When it comes to achieving a slender figure, most people find that the abdominal area is the most stubborn to conform. Changes to the body such as weight fluctuations, the effects of aging and pregnancy can lead to unwanted, excess weight and loose skin around the tummy, leaving individuals feeling less than satisfied with their physique. Even those who follow the strictest diet and exercise routines can find it difficult to shed those extra pounds and achieve a flattering waistline. For many of those people an abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is the answer. Scottsdale plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph Berardi is proud to offer this treatment to his patients who wish to enhance their appearance. Read below to learn more about tummy tuck cost and procedure in Scottsdale.
What are the benefits of tummy tuck surgery?
What’s the benefit of losing that stomach pooch, which has been there ever since you had your last child? What’s the benefit of having a slim contour more akin to the days of your youth?
While loosening of our stomach muscles and the surrounding tissue is inevitable to some degree, this is exacerbated with the localized weight gain of pregnancy or with substantial gain and then loss of weight overall. Once the tissues in this area are stretched to a degree, they lose their elasticity and cannot tighten back down to their former appearance…no matter how many crunches you do!
Also, because the weight gain of pregnancy is so localized, this can actually separate the muscles on the front of the lower abdomen, the rectus abdominis. When this happens, the only way to return them to their former position in the center of the abdomen is surgery.
These are very satisfying procedures for our patients from across the Scottsdale area, as they remove excess sagging skin and tighten the entire abdominal area. When the stomach muscles are re-centered, tummy tucks can even slim the waistline. How great is that?!
What are the risks associated with abdominoplasty?
A tummy tuck with Dr. Berardi is major surgery, so it involves all the risks associated with surgery: excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, infection, blood clot formation, and the like. All of these issues are very rare.
The main possible risk or complication is the incision. This procedure creates the longest incision in cosmetic surgery, stretching from hipbone to hipbone. This area isn’t overly vascularized, and it doesn’t have as many nerve endings as more sensitive areas of the body, so it tends to heal efficiently. But there is a risk that the incision will not heal evenly. That’s where Dr. Berardi’s training, experience, and board certification ensure your incision will heal cleanly and correctly.
Would I be a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
There are a couple things to think about with a tummy tuck. First, you need to be finished with having any additional children. Tummy tucks repair separated stomach muscles caused by the localized weight gain of pregnancy. They remove excess, sagging skin. If you get pregnant again, all of the same stretching will occur. Plus, the weight gain will likely distort your incisions.
Second, this isn’t a weight-loss procedure. Tummy tucks are meant for women whose abdominal area has sagging, stretched skin. This is the result of pregnancy or the gain and loss of a significant amount of weight. If you have a tummy tuck, but then go on and lose more weight, you may create additional sagging, which is what the procedure is meant to address. Dr. Berardi generally wants his tummy tuck patients to be within 10 percent of their ideal weight to qualify for this procedure. It’s best to have been at a stable weight for a few months.
You may be an ideal tummy tuck candidate if you are in good general health and are at or close to your ideal weight. If you plan on losing a significant amount of weight, it is better to hold off on seeking treatment, as any weight fluctuations can hinder the results of surgery. You should also wait to undergo treatment until after you are done having kids, as pregnancy can also affect the results of surgery. During a comprehensive Tummy Tuck consultation, Scottsdale abdominoplasty surgeon Dr. Berardi will evaluate your cosmetic goals and your candidacy for the procedure. It is important that you have realistic goals regarding the outcome of tummy tuck surgery. For example, although the procedure can tighten loose skin and remove unwanted fat, it cannot completely remove stretch marks. Those above the umbilicus typically remain.
What do I need to do to prepare for a tummy tuck?
Abdominoplasty is major surgery, so your preparations will mirror those involved with any surgery, i.e., stopping taking certain medications and supplements, stopping smoking, eating well, avoiding excessive alcohol for a few days before and after, etc.
The most important preparations for a tummy tuck really involve your recovery. Because of the long incision made in this procedure, you won’t be able to lift much of anything for a period. Even standing straight up will be a challenge for a few days. That means you’ll need to get your recovery area ready beforehand. Fill your pain medication prescription. Get your bed and other areas ready for convalescence. Stairs will be challenging, so you may want to sleep downstairs if you have multiple floors.
Most important — enlist help. You won’t be able to do much with the kids and chores will be off limits. Get a spouse, relative, or friend to help out at least for the first week , preferably two, after your surgery.
