Tummy Tuck Surgery
Do you desire a flatter, more toned tummy? Do you want to eliminate loose skin caused by the “wear and tear” of pregnancy or weight loss?
If so, a tummy tuck might be the answer for you.
Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as tummy tuck surgery, is one of the most sought-after plastic surgery procedures, especially among post-pregnancy mothers who long for their pre-pregnancy shape and men and women who wish to counteract the loose skin and localized pockets of fat present after significant weight loss.
Dr. Thomas Fiala is well-known for his expertise in this procedure, and offers many variations of tummy tuck surgery for his patients in Orlando, Florida, and the surrounding areas.
What is Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Even with a proper diet and regular exercise routine, it can be difficult for some men and women to see even the tiniest improvement in their abdominal contour. One of the primary reasons for this is that a healthy lifestyle has little effect on loose skin that has been stretched by pregnancy or weight gain.
Unfortunately, this skin laxity can only be addressed through a surgical procedure.
Tummy tuck surgery removes the loose skin and repairs the abdominal musculature, restoring the slim and trim contour. It’s a procedure which is particularly beneficial for post-pregnancy women who experience “rectus diastasis.” Diastasis recti is a condition in which the two sides of the “sit-up” muscles separate, leaving a weak area that tends to bulge between the two muscles. During a tummy tuck, the muscle fascia is repaired and tightened with sutures, like an internal girdle or corset.
The combination of muscle tightening and skin removal gives the tummy tuck its shaping power.
What Are the Benefits of a Tummy Tuck?
Men and women experience the following benefits with their abdominoplasty:
- Elimination of loose, hanging abdominal skin
- Repair of separated abdominal muscles
- Reduction of localized pockets of fat
- Removal of stretch marks (if they are located on the excised skin)
- More defined waistline
- Correction of small umbilical hernias
- Reduction in stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in some patients
Am I a Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Candidates for tummy tuck surgery are adult men and women looking for any of the above benefits.
Although this surgery can transform your midsection, a tummy tuck is not designed for weight loss. This procedure is ideal when performed on a healthy patient who is near their goal weight.
If you are more than 15 pounds above your ideal weight, losing weight first can significantly improve your results. As the weight comes off, the looseness in the tummy area increases, allowing for better removal of loose skin during surgery. Intra-abdominal fat is less, so better muscle repair can be performed. Additionally, the thickness of the abdominal tissue decreases with weight loss, allowing for a more “slim and trim” result.
For recommendations on body contouring and pre-op weight, click here.
Additionally, candidates should be non-smoking individuals with realistic and healthy expectations for their results.
Are There Different Types of Tummy Tucks?
Depending on the amount of loose skin present, one of three types of tummy tucks will be offered: a mini, a standard, or an extended tummy tuck.
Incisions are positioned so most typical bikini styles will hide them.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Patients requiring minimal correction in the lower-third of their abdomen may be well-suited for a mini tummy tuck. This technique requires a shorter incision and a shorter recovery because less work is done.
Ideal candidates for the mini tummy tuck have a fit upper and mid-abdomen, no looseness at or above the belly button, and only a small degree of skin looseness in the lower abdomen.
Standard and Extended Tummy Tuck
Patients with loose skin, separated abdominal muscles, and excess fat below and above the belly button are often candidates for the standard or extended tummy tuck. These techniques involve longer incisions, but are much more powerful, as more skin is removed, and better tightening is possible than with the “mini” procedure. The length of the incision depends on the amount of skin laxity present. If the laxity goes to the side of the body, so does the incision.
So, Which Technique Is Right for You?
The more loose skin you have, the more correction you need. You can test this on yourself: lean forward while sitting in a chair. Grab your loose abdominal skin, and see how far the loose skin goes, as you move your hands towards your sides. That’s how far the incision should extend to correct it. Think of it like tailoring fabric!
Dr. Fiala will help you sort out the optimal technique for you during your consultation.
Is a Tummy Tuck Painful?
Dr. Fiala has been a leader in the research and development of the ultrasound-guided “TAP block” using Exparel. This long-acting local anesthetic dramatically reduces post-op pain and soreness after a tummy tuck or Mommy Makeover. His studies show a 50% reduction in the amount of pain medication necessary when the TAP block is used — it’s been a game-changer” for patient recovery!
