Sometimes even the strictest diets and exercise regimens are not enough to achieve the flat and toned abdomen we all want. That’s because factors like weight loss, pregnancy and aging often leave loose, saggy skin and stubborn fat pockets that are resistant to diet and exercise efforts. Fortunately, a sculpted midsection is very possible with tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).
Men and women who desire noticeable and long-lasting tummy tuck results trust Cleveland plastic surgeons Drs. Mark A. Foglietti and Alanna Foglietti Fostyk. The board-certified surgeons pride themselves on utilizing the latest techniques and a personalized approach to deliver consistently attractive and natural-looking results. If crunches and healthy eating are not giving you the results you want, contact Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery to discuss tummy tuck.
Am I a Candidate for Tummy Tuck?
You may be an ideal candidate for tummy tuck if you have the following:
- Loose, sagging abdominal skin as a result of genetics, weight fluctuations, pregnancy or aging
- Surplus fat on the abdomen that does not respond to diet and exercise
- Weakened or separated abdominal muscles
In addition, you must be in good general health, not smoke and have a stable and healthy weight before undergoing tummy tuck. Although a common procedure, tummy tuck is highly individualized. Dr. Foglietti or Dr. Foglietti Fostyk will meet with you to discuss your concerns regarding your abdomen and design a treatment plan that achieves your desired outcome.
Tummy Tuck Consultation
In addition to checking for certain health factors, our surgeons ask questions about your lifestyle and desired results. This allows them to ascertain whether you have set reasonable expectations and are committed to adopting a healthy lifestyle to maintain your results. They may also discuss an alternative treatment or procedure that may better achieve your aesthetic goals. For example, if your skin remains taut and abdominal muscles are in their original position, you may be better served by having liposuction to improve the appearance of your midsection.
Benefits of Tummy Tuck
Tummy tuck tones and flattens the stomach by removing the excess skin that creates a bulge or “pooch” around the belly. Although diet and exercise are good ways to burn fat, they will not get rid of skin that is no longer elastic enough to retract. That makes surgery the best method to target this area. By tightening the abdominal skin, the surgery also eliminates stretch marks beneath the belly button.
Abdominoplasty also corrects diastasis recti, a condition characterized by abdominal muscles that have separated and drifted out of place. Diastasis recti affects many people who experience a significant fluctuation in weight and almost all pregnant women. While this situation does not pose health problems, shifted muscles can make the stomach bulge, creating a thicker midsection even in the absence of fat. By suturing the abdominal muscles back together, tummy tuck can restore the firm tummy you once enjoyed.
Tummy Tuck Procedure Details
Tummy tuck is performed as an outpatient procedure under anesthesia. To begin, an incision is made across the lower abdomen, extending from hipbone to hipbone. The surgeons place the incision slightly above the pubic hairline, which is low enough that it can be concealed by most underwear and bikini bottoms. Through this incision, the underlying muscles will be tightened and excess tissue removed. If surplus fat is present, it will be removed via liposuction. Skin and tissue will be tightened to reveal a flatter and tighter contour. An additional incision around the navel is made to improve the appearance of the belly button.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Drs. Foglietti and Foglietti Fostyk also offer a modified tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck. This technique may be appropriate if you have excess skin only on the lower abdomen and minimal fat. It requires a slightly shorter incision than full tummy tuck, placed below the bikini/underwear line. Through this incision, the surgeon will tighten the underlying muscles and remove/sculpt skin and tissues to create a flatter and more attractive contour. This does not correct the skin above the belly button.
Once all of the agreed-upon modifications are made, the surgeon will close the incisions with sutures, dress the treated area with soft bandages and place a compression garment on top to support the healing tissues.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Your body needs plenty of time and rest during the abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) recovery period. The procedure is major surgery, and you may not feel ready to resume your normal routine for up to four to six weeks. Many patients return to work in two weeks, however.
Pain is a short-term aspect of the recovery process, and swelling is a long-term feature. Efficient healing requires that you wear a pressure garment and are careful not to strain your abdomen. You must also faithfully take antibiotics that can help prevent infection. Although the skilled Cleveland-area plastic surgeons of Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery will advise you to be cautious with physical stress and movement, it is important to begin taking short walks as soon as possible, to improve circulation and help prevent blood clots.
Risks of Abdominoplasty
Although tummy tuck is considered a highly safe procedure, all surgeries carry some inherent risks. Complications like bleeding, infection, numbness, skin discoloration and excess scarring are possible. Your surgeon will provide you with a thorough list of tips to help you minimize your risk of complications and heal in such a way that you achieve aesthetically-pleasing results.
Tummy Tuck Results
Your abdominoplasty results are not immediately visible due to swelling. After two or three months, you should see a significantly flatter stomach, though complete results may not manifest for six months to one year.
The good news is that your tummy tuck results are considered permanent. As long as you maintain a steady weight, you should be able to enjoy your new contours indefinitely. (Moderate skin sagging should be expected due to the natural aging process.) Putting on weight can cause your belly to expand, stretching your skin once again.
This is why our surgeons encourage women who think they may have children in the future to postpone surgery until their families are complete. Since a pregnancy can undo the results of a previous tummy tuck, it saves the patient time and money to wait.
Because abdominoplasty requires a long, horizontal incision on the abdomen, scarring is unavoidable. While this scar fades somewhat with time, it never vanishes completely. Fortunately, you can still show off your toned tummy without putting your scar on display since the incision is low enough that it is easily covered by most clothing, including underwear and bathing suits.
