Body contouring

Tummy Tuck Surgery

Abdominoplasty in Leesburg, VA

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A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery procedure to flatten the abdomen. The two main goals of a tummy tuck are to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and to tighten the abdominal muscles. Normal changes to your abdomen are worst after having babies. The tummy tuck procedure is often performed as a mommy makeover procedure which includes a breast lift or augmentation, a tummy tuck, and sometimes a vaginal rejuvenation procedure.

You are a good candidate for a tummy tuck if :

  • You have hanging sagging skin on your abdomen
  • You have stretch marks in your lower abdomen
  • You have a fat bulge specific to the lower abdomen

A good candidate for a tummy tuck who is healthy and who has realistic expectations

Tummy tuck surgery can be offered to both men and women. If you find yourself upset over loose or wrinkly skin in addition to pesky pockets of fat in the tummy section, this body contouring procedure can help produce a slimming and more toned appearance. Dr. Chang advises you to be at a normal weight before undergoing this treatment. Tummy tuck surgery is not a substitute for weight loss — it treats loose skin. A form of liposuction is generally incorporated during the procedure to remove fat. If your stomach area has good skin laxity, but you still are not satisfied with how your tummy looks and feels even if diet and exercise have failed, another option is liposuction. Women interested in abdominoplasty should be past childbearing to make sure the results are not compromised.

The goals of tummy tuck surgery remove the stretched and sagging skin, fat, and stretch marks of the lower abdomen; in addition to tightening up the lower abdominal muscles like a corset.  The procedure is performed at the hospital or surgery center under general anesthesia.  No drains are usually needed.

Abdominoplasty is performed with the patient under general anesthesia. There are numerous surgical options that come into consideration when this surgery is performed by Dr. Chang, which is geared to the individual’s current condition. To start, the incision shape is determined based upon the quantity of excess skin. Some individuals with an abundance of sagging and loose skin might benefit best from an extended tummy tuck. This abdominoplasty technique makes the incision along the lower abdomen from hip to hip, just on top of the pubic zone. Some individuals who are concerned with minimal skin wrinkling may be better candidates for a less invasive technique. Men and women who receive this treatment still benefit from an abdominoplasty, but will simply have a less expansive scar. Regardless of the nature of the surgery, all abdominoplasty procedures at Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center involves the excision of hanging skin and liposuction.

For patients with only extra skin  – For patients with only a little extra skin but do not have any extra fat and the abdominal muscles already feel tight, they need only a mini-abdominoplasty.  In this procedure, there is a horizontal incision that is just above the pubic area.  The extra tissue is removed.  And then the skin is closed.  The muscle is tightened if necessary.  The scar may be hip to hip depending on how much skin is to be removed

For patients with loose muscle but no extra skin –  Patients with loose abdominal muscles but no extra skin and fat will benefit from a mini-abdominoplasty with an umbilical float.   In this procedure, there is a horizontal incision that is just above the pubic area.  Since there is no extra skin to be removed, the incision can be short.  The tissue is lifted off of the abdominal wall to show the loose muscle.  The belly button has to be cut from the bottom in order to fix the muscle near the top of the abdomen.  The muscle is tightened and the belly button is repaired.  The scar is short.  

For patients with extra skin, fat, and stretch marks  –   This is the most common type of patient.  Patients with extra skin, fat and stretch marks will benefit from a full abdominoplasty.   In this procedure, there is a horizontal incision that is just above the pubic area. The scar will go hip to hip.    All the tissue from the belly button to the pubic cut is removed.  Liposuction can be added to remove the tissue from the lateral waist and hip areas.  The abdominal tissue is lifted off of the abdominal wall to show the loose muscle. The muscle is tightened and the belly button is repaired.  

For patients with extra skin, fat, and stretch marks but have a high belly button –   This is the type of patient that you would like to do a traditional full abdominoplasty but can’t because the belly button is too high to allow the abdomen to be safely closed.   These patients will need a modified abdominoplasty.   In this procedure, there is a horizontal incision that is just above the pubic area. The scar will go hip to hip.    All the tissue from the belly button to the pubic cut is removed.  There is an additional vertical scar that accommodates the belly button.  Liposuction can be added to remove the tissue from the lateral waist and hip areas.  The abdominal tissue is lifted off of the abdominal wall to show the loose muscle. The muscle is tightened and the belly button is repaired.  

