Abdominoplasty is a frequently performed plastic surgery that removes excess abdominal fat and skin. Both men and women choose abdominoplasty—also known as an abdominal lift or tummy tuck—to achieve a slimmer abdomen.
Abdominal sagging can be caused by pregnancy, drastic weight changes, aging or heredity, so it’s something with which many people struggle. Abdominoplasty isn’t a substitute for healthy eating or exercise, but it can create a slimmer abdomen when these steps aren’t enough. This procedure is used to eliminate excess skin after weight loss and to remove scarring and stretch marks. Abdominal lifts can reduce back pain by improving how abdominal muscles support the back and by removing weight in the abdominal area.
Abdominoplasty begins with a consultation with your surgeon. Steven G. Harris, M.D., is a plastic and reconstructive surgery specialist who has been with the Jefferson Surgical Clinic team since 2006. He is a board certified plastic surgeon and did his residency at Duke University. His training and skill will help you achieve the best possible results.
At the initial examination, Dr. Harris will talk about your goals, answer your questions, and determine if you are a good candidate for this surgery. For women, it is recommended that you wait until after all pregnancies. For all abdominoplasty candidates, it is important to be near your ideal weight, because the procedure addresses shape rather than weight. Cigarette smoking should be avoided during preparation for surgery and overall health should be good.
About the Procedure
Abdominoplasty is typically an outpatient procedure, except under unusual circumstances. Performed under general anesthesia, the surgery takes between two and four hours. An incision is made across the lowest part of the abdomen. In cases with loose skin in the upper abdomen, a vertical incision may also be made. If needed, abdominal muscles can be tightened. Absorbable sutures and surgical glue are used to close each of the layers.
Recovering from Abdominoplasty
The recovery period for abdominoplasty is typically 3-6 weeks and begins with one week of rest. A drain tube—or two—is needed during the first few days to prevent fluid build-up. After about three weeks, patients can usually begin non-strenuous work. A compression garment is worn to support the abdomen. Patients whose muscles have been tightened should not lift anything over ten pounds for six weeks.
Start with a Consultation
If you think abdominoplasty might be a good fit for you, Jefferson Surgical Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia is here to help you every step of the way. In addition to abdominal reconstruction and abdominoplasty, Dr. Harris, also specializes in facelifts, brow lifts, eyelid surgery and liposuction.