Many men and women know the pain of working towards a flat stomach but not seeing results. No matter how many sit-ups you do, no matter how carefully you watch your diet, it just never seems to get as flat as you want it to. The reasons for this could be beyond your control.
Weak muscles, weight changes, pregnancy, and genetics can all cause your stomach to protrude. If your skin and muscles have been stretched to a certain point, diet and exercise may not be able to help you achieve the look you want.
Baltimore plastic surgeon Dr. Adam Basner understands your frustration with stubborn fat and hanging skin around your midriff. With nearly two decades of plastic surgery experience, he can help you finally achieve the body you want through tummy tuck surgery. If you are interested in learning more about this life-changing procedure, call Dr. Basner today at 410-616-3000 to schedule your consultation.
- What Is a Tummy Tuck?
- Mini Tummy Tuck vs. Full Tummy Tuck
- Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction
- Who Is a Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
- Tummy Tuck Recovery
- Cost of Tummy Tuck Surgery
- Schedule Your Consultation
Tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures. It is a common component of a "mommy makeover," and is also popular among men and women who have lost massive amounts of weight.
A tummy tuck not only removes excess fat, but it also excises hanging skin and tightens abdominal muscles. If you have the trifecta of loose skin, stubborn fat, and sagging abdominal muscles, a tummy tuck is the only procedure that can address every one of those issues at once.
Tummy tucks can be combined with other plastic surgery procedures such as breast augmentation, buttock lift, or liposuction for comprehensive results. If you are looking for a full body makeover, discuss your options with Dr. Basner during your consultation.
If you have a smaller amount of fat below the belly button and minimal loose skin, a mini tummy tuck may be right for you. This procedure is less intensive and results in a smaller scar, but it cannot produce the same kind of results as a full tummy tuck. Most patients will benefit more from a full tummy tuck, but you may be a candidate for a mini if you:
- Have minimal skin sagging
- Do not have loose abdominal muscles
- Have a smaller amount of fat located mainly below the belly button
- Are not looking for complete rejuvenation of the entire abdominal area
- Understand that while the scar will be shorter, the results will not be as comprehensive
Dr. Basner will listen to your concerns and let you know if you are a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck, or if you would benefit more from a full abdominoplasty.
Many patients wonder what the difference is between liposuction and a tummy tuck, and which procedure is better for them. A tummy tuck is much more extensive than liposuction, and can address more issues. Liposuction will not address loose muscles or excess skin; however, it may be a good choice if your main concern is small areas of stubborn fat.
The only way to tell for certain which procedure would be better for you is by having an in-person consultation, but a good rule of thumb is the following:
Get liposuction if you have:
- Fat in the stomach, back, thighs, love handles, or other areas
- Minimal or no sagging skin
- Abdominal muscles in good shape
Get a tummy tuck if you have:
- Lots of loose, sagging skin
- Larger amounts of excess fat in the abdominal area
- Weakened or separated abdominal muscles
Post-pregnancy women and people who have lost large amounts of weight are often great candidates for a tummy tuck. However, these are not the only groups of people who can benefit. If you have protruding fat and skin around your abdomen, whether you are a man or a woman, you may be a good candidate for abdominoplasty.
In general, good candidates for this surgery:
- Are in good general health
- Are non-smokers, or able to quit for at least a month both before and after surgery
- Understand the potential risks
- Have realistic expectations
- Have any chronic medical conditions such as diabetes well under control
You may have heard that tummy tuck recovery is extremely painful. In fact, tummy tuck recovery will be different for each patient. Dr. Basner takes care to ensure that your recovery is as comfortable as possible, and to this end uses an innovative post-operative pain medication called EXPAREL. This medication is injected directly into the surgical area during your operation, and relieves and numbs pain for approximately 72 hours afterward.
Using EXPAREL saves you from having to take narcotic pain medications every few hours after your surgery, and most of our patients find that their recovery is relatively easy.
After your tummy tuck, you should expect to take at least a week off of work to rest and recover. If your job requires manual labor, you may need to take longer. You will also need to refrain from exercise and strenuous activity for 4 to 8 weeks.
While each patient heals differently, a general guideline for recovery after a tummy tuck is something like this:
- The day of surgery: Have someone drive you home, and make sure you have someone to help you with tasks like dressing, sitting up, and walking to the bathroom.
- The day after surgery: Start walking around as much as you can, but refrain from anything more strenuous. Help with housework and childcare will be needed.
- One week after surgery: If you have a desk job, return to work.
- Two weeks after surgery: Resume light exercise, but avoid anything that may strain the abdominal muscles. Swelling and bruising should be starting to dissipate.
- Four weeks after surgery: Resume moderate exercise, but continue to avoid putting strain on your abdominal muscles. You may still have some swelling, so don't worry if your abdomen doesn't look like what you imagined yet.
Dr. Basner will be available for you throughout your recovery, so if you have any concerns or think that you're not healing like you should, don't hesitate to contact him. You will have follow-up appointments in the days, weeks, and months following your surgery so that he can check to make sure everything is healing and progressing well.
This is just a general guideline, and you should defer to your individualized and detailed post-operative instructions given to you by Dr. Basner.
The cost of a tummy tuck surgery can vary greatly depending on your location, the expertise of your surgeon, whether you are having multiple procedures done, the extent of your surgery, and more. Dr. Basner charges, on average, $7,900 to $9,500 for a tummy tuck procedure.
When researching and deciding on your plastic surgeon, we know that cost will be a factor. However, please keep in mind that cheaper is not always better. The experience and care of your plastic surgeon plays a huge role in how good your results will be, as well as how low your risk will be. Choosing a plastic surgeon that is not board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and who does not perform tummy tucks on a regular basis can lead to irregular results, increased complications, and in rare instances, death.
Tummy tuck surgery is highly complex and requires a high level of skill and experience. Please choose your plastic surgeon carefully in order to ensure your safety and results.
Dr. Basner offers plastic surgery financing through CareCredit if you are concerned about the cost of a tummy tuck procedure. Please ask our patient coordinator about it during your consultation. We are happy to work with you to help you afford the body you've been dreaming of.
If you are interested in a tummy tuck, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Basner at 410-616-3000 to schedule your initial consultation. We serve patients in and around Baltimore, Columbia, Owings Mills, and Towson, Maryland.