For patients after tremendous weight loss with loose skin in the lower abdomen, thighs, flanks, and buttock  –   This is the type of patients that benefit from a total body lift. The total body is lift is a type of abdominoplasty mostly seen in patients who have had a tremendous amount of weight loss.  These patients generally generally have a lot of extra skin not only in the lower abdomen but extends into the flanks and back.  The loss of fat volume of the flanks and thighs makes the buttocks sag and the lateral thigh skin sag.  The total body lift incision goes circumferentially around the body to lift to tighten the abdominal skin, elevate the thighs, and elevate the buttocks.  This procedure might be combined with a vertical abdominal scar ( total body lift plus )

For patients with loose skin in the lower abdomen as well as into the flanks and lower back –  The circumferential tummy tuck or belt lipectomy is similar to the total body lift.  It is designed for patients where there is a log of extra skin in the lower abdomen which extends into the flanks.  There might not necessarily be sagging of the thighs or buttock.  In order to properly address the excess skin in the flanks, the incision for the traditional tummy tuck needs to be extended into the back to variable degrees.  This will flatten the belly as well as remove any excess skin from the sides.  

For patients with only extra skin  – For patients with only a little extra skin but do not have any extra fat and the abdominal muscles already feel tight, they need only a mini-abdominoplasty.  In this procedure, there is a horizontal incision that is just above the pubic area.  The extra tissue is removed.  And then the skin is closed.  The muscle is tightened if necessary.  The scar may be hip to hip depending on how much skin is to be removed.

  • For patients with loose muscle but no extra skin –  Patients with loose abdominal muscles but no extra skin and fat will benefit from a mini-abdominoplasty with an umbilical float.   In this procedure, there is a horizontal incision that is just above the pubic area.  Since there is no extra skin to be removed, the incision can be short.  The tissue is lifted off of the abdominal wall to show the loose muscle.  The belly button has to be cut from the bottom in order to fix the muscle near the top of the abdomen.  The muscle is tightened and the belly button is repaired.  The scar is short.  

For patients with extra skin, fat, and stretch marks  –   This is the most common type of patient.  Patients with extra skin, fat and stretch marks will benefit from a full abdominoplasty.   In this procedure, there is a horizontal incision that is just above the pubic area. The scar will go hip to hip.    All the tissue from the belly button to the pubic cut is removed.  Liposuction can be added to remove the tissue from the lateral waist and hip areas.  The abdominal tissue is lifted off of the abdominal wall to show the loose muscle. The muscle is tightened and the belly button is repaired.  

For patients with extra skin, fat, and stretch marks but have a high belly button –   This is the type of patient that you would like to do a traditional full abdominoplasty but can’t because the belly button is too high to allow the abdomen to be safely closed.   These patients will need a modified abdominoplasty.   In this procedure, there is a horizontal incision that is just above the pubic area. The scar will go hip to hip.    All the tissue from the belly button to the pubic cut is removed.  There is an additional vertical scar that accommodates the belly button.  Liposuction can be added to remove the tissue from the lateral waist and hip areas.  The abdominal tissue is lifted off of the abdominal wall to show the loose muscle. The muscle is tightened and the belly button is repaired.  

For patients with loose skin in the lower abdomen as well as into the flanks and lower back –  The circumferential tummy tuck or belt lipectomy is similar to the total body lift.  It is designed for patients where there is a log of extra skin in the lower abdomen which extends into the flanks.  There might not necessarily be sagging of the thighs or buttock.  In order to properly address the excess skin in the flanks, the incision for the traditional tummy tuck needs to be extended into the back to variable degrees.  This will flatten the belly as well as remove any excess skin from the sides.

What to expect after a tummy tuck surgery

Pain after a tummy tuck:  Tummy tucks tend not to be very painful.  This is because of the muscle tightening.  A special thing that we do with all our patients is place long acting pain medicine directly into the muscle providing good pain control for the first day.  Most patients will take a prescribed narcotic pain medication for at least 2-3 days.  Patients can change to advil or tylenol after 3 days.  Patients can purchase a pain medication called experil from the surgery center.  This provides near-complete pain relief for 3 days.

Return to work after a tummy tuck surgery:  

Most patients will  :

  • Return to work in about 7-10 days ( but will still be sore )
  • Patients with active jobs will return to work in 14 days
  • Return to light walking and 10 pound weights in 5 days
  • Return to aerobic exercise and 20 pound weights in 21 days
  • Drive in 7-10 days or have stopped narcotic medications for 48 hours

When abdominoplasty surgery is completed, you will be carefully examined and sent home wearing a compression device to minimize swelling. Standing upright and walking will be slow going for awhile, so you should take it easy for several days. Standing and moving becomes less painful once the abdominal muscles adjust and the incision heals. You can generally resume a normal routine near two weeks. Workouts can begin around the two-month mark or earlier if you are given permission by Dr. Chang. The tummy area may feel tender or tight, but you will feel healthy and normal again once healed.

