Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty (Tummy tuck) loose or drooping skin in the abdomen, is a procedure to remove loose skin and excess fat from the abdomen, as well as tighten the separation between abdominal wall muscles (rectus muscles) that occurs during pregnancy resulting in a condition called Diastasis Recti or following weight loss. This surgery results in flattening of the abdominal wall and improvement in abdominal contour.

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Is An Abdominoplasty Right For Me?

The best candidates for abdominoplasty are patients who are non-smokers, who are at a stable weight for over 6 months, and who have loose, excess skin of the lower abdomen that is not responsive to diet or exercise.   Abdominoplasty is not a weight reduction procedure.  It is a common procedure for women who suffer from diastasis recti following childbirth and for people who have lost weight and those looking to rid themselves of their "spare tire" or "love handles".

Ask the Doctor

Frequently Asked Questions

Length of Surgery:

The procedure takes between 2 and 5 hours depending on the patient’s anatomy, and is performed in the hospital under general anesthesia.  An overnight stay will depend on individual medical condition and extent of surgery.

Expected Recovery:

Full recovery occurs over 6 months to a year.  Most patients are able to return to work within about 2 weeks, while 6 weeks are required, before return to strenuous activity or lifting. 

Common Side Effects:

Redness, drainage, swelling, temporary pain, numbness of the abdominal skin, bruising, fatigue (which may last several months), changes in the shape or location of the umbilicus.

Surgical Risks:

Risks include bleeding, infection, hematoma, seroma, changes in skin sensation, scarring, damage to underlying structures, contour deformity at lateral wound margins, loss of umbilicus, unsatisfactory results requiring additional surgery.

Dr. Capuano consistently achieves excellent results with abdominoplasty.  He is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and he would be happy to discuss your options if you are thinking about a tummy tuck.

How do I make an appointment for a consultation?

Contact the office of the Northern Center for Plastic Surgery at (201)820-5280 to schedule an appointment.

Can a tummy tuck be covered under insurance?

If it is a simple tummy tuck for diastasis recti then no.  Current research is pointing in the direction of tummy tucks aiding in the relief from postpartum back pain and incontinence.  More research and proof needs to be conducted for the possiblity to ever present itself to insurance companies.  

What should I expect from my consultation?

Our consultations are thorough.  They usually take about an hour but if you have more questions, they can take longer and if you are interested in more information, Dr. Capuano is always happy to provide each patient with the information they may find uselful in order to make the right decision for themselves.  Below is a run down of a consultation:

1. Intake-meet with Caitlin at our front desk, she will greet you, take your information and make sure to get you in to seee the doctor as quickly as possible.

2. In the exam room you will meet with both Courtney who is our medical assistant, she will take photos of your areas of concern and ask you some basic questions regarding your medical history and areas of concern. 

3. Our Patient Care Coordinator, Kim will be meeting with you and Dr. Capuano to help facilitate any further questions you may have.  

4. Dr. Capuano will make his debut and let you know how he can best help you achieve your goals.  

5. Kim-our patient care coordinator will create your quote and explain to you, your financial responsibility.

 

Does a tummy tuck hurt?

A tummy tuck is considered major surgery.  It is not a benign event, yes, it does hurt.  We have many ways to keep a patient's pain on a scale of 1-10, ten being the worst pain ever at a four versus a ten during the healing process, certain pain meds delivered at the time of the surgery are one of the ways we do this.  As a result, our patients are able to rest and heal quicker.  Intense pain can last up to 72 hours without pain meds, it is important that a patient is monitored and does not try to see the pain through as it is more difficult to control pain when it is in excess.  

What is the cost of a tummy tuck?

A thorough evaulation with Dr. Capuano is necessary, but an average tummy tuck with Dr. Capuano can range from 7200-7900 plus Operating Room and Anesthesia fees.

What is the benefit of drains post tummy tuck?

At the time of surgery Dr. Capuano places two drains along the incision line of where the tummy tuck was performed.  There is only need for one drain though the other drain acts as a back up drain in the event one of the drains fails for some reason.  The benefit of these drains is so that you don't have fluid build up in your abdomen post surgery.  Our tissue weeps post injury and fluid which is filled with white blood cells can flood the area, this is a natural phenomena, though for healing purposes, this fluid is better out then in, that is why we use the drains, to avoid this fluid backup from causing something called a seroma.

Can a tummy tuck help with my lower back pain?

A tummy tuck with muscle plication has been proven through patient evaluation post surgery, to help with lower back pain.  The reason behind this is that having a strong core helps take pressure from the back muscles, so you have more balance in the front and back. 

I am 5'4 148 pounds, my abdomen is protruding considerable and I have rolls on my back and it is tough to distinguish my butt from my back. Should I get a tummy tuck, Brazilian Butt Lift or just Liposuction?

Hello and thank you for the question.  A thorough examination by Dr. Capuano is an important first step.  This will allow your Dr. Capuano to decide if your abdominal area is protruding due to a common post-pregnancy condition called Diastasis Recti or if it is due solely to excess subcutaneous fat in the area. If you have laxity of your abdominal fascia or excess skin, a tummy tuck would be the most appropriate procedure for you.  During a tummy tuck, your excess skin can be excised and your fascia can be plicated, cinching your abdominal wall together like an internal corset.  Liposuction alone, will not address skin or fascial laxity, but can be used if you have a thick sheet of fat beneath your skin.  Liposuction in the flank area can reduce the lower back fat and enhance the curvature of your buttocks.  If you feel that your buttocks has enough projection, liposuction alone in the right areas can often provide you with great curves without the need for fat grafting.  If you desire more projection, some of the fat which is liposuctioned, can be used to enhance projection of the buttocks. Dr. Capuano does not recommend fat grafting to the buttocks at the same time as a tummy tuck because post operative routines for tummy tuck and fat grafting to the buttocks are contradictory to one another, and have the potential to compromise results.  For the best tummy tuck evaluation and results, Dr. Capuano is your go to plastic surgeon.  

How long does it take for the bellybutton to heal post tummy tuck?

Bellybuttons make the slowest progress in terms of healing.  They usually take up to a year to settle out and look like a normal bellybutton again.  Dr. Capuano's bellybuttons are very well constructed, he takes great care when reconstructing one's bellybutton during tummy tuck surgery.