Abdominoplasty for a Firmer, Flatter Stomach
Abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck,” is a surgical procedure designed to flatten and contour an abdomen that will not respond to diet or exercise efforts. The procedure involves removing excess fat and skin, repairing the abdominal muscles and tightening sagging skin. The procedure is modified to the patient’s specific needs.
One of the most commonly performed cosmetic enhancement procedures, tummy tuck has helped millions of people enjoy the toned physique they desire and deserve. With over two decades of plastic surgery experience, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark H. Schwartz is one of New York’s most trusted tummy tuck surgeons.
Tummy Tuck Candidates
Most candidates for tummy tuck have noticed changes in their abdomen due to pregnancy, fluctuation in weight, age, or simply the effects of gravity.
Generally, tummy tuck candidates are:
- Physically and psychologically healthy
- Free of uncontrolled medical issues that could raise the surgical risks
- At, or close to, their goal weight
- Not planning to become pregnant or gain weight in the future
- Aware of all possible surgical outcomes
- Committed to maintaining the results through a good diet and regular exercise
During a consultation, Dr. Schwartz evaluates each candidate on an individual basis. He takes a detailed medical history and asks questions about the candidate’s health history (including any previous abdominal surgeries). He inquiries about the candidate’s ideal cosmetic outcome, and any lifestyle factors that could affect the results.
Dr. Mark H. Schwartz performs a physical examination of the candidate’s abdomen, noting the amount of fat present, the elasticity of the skin and the condition of the abdominal muscles. This information helps him plan the course of treatment.
There are several different types of tummy tuck procedures, and Dr. Schwartz selects his approach based on the particular patient and his/her anatomy and needs.
Tummy tuck is usually performed on an outpatient basis in Dr. Schwartz’s personal operating suite. Patients are monitored during the entire procedure by a board-certified anesthesiologist, so they remain safe and comfortable at all times.
To begin, Dr. Mark H. Schwartz makes a horizontal incision across the lower abdomen (just beneath the pubic area). The “classic” abdominoplasty incision extends across the abdomen. Through the incision, he corrects loose, separated or weakened abdominal muscles and stitches them together, making an internal “corset” to narrow the waistline. Dr. Schwartz also removes loose skin and tightens the remaining skin. For some patients, this improves or eliminates bothersome stretch marks on the lower abdomen. An additional incision is placed within the navel to position it in the most aesthetically pleasing location. If necessary, he may also use liposuction to remove surplus fat deposits around the abdomen, flanks, and other areas.
When Dr. Schwartz is finished making the necessary surgical modifications, he closes the incisions with absorbable sutures and dresses the area with sterile gauze. He places a supportive compression garment over the lower abdomen to help the tissues as they heal.
There are several variations from the “classic” tummy tuck described above.
A ” mini tummy tuck ” is similar to the regular tummy tuck procedure, except it involves a shorter incision and the skin is only lifted to the umbilicus, which does not have to be moved. This procedure is ideal for patients who need minimal improvement limited to the lower abdomen.
With an ” extended ” abdominoplasty, the incision continues to the flanks and enables additional removal of skin and fat. A ” fleur de lis ” abdominoplasty includes a vertical scar in addition to the horizontal hairline scar allowing for removal of skin in a side-to-side fashion. Both of these procedures are more extensive than the “classic” abdominoplasty but may provide improved contour when necessary.
Recovering from Tummy Tuck
Right after surgery, the patient rests in the recovery suite before being released to the care of a nurse or a responsible adult. The patient is escorted home or to a local hotel. They are placed into a comfortable position close to fluids, food, blankets and medication.
The first day or two of a tummy tuck recovery are the most challenging. Patient mobility is generally limited, and most report feeling tight and sore. Short walks are encouraged to promote good circulation as the body heals.
The patient must refrain from bending, lifting or straining during their initial recovery. They should rest as much as possible and take oral medication as needed for any discomfort. Dr. Schwartz provides instructions for taking care of the surgical incision, keeping the compression garment in place and returning to the office for follow-up visits.
During the follow-up visits, Dr. Schwartz examines the treated area to evaluate its healing progress. He advises when it is safe to return to work, and exercise. Every patient is different, but most return to work after about two weeks, and exercise after six to eight weeks. Regular exercise and a healthy diet both help the tummy tuck results to last for many years to come.
Typical Tummy Tuck Results
Patients see initial improvement in the abdomen almost immediately after surgery. The area may be swollen, but looks flatter and firmer.
After making a full recovery from tummy tuck, patients see a tighter and more toned-looking abdomen. They look slimmer and leaner from the side profile view, and the waist looks narrower. Stretch marks may have improved in appearance, or disappeared altogether. The skin tightly hugs the abdominal contour.
Scarring fades over time with the proper care, but it will not disappear completely. However, the scar is low enough to be concealed underneath a bathing suit bottom or panty.
Can Other Procedures be Combined with a Tummy Tuck?
Other procedures are frequently combined with a tummy tuck depending on specific patient goals, body type, and operating times. Liposuction of the flanks and thighs are commonly performed during a tummy tuck to enhance the contours. Breast implants may be performed together as well depending on the extent of the tummy tuck. Some patients choose to have their tummy tuck combined with a hernia repair or gynecologic surgery. These may be performed in conjunction with your general surgeon or gynecologist in New York City.
Why Choose Dr. Mark H. Schwartz for Tummy Tuck?
There are many reasons patients trust Dr. Schwartz with tummy tuck surgery. He offers the ideal blend of experience, skill and a warm bedside manner.
- Dr. Schwartz has over 20 years of experience performing the abdominoplasty procedure, and a long record of happy, satisfied patients. His attention to detail is a tremendous asset that helps him deliver beautiful, natural-looking results. He uses special techniques and technology to enhance the precision and safety of the surgery.
- Honored as one of Castle Connolly’s prestigious “Best Doctors in the New York Area” and selected for the coveted New York Magazine Best Doctors.
- Dr. Schwartz is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is recognized as one of “ America’s Top Plastic Surgeons ” by the Consumer Research Council of America.
- Dr. Schwartz shares his expansive knowledge with medical students and resident doctors as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He also holds long-term hospital appointments at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center (rated the best hospital in NY by US News & World Report), Hospital for Special Surgery and Lenox Hill Hospital , offering patients the combination of expert surgical skill and access to the best hospitals in the country.
- He also operates at his office facility, which is fully accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAAASF).
- In addition to his refined technical skill, Dr. Schwartz is also a compassionate physician with a warm and friendly team. His patients have remarked on how caring and approachable he is, and they appreciate how he makes the surgical experience less intimidating. Dr. Schwartz believes in treating his patients the way he would treat a family member. He is committed to helping his patients achieve the look they desire, without changing who they are.