When will you see the final results of a tummy tuck:  

  • Feel swollen for 3 months
  • You will have numbness below the belly button for 6 months
  • Scars will not whiten for 12-18 months ( use scar creams for silicone sheets for up to 3 months )
  • Final shape is not apparent for 3-6 months to a year 

What are the risks and complications of tummy tuck surgery?

As with any surgery, there are associated risks.  Only you can decide whether a tummy tuck can achieve your goals and whether the recovery and risk profile are acceptable to you.  Fortunately, significant complications from tummy tuck surgeries are relatively infrequent.  The most common complications are problems with delayed healing, infection from the stitches, minor tissue loss in areas of delayed healing, and widened or thickened scars

Although infrequent, the risks and complications of tummy tuck can include

  • Bleeding, hematoma, or bruising
  • Infection particularly from the absorbable sutures
  • Loss of sensation of below the belly button
  • Widened or thickened scar especially in patients of color
  • Delayed wound healing with skin or tissue necrosis
  • Dog-ears or residual fullness on the sides is common
  • Unsatisfactory results that may require additional procedures.  Patients will generally be responsible for any associated facility fees.  

Why should you choose Dr. Chang to perform your tummy tuck?

Tummy tuck surgery is not only technically demanding but it is an art that requires the highest level of surgical skill to perform to give you the best cosmetic results. For this reason, it is very important for you to choose a surgeon that not only has a high degree of surgical skill and experience, but one who who can artistically combine all of the tools and techniques available to provide you with a individualized and unique experience and natural appearing outcome. 

Dr. Chang is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has gained a national reputation for providing his patients with natural and sensually feminine results.  His work has been featured in national publications such as New Beauty magazine, his YouTube channel that has highlighted his surgical techniques has attracted thousands of followers, and he has been voted Top Plastic surgeon year after year. 

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

The cost of a tummy tuck surgery depends on the type of tummy tuck that you require as well as the addition of any other procedures.  Cost should be only a small factor in choosing the plastic surgeon that you want to provide you with the breast that will be part of you for the foreseeable future.   The prices listed below are subject to change.  Facility center fees are only estimates . 

Surgeon’s fee – Full Abdominoplasty – $6,000. 
Surgeon’s fee –  Modified Abdominoplasty  – $6,000
Surgeon’s fee – Mini Abdominoplasty – $5,000
Surgeon’s fee – Total Body Lift – $12,000
Surgery Center Fees –   $ 3,000
Combined procedures are usually discounted
VIP Members may have a discounted rate

What type of tummy tuck should I get?
There are three main types of tummy tucks: full, mini, and extended. In your consultation, Dr. Chang will ask about your needs and goals before examining your stomach. Then, he can better decide which tummy tuck will give you the best results. A full tummy tuck is best if you want to address issues in the upper and lower abdomen, while a mini tummy tuck is best if you only have problems below your belly button, like a “pooch.” An extended tummy tuck is designed to improve the abdomen as well as the hips and upper thighs.

What will my scars look like?
The incisions needed for your tummy tuck will depend on which type you are getting. For all tummy tucks, Dr. Chang makes the smallest, thinnest incision possible to limit scars. He also makes incisions in less visible areas (in the pubic region or belly button) so they can be easily concealed by a swimsuit or underwear. After your surgery, it’s important to follow your scar care instructions so your incisions heal flat and blend into your natural skin eventually.

Can I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?
While you can still get pregnant after a tummy tuck, it will alter your results. Dr. Chang recommends that patients be done with planned pregnancies and childbirth before they consider a tummy tuck. If you do get pregnant after a tummy tuck, a second surgery can be performed to refresh your results.

Can I get a tummy tuck with another surgery?
Many patients combine another cosmetic surgery with a tummy tuck to get more dramatic improvements. During your consultation with Dr. Chang, tell him about all of your concerns so a comprehensive treatment plan can be developed that matches your goals. You may combine a tummy tuck with a thigh lift for a lower body lift or several body lifts for a custom body contouring surgery. If you are trying to improve your whole body after pregnancy or loosing a significant amount of weight, you may be a candidate for a mommy makeover or after weight loss surgery.

