Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty in Portsmouth at AW Plastic Surgery

Having a strong core is essential to maintaining a healthy body. The muscles in the abdomen play an integral role in supporting the back and synchronizing the movements of the upper and lower body. Aesthetically, weakened abdominal muscles and loose skin can cause the stomach to protrude or look “flabby,” even when the affected individual is at a healthy weight. Dr. Wilson uses tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, to restore both the functionality and the appearance of the abdomen. If your stomach has changed due to pregnancy or weight gain, tummy tuck surgery can help you reclaim your sleek, strong contours.

Why Do Some Patients Require Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Pregnancy, weight gain and loss, and age-related changes in body composition are all normal parts of life. Unfortunately, these processes can permanently alter the abdomen. When a person carries a significant amount of centralized weight, it places stress on the muscles that support the abdominal cavity. Sometimes, the band of tissue that connects the two lateral halves of the abdominal muscles tears. When this happens, the muscles can no longer work together in unison; as a result, they gradually weaken.

Without strong abdominal muscles in place to compress the abdominal cavity, organs and other tissues start to push forward, causing the stomach to protrude. This is why many mothers retain a small belly “pouch” even after they have lost all of their baby weight. These cosmetic issues are usually accentuated by the presence of loose, stretched skin.

Weakened abdominal muscles also have important health implications. Over time, they can lead to chronic lower back pain and increase a person’s risk of ventral hernia. 

Nonsurgical interventions, like exercise, can’t strengthen damaged abdominal muscles or tighten loose skin. In order for crunches and other activities to work, the muscles must be properly synchronized. Tummy tuck surgery can repair damaged abdominal muscles and restore your ability to maintain a flat stomach through healthy lifestyle changes. In mild cases of abdominal stretch, EMsculpt can help increase strength and improve contour. This is ideal for patients who desire more children or who are unable to take the time to recover from an abdominoplasty.

Meet Dr. Wilson

Anthony Wilson, MD has vast experience performing facial, body, and reconstructive procedures. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and completing training with a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Wilson has continued to improve his technique to ensure the best results possible. Learn More about Anthony Wilson, MD, and why you should choose the Board-Certified plastic surgeon for your next procedure in the Seacoast Region.

What Is Tummy Tuck Surgery?

When performing abdominoplasty, Dr. Wilson draws on his Ivy League medical training to effectively diagnose and treat the causes of abdominal protrusion. Depending on the location and extent of the patient’s loose skin and muscle damage, he’ll recommend one of the following procedures:

  • Full Tummy Tuck Surgery

    During full tummy tuck surgery, incisions are made along the patient’s underwear line and around his or her navel. These incision sites give Dr. Wilson access to both the upper and lower abdomen, allowing him to place specialized sutures in areas where the tissue has been torn. These sutures are designed to dissolve gradually, after the patient’s damaged tissue has healed.

    If the patient has unwanted abdominal fat, Dr. Wilson will use liposuction to remove it. Then, he will carefully drape the skin over the patient’s contoured abdomen and remove any excess.

    Full tummy tuck surgery is generally the preferred choice for patients who have extensive sagging in their abdomen. Women who have had multiple pregnancies and patients with a history of obesity often benefit profoundly from this type of abdominoplasty.

  • Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery

    Mini tummy tuck surgery utilizes the same techniques as full tummy tuck surgery, but they are applied only to the lower abdomen. Mini tummy tuck surgery involves just one incision along the underwear line, which allows Dr. Wilson to repair muscle injuries, perform liposuction, and tighten the skin below the navel.

    Mini tummy tuck surgery is ideal for patients who have mild to moderate aesthetic concerns to address. Patients who have gained (and lost) less than 50 pounds, for example, usually don’t require full abdominoplasty. Mature patients who are struggling with fat centralization (the presence of diet-resistant belly fat) and age-related skin laxity also generally make good candidates for this procedure.

  • Modified Tummy Tuck Surgery

    Dr. Wilson gives all of his patients the option of customizing their abdominoplasty procedure to meet their individual needs. Abdominoplasty can be modified to incorporate aspects of mini tummy tuck surgery and full tummy tuck surgery. For example, a patient might choose to have a single lower abdominal incision made, but still have liposuction performed on his or her upper abdomen. When you visit our Portsmouth plastic surgery practice, Dr. Wilson will carefully review your cosmetic goals and ask you about your recovery preferences. From there, he will help you choose the abdominoplasty techniques that are right for you.

During full tummy tuck surgery, incisions are made along the patient’s underwear line and around his or her navel. These incision sites give Dr. Wilson access to both the upper and lower abdomen, allowing him to place specialized sutures in areas where the tissue has been torn. These sutures are designed to dissolve gradually, after the patient’s damaged tissue has healed.

If the patient has unwanted abdominal fat, Dr. Wilson will use liposuction to remove it. Then, he will carefully drape the skin over the patient’s contoured abdomen and remove any excess.

Full tummy tuck surgery is generally the preferred choice for patients who have extensive sagging in their abdomen. Women who have had multiple pregnancies and patients with a history of obesity often benefit profoundly from this type of abdominoplasty.

Mini tummy tuck surgery utilizes the same techniques as full tummy tuck surgery, but they are applied only to the lower abdomen. Mini tummy tuck surgery involves just one incision along the underwear line, which allows Dr. Wilson to repair muscle injuries, perform liposuction, and tighten the skin below the navel.

Mini tummy tuck surgery is ideal for patients who have mild to moderate aesthetic concerns to address. Patients who have gained (and lost) less than 50 pounds, for example, usually don’t require full abdominoplasty. Mature patients who are struggling with fat centralization (the presence of diet-resistant belly fat) and age-related skin laxity also generally make good candidates for this procedure.

