FAQ

Abdominoplasty in New York

Frequently Asked Questions

How big of an incision will I need?

This is individualized based upon the extent of the work needed. Sometimes a “mini- tummy tuck” can be performed. Liposuction is performed and residual loose skin from the lower abdomen is removed through a small incision in the pubic region (4-6 inches long). If the lower muscles of the abdomen need to be tightened, then it can be performed as well through this small incision. Patients with more laxity of the tissues and greater weakness of the muscles require a longer incision to accomplish the surgery.

Can I have other procedures at the same time?

Yes, in fact it is often easier to do other operations at the same time. Harvesting fat for fat injection to the face can be obtained from the discarded tissue during the abdominoplasty. Sometimes, breast augmentation can be performed through the abdominoplasty incision to avoid incisions on or near the breast. Liposuction of the outer thighs and flanks can be performed through this area as well.

What is a mini-abdominoplasty?

A mini-abdominoplasty is a procedure that treats abdominal contour issues mainly of the lower abdomen. This is best suited for a patient who does not necessarily need muscle plication above the umbilicus and has a slight protuberance below the umbilicus along with some loose skin of the lower abdomen. Because of the limited undermining of soft tissue, liposuction can be combined with the procedure. Sometimes surgeons will “float” or detach the umbilical stalk to move it lower to remove more skin. The incision is often shorter than what one would have with a full tummy tuck. This is often best for thinner patients. A disadvantage of this procedure is that it does not adequately treat the upper abdomen and skin laxity above the or around the umbilicus.

Can I have liposuction instead of a tummy tuck?

The best candidate for liposuction is someone who is not heavy but has isolated areas of fat that they want to remove to improve the contour. Usually younger patients have better quality skin than older patients. That being said, those patients that do better with abdominal liposuction are those with good skin quality and who are not very heavy. Just like a balloon, if it is stretched out too much, due to air or in this case fat, the tissues may not rebound well. Like a balloon’s skin that shrinks after being maximally extended, the abdominal skin may become loose as well after liposuction or decreasing the volume. In most cases, if a patient has had multiple pregnancies or large fluctuations of weight and has loose skin, and/or has a diastasis with weak abdominal muscles, then more than likely a full tummy tuck would be best. There are some patients that are in between the two extremes and sometimes these individuals may be happy with liposuction.

I have had three children and I am not going to have anymore. What is the best procedure for me to improve the appearance of my abdomen?

In all likelihood, for someone who is unhappy with the appearance of their abdomen after having children they will more than likely do best with having a full abdominoplasty. The loose skin and fat is removed from the region usually between the umbilicus to the pubic region leaving the remaining incision along the lower abdominal region usually in the bikini of bathing suit line. The muscle weakness is corrected by suturing the midline internally. The laxity in the upper abdomen is usually improved as well from the redraping of the abdominal flap. Liposuction of the flanks can be performed at the same time as well when indicated.

I have loose skin around my umbilicus, how can you correct this?

If one has isolated loose skin around the umbilicus, it can be difficult to treat this area in an isolated fashion. I have seen a few isolated excisions of skin around the umbilicus hat has caused a very spread out scar around the umbilicus. Sometimes treating the skin can be performed with a mini-tummy tuck, but often it is best treated with a full abdominoplasty.

Should I lose weight before a tummy tuck?

It is always best to get down to your ideal weight prior to having a surgical procedure. The results of a full abdominoplasty is often better and the surgical risks are reduced as well. That being said, if you are close to your ideal weight that is reasonable as well.

What is a reverse abdominoplasty?

A reverse abdominoplasty is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of elevating the tissue from an incision in the lower abdomen by the pubic hairline, the incision is made under the breast creases and the excess skin is brought out through this region. This is a procedure that is performed in patients that have isolated laxity in the upper abdomen. This may occur after a mini-tummy tuck or even after a full tummy tuck. If the patient has had a previous breast procedure leaving an incision under the breast folds then using these same incisions may be possible.

I lost more than a 100 lbs and everything is loose; what procedure should I have done?

When a patient has had massive weight loss (more than 100 lbs) through either diet and exercise or surgery, often times their skin is very loose. In some patients a full abdominoplasty is an option. But if the laxity of the tissues is more severe, an extended abdominoplasty, or even a full body lift procedure may be more prudent to give a better result. An in-office evaluation is always best to perform a proper exam and review a patient’s goals.

What does “floating” an umbilicus mean?

“Floating” an umbilicus refers to the concept of detaching the umbilical stalk from its underlying abdominal wall attachments but keeping it attached to the surrounding skin to preserve its blood supply. This is most commonly performed during a mini-abdominoplasty when there is some loose skin superior to the umbilicus and the surgeon wants to treat this by pulling it down a bit.

Can you perform aggressive liposuction of the abdomen along with a full tummy tuck?

Aggressive liposuction can be performed in some cases when performing a full abdominoplasty. This is most commonly done when full undermining of the abdominal flap is not performed. The undermining of the abdominal flap stops by the lateral row of perforator arteries that feed the overlying abdominal flap. It is undermined just enough to allow for muscle plication in the midline. The abdominal flap is usually separated a bit more around the vessels using a liposuction cannula as well.

If you are looking for a plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia, we recommend Dr. Michael J. Brown of Ashburn, VA. He is well trained in Abdominoplasty surgery and you can visit his website by going to www.loudouncenterforplasticsurgery.com.

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