Achieving tight abs and a flat stomach can be very challenging. Often, you may put in all the hard work associated with eating well and doing countless hours of sit-ups only to find that your efforts aren’t delivering the results you desire. Many of the reasons for this may be out of your control. In these situations, a tummy tuck may be able to help you put the finishing touches on your workout routine.
A tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure performed to tighten abdominal muscles and remove excess skin and fat in the region to help you achieve a toned, fit stomach appearance. At Bella Cosmetic Surgery, many of our tummy tuck patients find their procedure to be life-changing, providing the self-confidence that comes along with looking and feeling your very best.
You can find out whether a tummy tuck is the right procedure to achieve your goals and receive individualized treatment recommendations by speaking with Dr. Michael Chiaramonte in person. Please call 301-567-6767 today to schedule a consultation. We serve patients in Maryland, Washington DC and throughout Northern Virginia.
- Reasons You May Need a Tummy Tuck
- Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
- Am I a Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
- Tummy Tuck after Pregnancy or Weight Loss
- Preparing for Abdominoplasty
- Your Tummy Tuck Procedure
- Full Tummy Tuck vs. Mini Tummy Tuck
- Recovery after a Tummy Tuck
- Tummy Tuck Cost
- Contact our Maryland Plastic Surgeon
Reasons You May Need a Tummy Tuck
As we age, our metabolism slows down, making it harder to burn off fat in certain areas of the body. It's normal for our midsections to get a little bigger, and for skin to lose elasticity. Often, there are limitations to the extent that diet and exercise can address these changes. For example, your workout routine can build muscle in the abdominal region, but it can’t address loose skin in the area.
There are many natural factors that play a role in the development of midsection protrusions. While you may stay active and watch what you eat, certain circumstances can still cause unsightly fat and loose skin to develop. These include:
- Pregnancy – During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles stretch and separate to allow room for your baby to grow. Often, women find it hard to regain the tightness in their midsection after childbirth, especially after multiple pregnancies.
- Weight loss – If you lose a significant amount of weight, you may be left with loose, sagging skin and stretched abdominal muscles where the weight was lost. This can cause an aesthetically unpleasing result for those who worked so hard to get to a healthy weight.
- Genetics – The shape and tone of your body is highly determined by your genetics. Some people may live a healthy life and exercise regularly, but still may be left with stubborn pockets of fat in certain areas of the body, especially the midsection.
- Aging – As mentioned above, our skin loses its natural elasticity and our muscles steadily weaken as we age. This process can often have a significant impact on the abdominal region, turning a tight, sculpted stomach into a flabby midsection.
At Bella Cosmetic Surgery, we understand that everyone's situation is unique, and we offer a variety of procedures to help you reach your body goals. We provide a combined treatment of abdominoplasty and liposuction, called the Bella Body Lift, for individuals with a surplus of fat.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck can help you achieve a flatter stomach that creates a more balanced, proportionate figure. Some of the benefits you’ll experience after your tummy tuck include:
- More toned, fit appearance in the abdominal region
- Elimination of loose, hanging skin commonly occurring after pregnancy or significant weight loss
- Tighter abdominal muscles
- Improvement in the appearance of stretch marks
You may also experience a boost in self-confidence that comes along with looking and feeling great. In addition, if you’re undergoing a tummy tuck after significant weight loss, you may find that you are more motivated to live a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain your results.
Am I a Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
In general, tummy tuck candidates:
- Are in good overall health
- Have realistic expectations for the outcome of their procedure
- Have excess skin or fat in the stomach region
- Have loose or stretched abdominal muscles that would benefit from tightening
- Are near their ideal body weight and maintain an active, healthy lifestyle
While future pregnancy plans won’t rule you out as a tummy tuck candidate, Dr. Chiaramonte typically recommends that you wait to undergo the procedure until you are done having children. Future pregnancies can stretch your abdominal muscles and have a negative impact on the results of your procedure. In order to avoid this situation, you are better off delaying your tummy tuck until your family plans are complete.
During your consultation, Dr. Chiaramonte will listen to your goals and concerns and then conduct a thorough, professional examination to determine if a tummy tuck is right for you. At Bella Cosmetic Surgery, we are committed to your safety and wellbeing. This has always been our philosophy of cosmetic surgery.
Tummy Tuck after Pregnancy or Weight Loss
A tummy tuck is a popular procedure for women looking to address body changes that occur during pregnancy. It’s common for abdominal muscles to stretch when you are pregnant, making it difficult to regain a flat stomach after the child is born. Dr. Chiaramonte can perform a tummy tuck to tighten these muscles and address stretch marks caused by pregnancy, helping you enjoy a firmer abdominal appearance. For this reason, a tummy tuck is commonly included as part of a mommy makeover.
