Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty)
Abdominoplasty is offered to Bay Area residents at our fully equipped plastic surgery practice in Mountain View, California. Also known as a tummy tuck, Mountain View, Los Altos, and Bay Area men and women have relied on Dr. Pearl's talent in the abdominoplasty procedure to give them the toned stomach they desire.
A flat stomach is important to a physically fit appearance. However, a healthy diet and regular abdominal workouts can sometimes do little to eliminate accumulations of excess fat and loose, sagging skin in the abdominal area. If you are bothered by these appearance problems, a tummy tuck may be a good choice for you.
Abdominoplasty is designed to firm and smooth the abdomen. This cosmetic procedure removes excess skin and fat and may also tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The result is a flatter, tighter abdominal profile.
If you desire a flat, toned stomach, you may be a perfect abdominoplasty candidate. Palo Alto and Bay Area residents should contact our cosmetic plastic surgery practice in Mountain View, California to set up a consultation with our premier cosmetic plastic surgeon, Dr. Samuel Pearl
Ideal Tummy Tuck Candidates
Abdominoplasty is best suited to people who are in relatively good shape but have loose abdominal skin and/or a significant amount of abdominal fat that won't respond to dieting or exercise.
You may be a good candidate for abdominoplasty if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- Excess or loose, sagging abdominal skin especially from pregnancy or weight loss
- An abdomen that protrudes and is out of proportion to the rest of the body
- Abdominal muscles that have been weakened by pregnancy or aging
- Excess fat that is concentrated beneath the abdominal skin
If you plan to become pregnant or to lose a significant amount of weight, you should discuss these plans with your surgeon. Scars from previous abdominal surgeries may limit the results of an abdominoplasty. However, in some cases, an existing scar can be used for the new incision, as is often the case for women with Cesarean section scars.
If you feel you are an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck, our friendly staff in Mountain View, a convenient drive from anywhere in the Bay Area, and set up your initial consultation today.
Your Personal Abdominoplasty Consultation
A personal consultation with Dr. Pearl is the first step. He will assess your physical and emotional health, review your medical history, and discuss your specific cosmetic goals for abdominoplasty surgery. When examining your abdomen, Dr. Pearl will evaluate:
- The quality of your abdominal skin
- The location of any existing scars
- The amount and location of any excess fat
- The status of the underlying muscles
Dr. Pearl may suggest other treatments to better meet your appearance goals. For example, some patients may benefit from liposuction alone or a more limited type of abdominoplasty. Dr. Pearl will cover the safety and success of abdominoplasty as well as inform you of how you can do your part to minimize any risks.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Generally, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area. The length of the incision, which extends toward the hipbones, depends largely on the amount of skin to be removed. In other words, the looser skin that needs to be removed, the longer the tummy tuck incision will be. For women, plastic surgeons keep the incision within swimsuit lines, when it is possible. Working through this incision, Dr. Pearl may tighten the underlying muscles by pulling them together and stitching them in place. Any excess skin from the lower abdomen is trimmed away. Skin that contains stretch marks may be removed as well; however, it may not be possible to remove them all. Many variations of abdominoplasty exist:
- Abdominal skin excision with or without associated liposuction
- Lower abdominal skin excision with abdominal muscle tightening
- Full abdominal skin excision with abdominal muscle repair and resetting of the umbilicus. Usually all or most of the skin is removed between the umbilicus and pubic hair. Frequently liposuction of the lateral abdomen and flanks is performed at the same time. This is the traditional abdominoplasty
- Endoscopic tightening of the abdominal muscles with only a small amount of abdominal skin excision
- An extended abdominoplasty, or "belt lipectomy" may be an excellent choice for selected patients who have a lost a great deal of weight. This more extensive surgery, which removes the most skin and subcutaneous tissue from the abdomen, thighs, and back, can provide dramatic results!
Traditional abdominoplasty isn't the best choice for everyone. Dr. Pearl will advise you if either of other options, which will work, well with your anatomy and meet your surgical goals.
If you have questions about abdominoplasty, Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Bay Area residents can contact Dr. Pearl at his private cosmetic plastic surgery practice situated in beautiful Mountain View, California. He will be glad to answer and questions or concerns and guide you towards the appropriate decision.
EXPAREL® & Tummy Tucks
Recently, Dr. Pearl has begun to offer EXPAREL® to his breast augmentation and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) patients. EXPAREL in selected individuals can dramatically reduce post-operative discomfort.
To help control your pain after surgery, Dr. Pearl will inject EXPAREL into your surgical incision just before the end of the procedure.
- EXPAREL is a local analgesic that contains the local anesthetic bupivacaine. Local anesthetics provide pain relief by numbing the tissue around the surgical site.
- EXPAREL is specifically designed to release pain medication over time and can control pain for up to 72 hours. This is fantastic!
- In addition to EXPAREL, Dr. Pearl may provide other pain medications to control your pain.
- Each patient is different and responds differently to pain medication. Depending on how you respond to EXPAREL, you may require less additional pain medication during your recovery.
Be sure to ask Dr. Pearl and his staff about this exciting way to reduce your discomfort, enhance your experience, and help you achieve the superior result that you deserve!
Recovery from Abdominoplasty
Once Dr. Pearl has completed your tummy tuck at our Mountain View facility, you'll be taken to an on-site recovery area. In many cases, small drainage tubes will have been placed beneath the skin to help prevent fluids from accumulating. Dressings may be applied to your abdomen and covered with tape or an elastic bandage.
Any discomfort you may feel can be controlled with medication prescribed by Dr. Pearl. EXPAREL may be used to reduce your need for post-operative pain medication. Make sure to ask Dr. Pearl or his staff about the use of EXPAREL to reduce your post-operative discomfort.
Although you may not be able to stand perfectly straight at first, you will be encouraged to get out of bed soon after surgery to promote blood circulation. In this early phase of healing, straining, bending and lifting should be avoided. Dr. Pearl will instruct you to sleep on your back with your knees up.
Although everyone heals at a different rate, you can expect that your recovery will follow this general time line:
Within the first week
- Surgical drainage tubes may be removed
- Sutures will be removed (may take 10 days)
- Bruising and swelling will reach its peak
After several weeks
- You will no longer need to wear the support garment
- You may gradually increase your activity and exercise
- You may return to non-strenuous work (typically within the first 2 weeks)
- Bruising and swelling will continue to subside and you'll begin to see your results
After a few months
- You'll see a truer picture of the final result of your surgery
- Feelings of numbness or tightness will disappear. Your incision line may begin to fade from its reddish color (full fading may take 1-2 years)
In the months following surgery, it's important to treat your healing skin with extra care, which means avoiding sun exposure and not wearing black or other dark colors when you are outdoors. Heat absorbed by dark-colored clothing can actually burn your healing skin and complicate recovery.
Tummy Tuck Results
Quite soon after surgery, you will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your body. Many people find that their firmer, flatter abdomen boosts their confidence and makes them feel more comfortable in clothing.
As the months pass, your incision line will continue to fade; however, it's important to realize that your scar will be permanently visible. Many patients view the permanent scar as a small tradeoff for their firmer, sleeker appearance.
Abdominoplasty produces long-lasting results. Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight, you can expect to retain your new shape for many years. Over time, gravity and aging may cause your skin to loosen somewhat. If this occurs, your plastic surgeon may suggest additional treatment for restoring a more youthful abdominal contour.
If you are considering a tummy tuck, contact our Mountain View-based practice today.