Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Drawing (sketch) of a tummy tuck patient before and after

A full tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that reduces and reshapes the abdomen. This is achieved by removing excess skin and fatty tissue in the lower abdomen, by tightening and realigning the central abdominal muscles and by repositioning the belly button.

A tummy tuck is a procedure that can instantly and dramatically improve and slenderize a woman’s figure, creating a flatter and firmer abdomen along with a slimmer waistline. A tummy tuck is oftentimes performed in conjunction with liposuction of the flanks or “muffin tops,” located just above the buttock region. This additional procedure completely contours a women’s trunk.

A mini tummy tuck procedure is ideal for women with limited excess skin and fatty tissue along with abdominal wall weakness and bulging of the lower abdomen only. This procedure is similar to a full tummy tuck. However, it only involves the lower half of the abdomen and there is no repositioning of the belly button. The surgical incision is not much longer than a C-Section scar, and the recovery period is shortened.

The majority of women interested in an abdominoplasty procedure are those who have had children and/or who have experienced notable weight gain or loss. These women have excess and stretched out sagging skin, excess fatty deposits that are difficult to get rid of, and an abdominal bulge that will not reduce in size no matter how dedicated they are to doing repetitive abdominal exercises.

 

 

The ConsultationTummy Tuck / Abdominal tightening drawing

During your complimentary consultation with Dr. Franco-Webb, she will review your medical and surgical history. She will discuss your overall goals with you. She will examine you and check for a Rectus Diastasis, which is a separation between the two central abdominal muscles. During a tummy tuck procedure, these muscles are realigned with sutures.

The realignment of the two central abdominal muscles significantly flattens and firms the abdomen, similar to what a corset would do, but permanently. She will also examine you for any hernias, particularly an umbilical hernia. If you have an umbilical hernia, she will repair it at the time of the procedure. She will note an prior surgical scars that you might have.

After your consultation, you will meet with her Staff and receive a price quote for the procedure as well as receive further information about the process of scheduling surgery.

 

 

CostTummy tuck skin removal sketch

The estimated cost for an Full Tummy Tuck without Liposuction ranges from $10,000 – $13,000.

The cost for a Full Tummy Tuck with Liposuction will depend on the areas and the length of the procedure.

This cost includes:

  • Surgeon’s Fee
  • Anesthesia Fee
  • Surgical Facility Fee
  • Two Post-Surgery Girdles
  • All Clinic Visits

 

The Pre Surgical Appointment

Approximately two weeks prior to your surgery, you will again meet with Dr. Franco-Webb and her Staff. You will receive your prescriptions and thorough instructions for before and after surgery. Your pre surgical photos will be taken. You will review the surgical procedure and your desired outcome with Dr. Franco-Webb. All of your questions will be answered.

 

 

Renewal Surgery Center

Dr. Franco-Webb performs all of her surgical procedures at Renewal Surgery Center. Renewal is an outpatient surgery center, fully accredited by the Association of Ambulatory Care Facilities. It is conveniently located in the same building and on the same floor as Dr. Franco-Webb’s clinic. Renewal’s nursing staff will contact you a couple of days prior to your procedure to review your medical history, give you instructions for before your surgery, and to answer your questions.

On the day of your surgery, you will arrive at Renewal Surgery Center 1-1/2 hours prior to your surgery time, having refrained from eating or drinking since midnight. One of our nurses will check you in and place an IV for medications. You will meet with one of our Board Certified Anesthesiologist Physicians who will review your medical history, explain the anesthesia process and risks, and answer all of your questions. Dr. Franco-Webb will review the plans for your procedure. With you standing upright, she will mark your incision lines for surgery.

 

 

The Procedure

You will be taken back to the operating room and placed on an operating bed. Your anesthesiologist will proceed with general anesthesia. If you are also undergoing liposuction of your flanks, we will then place you in the prone position (laying on your abdomen). Your flanks will be prepped and draped sterilely.

A 4 mm incision will be made on each flank. Then, using a thin metal infiltration tube, tumescent fluid will be distributed into the areas to be liposuctioned. Tumescent fluid includes sterile saline, lidocaine (a numbing medication) and epinephrine (a medication to minimize bleeding).

Next, using a VASER ultrasonic cannula, the fat is emulsified (melted). Then, using a liposuction cannula, Dr. Franco-Webb will suction the excess fatty tissue, while contouring these areas. The small incisions are then covered with absorbent dressings.

You are then placed in the supine position (laying on your back). Your abdomen is then prepped and draped sterilely. An incision is made around the belly button and the belly button is dissected free from the surrounding tissues.

