Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Have you been dieting and exercising consistently, but find that you’re simply unable to attain that flat belly you want so badly? If that’s the case, you may want to consider a tummy tuck. Also known as an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is the surgical removal of excess abdominal skin and tightening of the abdominal muscles. This procedure is designed for those who wish to have a flatter and tighter abdomen.
Weight changes, pregnancy, and even aging may contribute to an undesirable abdominal contour. The skin may be loose. There may be a bulge. There may be excess fatty deposits. Sometimes, the abdominal muscles weaken.
There are several reasons for choosing to undergo a tummy tuck. Some of the more common reasons include:
- Dieting and exercise just haven’t helped with your abdominal contour
- You have loose or sagging abdominal skin
- Your abdomen bulges or you have a diastasis (muscle separation)
If you’re uncomfortable with the appearance of your abdomen and are in relatively good health, you are a likely candidate for the procedure.
About a Tummy Tuck
Dr. Richard Tepper uses the most up-to-date procedures and technical advances to help you achieve the look you desire. He takes a very individualized approach with each patient, customizing the tummy tuck procedure to your needs and wishes.
Most tummy tuck procedures are performed at one of several excellent area hospitals, in part because many patients choose to take advantage of the greatly reduced rates for an overnight hospital stay. Dr. Richard Tepper is an attending surgeon at Overlook Medical Center, St. Barnabas Medical Center, and RWJ University Hospital at Rahway. When an overnight stay is not required, your procedure may be performed at the luxurious Short Hills Surgery Center.
The procedure uses a bikini-shaped incision, so it is hidden beneath many types of clothing and undergarments. The skin and fatty layer are lifted away from the underlying muscle, allowing the muscle to be repositioned back to the midline. The muscles are tightened using sutures. Loose skin can then be removed.
Patients often ask about the belly button. If there is loose skin above the belly button, a small incision will be made around the belly button itself. As the skin is lifted off of the underlying muscles, the belly button remains attached. Once the excess skin is removed by pulling it downward, a new opening is created in the skin, allowing the belly button to ‘pop’ through. It is then sutured to the new opening. Drains may be placed. An abdominal binder is often worn for six weeks.
Many practices promote their own office-based surgery facility but fail to mention that there is no anesthesiologist present. Dr. Richard Tepper only operates in facilities that have anesthesiologists in attendance the entire time. Your safety is most important!
You may experience tightness and soreness during the first week following your surgery. Comfort may be greatly enhanced when using EXPAREL®, an advanced medication administered at the time of surgery. This can offer up to 72 hours of pain relief, thus reducing or eliminating the need for narcotics. You may shower after just a few days, and many patients return to light activities within about two weeks. It is normal to feel tightness. Patients can usually stand upright within a few days of surgery and are walking well after that. Most patients return to work within 7 to 14 days.
After a tummy tuck, you will look natural and presentable after approximately a week, and you can expect continual improvement over the next three to six weeks. It’s important to note that the healing process continues for several more months, and scars will often get softer and thinner with time.
Patients enjoy having a firmer, flatter, more contoured abdomen and many are able to wear smaller clothing sizes.