Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
An Abdominoplasty, or Tummy Tuck, as it’s more commonly called, is done to remove excess skin and fat in the abdominal area. Additionally, muscles that have weakened or separated can be tightened resulting in an abdominal appearance that is not only smoother, but also much firmer.
Some common causes of a protruding or sagging abdomen include:
- Fluctuations in weight
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A tummy tuck requires a horizontal u-shaped incision that goes from side to side between the belly button and the pubic bone. This scar will fade over time and is not visible when wearing underwear or a bathing suit. (If you have had a prior cesarean section, scars from this may be incorporated into the new scar). Once the incision is made, the abdominal skin is lifted and any excess is cut away. The underlying abdominal muscles are also repaired.
Next, the upper abdominal skin is pulled down and any excess skin is removed. The remaining skin is sutured together. The belly button may need to be repositioned which requires creating a new opening, and then the belly button is pulled through to the surface and sutured into the correct position. Thin tubes may be placed under the skin in order to drain any fluid or blood that may collect after the procedure. These are usually removed after 1 – 2 weeks.
After surgery, you will be required to wear a pressure garment around your abdominal area for 4-6 weeks as you heal. The scar will take several months to fade. Dr. Won will advise you of what to expect during your recovery period, how to care for your wound, and when you can resume normal activities. You should see some immediate results after your surgery, though swelling and bruising is to be expected, however this should begin to subside within a few weeks.
Dr. Alvina Won and her staff were wonderful. I went in for Abdominoplasty and felt comfortable and cared for by her and her wonderful team. The results were fantastic and I’m so glad I went through with it. I would highly recommend Dr Won’s service for anyone thinking about plastic surgery. – Jennifer, Aug 2020
Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty
With a “regular” type tummy tuck, you will only have one u-shaped scar that is located between the belly button and pubic bone as described above. A Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty has incisions that resemble the shape of the French signet. In addition to having an incision that runs horizontally across the abdomen, you will also have a vertical incision that goes up the center of your abdomen. The combination of the horizontal and vertical scar look like an upside down T.
This type of tummy tuck is used when there is significant excess skin across the entire midsection of the body. Liposuction can also be used with this procedure, and the abdominal muscles will be tightened as well. This procedure is popular for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and will reveal their slim figures that have been hiding under a lot of excess skin. The results are a tummy that is as flat as it can be.
Regardless of the type of Abdominoplasty that you choose, if you gain weight or become pregnant again, it is possible that the results of the tummy tuck will not last, so Dr. Won does not recommend Abdominoplasty if you plan to have more children.
Recovery is similar to a standard Abdominoplasty. After surgery, you will be required to wear a pressure garment around your abdominal area for 4 – 6 weeks as you heal. The scar will take several months to fade. Dr. Won will advise you of what to expect during your recovery period, how to care for your wound, and when you can resume normal activities. You should see some immediate results after your surgery, though swelling and bruising is to be expected, however this should begin to subside within a few weeks.
The excess skin and fat in the lower abdominal area that hangs down like an “apron” is called a pannus, and can have negative effects on quality of life. The extra fold or folds of skin can hinder hygiene, put stress on the back, and make everyday activities difficult.
Often, the area in the pubic region under the pannus can become moist as perspiration is trapped. This can cause skin irritation, rashes, recurrent infections, and odor, a condition called “intertrigo.” Clothing may not fit comfortably, and if severe, even simple activities such as bending over or walking can become difficult.
People who have lost a large amount of weight and are experiencing negative side effects due to excess skin in the abdominal area are good candidates for panniculectomy. It is best to have had stable weight for at least six-months, and for women, should not be planning to have further pregnancies. Some, or all of the costs of surgery may be covered by insurance.
Unlike an abdominoplasty, a panniculectomy does NOT tighten muscles or reposition the belly button. It only removes the excess skin and fat of the pannus, using a horizontal incision that runs from hip to hip. Drains are placed to help prevent collections of fluid or blood and are removed after 1 – 2 weeks.
As with other abdominal surgeries, most people require at least two weeks off from work but need to wait at least six weeks before resuming to normal activities. The first week after panniculectomy is the most uncomfortable due to swelling and bruising, but gets better with time. Patients are required to wear a compression garment for a total of 6 weeks after surgery, around the clock for the first 4 weeks, then only during active parts of the day for an additional two weeks.
From one of our Patients…
“WOW! Look at the difference [looking at before and after photos]. Hopefully I will get to do a triathlon this year. You are amazing. Thank you so much for your respect, care and knowledge. You do not know how much you have changed my life.”
Dr. Alvina Won, Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon
During your consultation with Dr. Won, she will go over with you what will be required to get the desired results that you are looking for and advise you what to expect during the recovery process.
Dr. Won is passionate about creating personalized care for each of her patients. She strives to understand your vision and goals for your body, and offers her services and guidance to achieve exactly what you are looking for. She believes that self-confidence is one of the key foundations for living your best life and offers high-quality care, both in surgery and during the recovery process to achieve the best results possible.
It’s natural to be a little anxious before undergoing any type of procedure, however Dr. Won can answer all of your questions and give you an idea of what to expect in order to put your mind at ease. You will be able to realize immediate results after your surgery and your confidence will certainly be boosted, so we hope you are as excited as we are to see the new and improved you!
Dr. Won is an experienced, Board-Certified surgeon. She is also a Fellowship trained cosmetic surgeon through the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, having completed hundreds of procedures. Her experience and passion for what she does ensures that you can feel confident by choosing her for your cosmetic surgery needs.
Are you a Candidate for Cosmetic Surgery?
Not everyone is a candidate for cosmetic surgery. If you are in the process of losing weight, it is best to wait until you have reached your goal weight before undergoing any kind of cosmetic procedure. Additionally, if you are still planning on having children, it is best to wait until you have had your child and recovered from the pregnancy. The reason for this is because weight fluctuations can affect the long-lasting benefits that are gained from having cosmetic surgery. Additionally, if you are currently a smoker, you will need to stop completely prior to undergoing any type of procedures since smoking can affect both the healing process and the results gained from a procedure. Also, it is important that you have a positive attitude and a realistic outlook about what surgery can do for you. An unhealthy lifestyle and poor overall health and fitness can wreak havoc on your appearance.
Dr. Won is Now Offering “Virtual” Consultations
The health and safety of our patients is of utmost importance. Governor Inslee has lifted the ban on elective procedures, so Dr. Won is able to perform those again. Please be assured that all COVID-19 protocols are being followed.
To limit your exposure and keep you safe, Dr. Won is offering her No-obligation Consultation via Telemedicine! You will still be able to see her, face to face, through your computer or tablet, just like if she were standing right in front of you.
During your Consultation, Dr. Won will provide you with all of the information that you need about your options, what procedures would be best for you, and talk with you about the goals you want to accomplish with your procedure. She can also advise you of what to expect from recovery, and will give you a price quote for your surgery at the time of the consultation.
We also have an insurance coordinator for those wishing to look into insurance coverage for procedures that qualify.
Your appointment will occur real time, with no health risk whatsoever to you!
We look forward to meeting you and helping you accomplish your health and appearance goals!