“Beauty Through Mastery” Serving Miami, Boca Raton, Florida and surrounding areas
Abdominoplasty or a “tummy tuck” refers to the reshaping of the abdomen, or mid-section. At The Institute of Aesthetic Medicine, abdominoplasty is an effective procedure to reshape and restore the youthful contour of the abdomen through the removal of excess skin, and the precise tightening of the abdominal muscles.
Abdominoplasty is frequently performed with expert liposuction to further refine the shape of the mid-section, and create a beautiful, natural, feminine result. The goal is to create a beautifully-contoured silhouette and flat mid-section by tightening the abdominal muscles, removing excess skin, and shaping and removing excess fat with liposuction.
WHY SELECT AN ABDOMINOPLASTY SURGERY?
There are several factors that commonly affect the appearance of the abdomen including:
- Weight fluctuations
Both of these factors can cause stretching of the abdominal skin and muscles. This may lead to “stretch marks” or striae of the skin, and muscle widening or gapping, also known as diastasis recti. In addition, for many men and women, weight gain in the abdomen or mid-section may be very resistant to diet and exercise making it very difficult or nearly impossible to restore the natural, aesthetically-pleasing contour of the abdomen.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR AN ABDOMINOPLASTY?
- FEMALES – AFTER CHILDBIRTH
Since pregnancy can stretch the abdominal skin and musculature, women who are postpartum are typically excellent candidates for abdominoplasty. The stretching of skin and muscle that occurs with pregnancy may cause gapping of the abdominal muscles and a bulge in the lower abdomen. In addition, pregnancy may stretch the skin beyond its natural ability to contract after pregnancy.
Women interested in a tummy tuck should generally wait about 6 months after their last delivery in order to achieve natural contraction of skin and muscle.* It is generally advised to defer abdominoplasty if future pregnancies are planned. While abdominoplasty will not affect the safety of future pregnancies, the benefits of the surgery may be lost.
Men are typically not good candidates for abdominoplasty for several reasons. (The exception is excess weight loss patients – see below). Men usually store a large portion of fat inside of the abdomen underneath the muscle layer. This intra-abdominal fat cannot be addressed with an abdominoplasty. In addition, males do not experience the rapid stretching of abdominal muscle and skin that occurs with pregnancy. Therefore, there is very little laxity in these tissue that is amenable to correction. However, men do have a tendency to store fat in localized deposits in the areas of the hips or “love handles.” These localized areas of fat can often be successfully treated with liposuction alone.
- EXCESS WEIGHT LOSS – WOMEN AND MEN
Massive weight loss patients are those patients who have lost a tremendous amount of weight either through diet and exercise, or through bariatric surgery. Both men and women who have achieved this amount of weight loss are excellent candidates for abdominoplasty. In this instance, the emphasis of the abdominoplasty is on the removal of excess skin. Abdominoplasty is generally indicated when a patient’s weight loss has been stable for 6-12 months.*
WHY SELECT DR. PAUL AFROOZ FOR YOUR ABDOMINOPLASTY PROCEDURE?
I met with Dr. Afrooz at the end of May 2017 requesting for guidance on abdominal plastic surgery. The feedback l received from him was not only educational but helped me make a decision in less than two weeks. Dr. Afrooz is an artist, perfectionist and individualizes his treatment plan based on what you desire. He guides you every step of the way, puts into consideration your input.*”
Achieving the ideal abdomen requires a strong sense of aesthetics, a thorough understanding of anatomy, as well as surgical skill and experience. Dr. Paul N. Afrooz completed a fellowship in aesthetic surgery after his general training in plastic surgery, and has a particular interest in abdominoplasty and body contouring.
In addition, Dr. Afrooz’s philosophy is not simply the removal of excess fat, but the shaping and contouring of fat in order to provide a very feminine contour and curvature that creates beautiful results. When fat is contoured precisely and artistically, it contributes to a beautiful contour. Therefore, our philosophy is one of tightening muscles and skin, while also shaping fat to create a beautiful and feminine silhouette.
Dr. Afrooz will determine the appropriate combination of procedures for each individual patient, and this usually includes the combination of abdominoplasty and liposuction to achieve optimal contour. On the day of surgery, Dr. Afrooz will have an additional thorough discussion regarding the operative plan, and the goals of the procedure. In addition, precise preoperative markings will be made in order to guide the operative plan, and facilitate excellent communication with the patient. Markings will include the areas of liposuction and contouring, as well as the abdominoplasty incision.