You may also benefit from a tummy tuck if you’ve recently lost a significant amount of weight. Often, massive weight loss can leave you with loose, hanging skin in the stomach region. A tummy tuck can help you put the finishing touches on your weight loss efforts so that you look and feel your best.
Preparing for Abdominoplasty
In the weeks leading up to your surgery, it's important to consider how your lifestyle and physical condition will affect the success of your procedure. Things to consider include:
- Your general health - Tummy tucks are a significant surgical procedure, and it's important to be in good overall health before surgery to avoid complications. If you experience any health issues, it’s crucial that you disclose these to Dr. Chiaramonte during your consultation.
- Smoking - If you are a smoker, Dr. Chiaramonte recommends quitting several weeks prior to your tummy tuck and throughout the recovery process, as the chemicals in cigarettes increase the likelihood of complications.
- Medication usage - Some prescriptions and supplements should be avoided in the weeks leading up to your surgery, so you will need to make adjustments as required.
These simple considerations can have a significant impact on the success of your tummy tuck.
Your Tummy Tuck Procedure
Your tummy tuck will be performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. The procedure will usually take 2-5 hours from start to finish, depending on the amount of work required. If you’re getting a mini tummy tuck, you may only be in our office for an hour or two.
Dr. Chiaramonte will create a straight incision from your hip bone to the opposite hip bone, just above the groin area. Next, he gently lifts up the skin of the belly to expose the stomach muscles. Abdominal muscles are tightened and excess fat is removed in order to proportionally sculpt your midsection. Dr. Chiaramonte will also remove any loose, hanging skin before the incision is closed.
Full Tummy Tuck vs. Mini Tummy Tuck
There are two different tummy tuck techniques:
- Full tummy tuck
- Mini tummy tuck
A full tummy tuck addresses the entire abdominal region. It involves a longer incision than the mini tummy tuck, and it generally delivers more dramatic results.
If you have minimal excess fat and skin to remove, then a mini tummy tuck may be an excellent option for you. This technique focuses on the area beneath the belly button and produces a smaller scar. However, the results are not as comprehensive as what can be achieved with a full tummy tuck.
In general, you may want to consider a mini tummy tuck if you:
- Don’t have loose abdominal muscles which require tightening
- Only have minimal skin sagging
- Have a smaller amount of excess fat located predominantly below the belly button
- Do not require treatment of the entire abdominal region
Dr. Chiaramonte will recommend the right tummy tuck option to address your unique needs and goals after evaluating you during a confidential consultation.
Recovery after a Tummy Tuck
The length of your recovery after a tummy tuck will vary based on your body’s innate ability to heal and the type of technique used with your procedure. In general, the more extensive your procedure, the longer your recovery will be.
Even with appropriate preparation, your recovery is still a crucial period for obtaining ideal results. Following our instructions will not only facilitate a safer, faster healing process, but it will also help reduce scarring to give you optimal results in the long-term.
As your recovery progresses, Dr. Chiaramonte will schedule a follow up appointment where he can ensure your incisions are healing appropriately and update your regimen accordingly.
General Recovery Guidelines
We recommend that you arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery since you will still be experiencing the lingering effects of anesthesia. You should also have someone stay in the house with you for the rest of the day in case you require assistance.
You’ll need to wear a support garment during the initial phase of your recovery. Dr. Chiaramonte will let you know when you can stop wearing this garment.
You should resume light activity such as walking as soon as you feel up to it. This will improve blood flow and facilitate the healing process. You will be able to gradually increase your activity level over the first few weeks of recovery, and you should be able to resume work in about two weeks. However, you will need to refrain from heavy lifting, strenuous activities and rigorous exercise for about six weeks.
You will begin to notice preliminary results as bruising and swelling subsides, but it may take a few months before your final tummy tuck results are visible. You’ll need to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle to ensure your results last for a long time.
Tummy Tuck Cost
The average cost of a tummy tuck at Bella Cosmetic Surgery is between $5,500 and $8,500, depending on the specifics of your procedure. At Bella Cosmetic Surgery, we’re committed to making sure your desired procedure can fit into your budget. In order to achieve this goal, we offer a variety of financing options, including no-interest and low-interest plans.
Our staff will review these financing options with you in detail during your consultation, and we can help you fill out all necessary paperwork.
Contact our Maryland Plastic Surgeon
Please contact Bella Cosmetic Surgery using the form on this page or call 301-567-6767 today to schedule a tummy tuck consultation. We serve patients in Maryland, Washington DC and Northern Virginia.