If you are one of the thousands of Americans struggling with unsightly stomach bulging, loose folds of fat and skin, weakened abdominal muscles, and trouble fitting into your clothes, a tummy tuck – also known as an abdominoplasty – can radically reshape your torso for a slimmer, tighter waistline.
During your Charlotte NC tummy tuck, your surgeon will remove skin and fat, use suturing, and even liposuction to eradicate unwanted belly fat from the lower and middle abdomen, firming and toning the abdominal wall. A tummy tuck is often part of the more comprehensive mommy makeover, which typically includes breast augmentation, breast lift, and facial injectables.
The best candidates for a tummy tuck…
- are at a normal, healthy weight, but struggle with unwanted abdominal fat accumlation
- have tried diet and exercise with disappointing results
- have had multiple pregnancies with significant skin laxity and/or stretch marks
- have found their abdomen protruding more and more with aging
- are not planning major weight loss
- are not planning future pregnancies
- are willing to stop smoking 2-4 weeks before surgery
- have reasonable expectations for improvement rather than perfection
Learn more about tummy tuck surgery here:
PPSD Body contouring in Charlotte, NC
At PPSD, we pride ourselves on patient-centric care that exceeds your expectations with outstanding results. Our team of board-certified, bilingual plastic surgeons in Charlotte NC and its surrounding counties: including Cornelius, Denver, Gastonia, Hickory, and Shelby are proficient in all aspects of body contouring from head to toe, and because we have so many fine doctors to choose from, you will be matched with a physician who is the right fit for both your cosmetic needs and your personality.
New patients from Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas of Cornelius, Denver, Gastonia, Hickory, and Shelby are invited to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our doctors in order to determine if a tummy tuck is right for you. The doctor will assess your age, weight, medical history, current medications, past surgeries and pregnancies, aesthetic goals, and answer in detail any questions you may have about the procedure. Your consultation is also a great time to review our expansive library of before and after photos with your doctor so that you may both move forward confidently with aligned expectations.
All procedures are performed on an outpatient basis at one of our advanced AAAASF-accredited surgical suites. There you will receive general anesthesia, administered by one of our vetted, board-certified anesthesiologists. The surgery typically takes 1-2 hours for a mini tummy tuck, and up to 5 hours for a standard tummy tuck.
The standard tummy tuck:
Complete abdominoplasty is usually suggested for those patients seeking a more comprehensive body contouring makeover. It can be performed in conjunction with liposuction to address not only the belly, but love handles and other trouble zones. Although the incision is longer than with a mini-tummy tuck, your surgeon is trained to operate conservatively and will do all that is possible to keep scarring inconspicuous.
The mini tummy tuck:
This procedure is most appropriate for patients whose fat deposits are mostly prevalent in the sub-navel area of the lower abdomen. The mini tummy tuck is less invasive with shorter incision lengths, and requires less surgical time, as well as less downtime. However, the trade-off is that it addresses only a limited region of the torso.
The first step in your Charlotte NC tummy tuck procedure is the creation of an incision above the pubic region. This is made from hip to hip, with a second possible incision made around the navel. The skin is then separated from the abdominal wall and the underlying muscles are manually tightened and sutured, resulting in a slimming effect around the waist. After excess skin and fat have been removed, the belly flap is lowered once more and stitched closed. The doctor will then dress the area with gauze bandages and may insert a tube to drain any unwanted fluids.
Recovering from abdominoplasty
Tummy tuck patients typically enjoy a relatively swift recovery with pain that is easily managed. Some swelling and discomfort is natural and can be addressed with a variety of medications. You will receive a detailed aftercare plan that outlines how to care for your incision sites and what to expect as you continue to heal.
Stitches are typically removed in 5-7 days, and most patients return to work within 2-4 weeks. Light exercise is encouraged to promote circulation and diminish the risks of blood clotting. Scars will gradually fade over the course of 6-9 months while you are busy enjoying your fabulous flat belly and slim, shapely waistline. A commitment to a healthy diet and exercise routine will ensure that your results remain permanent.
When Exercise and Diet Don’t Solve the “Tummy Problem”
Many people take good care of their bodies through exercise, and a healthy, low calorie or low carb diet to attempt to rid the body of excess fat and handle those unsightly bulges. A tummy tuck procedure is not considered an alternative to weight loss, but a solution for abdominal fat that refuses to leave, no matter how much you restrict your food intake or burn calories in exercise programs. Women who have had children often deal with an altered body appearance, and may have tried various methods to attempt to restore the more youthful, flatter tummy they had prior to having children. Abdominal fat can be a problem that proves to be difficult to resolve.
As we age, our bodies alter how we gain and lose weight. The metabolism slows down, and fewer calories are needed to keep the body functioning. Women have the added changes associated with menopause, with hormonal changes that affect how the body stores fat. The shift in body hormones makes women in this age group much more likely to have fat stored in the belly region. The stresses associated with work can add to the problem. The stress hormone, cortisol, is pumped into the body, which is believed to make the body to hold onto fat, as well as increase the size of fat cells. Various supplements promise big results that in the end, do little or nothing. This is when you might be ready to speak with one of our professional team and find out if you are a candidate for a tummy tuck.
Newer Tummy Tuck Procedures What is Best for You?
The various types of tummy tuck surgeries and procedures have come a long way in recent years. A more recent procedure involves your surgeon employing advanced liposuction techniques, with only minor incisions needed. This is called lip-abdominoplasty, and may be the appropriate procedure for your condition. This procedure has increased safety, as there is less separation of the abdominal wall and the blood supply. Depending upon your condition, our cosmetic surgeon will create a customized treatment plan to address tummy fat for a slimmer, more attractive profile. It is important that your surgery is performed by a board certified plastic surgeon. We have many highly-experienced and respected professional plastic surgeons at our practice, and we are proud to have achieved a reputation for excellence.
Preparing for Your Tummy Tuck
It is critical that you are in good general health prior to surgery. In the weeks before your scheduled tummy tuck, it is important that you eat healthy foods and drink plenty of liquids so that your skin is nourished. Fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, can help you be in good health and better prepared for the procedure. You will not be allowed to smoke for several weeks prior to the surgery. The surgical site will need blood flow to the area to heal properly, and smoking inhibits blood flow, along with creating other potential problems. The same is true for several weeks after surgery, so if you are a smoker, you will need to completely stop the habit for three weeks prior to, and after the tummy tuck.
Tummy Tuck Recovery Tips
As with any surgery, carefully following our doctor’s orders is a critical point in the speed of recovery. As you will have been under anesthetic, whether local, twilight, or general, you will need help from a friend or family member upon completion of your surgery. The tummy tuck surgery itself will take in the range of 1 to 3 hours to complete. You will need pain medication for about a week, which will be prescribed by our plastic surgeon. Your body needs to rest and heal, and limited motion over the healing period is very important.
You will be given post-surgery instructions, and how to care for incisions. Follow these instructions carefully – we want your recovery to be as swift and comfortable as possible. We are available to answer questions and concerns and will be checking in with you at home after your surgery, and in follow-up appointments. We care about our patients, and do all we can to help them have the best possible experience, with the least discomfort. Many patients can return to work (at a low motion desk job) in about a week. Keep any incision hydrated and drink sufficient fluids to help your system cleanse. After about four weeks, you can once again start an exercise program. During the healing period, always avoid exposing your surgical scar to the sunshine, and once it is healed, use sunscreen to protect it. The most important tip of all: Rest, rest, and rest — let your body do its work and heal.