Tummy Tuck, Outer Thigh Lift, and LiposuctionView Patient Details
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A Tummy Tuck, or abdominoplasty, is the most effective way to tighten your stomach area. It also gets rid of loose or wrinkled skin. Stretch marks between the belly button and pubic hair are eliminated. Fat tissue in the lower abdomen is removed. The abdominal wall muscles are tightened so that even when sitting down or bending over the abdomen doesn't stick out. Say goodbye to holding in your belly.
No matter how much I exercise, my stomach sticks out!
The benefits of abdominoplasty surgery:
Abdominal wall deformities have three components:
- Loose or wrinkly skin, stretch marks. This can be a result of aging, pregnancy, or marked weight loss.
- Fat tissue, most of the time seen in the lower abdomen.
- Muscle separation, which can occur by itself, or as a result of pregnancy. Sit-ups or crunches don't help in this situation as once the muscles relax, they separate and the tummy bulges out.
Liposuction alone can take care of excess fat tissue, but loose skin and stretch marks must be addressed by one of three techniques: dermatolipectomy, mini-tummy tuck, or full tummy tuck.
YouTube Video: Do I Need Exercise or a Tummy Tuck?
What is the difference between a tummy tuck and a mini-tummy tuck?
The tummy tuck addresses the three components your abdomen: the skin, fat, and muscle.
Most notable is the fact that work is done to tighten the muscles, which will benefit women who want as flat a stomach as possible. Results, especially when combined with liposuction of the flanks, are dramatic.
A mini tummy tuck is best suited for women who don't have stretch marks or saggy skin, but have a pouch below the belly button. It can be done through an incision in the belly button, or through a C section scar if the patient wants a little excess skin taken off.
Men, on the other hand, seem to have their pouch above the belly button. Dr. Rodriguez performs the mini tummy tuck in the same fashion by going through a small incision in the belly button.
To learn more, please read Dr. Rodriguez's blog post describing the difference between the two surgical techniques.
What if my muscle is fine, but I have lots of loose skin?
If you do not need muscle work, there is a procedure which is designed to only remove the loose skin. A dermatolipectomy is a procedure that takes out skin, but does not tighten the muscle. It benefits most slender women who have wrinkly or excess skin, but good muscle tone. It has the same scar as a tummy tuck.
Can exercise alone make my stomach flat?
If you have a separation in your rectus abdominis muscle, only a tummy tuck can help you. No amount of exercise will close the separated muscle. For more information, and to learn how to do a self-examination of your own stomach muscles, watch Dr. Rodriguez's video, Flat stomach-more exercise or a tummy tuck?
What is involved in the full tummy tuck procedure?
Dr. Rodriguez now exclusively uses the Lockwood technique for all of his tummy tucks. This surgical technique gives the best aesthetic result and has a dramatic reduction in post op seromas that are seen with the standard tummy tuck procedure. Learn more about why the Lockwood technique helps reduce post operative tummy tuck swelling and seromas in Dr. Rodriguez's blog post, Tummy Tucks: How to reduce swelling and eliminate fluid collections (seromas).
The first step in the abdominoplasty procedure is to cut the skin between the belly button and top of the pubic hair. Dr. Rodriguez reviews the exact incision location with you prior to the procedure and makes every possible effort to keep it below your panty line. The belly button stays in place. The muscles are then tightened from the pubic bone to the ribs. The skin above the belly button is then stretched down to the pubic area and stitched in place. Finally, the belly button is brought out through the overlying skin to occupy its original position.
What type of anesthesia is used?
Dr. Rodriguez prefers to use IV sedation with his Tummy Tuck Procedures. IV sedation provides for a quicker recovery than General Anesthesia and eliminates much of the nausea associated with anesthesia. Dr. Rodriguez uses only Board Certified Anesthesiologists in his AAAASF Accredited Surgery Center located in Baltimore, Maryland.
I also have skin which hangs over the sides of my hips. Can a tummy tuck fix that too?
If you have excess skin and fat which hangs over your hips, you should consider a lower body lift procedure. The body lift includes an outer thigh lift and buttock lift, in addition to the abdominoplasty.
So how much does a tummy tuck cost?
The average total cost for a tummy tuck procedure is $6400-$8700 to include surgeon's fee, OR fees, and anesthesia fees. The range depends on whether it is a mini-tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck. Dr. Rodriguez uses only Board Certified Anesthesiologists. Dr. Rodriguez's surgical fee does include liposuction of the waist, which is sometimes not included in costs quoted by other offices. If you are comparing costs among surgeons be sure to compare apples to apples. All follow up office visits are included in his surgical fee. Financing is available.
Before and After Tummy Tuck Photos
See our gallery of Before and After Tummy Tuck Photos, all performed by Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with over 20 years experience. Our photo gallery includes over 40 sets of patient photos! Please note that all of these patients have given written consent to use their photos at our web site. We are very grateful for their participation in patient education.
Featured Tummy Tuck Expert on RealSelf.com
Dr. Rodriguez is a featured Tummy Tuck Expert and Gold Status Participant on RealSelf.com.
Contact Dr. Rodriguez for a consult
We would be happy to have you Contact Us to discuss your individual needs with you and answer any questions you may have about the abdominoplasty procedure.