy in general do better after surgery.
How do you get rid of stretch marks and loose skin on the abdomen and on the hips?
Answer: After childbirth and before considering an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) you have to decide whether you are finished having children and has your weight been stable for the last couple of months? If both those answers are “Yes” then you may be an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck tightens the skin of the abdomen, by remove the area between the pubic area and the belly button. The resultant scar hides in the waist line and goes from hip to hip. This physically cuts away the stretch marks, which is damaged skin caused by the stretching that occurs during pregnancy. Liposuction can remove the fat beneath the skin, but it does not do as good a job of tightening the skin and will not remove stretch marks. Having a consultation with Dr. Hoffman, a board certified plastic surgeon, will help you to choose which procedures may be best for you.
Stretch marks on the hips are a very difficult problem. They are not easily cut out as stretch marks below the belly button. Our Viora machine, which utilizes radio-frequency does a good job of lightening stretch marks, sometimes a laser is also utilized to help minimize the appearance of stretch marks.
How long does tummy tuck surgery swelling last?
Answer: Swelling after an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) can last for up to a year. Depending on the type of tummy tuck (mini abdominoplasty, full abdominoplasty, and modified abdominoplasty), swelling most commonly begins to resolve in about 2 weeks. Post operative garments are worn in order to help minimize swelling and achieve a final result sooner. In approximately 3 months, the swelling has gone down enough to envision a final result. At times at the end of the day due to dependent edema (fluid) the mid-portion of the incision or pubic area can swell, which is also temporary and can be improved with use of the post operative garments.
What is a diastasis and can it be fixed during a C- section?
Answer: A diastasis is a separation of muscles that can occur with weight gain or during pregnancy. The connection between the midline muscles of the abdomen separate and result in a minor of large bulge of the abdomen depending on how much stretch has occurred. A small amount of diastasis is sometimes masked by strengthening of the muscles, but it cannot be fixed without surgical intervention. The stretch starts just below the rib cage and extends to the pubic area.
Sometimes patients are offered to have their muscles repaired by their OB at the time of a C-section. While this can be done, it causes a two-fold problem. One, during pregnancy the muscles as well as the whole body swells. When the swelling goes away the repair is not as tight as it could be and still may result in a bulge. Two, the repair is limited to only the area that is exposed during a C-section, which is only the lower half. This would only treat half the diastasis and could give a worse appearance to the abdomen. Discussing these issues, with Dr. Hoffman, a board certified plastic surgeon, is a good option prior to delivery.
What are the purpose of drains following a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)?
Answer: Drains are useful to minimize fluid in the dead spaces created after surgery. This can be in both breast as well as abdominal surgery. In breast surgery, drains are useful in revisional surgery or in patients who have greater than normal intraoperative oozing. The drains in this case help alleviate potential fluid, which may cause an infection or unwanted result. In an abdominoplasty, drains are used to help resolve potential fluid accumulation as well. In some cases, as in a “no-drain tummy tuck” drains are forgone in exchange for complex suturing underneath the skin. It does work well. However, it does make surgery longer and fluid collections could still possibly happen postoperatively. Drains are typically removed when the output is less than 30 ccs (1 oz) in a 24 hour period.
Can I have a hysterectomy and a tummy tuck performed at the same time?
Answer: There are many non-elective surgeries that can be combined with tummy tucks. Most commonly, hysterectomies and hernia repairs are done in combination with an abdominoplasty. This is coordinated between the gynecologist or general surgeon and the board certified plastic surgeon. The joint surgery allows for less time in the operating room and an overlap of recovery time. For more information, call our office today at 610-896-6666 to set up a consultation with Dr. Hoffman.
Can wounds or infections happen after a tummy tuck?
Answer: Wounds are not usual after a tummy tuck, but if they do occur, they are commonly in the central portion of the scar below the belly button. They are more common when larger hernia repairs are done at the same time. Occasionally, the binders that area placed post operatively can be secured too tightly. This restricts blood flow to the healing areas and can cause wounds. You should be able to slide your hand down into the binder and it should fit with minimal pressure. If you can not fit your hand inside then your binder or garment are too tight and should be loosened. Infections are also rare, but can occur. Usually they present as redness, pain, or drainage from around your incisions. If there are any concerns about your post operative incision please contact the office.
Is there ever a vertical incision (up and down) with a tummy tuck?
Answer: Occasionally along with the low abdominal incision, a vertical incision is utilized in a tummy tuck. There are two main reasons- One, is that the patient does not have enough skin laxity and a high belly button. The belly button is cut out and repositioned with a tummy tuck. When pulling the skin inferiorly the scar created from repositioning the belly cannot be removed. The area is then closed and a small vertical portion of the scar is in the midline connected to the low abdominal scar. The second type of vertical scar occurs in patients that already have midline up and down scars or for extra tightening after massive weight loss. An upside down T is created and that allows the most skin to be removed as possible. It however creates a scar that is not covered by your underwear. It comes down to what is more important for a patient, tight skin and more scarring, or loose skin and less scarring. Talk with Dr. Hoffman during an in office consultation for further information.
Should I lose 5 more pounds before my tummy tuck??
Answer: Generally binge dieting right before a tummy tuck is a bad idea. The best weight to be at is the weight that you can normally maintain with your usual diet and exercise. During surgery, your tummy tuck is set at that particular weight and after surgery when you return to your regular diet and exercise that is going to have the best looking result. If you diet and then after surgery gain 5-10 pounds your results may not be ideal.
Can a tummy tuck be combined with a bladder suspension procedure?
Answer: Yes, the procedures are commonly done together. Dr. Hoffman works closely with gynecologists or urologists who perform the procedure. We plan and do the procedures at the same time to combine the post op recovery period and save the patient extra time and procedures. If you do not have a gynecologist or urologists, Dr. Hoffman can help you find a qualified one.
For more information, call our office today at 610-896-6666 to set up a consultation with Dr. Hoffman.
Get Started Today
Dr. Ryan Hoffman, a skilled board-certified plastic surgeon, has years of experience with abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery). To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hoffman regarding abdominoplasty in Philadelphia, contact us today and take the first step towards a better-looking abdominal area.