Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, provides an option for men and women to reduce a sagging or protruding belly area that causes them physical or emotional discomfort.
While it is not a weight loss solution, a tummy tuck can improve the tautness of the tummy area and reduce the appearance of excess fat. The typical outcome of a tummy tuck is a smooth and firm profile in the midsection, creating an attractive, proportional overall shape.
After tummy tuck surgery, patients often stand straighter and appear taller, fitter and slimmer.
This can be due to increased body confidence, and in many cases, is an after-effect of the repair of stretched stomach muscles and removal of excess skin during surgery. Abdominoplasty is a high-satisfaction plastic surgery procedure performed on thousands of patients annually here in the Bergen County area alone.
Why Is Tummy Tuck Surgery So Popular in Northern NJ?
The body issues of patients here are the same as those in the rest of the country. The surgery is done more often here than certain other regions of the US mainly due to population density.
Abdominoplasty patients often seek a tummy tuck because they find that no amount of diet or exercise will give them the improvement in abdominal contour they’re looking for. There are a number of reasons why the mid-section can lose its ideal shape, including the following:
- The aging process affects us all at differing rates. Many people look older than they feel due to excess fat in the tummy area.
- Loss of skin elasticity. Some people’s skin will bounce back more effectively after weight loss or pregnancy. This ability to bounce back can be determined by genetics and/or lifestyle factors (like overall fitness, exercise habits, smoking, etc.)
- The effects of gravity will vary from person to person and have a greater or lesser effect depending upon the other factors.
- Pregnancy, of course, can weaken muscles, cause stretch marks and leave loose skin.
- Prior surgery of any type in the abdominal area can lead to weakened muscles and/or a tummy bulge, often years later.
- Major weight loss. After weight loss from bariatric surgery, or successful diet and exercise, some patients are left with what is sometimes called an “apron” of excess skin. This can lead to feelings of great disappointment even after the accomplishment of significant weight loss.
- Hereditary factors have a lot to say about where an individual stores fat and how elastic the skin is. No matter how conscientiously they exercise or watch their diet, some people may have a bulging mid-section and isolated fat pocket in the abdomen.
In short, if you have a tummy “pouch” that “pooches out” and/or excess fat, wrinkled, loose or “hanging” skin in the abdominal area and/or weakened muscles, a tummy tuck could be the solution for you.
The tummy tuck safely reduces and firms the area between the ribs and the pubic area.
Types of Tummy Tuck Procedures
Depending upon your physical characteristics and goals for your tummy tuck, your Bergen County plastic surgeon will recommend one of several different procedures.
Your chosen plastic surgeon should tailor the abdominoplasty procedure to you as an individual, so it is likely that a combination of techniques will be used, falling into these basic categories:
- Complete or full tummy tuck: This involves an incision from hipbone to hipbone, below the bikini line. (The scar should not be visible even in small bikini bottoms.) The belly button must also be repositioned.
- Limited or mini tummy tuck: This procedure uses a short scar technique and works only when a small amount of tissue is being removed. There is typically no incision around (or repositioning of) the belly button.
- Liposuction and other related procedures may be done at the same time. The tummy tuck procedure is performed entirely outside of the abdominal cavity, unless hernia repair or other procedures are needed. Although there are risks with any surgical procedure, good patient candidates and experienced Northern NJ surgeons typically partner together for outstanding results.
- A tummy tuck may also be performed as part of a body lift or body contouring procedure. These procedures may be done after bariatric surgery for removal of excess skin, muscle repair and to smooth out remaining fatty tissues. A tummy tuck may also be done as part of a post-pregnancy “Mommy Makeover”.
What Are the Risks of Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Your surgeon will discuss your individual risk profile with you and answer any questions. The vast majority of abdominoplasty surgeries are completely successful and patients are typically very satisfied with their new body contours.