Next, an incision is made along the lower abdomen above the pubic region where Dr. Franco-Webb had marked you before surgery. The lower abdominal skin and fatty tissue is lifted off of the abdominal wall, exposing the abdominal muscles all the way up to the rib cage for a full tummy tuck procedure.

For a mini tummy tuck, there is no incision made around the belly button, and the lower abdominal skin and fatty tissue is lifted off of the abdominal wall only to the level of the belly button.

The central abdominal muscles are then re aligned with two rows of sutures. Dr. Franco-Webb then injects Exparel into the abdominal muscles. Exparel is a long acting numbing medication that will assist in minimizing your discomfort after surgery, along with pain medication and muscle relaxers.

The operating room bed is then flexed at your hips and knees and the excess abdominal skin and fatty tissue is marked out to be excised, checking for symmetry. The amount typically removed for a full tummy tuck includes all of the skin and fat from the belly button to the pubic region. After irrigating your abdomen with warm antibiotic solution and checking for any bleeding, Dr. Franco-Webb then closes the lower abdominal incision with three layers of dissolvable sutures. Before completely closing the abdomen, the belly button is brought out through a new opening and sewn into place.  In addition, two drain tubes are placed to assist with removing excess fluid and brought out through holes in your pubic region. Sterile dressings and a surgical girdle are also placed. You are then awakened from general anesthesia and taken to our recovery room.

 

 

The Recovery Room

In the recovery room, two of our nurses will monitor you. They will make sure that you are recovering comfortably from surgery. Our patients are typically in the recovery room for one hour to 1-1/2 hours. During that time, your nurse will review with your caregiver the instructions that Dr. Franco-Webb had reviewed with you during your Pre Surgery Appointment.

At Home (1 to 4 days after surgery)

During your recovery, we want you to be as comfortable as possible. Please follow the instructions that Dr. Franco-Webb and her Staff reviewed with you. You will have a surgical girdle on. You and your caregiver will empty, strip and record the drain output approximately 3 to 4 times per day. You will take your medications, including pain medication, a muscle relaxer, antibiotics and anti nausea medication. You will stay well hydrated and take stool softeners to prevent constipation from the narcotic pain medication. You will rest to aid with your healing.

For the first couple of days after surgery, you can sponge bathe only. After your first clinic visit, which is either 3 or 4 days after surgery, you can shower, even with the drains in. You will continue to wear your surgical garment for 6 weeks after surgery.

First Post Surgery Visit (3 to 4 days after surgery)

During this visit, Dr. Franco-Webb will check to see that your abdominal incision is healing well. You will continue to wear your surgical garment with light dressings over the incision sites. She will review your medications and your activity level with you.

Second Post Surgery Visit (10 to 11 days after surgery)

During this visit, Dr. Franco-Webb will check to see that your abdominal incision is healing well. One of your drains will be gently removed. You will continue to wear your surgical garment with light dressings over the incision sites. She will review your medications and your activity level with you.

Third Post Surgery Visit (17 to 18 days after surgery)

During this visit, Dr. Franco-Webb will check to see that your abdominal is healed. Your remaining drain will be gently removed. She will advise you regarding scar treatments to provide you with the most optimal end result. You will continue to wear your surgical garment for a total of 6 weeks from the time of surgery. She will review your activity level with you.

One to Three Months Post Surgery Visits

 

Female abdominoplasty procedure results (side view).

Before and after photos of a tummy tuck  patient (front view).

Female abdominoplasty procedure results (side view).

Before and after photos of an abdominoplasty patient (side view). Notice buttock lift as a result of liposuction of her lower flanks (“muffin top”).

 

During these visits, Dr. Franco-Webb will check to see that your abdominal incisions are fading well. You can discontinue wearing your post surgical girdle 6 weeks after surgery. Post surgery photographs will be taken and you will be provided with before and after photos.

Six to Twelve Months Post Surgery Visits

During these visits, Dr. Franco-Webb will check to see that your abdominal incisions are fading well. It takes approximately one to two years before a scar is fully matured. Post surgery photographs will be taken and you will be provided with before and after photos.

 

 

Return to Work

Most women who undergo a tummy tuck and who have a sedentary job are able to return to work two to three weeks after surgery. Woman who have a more physical job usually return to work three to four weeks after surgery. Dr. Franco-Webb will discuss this with you. Also, be aware that for the first few weeks after surgery, your energy level will be down, so do factor this in when returning to work.

 

 

Return to Exercise

Three weeks after surgery, you can walk on a treadmill. Eight weeks after surgery, you can engage in more physical activity such as working out on an elliptical or jogging. Dr. Franco-Webb will thoroughly discuss and customize your return to exercise timeline with you. Once you have completely healed from your surgery, she would like to encourage a more active and energetic lifestyle!