Tummy tucks are among the most popular plastic surgeries in America. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2017 saw a two percent increase in the number of tummy tucks requested. The report also stated that tummy tucks were among the five most popular cosmetic surgical procedures performed, following breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and eyelid surgery.
The procedure (also called abdominoplasty) is frequently requested by women post-partum because their abdominal muscles become lax due to the pregnancy. If you’ve been considering getting a tummy tuck, New Jersey plastic surgeon Dr. Berlet has all the information you’ll need – such as benefits, procedural details, and potential complications.
What exactly is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure in which the abdominal area is reshaped to make it look slimmer, smoother and more toned. This is done by removing excess fat, tissue and skin, and finally creating an internal girdle by tightening the muscles. The procedure is complicated, but Dr. Berlet has been performing the surgery for over 20 years with excellent results.
The most significant advantage of tightening the muscles is that once the patient has lost tone due to attenuation of the rectus muscles separating, the consequences affect not just to the rectus muscles but also to the oblique muscles that attach to the rectus muscles. This occurs because they have no resistance point, so they lose their tone as well.
By correcting the diastasis or separation of the rectus muscles, this acts as a resistance board for the obliques which continue to tone up for years to come after the abdominoplasty.
It is major surgery, and so needs careful thought and planning. Make sure you set aside enough time to recuperate, which we’ll talk about further down.
Is a tummy tuck right for me?
When considering a tummy tuck, New Jersey residents should first and foremost bear in mind what it can and can’t do. Will it provide the results you desire from the surgery? Is an abdominoplasty the right option for you, or should you opt for a different procedure?
A tummy tuck is most beneficial to women who’ve given birth and don’t plan on having any more children. Loose abdominal skin post-partum can affect your self-esteem, and a tummy tuck will help re-shape your abdomen to solve that issue. Bear in mind, however, that if you plan on having other children, it’s best to wait until after their birth to get a tummy tuck, as pregnancy will again stretch your skin and necessitate the surgery to be repeated.
If you have stretch marks or lax abdominal muscles due to age, a tummy tuck can help with that. Its results are permanent as long as you don’t have large weight fluctuations. So for instance, if you’re planning on a drastic weight loss program, you should wait until you’re at your goal weight before undergoing this procedure.
If you’re in the hands of a capable surgeon, the scar resulting from the surgery will be low-placed so that it can be hidden under a bathing suit. Additionally, the belly button will look perfectly natural, so there’ll be no visible traces of surgery to the casual observer.
Tummy tucks are a procedure with high patient satisfaction rates since it gives the patients something they thought they’d never have again or something they’d never had so far. However, there are some things a tummy tuck can’t do, like act as a substitute for exercise. A tummy tuck is not a weight loss program.
Can I get a tummy tuck?
Not all people who wish to get an abdominoplasty are ideal candidates, due to the reasons mentioned above. Health considerations are another important aspect, so, for instance, smokers or people at an unhealthy weight are generally advised against undergoing the operation.
To find out whether you are a candidate for abdominoplasty, you will need to consult a plastic surgeon. The doctor will be able to advise you further on the matter once they’ve examined you and gone over your medical records.
If you’re looking for a tummy tuck, New Jersey plastic surgeon Dr. Berlet is an excellent choice. Dr. Berlet has over 20 years of experience in performing tummy tucks, and his patients have left glowing testimonials.
How is the surgery performed?
Once you’ve been anesthetized, the surgeon makes a large incision below your belly button, in a gentle V-shape. Generally, the more excess skin you have, the larger the incision. The surgeon then repairs your abdominal muscles, tightening them to form an internal girdle of sorts. In some cases, a second incision may be necessary to remove excess skin from the upper areas of the abdomen.
Now your abdominal skin is pulled taut, the excess trimmed, and the rest is sutured together perfectly. Since the skin has been pulled down significantly, the belly button moves downward, so the surgeon then creates a new belly button and sutures it into a natural-looking replica.
The incisions are then closed, drains are put into place, and the procedure is concluded. In just a few days, you will be able to stand up comfortably and admire your flat, toned tummy!
How long does recovery take?
Tummy tucks have a high patient satisfaction rate, but the caveat is that recovery can be painful and uncomfortable for the first couple of days. This is because you will need to have drains (to drain excess fluid) and a catheter for the first night. These can be painful and uncomfortable, especially while sleeping.
However, the pain subsides after the second day. You should be able to walk comfortably one week after surgery and drive after two weeks. During this period you may experience some discomfort when you cough or laugh, as the abdominal muscles have been tightened. Because of the adjustment phase, it is recommended that you take at least two weeks off from work.
After a couple of months, the healing process is complete, and you can undertake strenuous physical activity such as working out and lifting weights. The scar becomes unnoticeable after a year if helped along by regular application of scar cream.
During the recovery process, you should make sure you follow the doctor’s instructions carefully – regarding medication, eating habits, restrictions and rest. You will be asked to visit the clinic for follow-up appointments, during which the doctor will check to make sure the wound is healing properly. You can use that time to ask the doctor any additional questions you may have regarding your daily habits.
Are there any potential complications?
As with any major surgery, there are a couple of complications that could arise from a tummy tuck. An abdominoplasty is quite safe, with the rate of complications in the USA being around 4%, which is quite low compared to most other types of cosmetic surgery.
However, complications may include bleeding, infection, blood clots, delayed wound healing, seromas, and pain.
In extremely rare cases, patients may also experience numbness or loss in skin sensation, skin loss, skin discoloration, unfavorable scarring, fat necrosis, deep vein thrombosis, and cardiac and pulmonary complications. These are exceedingly uncommon, however, and therefore not a huge risk factor. If you’re open with the doctor about your medical history, chances of complications should decrease further.
In most cases, complications resolve themselves within a couple of days, but we’d advise you to get in touch with your doctor if you see anything wrong. In some cases, complications may need further surgery to solve.
Where can I get a tummy tuck in New Jersey?
If you’ve been looking for an experienced plastic surgeon in New Jersey, Dr. Berlet is among the best.
Anthony Berlet, M.D. is a well-established plastic surgeon who has been in practice for over 20 years in northern New Jersey and has developed a large clientele from this region, as well as from around the country and abroad. He has formed a solid reputation as a plastic surgeon due to his breadth of expertise in a wide array of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures.
He is recognized repeatedly as a “Top Doctor” by New York and New Jersey Magazine as well as Castle Connolly for the New York Metropolitan area. His clients consist of many high-profile people in the entertainment industry including many models and centerfolds.
As a skilled plastic surgeon, Dr. Berlet is also an architect, medical illustrator, and author. He has an extensive artistic background that allows him to see patients from a three-dimensional perspective. The primary focus of Dr. Berlet’s cosmetic practice has been to create a natural, refreshed appearance rather than a plastic look.
Dr. Berlet is board-certified in both plastic and general surgery, which gives him a broad base of surgical expertise. Dr. Berlet completed his medical school education and plastic surgery residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, with an additional internship and general surgery residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Also, he received undergraduate training in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was an honors graduate.
His blend of art, design, and highly developed surgical skills indeed set Dr. Berlet apart within the field of plastic surgery.
Dr. Berlet’s clinic is located in Cedar Grove, and if you’re looking for a tummy tuck in New Jersey, you can call at (973) 857-7757 to schedule an appointment.