Tummy tucks are among the most popular plastic surgeries in America. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there was a two percent increase in the number of tummy tucks in 2017. The report also stated that tummy tucks were among the five most popular cosmetic surgical procedures.
The procedure (also called abdominoplasty) is frequently requested by women post-partum. If you are considering a tummy tuck, NJ plastic surgeon Dr. Berlet has all the information you’ll need – such as benefits, procedural details, and potential complications.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that reshapes the abdominal area to make it slimmer, smoother and more toned. The procedure removes excess fat, tissue, and skin, and tightens the muscles.
Tightening the abdominal muscles becomes necessary once the patient has lost tone. This happens due to the attenuation of the rectus muscles separating. The consequences affect the rectus muscles and the oblique muscles that are attached to the rectus muscles. This occurs because they have no resistance point, so the obliques lose tone as well.
By correcting the diastasis, or the separation of the rectus muscles, a resistance board for the obliques is formed. It continues to tone up for years after the abdominoplasty. It is major surgery, and so needs careful thought and planning.
Is a tummy tuck right for me?
When considering a tummy tuck, New Jersey residents should 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 gave 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. The results are permanent as long as you don’t have large weight fluctuations. If you’re planning a drastic weight loss program, wait until you’re at your goal weight to have this procedure.
A capable surgeon will ensure the scar from the surgery is low-placed so that it can be hidden. 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. However, there are some things a tummy tuck can’t do, such as 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. Health considerations are another important aspect. Smokers or people at an unhealthy weight are generally advised against undergoing the operation.
To find out if you are a suitable candidate for abdominoplasty, you will need to consult a plastic surgeon. The doctor will advise you further once you are examined and your medical records are reviewed.
If you’re looking for a tummy tuck, plastic surgeon Dr. Berlet is an excellent choice. Dr. Berlet has over 20 years of experience in performing tummy tucks in NJ, and his patients’ testimonials speak for themselves.
How is the surgery performed?
Once the patient is anesthetized, the surgeon makes a large incision below the belly button, in a gentle V-shape. Generally, the more excess skin the patient has, the larger the incision. The surgeon then repairs the 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.
The abdominal skin is then pulled taut, the excess trimmed, and the rest is sutured together perfectly. Since the skin is pulled down significantly, the belly button moves downward. As a result, the surgeon then creates a new belly button and sutures it into a natural-looking replica.
The incisions are 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. However, recovery can be uncomfortable during the first couple of days. You will need to have drains and a catheter for the first night.
However, the pain subsides after the second day. You should be able to walk one week after surgery and drive after two weeks. During this period, you may experience some discomfort when you cough or laugh. 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. You can then engage in strenuous physical activity, such as working out and lifting heavy 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, listen to your doctor. You will be asked to visit the clinic for follow-up appointments. He or she 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%.
However, complications may include bleeding, infection, blood clots, delayed wound healing, seromas, and pain.
In extremely rare cases, patients may also experience the following:
- numbness or loss in skin sensation
- skin loss
- skin discoloration
- unfavorable scarring
- fat necrosis
- deep vein thrombosis
- cardiac and pulmonary complications
These side effects are exceedingly uncommon. Be open with the doctor about your medical history and chances of complications decrease further.
In most cases, complications resolve themselves within a couple of days. We advise you to get in touch with your doctor if you see anything wrong. In some cases, complications may need further surgery to resolve.
Where can I get a tummy tuck in New Jersey?
Anthony Berlet, M.D. is a well-established plastic surgeon who has over 20 years of experience in northern New Jersey. Dr. Berlet has a solid reputation as a plastic surgeon due to his expertise in a wide array of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures.
Dr. Berlet recognized repeatedly as a “Top Doctor” by New York and New Jersey Magazine. He was also recognized in Castle Connolly for the New York Metropolitan area. His clients consist of many high-profile people in the entertainment industry.
Dr. Berlet is board-certified in both plastic and general surgery. Dr. Berlet completed his medical school education and plastic surgery residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He completed an additional internship and general surgery residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.
Dr. Berlet’s clinic is located in Cedar Grove. If you’re looking for a tummy tuck in NJ, you can call (973) 857-7757 to schedule an appointment.