Women and men who have loose abdominal skin and fat that is concentrated in the abdomen can benefit from abdominoplasty. Sometimes these conditions are inherited. In other instances, substantial weight loss may cause abdominal skin to become flaccid. Abdominoplasty also can tighten muscles that have been separated and weakened by pregnancy. The procedure may somewhat improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located below the navel.
Your Personal Consultation
During the consultation, you will be asked about the results you would like to achieve from abdominoplasty. This will help your surgeon to understand your expectations and determine whether they realistically can be achieved.
Am I a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty?
You may be a good candidate for abdominoplasty if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- excess or sagging abdominal skin
- an abdomen that protrudes and is out of proportion to the rest of your body
- abdominal muscles that have been separated and weakened
- excess fatty tissue that is concentrated in your abdomen
If you plan to become pregnant or lose weight in the future, you should discuss this with your plastic surgeon. Scarring from previous abdominal surgery may limit the results of your abdominoplasty.
Dr. Barrera may examine your abdomen while you are standing as well as lying down. Your skin tone and the degree of loose skin in the abdominal region will be assessed. Dr. Barrera also will evaluate the amount of excess fat in your abdomen and the condition of your abdominal muscles.
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, pregnancies, previous surgeries and medications that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information.
How Abdominoplasty Is Performed:
Individual factors and personal preferences will determine the specific technique selected to smooth and flatten your abdomen.
Where are the Incisions Placed?
Generally, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area. The length of the incision, which extends laterally toward the pelvic bones, depends largely on the amount of skin to be removed. The contour of this incision will vary somewhat according to the structure of your abdomen and the style of bathing suit or undergarments that you prefer. Dr Barrera will try to keep the incision within your bathing suit lines, but this may not always be possible.
Generally, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area. If there is loose skin above the navel, the surgeon may make a second incision around the navel. Skin in the shaded area is separated from the abdominal wall.
Some patients have loose skin above the navel. In such cases, Dr. Barrera may make a second incision around the navel so that the redundant skin above it can be pulled down. The excess abdominal skin is then removed. The position of the navel remains unchanged.
To tighten the abdominal wall, Dr. Barrera brings loose underlying tissue and muscle together with sutures. Skin of the lower abdomen that contains stretch marks may be removed as well. Any remaining stretch marks may be somewhat flattened and improved, but you should not expect a dramatic change in their appearance.
Abdominal skin is pulled downward, and the excess is removed. A small opening is made to bring the navel through.
The procedure may include tightening of the underlying abdominal muscles using sutures.
What are Some Variations to the Common Abdominoplasty Technique?
There are many variations both to the design of the incisions and the technique itself. In some instances, it may be possible to avoid an incision around the navel. When the amount of loose skin is minimal and the excess fat deposits are located below the navel, a short horizontal incision is all that is necessary. This procedure is called a partial, or “mini,” abdominoplasty.
Dr. Barrera will discuss with you the particular method that he recommends for achieving the best result in your particular case.
Dr. Barrera performs all cosmetic surgery procedures including Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) at his Accredited Ambulatory Surgical Facility (AAAASF) under intravenous sedation and local anesthesia, without the need for general anesthesia (painless during the procedure and minimal pain afterwards). This provides added safety and faster recovery.
For further information or questions do not hesitate to contact Dr. Barrera and or his staff.