Tummy Tuck

At Park Plastic Surgery in Rocky Mount, tummy tuck surgery is among the most transformative procedures Dr. Frederick K. Park performs. The recontouring of the midsection can enhance self-image in dramatic ways. A board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Park specializes in offering exceptional tummy tuck results to patients from Greenville, Wilson, Murfreesboro, and Weldon, NC, and other surrounding communities.

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin from the midsection and, in most cases, repairs weakened or separated abdominal muscles, restoring a slimmer waist and a flatter, firmer tummy.

What Does a Tummy Tuck Achieve?

A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes, these methods cannot achieve our goals. A tummy tuck can help by tightening lax skin and shaping a slimmer, firmer abdomen, especially when combined with liposuction.

What Doesn’t a Tummy Tuck Achieve?

A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. It cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that are excised.

Dr. Park’s Approach:

I generally use a technique of high lateral tension and multiple site muscle tightening when necessary to provide a drainless tummy tuck option at my Rocky Mount practice. This can achieve beautiful results. In the patient population near their ideal body weight who have muscle issues, this is my technique of choice. Drains are used on a casebycase basis, but I am using fewer drains than I have in the past; now it is more the exception to have drains placed. 

How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost in Rocky Mount?

In Greenville, Halifax, and the Rocky Mount area, the cost of a tummy tuck varies depending on the complexity of the surgery, the technique used, and your surgeon’s level of expertise. The best way to determine your pricing is to visit us for a private tummy tuck consultation with Dr. Park.

Who Is a Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

Ideal tummy tuck candidates are individuals who have developed an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging, despite having an otherwise normal body weight and proportion. The most common causes of this include:

  • Aging
  • Heredity
  • Pregnancy
  • Prior surgery
  • Significant fluctuations in weight

Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.

Preparing for an Abdominoplasty

For the best tummy tuck results, you should be at or near your ideal weight and in good health. Some of the ways you can prepare for your surgery include:

  • Stop smoking at least 3 to 6 weeks before and after surgery. Smoking hinders your recovery.
  • Complete all lab work and medical evaluations as soon as possible.
  • Stop taking anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning medication, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, as advised by your regular doctor and plastic surgeon.
  • Fill your post-surgical medication prescriptions before surgery day.
  • Schedule time off work.
  • Have a friend or family member ready to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • Stock your recovery area with pillows, medication, TV remote, wet wipes, digital devices, books, and anything else you think will make your recovery easier. Arrange them around your recovery area so they will be in easy reach when your range of movement might be limited.
  • Buy a couple of soft cold compresses. Having at least one backup compress means you’ll always have one ready whenever you want to ease swelling and discomfort.
  • Organize comfortable clothing to wear to your surgery and for the first few weeks of your recovery. For surgery day and your first days of recovery, button-down or zip-front clothing is better than clothing that pulls over your head.

Tummy Tuck Surgical Techniques

Dr. Park tailors each tummy tuck to the unique needs and cosmetic goals of the patient. He often begins with one of the following techniques:

Mini Tummy Tuck

This technique is appropriate for a select few patients because it is limited to the abdominal area below the bellybutton down to the pubic area. The mini tummy tuck does not involve the abdominal muscles or the bellybutton.

Full Tummy Tuck

Also called a complete or traditional tummy tuck, this technique is best suited for the majority of patients. It includes removal of excess skin, repair of abdominal muscles (diastasis recti correction), and bellybutton reshaping. A full tummy tuck involves a horizontal incision that begins near one hip bone, runs down above the pubic bone, and back up to the other hip bone. The resulting scar is usually low enough to be covered by underwear and swimsuits. A second incision encircles the bellybutton.

Extended Tummy Tuck

Also called a belt lipectomy, this technique extends the full tummy tuck incision around the back of the abdomen and above the buttocks. It is a good option for removing a significant amount of excess skin after massive weight loss. The extended tummy tuck also contours the waist and lifts and tightens sagging outer hips and buttocks.

Male Tummy Tuck Surgery

While the majority of tummy tuck patients are women, men can benefit as well. The midsection is a common area in which men gain weight, so many want to renew this area with a tummy tuck or extended tummy tuck after massive weight loss.

Does a Tummy Tuck Always Include Muscle Repair?