This enhanced-recovery technique has been published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, presented at national meetings, and recognized as “best practice” in new articles on the subject.
How Long Is My Tummy Tuck Recovery?
The tummy tuck recovery period depends on the extent of the tummy tuck and whether liposuction is performed.
Patients should expect two weeks off of work and their normal day-to-day routines, even with a desk job. Physical jobs will require a longer period of time off. Physical exercise resumes in a step-by-step progression, beginning as early as six weeks. Core exercises or those that use a lot of abdominal muscle action — like golf, tennis or crossfit — require a three month recovery.
Most patients feel their energy is “back to normal” after one month.
You will be given more detailed instructions regarding your recovery during your consultation. This will include information on pain medication, compression garments, and managing post-operative drains.
Are My Tummy Tuck Results Permanent?
Tummy tuck surgery is an effective option for toning the midsection; however, it is up to you to keep those results looking great. Patients are expected to maintain a healthy lifestyle following their surgery, including a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Additional weight gain and/or subsequent pregnancies can negatively impact the quality of your initial results.
Tummy Tuck Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a tummy tuck in Orlando, FL?
Tummy tuck cost varies from patient to patient based on the techniques used and the extent of correction needed. Additional cost factors include combination techniques and surgical fees, including the surgeon’s fee, facility fee, anesthesia fees, and pre- and post-operative appointments and tests.
You will be given a detailed cost estimate during your consultation. You can view our price list to better understand what that cost may be.
Where is tummy tuck surgery performed?
For otherwise healthy patients, the tummy tuck is performed in our AAAASF-accredited surgical suite. The operation is performed under general anesthesia, with the services of an expert MD anesthesiologist. An overnight stay is required, and one-on-one nursing care is provided. Dr. Fiala personally sees each tummy tuck patient the next morning to check progress and review the post-operative details.
Can I have liposuction at the same time as a tummy tuck?
Yes. It’s common to use liposuction at the same time as a tummy tuck. It’s often very useful to combine liposuction of the flank area (“love handles”) with a tummy tuck for a more hourglass waist effect.
State laws limit the amount of liposuction at the time of a tummy tuck to 1000 cc.
Should I combine my tummy tuck with other plastic surgeries?
In addition to liposuction, some women incorporate their tummy tuck into a Mommy Makeover, combining breast and body contouring procedures for more significant correction. While this surgery is customizable, it commonly includes a tummy tuck, liposuction, and breast augmentation with implants. Other combinations are possible, but depending on the length of time needed for anesthesia, these may need to be separated into two surgeries.
What about my stretch marks? Will those disappear?
If the stretch marks are on the removed skin, then yes, those stretch marks will be gone. These are the stretch marks below the belly button. Stretch marks high up on the abdomen or far to the sides will remain but will be shifted downwards to a lower position.
I’ve lost nearly 100 pounds after my gastric bypass. Would a tummy tuck help me?
Yes. The tummy tuck is very popular after the weight loss following gastric bypass surgery has stabilized. Many gastric bypass patients have vitamin deficiencies or low iron levels, and we will need to make sure these are at normal levels. Some post-gastric bypass patients will need additional surgery to treat the loose skin on their arms, inner thighs, chest, neck, or flank areas.
I’m planning to have a baby next year. Can I have a tummy tuck now?
It’s better for women to have completed any child-bearing before having the tummy tuck. Have your family first, then come and see our doctors.
I’m a smoker. Can I have a tummy tuck?
Only if you quit first. Scientific research shows that smokers who have a tummy tuck have a dramatically increased chance of major complications, especially with wound healing. This can happen even if you only smoke one or two cigarettes a day. It’s best to abstain from smoking for at least two months before surgery. That includes vaping and marijuana.
What about men? Can they have a tummy tuck too?
Certainly! Many men, especially those who have lost significant weight, choose to have a tummy tuck to improve their abdominal shape. It’s definitely an option!
Interested in Tummy Tuck Surgery in Orlando, FL?
If you are interested in learning more about tummy tuck surgery in Altamonte Springs and the greater Orlando, Florida, area, contact Fiala Aesthetics by calling (407) 339-3222 or filling out our online contact form.
Be sure to download our free e-book on tummy tucks and liposuction. It’s filled with answers to frequently asked questions. We recommend you read through this book prior to your tummy tuck consultation.