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Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty in Virginia Beach

A tummy tuck is the common name for an abdominoplasty, which is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to reduce sagging and bulging in the abdomen. Though there are many variations, all are intended to remove some amount of excess skin and fat. A tummy tuck in Virginia Beach may also include tightening the muscles that sit beneath those layers of skin and fat. The ultimate goal is to provide a flatter tummy for a slimmer profile and greater contour definition.

Both men and women may be interested in a tummy tuck in Virginia Beach to significantly improve loose skin and muscle weakness following weight loss. It can also provide a dramatic change for women who want to reverse the undesired after-effects of pregnancy. There are many reasons someone may want an abdominoplasty, but most important for Dr. Ben Hugo is that his patients understand the tummy tuck procedure and what it can do, so they can get the results they are looking for.

Tummy Tuck
To find out if a tummy tuck in Virginia Beach is right for you, request a consultation by calling us today at (757) 496-4801.

What is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?

Excessive weight gain leading to fat accumulation at the midsection can stretch out the tissue there, especially the skin, which expands to accommodate the numerous, larger fat cells that tend to grow in the belly area. Bulging tissue from these fat deposits or other reasons can also stretch out the abdominal muscles, pulling them apart.

While exercise may reduce the size of some fat cells in the body and even improve muscle tone, it cannot get rid of unwanted and/or damaged skin, which may stay stretched out instead of tightening back over a now smaller abdomen. In fact, dieting and exercise can actually contribute to the visual problem, as fat may be disappearing from your midsection, leaving stretched-out skin and lax abdominal muscles behind. The resulting look can be a pouchy, sagging gut. Removing loose abdominal skin to correct this is one of the two main components of a tummy tuck. Tightening abdominal muscles is the other. When muscle layers are tightened and tissue is removed, the results include amazing definition along with a narrower waist.

Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour, and you will soon be standing tall and feeling confident with your new, slimmer profile. Since an abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure, not a substitute for proper diet and exercise, it doesn't change skin tone or quality. Unwanted hyperpigmentation and stretch marks will remain, though any such blemishes or lines that sit on the skin to be removed will vanish when that tissue is trimmed away.

Is a Tummy Tuck Right for Me?

The best candidates for a tummy tuck are women and men who are not overweight but who have weakened or stretched, loose, sagging skin and stretched-out tummy muscles. Patients who wish to remove a great deal of fat are not good candidates for a tummy tuck, but may want to consider liposuction. Patients in the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk areas should contact Dr. Hugo to discuss their options fully.

Patients considering a tummy tuck should be in good health, and they should be at a point where they are maintaining a stable weight. The surgery is intended to eliminate the appearance of a bulging or sagging abdomen, which may be a problem even after weight loss. Patients who expect their weight to fluctuate in the future, whether due to gain or loss, or even a pregnancy, should wait to pursue a tummy tuck until their weight is stable.

There are several factors that may lead to a sagging abdomen beyond pregnancy and weight fluctuations. Genetics can play a major role, especially when coupled with the effects of aging. Prior surgeries, too, can lead to excess tissue where it isn't wanted. Men and women alike suffer from the problem of sagging skin, and both can find the solution they are seeking at Ben Hugo Plastic Surgery.

Good candidates for a tummy tuck should also avoid smoking, as the habit can lead to diminished healing ability. We advise our patients to refrain from smoking or using any nicotine products for three months prior and three months after surgery.

Post-Pregnancy Surgeries

Since pregnancy can be responsible for many of the problems a tummy tuck addresses, it is a popular surgery choice for women who want to enjoy their pre-pregnancy bodies once again. A growing baby stretches out skin, muscle, and other abdominal tissues alike. When the baby is no longer inside, those tissues will deflate, something like a balloon no longer filled with air. Some women's skin may settle back into its original, tight look, but many women find that their abdominal area needs a little help.

Eating well, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and exercising can all go a long way to creating ideal conditions for healing and helping skin return to its original shape, but even that might not be enough. Stubborn pockets of fat can remain despite exercise, loose skin can persist and create a perpetually flabby appearance, and separated muscles can fail to hold tight as they should, even when subjected to sit-ups. In these cases, only the sutures from a tummy tuck surgery can hold the muscles in place.

Note that women considering a post-pregnancy tummy tuck may also want to address drooping that can impact another part of the body by getting a breast lift. Pregnancy and nursing changes the breasts’ size and shape, and larger breasts can succumb more easily to the pull of gravity. Breasts can stretch and point downward, and they might not return to their original position or shape, even long after children have finished nursing.

Women who plan or expect to have more babies in the future should discuss the possibility with Dr. Hugo and his team, since the effects of a new pregnancy can potentially undo the results of any abdominal tightening surgery. Similarly, any significant weight gain can do the same. Anyone anticipating such a change should wait to schedule their tummy tuck or similar surgeries until after their weight has stabilized.

