After pregnancy or significant weight loss, you may have excess abdominal skin. The plastic surgeons at Center for Plastic Surgery offer abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck, at their Chevy Chase, MD, and Washington, DC-area practices to dramatically restore patients’ midsections by tightening lax abdominal wall muscles and removing excess skin and fat.
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What Are the Different Types of Tummy Tuck?
Our surgeons are experienced in a variety of tummy tuck techniques, which they personalize to the individual needs of each patient. Options include:
Mini tummy tuck: This least invasive abdominoplasty technique involves a small incision about the size of a C-section scar. It rejuvenates the lower abdomen—below the bellybutton—by removing lax skin, repairing abdominal muscles below the navel, and tightening the skin that hangs over a C-section scar. This option is limited to select patients because most want the entire abdomen improved.
Standard (complete) tummy tuck: This technique involves a low incision placed just above the pubic bone that spans horizontally between the hip bones. A second incision encircles the inside of the bellybutton. A standard tummy tuck, the most commonly performed technique, improves the appearance of the abdomen from below the ribcage to the pubic bone by removing lax skin (as well as stretch marks on that skin) and repairing separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti). This procedure often includes a panniculectomy to remove skin that hangs over the pubic area.
Extended tummy tuck: This technique extends the standard tummy tuck incision up and around the flanks to remove more skin and fat laterally. This is ideal for people who want a flatter abdomen and some hip contouring.
Our surgeons often combine these tummy tuck procedures with liposuction of the flanks and waist for more comprehensive contouring.
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost in Washington, DC?
The cost for a tummy tuck generally ranges from $7,700 to $15,000, depending on the amount of correction needed. We provide a specific price quote after your consultation with one of our providers. Patient financing is available for qualified patients.
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What Happens During Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Our surgeons perform tummy tuck surgery at both Sibley Hospital and in our private, accredited surgery center based in our Virginia office. Although most tummy tucks are outpatient surgeries, some patients choose to spend the night for convenience or because they are coming from out of town. We have a special post-op recovery ward at Sibley Hospital for those patients with care by dedicated nursing staff.
During a tummy tuck, our surgeons make a horizontal incision low on the abdomen, just above the pubis in a natural skin fold, separating the excessive skin from the underlying muscle layer of the abdominal wall. This allows us to examine the muscles and their covering layer and to repair any weaknesses or laxity.
Achieving a flat abdomen usually requires repairing this muscle layer. In most cases, we also perform liposuction of the abdomen and waist to help further sculpt the area. We can also use the J-Plasma treatment to further smooth and tighten the skin, if desired. We place you in a special garment to provide gentle, even pressure while you are still asleep. This helps prevent fluid accumulation in the surgical area and protects the deeper muscle repair.
“I was very pleased with my abdominoplasty done in 2007. It has given me the self confidence I needed after having had a c-section and weight gain/loss over 10 years. I was blown away by the customer service and the genuine support I received before, during and after my procedure. I have recommended so many people because of this awesome experience at Center for Plastic Surgery.”Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.
Does CPS Offer Special Pain Control for Tummy Tuck Patients?
Our surgeons use the drug Exparel® in cases that involve repair of the abdominal muscles. This opioid-free drug is administered intraoperatively by injecting it into the muscles of the abdominal wall. It provides significant pain relief for the first few days after surgery.
Do All Tummy Tucks Require Drains?
Even though our plastic surgeons use drains in most of our tummy tuck procedures, there is an occasional patient for which they do not use drains. Drains serve an important purpose, which is to prevent fluid from building up in the space that was created by the separation of tissues during the procedure.
In addition, our surgeons typically use the same technique that surgeons who offer drainless tummy tucks use, which is placing internal quilting stitches to tack down the overlying abdominal flap to the abdominal wall. They find this helps decrease the amount of drainage. Because some drainage does develop anyway, using drains to remove it helps speed up the recovery process.
“It is helped my self-esteem and helped me to feel better about my overall appearance. Surgeon was great. Answered all questions and was extremely helpful. Did a wonderful job and was available to answer all questions before, during and after surgery. Staff called several times to check on me and how I was doing. Staff was friendly and helpful at every visit.”Tummy tuck patient on RealPatientReviews.com
What Can I Expect After a Tummy Tuck?
You will return to our office 3 to 5 days after your surgery to have your drains removed. You will continue wearing support garments for 3 weeks except when bathing. While you should avoid strenuous exercise or athletics during this time, we will encourage you to walk. Walking will decrease the risk of complications.
How Long Is Recovery From a Tummy Tuck?
Within 7 to 10 days, you will most likely be comfortable enough to resume light activities, although experiences vary. Your return to normal activity levels will take about three weeks.
Complications from tummy tuck surgery are uncommon. There are rare instances of skin damage that can extend the healing period.
Will Tummy Tuck Scars Go Away?
Scars from any type of surgery do not go away. Our surgeons do their best to place tummy tuck incisions where the scar is easily concealed by underclothing and swimsuits. Most patients say that scars are a worthwhile tradeoff for the improvements they attain.
Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation at CPS
CPS has been helping Washington, DC, patients get slimmer with tummy tuck surgery at our Chevy Chase, MD, and Annandale, VA, practices since 1986. This popular procedure isn’t just for women—tummy tuck surgery can help men achieve a slimmer, more toned abdomen. Request a complimentary consultation using our online form.