However it is important to consider and understand the risks before agreeing to surgery. Risks include: anesthesia risks, bleeding, blood clots, infection, poor healing, scarring, skin loss, decreased sensation, skin discoloration, lingering swelling, asymmetry and more.
The incidence of these risks is substantially decreased by:
- Proper candidate screening (on the part of the surgeon).
- Careful surgeon selection (by the patient).
- Impeccable surgical technique, a well-developed aesthetic sense and an understanding of each patient’s goals. These decrease risk and are crucial to a positive outcome.
Also crucial is following your surgeon’s instructions when preparing for and recovering from abdominoplasty surgery, including:
- Be sure to wear your compression or support garment for as long as directed by your surgeon.
- Move around gently, after you’re given permission, in order to encourage proper circulation to speed healing and avoid blood clots.
- Call your surgeon if you have a fever and if any symptom at all is worrying you.
- Please come to all post-surgical visits, even if you feel that you have completely healed.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty Surgery in Bergen County?
The best candidates for tummy tucks are women or men in good overall physical health, with practical expectations about what the procedure can achieve.
It may take a consultation with your surgeon to determine if your goals are practical and realistic. We don’t expect you to know all the answers beforehand.
We do recommend keeping these points in mind before considering surgery:
A tummy tuck will improve the profile of your midsection–but it’s not intended to be a weight loss surgery. Ideal patients are not intending to become pregnant or undertake a big weight loss or gain in future.
Large weight changes after abdominoplasty may cause re-stretching and re-separation of abdominal muscles and cause abdominal sagging once again.
Tummy tuck candidates should:
- Be in good overall physical health.
- Be disturbed by excess weight in the belly area.
- Have “extra” drooping skin.
- Be close to their ideal body weight and not planning on gaining or losing a lot of weight.
- Have a healthy outlook about what surgery can achieve, after discussing their goals with the plastic surgeon.
- Make a commitment to maintain the abdominoplasty result with proper exercise and a healthy diet after recovery.
Tummy tuck candidates should not:
- Plan on getting pregnant or gaining/losing lots of weight in the future.
- Have a chronic medical condition which could compromise the success of the surgical procedure or the patient’s health.
- Be pressured into having a tummy tuck by boyfriends, girlfriends, relatives or anyone else.
Tummy Tuck Advantages Noted by Patients in Northern NJ
Patients often mention the following positive life changes after a tummy tuck:
- Look and feel younger and/or more fit.
- Feel even more motivated to exercise and eat right.
- Have better posture and appear taller.
- Wear clothing styles that weren’t comfortable before, such as tucked in shirts, belts or skinny jeans.
- Wear beachwear, shorts and bikinis with more confidence.
- Appear more proportional overall and somewhat thinner.
- Notice improved libido.
- Experience relief from skin irritation, rash or infections that occurred beneath large flaps of skin that were left after significant weight loss.
Finding the Perfect Tummy Tuck Surgeon for You in Bergen County
Locating the best plastic surgeon for you may sound daunting — but it can be quite simple. Give yourself time to do your research. Choose a skilled, experienced surgeon with whom you are comfortable.
Ensure that your surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery, specifically, and has surgical privileges at a prestigious local hospital. (This is important even if you are having your surgery at an accredited surgery center.) Choose a surgeon who listens to your goals, asks questions and partners with you to achieve them.
Your Abdominoplasty Consultation at Cohen/Winters
You will find skilled surgeons who are very dedicated to their chosen craft at Cohen/Winters Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery in Bergen County. You’ll also find that Dr. Cohen and Dr. Winters enjoy meeting with patients and helping them achieve their goals.
When you’re ready to take the next step to eliminating an unwanted tummy sag or bulge, make an appointment for a no-charge consultation with your local Bergen County plastic surgery experts.
We are happy to help you to determine if you’re a good candidate for surgery and answer any questions you may have. If tummy tuck surgery is right for you, we will partner with you for a successful outcome to achieve the body you want.