Dr. Ben Hugo

Dr. Ben Hugo

Whether your needs are surgical or you are simply looking to rejuvenate your appearance, Dr. Hugo and his qualified staff welcome you. Learn more about Dr. Hugo, his qualifications, and how he can help you.

Learn more about Dr. Hugo, his qualifications, and how he can help you.

The Tummy Tuck Procedure

A tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia and takes approximately five hours.

A typical tummy tuck involves an incision made horizontally across the lower abdomen, roughly from hipbone to hipbone, though the exact shape and length of the incision will be determined by the degree of correction necessary. This incision will allow him access to the abdominal area, as well as provide him a way to pull the loose skin taut.

Dr. Ben Hugo will then remove fat as needed via liposuction, shaping the abdomen to create flatter contours. If required, he will also tighten separated muscles by stitching them together.

A second incision around the umbilicus is usually necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. Dr. Hugo takes pride in striving to minimize the scar and making a small, attractively shaped navel. If the only tissue to be removed sits below the navel, this tummy tuck step will not be necessary.

The incisions Dr. Ben Hugo makes will also allow him to essentially pull all of the abdominal skin downward, toward the feet, to ensure it sits smooth, tight, and flat. He will remove the excess skin and other tissue, then suture the remaining skin into place. In tummy tuck cases that involve pulling skin down from above the navel, he will cut a small hole into the tissue and allow the umbilicus to show through.

He uses absorbable sutures beneath the skin so as to achieve an ideal scar without stitch marks. Tummy tuck patients are pleased to learn that the horizontal surgical incision is hidden in the bikini line, so they can stroll along the beach in their swimsuit and no one will know they've had plastic surgery. Sutures used in the navel area will be hidden by the lines and contours there.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

In order to make the patient more comfortable, a nurse will provide overnight care in a recovery area within our office suite. A temporary tube is inserted under the skin to drain fluids and minimize swelling after surgery. The tube and dressings are removed at your first office visit three or four days after the tummy tuck procedure.

Dr. Hugo will discuss any medications necessary for minimizing discomfort during the tummy tuck recovery period.

You will need a responsible adult to drive you and assist with household chores. After 10 to 14 days, most patients are able to stand upright and gradually return to work and activity. You will be restricted from exercise, strenuous activity, and lifting heavy weights for two to three months after the tummy tuck surgery.

Dr. Hugo has applied his excellent artistic sense to build a reputation for consistently providing natural results for his plastic surgery patients. Before and after photos of Dr. Hugo's tummy tuck patients in the Virginia Beach area are available to help you visualize the possibilities.

How Long Do Tummy Tuck Results Last?

A tummy tuck procedure is considered permanent as long as you maintain your postoperative weight. While your body will continue to be subjected to the effects of time and gravity even if you remain slim, there will be less skin, fat, and other tissue at the abdomen level to be drawn downward. The tightened muscles should also remain strong if not forced apart by an expanding bulge behind them.

What Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?

This is a question best answered during your tummy tuck consultation, since the procedure will be customized to treat your specific condition. Some patients may only have a necessary amount of skin removed, while others will have some fat removed and their stomach muscles tightened. The specifics will help to determine the cost.

Options Beyond a Tummy Tuck

In some instances, when loose or damaged skin is not an issue, an alternative body contouring procedure, such as liposuction or SmartLipo, may be more appropriate to successfully address stubborn fatty deposits. During your consultation, Dr. Hugo will recommend the best procedure to address your concerns.

Note that although a tummy tuck may involve liposuction, the two procedures are considered to be different, and neither is intended as a weight loss measure. Body sculpting should be a decision made on aesthetics, not health.

Patients who do want to remove select fat deposits to change their appearance may also consider combining liposuction and a tummy tuck. When paired together, these two procedures can create dramatic results while cutting down on the cost and recovery time normally associated with two separate surgeries.

For fat removal, patients who want to avoid surgery can choose CoolSculpting®, which uses the power of cold to damage fat cells and prompt their elimination from the body. The procedure does not replicate the results of lipo, but is effective, noninvasive, and attractive for men and women who want to get rid of some stubborn fat but avoid down time after their visit to Ben Hugo Plastic Surgery.

When it comes to stretch marks or similar surface-level cosmetic problems related to weight gain and loss, talk to the Ben Hugo Plastic Surgery team about options for treating the skin.

Some patients may want to use their decision to get a tummy tuck as an opportunity to address other cosmetic issues, such as drooping jowls and similar aesthetic problems that can be treated with a facelift.

No matter your aesthetic goal, Dr. Hugo and his team will work with you to set you on a path toward the physical results you want to achieve, especially if those results involve the toned and flattened tummy that can come from a tummy tuck.

To find out if a tummy tuck in Virginia Beach is right for you, request a consultation by calling us today at (757) 496-4801.
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