Liposuction is frequently paired with tummy tuck to provide the stomach with a more toned appearance. The procedure is a great way to target lingering pockets of fat that have been resistant to diet and exercise. Many of Dr. Foglietti’s & Dr. Fostyk’s patients choose to target unwanted fat deposits at the same time as tightening the skin and realigning the abdominal wall.
Tummy tuck is also a popular component of the “mommy makeover,” a combination of procedures designed to restore the bodies of women who are displeased with changes that occurred during pregnancy. Other procedures that can be included in a mommy makeover are breast augmentation and breast lift because the breasts — like the abdomen — can change as a result of pregnancy.
The price of tummy tuck is determined on a patient-by-patient basis and depends on the amount of skin that needs to be excised and whether liposuction involved. Tummy tuck typically costs between $5,000 and $9,000. During a consultation, the surgeons at Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery can provide you with a complete price breakdown so that you can make an informed decision.
Abdominoplasty is an elective procedure and is therefore not covered by most health insurance plans. If you would like to make payments toward the total cost of the surgery, we accept financing plans through CareCredit.
Choosing Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery
Because you want great results performed safely, you won’t regret selecting the best cosmetic surgery team in Ohio. Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery has amazing reviews that attest to our surgeons’ superior skills and friendly, compassionate attitude toward patients. Be sure to check out our photo gallery to see the amazing transformations and flatter, smoother stomachs we have achieved for some of our patients with abdominoplasty. For a consultation, please call (216) 292-6800.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
Should I get a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck is your best surgical option for addressing loose skin and abdominal muscles that have shifted out of place. Women who lost their firm tummy due to pregnancy, weight loss or aging can benefit aesthetically from the removal of excess skin and fat. Keep in mind that this surgery works best on women who are at or near their goal weight. If you are obese or significantly overweight, you may want to start by implementing a diet and exercise routine to trim down your tummy. Once you have shown you can maintain a stable weight, then you may want to try tummy tuck to address any loose skin.
Is tummy tuck painful?
Drs. Foglietti and Fostyk administer general anesthesia prior to performing tummy tuck so that their patients remain comfortable throughout the surgery. While some lingering discomfort is expected, the doctors prescribe pain medication to make this discomfort manageable. Focus on rest and relaxation in the weeks following surgery to give your abdominal muscles time to recover. Exercising too vigorously too soon can add to your discomfort and perhaps diminish your results.
How does a pregnancy reverse the results of tummy tuck?
When your belly expands to hold the size of a new baby, the skin covering your stomach stretches again. Additionally, your abdominal muscles are just as likely to separate. In other words, most of the cosmetic improvements achieved with tummy tuck are erased. Fortunately, tummy tuck does nothing to prevent you from getting pregnant again, so if you do decide to have a child after the surgery, it has no adverse effect on your or your unborn child’s health. Later, you can choose to have tummy tuck surgery a second time to reattain your previous results.
How soon after a C-section can I have tummy tuck?
The experienced Cleveland-area plastic surgeons of Foglietti Fostyk Plastic Surgery recommend waiting at least a few months after you have finished breastfeeding to schedule tummy tuck. This is because the nursing is accompanied by significant hormonal changes that can easily cause your weight to fluctuate.
For women who have decided not to breastfeed, it is appropriate to wait three months after giving birth to have tummy tuck so that the uterus can regain its normal size and shape. For many women, it takes additional months to restore their normal weight after pregnancy. Allow as much time as necessary to reach your weight loss goal in order to achieve optimal tummy tuck results.
Can I keep my natural belly button?
Drs. Foglietti and Fostyk use techniques to ensure that the navel looks completely natural after surgery. While the belly button stalk remains in place on your body, the skin surrounding it is moved when it is pulled taut. To accommodate for this change, your surgeon will create a new hole where the stalk is so that the belly button appears in the right position on your newly contoured midsection. Although this does involve an additional incision, the scarring is easily concealed inside the belly button itself.
Does tummy tuck improve my stretch marks?
Skin that has been damaged from pregnancy or rapid weight gain or loss can develop indentations or stretch marks. Stretch marks located on the lower portion of the abdomen are eliminated when this portion of skin is surgically excised. While you may also notice some improvement to stretch marks in the middle and upper abdomen when the skin is pulled taut, this will not go away completely. To address stretch marks in these other regions, please ask about additional treatments during consultation.
How soon can I exercise after tummy tuck?
Exercise should be reintroduced into your routine on a gradual basis. Short walks in your house are good to get the blood circulating, but you must remember to move at a slow pace and lean slightly forward to avoid tension on your incision point. After about a month — with your surgeon’s approval — it is appropriate to restart low-impact aerobics. Riding a bike and lifting weights with your arms or legs are fine as long as you do not place strain on your abdominal muscles. Your surgeon will let you know when you are allowed to start doing exercises for your core again.
What are the medical benefits of abdominoplasty?
Although tummy tuck is primarily performed to make cosmetic improvements and boost the patient’s confidence, researchers have noticed some other benefits. Studies have shown that tummy tuck can improve ventral and umbilical hernias. The procedure may also lower one’s risk for stress-related urinary incontinence. One specific study in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery collected evidence that tummy tuck patients were better at reaching their weight loss goals in both the short term and the long term. Scientists speculate that by removing some fat cells, the activity of hormones that govern appetite is altered.