Dr. Park frequently offers tummy tucks without muscle tightening. This results in a shorter surgery, a more comfortable recovery, and a much quicker resumption of normal activity. Dr. Park has found that many patients are thrilled with the results even without muscle tightening.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Park performed muscle work on almost every patient. However, many of his patients today are not quite near their ideal body weight and have a primary goal of removing overhanging tissues from the lower abdomen. Most of these patients have loose muscles, but in carefully listening to and understanding their goals, Dr. Park has recognized the benefits of offering an option that does not include muscle repair.

Can a Tummy Tuck Be Combined With Other Procedures?

Dr. Park often combines tummy tuck surgery with other procedures, sometimes called a mommy makeover, to give patients a more comprehensive improvement. Popular options include:

What Is Better, a Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?

Neither procedure is better than the other. The best one for you depends on your individual needs. A tummy tuck removes excess skin, reshapes the bellybutton, and repairs bulging abdominal muscles. Liposuction removes pockets of excess fat. Most patients benefit from a combination of these procedures to restore smooth, firm contours to their abdominal area.

What Is Tummy Tuck Recovery Like?

Your recovery experience will vary based on the complexity of your surgery, how quickly your body heals, and how physically demanding your job is. General considerations include:

  • Assistance: You will need an adult family member or friend to drive you home after surgery and help you out for at least a few days with meals, hygiene, pets, children, chores, and other responsibilities.
  • Pain management: Discomfort is most intense during approximately the first 5 to 7 days after surgery. Prescription pain medication is usually effective, although pain tolerances vary.
  • Surgical drains: Small tubes are placed during surgery to allow fluid to drain out at the ends of your incision. You will be given instructions for monitoring and emptying the collection bulb. We usually remove these drains within 10 days at a post-opt appointment.
  • Posture: You will need to remain in a flexed, hunched-over position at all times for the first week or two because the abdominal skin and muscles will be tight. It can be helpful to spend time in a recliner, even while sleeping.
  • Exercise: Do gentle walking several times a day starting the day of surgery to increase circulation and prevent blood clots. After 3 weeks, you should be ready to do light, non-impact exercise then gradually work up to your regular routine by 6 to 8 weeks when cleared by Dr. Park.
  • Compression garment: To minimize swelling and support your abdominal area, you will need to wear a compression garment for the first 3 weeks as directed.
  • Return to work: Most patients are ready to return to nonstrenuous jobs and activities in 2 to 3 weeks.

Tummy Tuck FAQ

Does a tummy tuck remove stretch marks?

A full tummy tuck removes the stretch marks that are below the bellybutton (along with skin) and moves stretch marks (and skin) from above the bellybutton down below it where they aren’t as noticeable.

Can you still get pregnant after tummy tuck surgery?

While the surgery will not affect your ability to become pregnant, it is a good idea to wait and have a tummy tuck after you are finished having children. It’s very likely that pregnancy will reverse the improvements from your tummy tuck and create the need for another surgery.

How many dress sizes will I lose from an abdominoplasty?

Once free from the excess skin, fat deposits, and tummy bulge, abdominoplasty patients typically lose 2 to 3 dress sizes.

Does a tummy tuck help you lose weight?

Don’t expect to lose a significant amount of weight with a tummy tuck; although, you might look that way. Many patients are motivated to continue or begin healthy habits because of how great they look and feel.

Do you get a new bellybutton during a full tummy tuck?

You will keep your bellybutton, but it will likely look better after abdominoplasty. Dr. Park carefully releases it from the surrounding stretched abdominal skin, pulls the skin down to the pubic area, creates a new opening for the bellybutton, trims away the excess, and carefully stitches the bellybutton in place. The skin that will surround your bellybutton after surgery will be smooth and firm much like it was before pregnancy or weight loss.

Will tummy tuck scars go away?

Tummy tuck surgery leaves a permanent scar that runs along the lower abdomen from hip bone to hip bone. Most people find these scars are an acceptable trade-off for a significantly improved shape.

Are tummy tucks safe?

Dr. Park believes tummy tucks are some of the highest-risk plastic surgery procedures performed in terms of patient health. He wants people considering the procedure to know that the risk of blood clots and embolism are real and should be carefully considered when embarking on this type of surgery. That being said, this surgery can be done safely and effectively with good patient selection and using proven techniques to lower the risks of complications.

How long do tummy tuck results last?

Tummy tuck results last indefinitely if you maintain your weight and do not become pregnant.

To schedule an appointment at Park Plastic Surgery, please call us at (252) 888-2691. If you have any questions or comments, or if you want to learn more about the services we provide, please complete and submit our contact form.

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