Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Many men and women who are physically fit still struggle with the appearance of their abdomens. Some women who have been pregnant will never achieve that flat tummy they had before they became mothers, no matter how much they diet and exercise. As women and men age, increased skin and muscle laxity can cause the belly to protrude, hanging unattractively over clothing. Some patients have done an amazing job getting healthy and losing a significant amount of weight, but are now left with a protruding belly that seems to linger. If any of these situations sounds like yours, you may be a candidate for tummy tuck surgery. Keep in mind that this is a major surgery. While the results can be quite dramatic, yielding an attractive, tight, flat tummy, you will be left behind with a scar that goes across the bikini line. Depending on your needs, this scar may even extend from hip to hip. There is also a significant recovery period that goes along with the procedure, but once it is complete, patients usually love their new figure.

To find out more about Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck surgery at Lexington Plastic Surgery, PLLC, request a consultation or call (859) 279-2111.

Benefits of a Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty

  • Tightening of the muscles that cause bulging

  • Sculpting a more attractive, tighter contour

  • Removal of excess skin and wrinkling

What to expect

You and Dr. Gerstle will discuss your medical history, physical exam, and your current cosmetic goals. One way we try to best understand these goals and illustrate how Dr. Gerstle may be able to meet them is with our state of the art imaging system called “Mirror Imaging”. Here, we take digital images of the area to be treated and digitally enhance them to show what you are hoping to achieve and what your new appearance should look like. This is a great tool to help communicate to one another most effectively. Once you have established your cosmetic goals, Dr. Gerstle will suggest how to help you achieve them. Depending on your needs, you may only need a mini-abdominoplasty, or a modified abdominoplasty. He may, of course, recommend a full abdominoplasty or may even suggest liposuction to help sculpt more areas to get you the look you seek.

Once you’ve discussed a surgical plan that you’re both comfortable with, you will have your procedure done in either the outpatient surgery center or a hospital setting. Less invasive techniques can be safely performed in an outpatient setting, where people go home usually a few hours after the procedure is complete, and they are feeling well enough after some time in the recovery area. Most abdominoplasties are performed under general anesthesia, although some smaller procedures can be performed under local anesthesia and sedation. You, Dr. Gerstle, and your anesthesiologist can determine your anesthetic plan as a team before your surgery.

The tummy tuck surgery will take anywhere from two to four hours, depending on the extent of the work required. Dr. Gerstle will make an incision along the bikini line, which may extend from hip to hip, if necessary. You will know before surgery what type of incision and scar you can expect. Usually, small tubes called drains will be placed through your skin to help excess fluid from building up under the incisions. The partial tummy tuck will not involve the area including and above the navel, and may not require drains.

As you can see, a tummy tuck involves a careful recovery. You will require two weeks off of work and should refrain from heavy lifting for six weeks. Once you get through the hurdle of recovery, you’ll have a lasting result, as long as you avoid excessive weight gain. After that, they won’t even show beneath a swimsuit. Patients who have undergone tummy tuck surgery admit it is not a small procedure to endure, but once the healing process is complete, they are very happy with their new look.

FAQ about Abdominoplasty

I’m not sure if I am finished having children. Can I become pregnant after a tummy tuck?

While you can become pregnant after tummy tuck surgery, it is generally not recommended, as the result you obtain might be lost after you have the baby.

Can I exercise after a tummy tuck?

Yes, exercise will help you heal better, helps tone your muscles, and helps avoid complications like blood clots in your legs. However, the timing has to be right. Please wait for Dr. Gerstle to tell you specifically when you can resume activities. You will be provided clear pre-operative and post-operative instructions, which outline when to start light activity and increase as tolerated.

How can I reach Dr. Gerstle if I am in the hospital or have a question when I’m at home?

Dr. Gerstle is always available by cell phone or email in between office visits. We want to make sure you are comfortable with every step in the process.

Watch Your Guide to Tummy Tuck

So many people feel self-conscious about their bodies after successfully losing weight, or after proudly giving birth to beautiful children. Some people are just suffering from the natural effects of time and gravity. One of the things I enjoy most about my job is talking to people about what would make them feel better about their bodies, and then helping them achieve their goals.

– Theo Gerstle, MD