The Abdominoplasty Procedure
Tummy tuck surgery is a comprehensive procedure which removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal area, as well as tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. This drastically enhances the waistline and can help you feel more comfortable and confident on a daily basis. Based on your specific needs, Dr. Berardi may perform a mini tummy tuck or a traditional one. A mini tummy tuck is ideal if you are concerned about fat deposits below the navel. If you are concerned about fat and excess skin throughout the entire abdomen, a full tummy tuck is more appropriate.
Surgery is performed under general anesthesia and the procedure begins with a horizontal incision across the length of your abdomen, just above the pubic area. Dr. Berardi carefully places the incisions so that any resulting scars do not affect your appearance in clothing. Through this incision, Dr. Berardi tightens the abdominal muscles and trims away excess skin and fat. As part of a full tummy tuck, he may also need to reposition the belly button so that it is still centrally located after surgery. During treatment, he may also utilize liposuction techniques for comprehensive treatment. Once Dr. Berardi has made sufficient changes during the procedure, the area is closed with sutures, helping minimize any tummy tuck side effects.
Tummy Tuck Side Effects and Recovery
Abdominoplasty is an in-depth procedure which requires substantial recovery time, although no two recovery periods are exactly alike. You should expect to experience mild pain or discomfort, which can be alleviated with medication prescribed by Dr. Berardi. It is important that you rest in the days following your Tummy Tuck surgery, and avoid any heavy lifting or vigorous activity for at least six weeks after surgery. You will also be asked to wear a compression garment in the weeks after surgery. Most tummy tuck patients are able to return to work in about two weeks. Dr. Berardi will provide you with thorough post-operative instructions to ensure a safe and speedy recovery. He and his staff are also available around the clock to address any questions or concerns that may arise. After they have fully healed, many Scottsdale tummy tuck patients find that they feel more confident and have a wider selection of clothing options.
Will my results from a tummy tuck be permanent?
The changes made by Dr. Berardi are permanent. He will remove loose, excess skin. He will likely bring separated stomach muscles back to the center and reattach them in their former position. He will remove pockets of fat. These are permanent changes.
Of course, as we age all the tissues on our bodies sag and loosen. But your stomach area will never become loose and saggy to anywhere near the degree that made you opt to have this surgery with Dr. Berardi. Of course, that’s only true if you maintain a healthy weight. If you manage your weight, you’ll enjoy your slimmer, firmer, tighter lower abdomen for the rest of your life.
That said, if you become pregnant again or if you gain and then lose a large amount of weight, these conditions will wipe out the gains made with this surgery. It can even distort your incision scars by stretching the tissue.
That’s one reason why Dr. Berardi asks our abdominoplasty patients during their consultation that they are sure they do not want to have any more children. Pregnancy and the localized weight gain will create all the same problems with loose sagging skin it did in the first place.
How is liposuction different from a tummy tuck?
The goals of liposuction on the abdominal area and a tummy tuck may be the same — to flatten and slim the contour of the area — but what they are targeting is wholly different.
Liposuction simply removes fat. Tiny incisions are made, and Dr. Berardi inserts a slim cannula that then breaks free and suctions away the unwanted fat cells. When the fat cells are removed, the skin above tightens down over the new slimmer contour. For liposuction to be a good procedure, the patient still needs to have excellent elasticity in their abdominal skin.
Abdominoplasty is concerned with loose sagging skin. The goal is to remove excess skin to tighten and firm the abdomen. Tummy tucks also typically bring separated stomach muscles back to the center where they are reattached. Dr. Berardi often includes some limited liposuction with his tummy tuck surgeries to remove pockets of fat, but the main goal of these procedures is the removal of excess, sagging skin.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
A tummy tuck is one of the most popular procedures performed at Berardi Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery. Using advanced surgical techniques, Dr. Berardi can help you attain the attractive physique you have always wanted. If excess skin or fat in your abdominal area is causing you to feel unhappy about your appearance, we encourage you to contact our practice today at 480.397.0711 to schedule a comprehensive consultation. Dr. Berardi will answer all of your questions regarding tummy tuck surgery, and can also discuss other aesthetic treatments he offers including arm lift, butt lift, and breast augmentation. He may also discuss his facial plastic surgery treatments such as Scottsdale rhinoplasty, and facelift.