Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) in Annapolis, MD
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, restores a flatter, tighter abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and repairing any separation between the six-pack muscles of the stomach (diastasis). It’s common for both women and men to lose abdominal tone with age and weight fluctuations, and pregnancy can stretch stomach muscles and skin beyond the point where they can naturally recover.
When your abdominal skin has lost resilience and hangs in folds, your muscles no longer keep your stomach flat, or a bulge of belly fat remains no matter how much you diet or exercise, a tummy tuck can transform your silhouette and give you a smoother, firmer midsection.
At the Sandel Duggal Center for Plastic Surgery in Annapolis, Dr. Claire Duggal’s signature abdominoplasty technique improves your outcome and speeds your recovery. Call us today at (410) 266-7120 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn more.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from your abdomen and also tightens weakened or separated abdominal muscles (a condition known as diastasis recti). The goal is to restore a tighter, flatter stomach and a better waist and abdominal contour.
Why Might I Consider a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty is one of the most popular and transformative plastic surgery procedures. You might consider a tummy tuck for the following reasons.
Weight changes and pregnancy can leave the skin on your belly looking loose and flabby, sometimes with stretch marks or overhanging skin. A tummy tuck removes excess skin, smoothing your abdominal region and giving you a younger look. In some cases, the skin tightening of a tummy tuck can help improve the look of stretch marks or cesarean section scars.
After significant weight loss or pregnancy, you may be close to your ideal weight, but not to your ideal shape. Muscles can become weakened and separated so that they no longer hold your belly flat. Midsection fat can be hard to get rid of with weight loss. A tummy tuck can smooth your abdominal skin, restore tightness between your six-pack muscles, and get rid of stubborn accumulations of fat. The result will be a flatter and smoother stomach and a slimmer waistline — a restoration of your younger figure. You’ll be proud of your body again, confident to wear tight-fitting or revealing clothes.
When abdominal muscles have stretched or separated after significant weight change or pregnancy, a crucial part of a tummy tuck is to tighten and reconnect those muscles. Muscles that have pulled apart from each other can no longer hold your stomach in. When you have your abdominal muscles tightened and reconnected in a tummy tuck, your core has more strength. That can improve your posture and eliminate lower back pain. You’ll look and feel better and stand taller.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
The best candidates for a tummy tuck are in good overall health and within 20 to 30 pounds of their ideal weight, but would like a firmer, flatter belly. If the appearance of your abdomen bothers you because of loose skin, poor muscle tone, or diet- and exercise-resistant fat deposits, you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck.
It’s best to delay a tummy tuck if you intend to lose a significant amount of weight or are planning to have more children. In her consultation with you, Dr. Duggal may also advise against a tummy tuck if you have a severe chronic health condition, such as heart disease or diabetes, or if you have significant abdominal scarring from previous surgeries. As with all plastic surgery procedures, if you smoke, you will need to stop using tobacco for several weeks before and after the procedure to avoid healing complications.
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What Happens in a Tummy Tuck Procedure?
the procedure begins, we will anesthetize you with general anesthesia. Dr. Duggal will make an incision low on your abdomen between your hip bones. She’ll remove excess skin and fat on your lower abdomen, and repair your abdominal muscles and sew them back together. She will re-drape the skin on your abdomen around your belly button so it has a more natural position.
Dr. Duggal often performs liposuction on the upper abdomen and waist area, before smoothing your upper abdominal skin and contouring it over your abdomen. She then closes the incision with dissolvable sutures. Dr. Duggal may inject a pain medication called Exparel directly into the muscles of your abdomen to decrease pain post-operatively. Because she places sutures (called “progressive tension sutures”) between the skin and the muscles, you may not need drains after an abdominoplasty at the Sandel Duggal Center.
The procedure typically takes two to three hours.
•Depending on your needs, the surgery may be more or less extensive.
•The steps described above are for a full or complete tummy tuck.
•A mini tummy tuck consists only of skin tightening and muscle repair below the belly button. It requires a smaller incision.
•Some patients need a wider incision, around the hips, to tighten skin and remove fat on the flanks and lower back.
•Many patients choose to have liposuction of their waist, lower back, love handles, and abdomen or “liposuction 360degrees” at the same time as a tummy tuck to restore an hourglass shape and fully contour their midsection.
What to Expect in Recovery
Most patients go home the same day as the surgery, but some may want to stay overnight in our surgical suite (especially if combining an abdominoplasty with other procedures). You’ll need someone to drive you home, and it’s best to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours after the procedure.
You’ll experience the most discomfort in the first few days after the surgery, and you can relieve this with pain medication. You should plan to spend the first few days resting quietly at home. We recommend that you walk and do light activity the first week after surgery. You can progress to more strenuous activity gradually, as you recover.
You’ll be able to return to office-type work after about two weeks, and to more physical work after about four weeks. You’ll need help for the first two or three weeks with any activities that require lifting, including shopping, carrying a young child, reaching for pots and pans, and taking out the trash. You can expect some bruising and swelling for the first few weeks after surgery.
FAQS: Tummy Tuck in Maryland
The results of a tummy tuck will last for many years, even a lifetime, if you maintain a stable weight with healthy eating and exercise habits.
Abdominoplasty is not a weight-loss procedure. It will remove some excess skin and fat, but typically no more than two pounds. Consider a tummy tuck if you are close to your ideal weight or mildly overweight, and want a firmer, flatter, smoother abdomen. With your improved silhouette, you may find yourself more motivated to exercise, which can be an indirect weight-loss effect of the procedure.
Since an abdominoplasty is a procedure performed on healthy patients, the risks are low overall. Infrequently there can be wound healing complications or a wound infection. We can solve the majority of these with dressing changes and possibly antibiotics. More significant wound healing complications are uncommon. Occasionally, a collection of fluid can develop which requires drainage in the office or operating room. A rare complication is the development of a blood clot. For patients who are at a higher risk of blood clots, sometimes blood thinning medication is recommended for a few days after surgery to decrease the chances of this happening.
Dr. Duggal almost always combines an abdominoplasty with liposuction. It can also be part of a “mommy makeover,” which refers to any combination of procedures to restore a woman’s body after childbirth and breastfeeding. A mommy makeover most often adds an abdominoplasty to a breast lift or a breast augmentation. It can also include a labiaplasty.
Contact Us Today
The Sandel Duggal Center for Plastic Surgery is one of the top plastic surgery practices in Maryland and Dr. Claire Duggal has extensive experience in breast and body enhancement procedures. Schedule a consultation to learn whether breast augmentation is right for you, and to find out why Dr. Duggal’s patients rate her so highly. Contact us online or call 410-266-7120.