Dr. Wilson gives all of his patients the option of customizing their abdominoplasty procedure to meet their individual needs. Abdominoplasty can be modified to incorporate aspects of mini tummy tuck surgery and full tummy tuck surgery. For example, a patient might choose to have a single lower abdominal incision made, but still have liposuction performed on his or her upper abdomen. When you visit our Portsmouth plastic surgery practice, Dr. Wilson will carefully review your cosmetic goals and ask you about your recovery preferences. From there, he will help you choose the abdominoplasty techniques that are right for you.

Patient Experiences

I originally went to see Dr. Wilson as a second opinion for an abdominoplasty I already had scheduled with another surgeon, but I left Dr. Wilson's office knowing I would have him perform my surgery. He was easy to talk to and very professional. I had Diastasis recti and a painful c-section scar after having two children. I am thrilled with my results after the surgery, and I'm feeling better than I ever have. My core is stronger, and I now have my confidence back. I would highly recommend Dr. Wilson and his staff to anyone, and I have!

K.D.

What to Expect During Tummy Tuck Recovery

The recovery time required after abdominoplasty varies depending on which procedure the patient has had. Patients who have full tummy tuck surgery usually need to rest in bed for 10 to 14 days, then engage in only light exercise (and avoid heavy lifting) for up to two months. Patients who have mini tummy tuck surgery may only need a week of bed rest, followed by three weeks of reduced activity. Dr. Wilson will give you a detailed recovery plan so that you know what to expect throughout the healing process.

To reduce the discomfort associated with tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Wilson uses Exparel. Exparel is an opioid-free pain reduction system that works by blocking nerve impulses in treated areas. Unlike opioid medications, it will not cause drowsiness or dizziness, and it is not habit-forming.

Who Makes a Good Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Tummy tuck candidates must be within about 25 pounds of their ideal weight; otherwise, further weight loss could affect the results. Pregnancy can also compromise the results of tummy tuck surgery, so mothers interested in having abdominoplasty should wait until their family is complete.

All tummy tuck patients must be in good overall health and be current nonsmokers. When you visit Dr. Wilson for a consultation, he’ll review your complete medical history (including any medications or supplements you take) in order to clarify your eligibility for this procedure.

Non-Surgical Abdominal Contouring

In addition to tummy tuck surgery, we also offer EMSculpt, which is a non-invasive body shaping procedure. This innovative technology uses HIFEM® (High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic) energy to stimulate muscle contractions and produce a remodeling of the deeper tissues. The fat-burning, muscle-building process of EMSculpt produces a more sculpted figure without surgery or downtime. At AW Plastic Surgery, all of our tummy tuck patients receive two pre-surgery and two post-surgery treatments with EMSculpt to further refine their results.

Tummy Tuck FAQs

There is minimal but persistent swelling after abdominoplasty. The swelling is dependent on the amount of liposuction performed. More liposuction results in more swelling and a need for longer use of your post-operative compression garment. Swelling can persist for several weeks to months after surgery and is affected by diet (salt), exercise, and excessive activity.

Recovery is both short term and long term. Because we now use Exparel for all of our abdominoplasties the short-term recovery is very quick. Exparel is a long-lasting local pain reliever that blocks pain perception for approximately 72 hours. During this period patients feel well. This has drastically changed the early post-operative period for our patients. After the immediate recovery patients typically start walking normally at one week. Patients then return to light exercise at two weeks and full exercise at 6 weeks to two months – but everyone is different. We recommend you take 2 weeks off from work and expect to be back to normal activities at six weeks.

Liposuction to this area during abdominoplasty can result in poor wound healing and places patients at higher risk for a suboptimal outcome. This is an option only for select patients.

A tummy tuck will not help you lose weight! Patients should be weight stable and at their ideal weight when they chose to undergo abdominoplasty. The skin and fat removed during an abdominoplasty actually weighs very little.

We use drains in most of our abdominoplasties. Certain patients who are undergoing abdominoplasty without any liposuction may be candidates for a “drainless” abdominoplasty.

All of our sutures are dissolving and will not need to be removed.

You can expect to be out of work for approximately 2 weeks. This depends on the type of work you perform. Patients with more active jobs may have longer downtime.

You can start basic exercise two weeks after your surgery. This includes light walking and light machine work. For many patients this may be too soon to start and an additional week or two may be needed. You can expect to be back to regular exercise at six weeks to two months after your procedure.

A tight abdomen after surgery is a good thing! This sensation will soften over several weeks to months. You should respect the tight feeling and not push too hard in your activities or motions until that feeling resolves; because, yes you can pull a stitch or hurt your final result if you are too active.

We strongly recommend that you wait to have an abdominoplasty until after you are done having children. A pregnancy after abdominoplasty will cause a loss of your surgical result with return of loose abdominal skin and muscles.

Schedule a Consultation

From Breast Augmentation to Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty and everything in-between, Board-Certified plastic surgeon Anthony Wilson, MD offers a wide range of procedures at his Portsmouth, NH office. If you are interested in booking a procedure, take the next steps by scheduling a consultation today.

Arrange an Abdominoplasty Consultation in Portsmouth

In the hands of a skilled surgeon, abdominoplasty can be life-changing. It can prevent medical complications and dramatically improve your shape and muscle definition. If you’re considering tummy tuck surgery, contact AW Plastic Surgery by phone at (603) 294-4526 to arrange a consultation. Ivy League educated and trained plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Wilson will be happy to answer any questions you may have before you begin your personal transformation.