The abdominoplasty portion of the procedure usually follows the initial portion of liposuction. A horizontal incision is made just above the pubic area that extends laterally toward the hips. This incision is ranges from 5 – 7 cm above the top of the vulva and is designed to be well-hidden and covered by undergarments or the bottom of a two-piece bathing suit.
The length of the incision is usually determined by the degree of excess skin and fat that will be removed. The skin and fat layer above the muscles is precisely separated from the muscle layer, and depending on each individual case, the belly button is addressed by different techniques. Sometimes it is circumscribed with an incision, while the skin around it continues to be separated from the muscle layer.
The muscles of the abdomen are precisely contoured with suturing techniques to create a tighter, firmer contour, while also creating aesthetic curvature. This technique of tightening is very similar to the effect of a corset, in which tightening the central portion has a flattening effect in the front and creates narrowing and curvature along the sides. There are limitations to the degree of tightening that can be achieved safely. Many patients have a widening of the abdominal muscles, which is called diastasis recti. This is often due to widening of the muscles from multiple pregnancies. Muscle widening is similarly addressed through corset-like tightening of the muscles.
After the muscles have been tightened, the skin is laid back down over the muscle, and excess skin and fat are removed from the lower portion of the abdomen. Additional liposuction is frequently performed at this time to achieve the final desired contour. The remaining skin is precisely tailored, and sutured into place. The belly button is brought out through a newly designed incision in the abdominal skin, and sutured into place by a meticulous technique designed to create a natural, aesthetically-pleasing belly button. Small drain tubes may be placed to remove fluid during the healing process, and these are removed a few days after surgery.
The approach to a mini-abdominoplasty is very similar to that of a regular abdominoplasty (Please refer to the abdominoplasty section). However, patients who are candidates for a mini-abdominoplasty have a much lesser degree of excess skin to remove. This allows the use of a shorter abdominoplasty incision, and elevation of the belly button with the skin. The belly button is pulled down with the abdominal skin, and its final position is slightly lower. In a mini-abdominoplasty, muscle tightening and liposuction are still performed if needed in order to achieve the best possible contour.
REFINE YOUR ABDOMINAL SHAPE WITH LIPOSUCTION
Contouring of the abdomen usually begins with liposuction in order to contour the flanks and the lateral aspects of the mid-section, while also thinning the layer of fat between the abdominal musculature and the skin. Small access incisions (3 – 5 mm in length) are made in the area of the lower abdomen that will be removed with the abdominoplasty. The targeted areas of contouring are initially infiltrated with fluid to provide numbing and to constrict the blood vessels in these areas. After the fluid is infiltrated, the defined areas are precisely shaped and contoured with liposuction. In addition, the layer of fat between skin and muscle is thinned and contoured to achieve the desired shape. The amount of contouring varies for each individual patient.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER MY TUMMY TUCK?
Abdominoplasty Recovery Process
Dr. Afrooz requires abdominal contouring patients to stay overnight in our recovery suite at the Ritz-Carlton located adjacent to our office. This allows patients to have a private nurse with expertise in providing care for plastic surgery patients.
During the initial few days of the healing process, it is imperative to walk regularly. This prevents pooling of blood in the lower legs which may cause blood clots. In addition, when walking, it is important to stay bent at the waist in order to avoid tension on the abdominal incision. These, along with other detailed instructions, will be discussed with each patient individually, as well as provided through written instructions.
Recovery from abdominal contouring procedures varies from patient to patient and depends on the extent of the individual procedure. Less extensive procedures may require 1 week of downtime, while more extensive procedures may require between 10 – 14 days of downtime. Generally, return to exercise and normal activity is between 4 – 6 weeks.*
Dr. Afrooz will prescribe the appropriate postoperative course for each individual patient. While many patients feel well after 7 – 10 days, limited activity is essential for optimal healing.*
If you are considering contouring of the abdomen, we encourage you to set up a consultation with Dr. Paul N. Afrooz to discuss your options.
To discover how cosmetic surgery of the body and expert liposuction procedures can improve your appearance, confidence, and total outlook on life please call our office today 305.854.8828 to schedule your confidential consultation with Dr. Paul N. Afrooz.
*Results may vary. Consult with the experienced plastic surgeons at the Institute of Aesthetic Medicine to see if you are a good candidate.