What is a mini-abdominoplasty 
A mini-abdominoplasty is a type of abdominoplasty that is used for patients with sagging skin but the abdominal muscles are ok.  These patients only need the skin removed

What is a full abdominoplasty
A full abdominoplasty is a type of abdominoplasty that is used for patients with sagging skin and fat and and with loose abdominal muscles.  This is the most common form of abdominoplasty.  The skin and fat are removed and the abdominal muscles are sutured together to give you a flat abdomen

What is an umbilical float

The umbilical float is a type of mini-abdominoplasty where the patient does not have any sagging skin but the abdomen sticks out because of the loose abdominal muscles.  In this case, a fairly small incision is made in the pubic area, a tunnel is made beneath the tissue from the lower abdomen to the upper abdomen requiring the belling button to also be elevated ( floated ).  This maneuver allows the abdominal wall to be tightened with sutures.  Little to no skin is removed.

What is a total body lift?

The total body is lis a type of abdominoplasty mostly seen in patients who have had a tremendous amount of weight loss.  These patients generally generally have a lot of extra skin not only in the lower abdomen but extends into the flanks and back.  The loss of fat volume of the flanks and thighs makes the buttocks sag and the lateral thigh skin sag.  The total body lift incision goes circumferentially around the body to lift to tighten the abdominal skin, elevate the thighs, and elevate the buttocks.  This procedure might be combined with a vertical abdominal scar ( total body lift plus )

What is a circumferential tummy tuck ( belt lipectomy )

The circumferential tummy tuck or belt lipectomy is similar to the total body lift.  It is designed for patients where there is a log of extra skin in the lower abdomen which extends into the flanks.  There might not necessarily be sagging of the thighs or buttock.  In order to properly address the excess skin in the flanks, the incision for the traditional tummy tuck needs to be extended into the back to variable degrees.  This will flatten the belly as well as remove any excess skin from the sides.  

What is a reverse tummy tuck?  

The reverse tummy tuck is a technique used when a patients only has excess skin in the upper abdomen.  Through a bra-line incision, excess skin and fat of the upper abdomen is removed. A reverse tummy tuck is often performed in conjunction with a breast lift.

How long will I be off of work after a tummy tuck?

Most patients will take 2 weeks off of work to recover from a tummy tuck. 

How do you know whether you need a tummy tuck or liposuction?

Liposuction is an excellent procedure for removing unwanted fat.  But it will not address extra skin or stretch marks.  And it can’t tighten your abdominal muscles.  

Can you have liposuction at the same time as a tummy tuck?

Yes, you can have liposuction at the same time as a tummy tuck.  The only exception is that you can’t do liposuction in the center of the upper abdomen by the rib cage as this is where the blood supply comes from to heal the tummy tuck scar.

Am Ia good candidate for a tummy tuck?
The simple answer is yes if you have had children.  Having children inevitably changes your body.  Changes occur in your breasts, belly, vagina, and even your face.  The typical mommy makeover addresses only the first two back, but can address all of these areas.  A good candidate is a women in good health, finished having children, close to a healthy goal weight, and who wants to get back to her pre-pregnancy appearance.  If you find yourself wanting fuller more uplifted breasts, flatter abdomen, thinner hips, tighter vagina without urinary leakage, then you are a good candidate.

What procedures are typically addressed in a Mommy Makeover?
Having children inevitably changes your body.  Changes occur in your breasts, belly, vagina, and even your face.  The typical mommy makeover addresses only breast and abdomen, but many women will want to address all of these areas.  If you find yourself wanting fuller more uplifted breasts, flatter abdomen, thinner hips, tighter vagina without urinary leakage, then you are a good candidate for a breast augmentation and/or lift, tummy tuck,  liposuction of the hips and/or saddle bags, and a labiaplasty. 

Can I have children after having a Mommy Makeover?
You should never have a tummy tuck is you are planning on having more children.  This does not mean that you can’t as I have had patients have the occasional “woops”.  But this will stretch out the abdominal muscles that have tightened and ruin the results that I have provided.  The breast might be more forgiving.  Patients will often have a breast augmentation and/or lift after having a Mommy Makeover

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Abdominoplasty in Northern Virginia

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Dr. Phillip Chang is a leading plastic surgeon in Loudoun County who specializes in surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures for the breast, body, face, and skin. He is board certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is the founder of Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center in Leesburg, VA. Dr. Chang is dedicated to providing high-quality service that concentrates on the unique needs and concerns of his patients. He believes combining attentive care and minimally invasive techniques is the best avenue for achieving beautiful, natural-looking results. Dr. Chang is thrilled to be serving the greater northwest area of Washington, D.C. with top cosmetic care that is dependable and trustworthy.

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