The Clinic of Cosmetic Surgery has over 40 years experience in performing Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) for patients in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin.
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. Click here to view patient photo portfolio.
To make this procedure accessible to all our patients we provide several Financing options. Call (414) 963-0500 for a consultation and get more details.
Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a “tummy tuck”, is a major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen.
The Best Candidates for Abdominoplasty
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a protruding abdomen, large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved.
Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should post-pone the surgery until they have reached their goal weight. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as vertical muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during surgery can stretch again during pregnancy.
All Abdominoplasty Surgery Carries Some Uncertainties and Risk
Thousands of abdominoplasties are performed successfully each year. When done by one of our qualified plastic surgeons trained in body contouring, the results are quite positive. Nevertheless, there are always risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
Postoperative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare, but can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics. You can minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon after the surgery as possible.
Poor healing, which results in conspicuous scars may necessitate a second operation. Smokers are advised to stop, as smoking increases the risk of complications and delays healing.
You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following our instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when and how you should resume physical activity.
The Abdominoplasty Consultation
A personal consultation is the first step for every patient considering an abdominoplasty. During this meeting, one of our board-certified plastic surgeons will evaluate your physical and emotional health and discuss your specific goals for surgery.
You should arrive at the consultation prepared to provide complete information about:
- Previous surgeries
- Past and present medical conditions
- Medications that you are taking, including Aspirin, Aspirin like products, nutritional supplements and herbal remedies
- Smoking history, if any
During your physical examination the doctor will determine the extent of muscle wall laxity, fat deposits in your abdominal region, and carefully assess your skin tone. We will also discuss alternatives and the risks, goals, limitations of each.
If, for example, your fat deposits and excess skin are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a mini abdominoplasty, which can often be performed in our office-based surgical suite. You may benefit from liposuction in the hips and flanks to remove fat deposits for a better body contour. Perhaps, a torsoplasty which removes excess skin and tissue from the back and hips is indicated if you are concerned about those areas in addition to the abdomen.
In any case, we will work with you to recommend the procedure that is right for you and will come closest to producing the desired body contour.
Preparing for Your Abdominoplasty Surgery
When the date for your procedure has been set, we will provide you with specific instructions for the days immediately before and after surgery.
The Abdominoplasty Surgery
Generally we perform a mini tummy tuck in our office-based surgical suite using local anesthesia and intravenous sedation (twilight sleep). An abdominoplasty is performed in a hospital using general anesthesia. We recommend that you stay at least on night, some patients opt to spend two nights.
An abdominoplasty usually takes two hours. A mini tummy tuck is somewhat shorter in duration. After both procedures you are cared for in a recovery area for a minimum of 1 hour. If the surgery is in our office suite you will go home after your recovery time. If your surgery is in a hospital you will go to a nursing unit after the one-hour recovery period.
Most commonly, an incision is made from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With a mini abdominoplasty the incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved.
Next, the skin is separated from the abdominal wall all the way up to your ribs and a large skin flap is lifted to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. Pulling them together with suture material tightens the muscles. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline. The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. A new hole is cut for your navel, which is then stitched in place. Finally, the incisions will be stitched and a temporary drainage tube will be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. Dressings and a girdle will be applied.
In a mini abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the incision is stitched together.
Be sure to ask about a lower body lift…an exciting new method of rejuvenating the hips, thighs, buttocks and abdomen with one surgery. When the date for your procedure has been set, we will provide you with specific instructions for the days immediately before and after surgery. A number of points may be covered, including:
Avoiding certain medications that may complicate surgery or recovery, such as Aspirin, Aspirin type products, Vitamin E and Gingko. Stopping smoking for a period of 3-4 weeks before and after surgery
Arranging for help and special care following surgery
After Your Abdominoplasty Surgery
For the first few days, your abdomen will be tight and swollen. You’re likely to feel moderate pain and discomfort that can be controlled by medication. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may be released within a few hours or you may wish to remain hospitalized for one to two days. We will give you instructions for post-operative care. Though it may be difficult to stand up straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible.
Getting Back to Normal
It may take you weeks or a month or two to feel like your old self again. Some people return to work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate.
Gentle exercises will help you feel better. Even people who have never exercised before should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided until at least 6 weeks after surgery.
Your scars may appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Massaging Vitamin E into the healed incision line may improve the quality of the scar. Expect it to take nine months to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color. While they’ll never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, even under bathing suits.
Abdominoplasty, whether partial or complete, produces excellent results for patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. And in most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly. When the date for your procedure has been set, we will provide you with specific instructions for the days immediately before and after surgery. A number of points may be covered, including:
- Avoiding certain medications that may complicate surgery or recovery, such as Aspirin, Aspirin type products, Vitamin E and Gingko
- Stopping smoking for a period of 3-4 weeks before and after surgery
- Arranging for help and special care following surgery