Pregnancy, weight loss or weight gain, and natural aging can all result in excess fat and skin on the abdomen. Dr. Shapiro performs abdominoplasty in Scottsdale, Arizona to restore a more youthful and pleasing contour to the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat and tightening the abdominal muscles. This procedure may be performed using several techniques, depending on the amount of correction necessary, and it is frequently combined with other procedures such as liposuction or breast augmentation.
If you are considering this procedure, the first step is scheduling a consultation with Dr. Shapiro. During your consultation, Dr. Shapiro will review your medial history, answer any questions you may have and discuss your goals for the procedure. You will have the chance to review before and after tummy tuck photos of previous patients, and Dr. Shapiro will go over the cost of your procedure. He will also explain the details of your procedure, including the technique that will be used, risks, the expected outcome and the recovery.
Preparing for Surgery
Making preparations for your surgery can help ensure the best abdominoplasty results and an easier recovery. The following are important factors to consider:
• Maintaining a balanced diet is important to strengthen your immune system and speed recovery. Discuss any medications or supplements you are taking with Dr. Shapiro during your consultation, however, as some vitamins can increase the risk of scarring or delay healing.
• Stop smoking. Smoking increases the risk of complications because it decreases the amount of oxygen in your cells and constricts blood vessels. This slows your body’s healing. If you smoke, quit smoking at least two weeks ahead of surgery and be prepared to quit for at least six weeks afterward.
• Get regular exercise ahead of surgery to help build muscle and increase your metabolic rate. This will help you avoid gaining weight during the sedentary recovery time. This is also important because the ideal candidates for this procedure are within 15% of their ideal weight.
• Discuss medications. Discuss medications, vitamins and supplements you are taking with Dr. Shapiro. He may ask you to discontinue some medications ahead of surgery. Vitamin E, for example, should be discontinued two weeks before surgery as it can interfere with blood clotting. Asprin and some NSAIDs an also delay healing or increase the risk of excessive bleeding.
This procedure is designed for patients that require the maximum amount of fat and skin removal, particularly if the skin is lax above the belly button. In most cases, tummy tuck surgery in Scottsdale takes between two and five hours. This procedure begins with horizontal incisions made close to the pubic hairline and between the hip bones.
In some cases, incisions may also be made close to the belly button to remove excess skin of the upper abdomen. Excess fat and skin is removed and the muscles are tightened for a flatter and more fit contour. After the incisions are closed, a dressing is applied as well as drains to avoid an accumulation of excess fluids that may cause complications.
This procedure is often combined with abdominal liposuction, which removes “muffin tops” and “love handles.” This can also help the skin retract and tighten for a more contoured waistline that an abdominoplasty alone cannot produce.
This procedure does result in scars, which usually look their worst about three months after surgery before flattening and fading. Dr. Shapiro will take care to place incisions below the bikini line so they will be well concealed, even if you choose to show off your new figure in a bikini.
The Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini abdominoplasty is an abbreviated form of the full procedure that is designed for patients with skin that is lax below the belly button, not above, and those who require minimal removal of skin. The original navel is also retained. This surgery effectively tightens the abdominal muscles for a more fit and contoured appearance while correcting some stretch marks, loose skin and stubborn fat deposits.
Surgery begins with an incision just above the pubic hairline. Skin and fat are lifted back up to the belly button, and the abdominal muscles are sutured together to restore a more athletic alignment. Lifted skin is stretched toward the incision and excess skin and fat is removed. This can remove excess fat and some amount of stretch marks.
A mini tummy tuck with lipo is commonly performed, as liposuction can address fat on the flanks or hips that is not addressed through surgery. Liposuction can also help induce the skin to tighten over the new form.
Unlike a full tuck procedure, this surgery will result in a shorter scar that is the length of the average cesarean section scar. Mini tummy tuck scars after 1 year look the same as a C-section scar
Tummy tuck recovery time is typically one to two weeks. Most patients experience swelling and bruising, and there may be temporary numbness. It is normal to have difficulty standing straight during the first week as the body adjusts.
Drains and sutures will be removed about one week after surgery during a follow-up appointment with Dr. Shapiro. This will not be painful. Some pain and discomfort is normal during the first week, but this should be well controlled with pain mediation Dr. Shapiro will prescribe.
Patients will need to wear a support garment or abdominal binder for several weeks after this procedure. This is important because it helps your body heal and controls swelling. Dr. Shapiro will encourage you to walk every day for the first week to help ease swelling and prevent blood clots. Exercise should be avoided for a few weeks.
Most patients are able to return to work after 10 to 14 days.
Are You a Candidate?
Good candidates for this procedure are men or women in good physical health who want to improve the appearance of their abdomen. Ideal candidates will have realistic expectations about the results of this procedure.
A tummy tuck is designed to correct areas that have not improved through diet and exercise. It is not an alternative to healthy weight loss. This procedure may remove some stretch marks that are below the belly button where skin will be removed, but it cannot treat stretch marks in other areas. For the best results, candidates should be non-smokers and maintain a stable weight.
The best way to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure is contacting Dr. Shapiro’s office at 480-451-1700 for a consultation.
How much does a tummy tuck cost in Scottsdale?
The cost for this procedure includes the facility fee, anesthesia fee and the surgeon’s fee. In general, the cost ranges from $7,000 to $12,000, although it depends on the extent of the work that will be done and whether or not the procedure will be combined with other cosmetic surgery procedures.
What type of anesthesia will be used?
This procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia.
Will my abdominoplasty leave scars?
All surgery will leave scars, but Dr. Shapiro will take care to hide the scar below the bikini line, just above the pubic bone and between the hip bones.
How soon can I return to work?
Most patients return to work about 10 days after abdominoplasty surgery.
What are the risks of this surgery?
Potential risks or complications include delayed healing, bleeding, infection and scarring. Dr. Shapiro will discuss these risks and steps you can take to minimize them.