Is an Abdominoplasty Right for Me?

An abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck”, is a cosmetic surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen for a smoother body silhouette. It can also repair abdominal muscles that have separated due to pregnancy. The body goes through many changes, whether those changes are due to age, weight fluctuation or due to multiple pregnancies. These changes can stretch the skin past the point of no return, which causes skin laxity and abdominal sagging. This can leave us with a tummy that we feel we must hide away.

One of the greatest benefits of the abdominoplasty is that it removes the sagging skin to smooth out the appearance of the tummy. For this reason and many others, the surgery has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the country. So, should you get an abdominoplasty? Read more about the procedure in our helpful guide!

Dr. Saira Saini is a pioneering plastic surgeon who specializes in making her patients look and feel great. With a tummy tuck surgery, you can regain the flatter, smoother stomach you once had! For further information about abdominoplasty surgery, and to book your personal consultation at Carolina Plastic Surgery of Fayetteville, call us now at (910) 323-1234, or fill out a form for more details about our services.

Before and After Photos

About Abdominoplasty

The body changes in many different ways during pregnancy. Hormone levels, water retention, food aversions, aches and pains, and breast size changes are experienced by many women. After giving birth, many of these body changes will go back to normal. But, one of the things that may not revert back naturally is the appearance of the abdomen. The main aims of abdominoplasty are to:

  • Reduce excess, lax abdominal skin
  • Remove fat deposits from the abdomen
  • Repair and strengthen the abdominal wall musculature (1)
  • Help patients achieve a flatter, smoother tummy

A flatter, well-toned abdomen is a sought-after aesthetic. However, with age-related change,our genetics, and pregnancy come difficulties in achieving and maintaining one. A lot of people struggle to shed stubborn fat deposits in the abdomen. It can also be challenging to address skin changes. But why is it so difficult for the skin to shrink back to how it once was?

Stretched Skin After Pregnancy

Elasticity is a property of the skin that allows it to return to its original shape. The key substances that affect skin elasticity are two important proteins: collagen and elastin. Elastin allows the mechanical elasticity that enables our skin to return to its normal shape after stretching. (2) Collagen is another vital part of skin structure. It’s a key component of the scaffolding of the skin, known as the extracellular matrix. Studies reveal that skin becomes less elastic and less capable of being reshaped in the abdomen during pregnancy. (3) 

It can be frustrating to look in the mirror and see a tummy that simply won’t go back to how it was, despite an effort to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. With an abdominoplasty, the fact that this skin cannot return to its original form is irrelevant. A tummy tuck can remove the stretched tissue permanently, so that patients are able to achieve a smoother abdomen quickly and effectively.

Why People Choose Abdominoplasty

Men and women alike request abdominoplasty. Reasons include:

  • Aesthetic improvement of the abdomen
  • Significant skin laxity following pregnancy
  • Abdominal wall weakness following multiple pregnancies
  • Post-bariatric skin removal following massive weight loss.

With an expertly performed abdominoplasty, patients can achieve a flatter stomach in one simple procedure. Pregnancy-related skin laxity and diastasis recti, or the separation of the abdominal muscles to make room for a growing fetus, can also be addressed successfully, leading to better core strength and support.

If you can say yes to one or more of these questions, a tummy tuck may be well-suited to your needs:

  • Do you want to improve your appearance through cosmetic surgery?
  • Are you looking for more than liposuction alone? (liposuction alone does not remove excess skin)
  • Do you have the condition diastasis recti following one or multiple pregnancies?
  • Are you dissatisfied with the appearance of your trunk when you look in the mirror?
  • Are you older and seeing an increase in the skin and fat in your abdomen?
  • Have you seen little change in skin laxity since the birth of your child(ren)?
  • Have you had bariatric surgery and need to remove sagging tummy skin?
  • Have you seen little change in skin and fat deposits, even after eating healthily and exercising regularly?
  • Are there unsightly stretch marks that can be significantly reduced with an abdominoplasty?

If you said yes to any of the above questions, an abdominoplasty could help you reach your desired aesthetic goals! Contact Carolina Plastic Surgery of Fayetteville to book a personal consultation with Dr. Saini and take the first step to a flatter, wrinkle-free stomach!

Candidates

Candidates for abdominoplasty are people who are looking to improve the appearance of their abdomen through surgery. For some, it may be part of the end of a long weight-loss journey, particularly men and women who have undergone gastric bypass or similar bariatric procedures. Women who have had multiple pregnancies may also be good candidates if their tummy skin and fat have not returned to its original position, despite diet and exercise. You may not be able to get an abdominoplasty procedure if you:

  • Have diabetes
  • Experience hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Have any cardiac conditions 
  • Have upper abdominal scars
  • Are 30 lb or more above your ideal weight  (4)

The best candidates for a tummy tuck are people who maintain a healthy lifestyle and who are within 30 lb of their ideal weight, as abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss surgery. 

