Abdominoplasty in Asheville, North Carolina
Have you done everything right to get a flat, smooth and toned abdomen only to find that a healthy diet and exercise have done nothing to improve sagging skin and protruding muscles? A tummy tuck may be the solution for you.
What can a tummy tuck help to correct?
Pregnancy, aging or weight fluctuations throughout life can cause abdominal muscles and skin to irreversibly stretch, leaving one with a protruding belly or sagging skin folds and stretch marks on the lower abdomen—issues which a healthy lifestyle can do little to address.
What many people who haven’t been in the shoes of a tummy tuck patient do not realize is that a tummy tuck can improve comfort as much as appearance. Excess skin and loose abdominal muscles can make it difficult to find clothing that fits comfortably, particularly when it comes to jeans or fitted skirts. Sometimes, the abdominal muscles can stretch to the point where they weaken and separate vertically, leading to back pain and other problems.
Abdominoplasty can help correct these problems, along with giving you a more aesthetically pleasing abdominal shape.
Am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
In general, a tummy tuck may be recommended if you are experiencing the following:
- You are bothered by excess, hanging skin on your abdomen
- Your abdominal muscles protrude unnaturally
- Form-fitting clothing such as swimsuits and jeans are uncomfortable due to the shape of your belly
- Exercise and a healthy diet have not improved the shape of your abdomen to your satisfaction
- You are at a healthy, stable body weight and do not smoke
- You do not plan on becoming pregnant in the future
Dr. Conway’s approach to tummy tuck surgery
Dr. Conway finds abdominoplasty particularly rewarding, as he is able to help patients feel happy with their bodies, sometimes for the first time in years. He approaches tummy tuck surgery as both a restorative and aesthetic procedure, applying his artistic sensibility and using scar-minimizing surgical techniques for naturally attractive results and optimal recovery.
About tummy tuck surgery in Asheville
Dr. Conway performs tummy tuck surgery in our private, on-site surgery suite, which is fully accredited by the AAAASF. Anesthesia is provided by a board certified MD anesthesiologist for your safety. Dr. Conway will begin by making a horizontal incision between the hips, just above the pubic bone. For more extensive tummy tucks, a second incision may be made around the belly button. After loosening the overlying skin along the abdomen from the muscle Dr. Conway will reshape the muscles into a tighter position, placing permanent sutures in the fascia (the layer of connective tissue over top of the muscle) to hold the muscles into their improved shape .
Next, Dr. Conway will remove excess skin and redrape the remaining skin over the muscles, repositioning the belly button to maintain a natural appearance. All of this is done through the initial one or two incisions, which are then closed with sutures.
What to expect with tummy tuck recovery
Most tummy tuck patients go home the same day as surgery, although more complex procedures may require an overnight stay in the hospital or our surgery center. Depending on the individual, drains may be placed to collect fluid that naturally migrates to the operated area. This is an off-putting idea for some, but drains can improve your comfort and help to accelerate recovery. Dr. Conway will give you instructions for care, and drains are typically removed 1-2 weeks after surgery.
Patients experience the greatest discomfort during the first 2-3 days, and then start to feel noticeably better each day. Dr. Conway will prescribe pain medication to help you manage discomfort. You will be allowed to get up and walk around the house the day after surgery, but you may require assistance from a responsible adult at first. It is recommended that you have a spouse or other caretaker available at home for the first week to help you with basic tasks.
Light activities, including a return to sedentary work, can usually be resumed about 2 weeks after surgery. Any task involving lifting, bending, straining, or aerobic activity, including lifting small children, must be avoided for 6 weeks after a tummy tuck. Parents of small children should arrange for childcare prior to having a tummy tuck. Most tummy tuck patients begin a gradual return to their normal exercise routine about 6 weeks after surgery.
Does a tummy tuck leave visible scars?
While scars are unavoidable after abdominoplasty, Dr. Conway takes great care to ensure scars are as thin and inconspicuous as possible by placing incisions very low on the abdomen, below the natural bikini line. With time and proper care, scars typically fade so they are more difficult to detect, even without clothing.
For very extensive tummy tucks, where a large amount of skin needs to be removed, a vertical scar is sometimes necessary. This is most commonly the case for abdominoplasty following massive weight loss. In Dr. Conway’s experience, however, these patients find that a visible scar is worth it to enjoy a life free from the burden of excess abdominal skin. You can see what you might expect from tummy tuck scarring by viewing our before and after tummy tuck patient gallery.
Tummy tuck or liposuction?
Many patients are unsure which body contouring procedure they should choose just by the name alone. Both liposuction and abdominoplasty can significantly improve the shape of the midsection, but they are not interchangeable procedures. Liposuction specifically targets excess, subcutaneous fat (fat beneath the skin) to create a leaner, more attractive body shape. Since liposuction will do nothing to address sagging skin or protruding musculature, is best suited to patients who have good skin elasticity and who do not present significant loss of muscle tone.
A tummy tuck addresses problem areas that liposuction cannot. While abdominoplasty will not remove a significant amount of fat, it is the most effective surgery for restoring muscle tone and removing excess, sagging skin and helping to reduce abdominal stretch marks. When appropriate, liposuction and a tummy tuck can be combined for an enhanced improvement in body contours.
At your consultation, Dr. Conway will help you understand what results you might expect from both liposuction and tummy tuck surgery, so you can decide what procedure is best suited to your goals and needs.