Read Dr. Saini’s blog for more information about post-weight-loss surgery, tummy tuck procedures, and non-surgical ways to improve your body’s aesthetic appearance!

Personal Consultation

Patients meet Dr. Saini and her team at her Fayetteville offices to discuss their surgery. In your initial meeting with us, we will ask you to give us a detailed medical history and some personal information. Please come to your appointment prepared to ask any questions you may have regarding tummy tuck surgery. You can also use this opportunity to explain what you’re dissatisfied with regarding the appearance of your abdomen, and how it is affecting your life. Dr. Saini may also conduct a physical examination of your abdomen, noting skin quality, skin laxity, areas of excess fat, stretch marks, and signs of separated abdominal muscles. will use these details to draw up a treatment plan that fits your needs in a tailored, unique way.

Procedure

Dr. Saini will provide detailed instructions for you to follow before and after your tummy tuck procedure. You will need to adhere to these instructions carefully to safeguard your results. An abdominoplasty procedure generally follows the same basic steps for most patients:

  • Administering of anesthesia
  • A discrete hip-to-hip incision
  • Lifting of the skin to expose the abdominal muscles
  • Abdominal muscle repair (where indicated)
  • Excess fat liposuction (where indicated)
  • Removal of excess skin
  • Suturing if the incision
  • Repositioning and suturing of the newly positioned navel

Tummy Tuck Options

As every patient is different, an abdominoplasty procedure can vary quite a lot in length. Dr. Saini may also suggest a variation of the abdominoplasty such as a mini tummy tuck, or an extended tummy tuck, which remove either more or less tissue, depending on her recommendations. Some procedures can be completed in 1-2 hours, while others may be 3-4 hours in duration.

Corresponding & Complementary Procedures 

CoolSculpting

CoolSculpting is a great non-surgical option for patients who don’t want an invasive procedure, but who still want to reduce fat in their abdomen. There are no incisions, and there’s no long recovery. Using extremely cold temperatures, in a process known as cryolipolysis, fat is targeted and broken down. What’s more, it’s not just your abdomen that can benefit! CoolSculpting is also useful to remove stubborn fat from the love handles, thighs, bra rolls, back, and neck.

Panniculectomy

The pannus is an “apron” of skin that can droop over the groin area in some body types, causing an unsatisfactory appearance and discomfort in the form of chafing. This excess skin can be virtually impossible to remove without surgical intervention. A Panniculectomy allows patients to remove this excess tissue for a slimmer, more aesthetic profile. Unlike the abdominoplasty, there is no muscle repair, and the procedure targets only the lower abdomen.

Mommy Makeover

The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures rolled into one, and most often includes an abdominoplasty. It’s a completely customizable surgery that deals with the areas of the body that bother you most following pregnancy. In addition to this, patients can get a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL), a breast augmentation, breast lift (mastopexy), or breast reduction, as well as liposuction to transform your post-pregnancy body

Cost of a Tummy Tuck in Fayetteville, NC

The cost of your abdominoplasty procedure is dependent on the treatment plan designed by Dr. Saini. Qualified patients in North Carolina and farther afield may wish to seek financing options through Care Credit or Alphaeon Credit. 

To find out more about what an abdominoplasty could do for you, please get in touch with us! Call our office at (910) 323-1234 to book your personal consultation with tummy tuck expert Dr. Saira Saini!

References

  1. Regan, J.-P., & Casaubon, J. T. (2020). Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck). PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431058/ 
  2. Boyer, G., Lachmann, N., Bellemère, G., De Belilovsky, C., & Baudouin, C. (2018). Effects of pregnancy on skin properties: A biomechanical approach. Skin Research and Technology, 24(4), 551–556. https://doi.org/10.1111/srt.12465 
  3. Baumann, L., Bernstein, E. F., Weiss, A. S., Bates, D., Humphrey, S., Silberberg, M., & Daniels, R. (2021). Clinical Relevance of Elastin in the Structure and Function of Skin. Aesthetic Surgery Journal Open Forum, 3(3). https://doi.org/10.1093/asjof/ojab019 
  4. Bhargava, D. (2008). Abdominoplasty today. Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery : Official Publication of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India, 41(Suppl), S20-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2825125/ 
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