Maybe you once had a tight, "washboard" abdomen, but ever since your last pregnancy you just can't get your old shape back. Or maybe you've always had a soft, prominent "belly" that you could only dream would go away. Fortunately, a procedure known as an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, can remove excess folds of skin and fat and tighten your abdominal muscles to create a leaner, flatter, and more well-defined abdomen.
If you are unhappy with excess fat deposits, loose and sagging skin, stretch-marks, or an undefined midsection, call our Indianapolis office at 317-565-1009 to schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph Fata today.
- Types of Abdominoplasty
- Tummy Tuck Costs
- Tummy Tuck Candidates
- Tummy Tuck Recovery
- Maintaining Tummy Tuck Results
- Contact Renaissance Plastic Surgery
Types of Abdominoplasty
Tummy tuck surgery addresses aesthetic imperfections throughout the abdominal area. This may include:
- Excess deposits of fat in the low belly
- Loose, sagging skin (a “pooch”) around the midsection
- Separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti)
Not every tummy tuck patient will require full abdominoplasty to achieve optimal results. This is why Dr. Fata offers four options for tummy tuck surgery, enabling him to meet the varied needs of each of our abdominoplasty patients. The best way to learn which option is right for your needs is through a private and confidential consultation at our Indianapolis office.
Full Tummy Tuck
If your loose skin is extensive enough to wrap your hands around, if you have obvious stretch marks, or if your figure is obscured by loose upper abdominal skin, you may benefit most from a full tummy tuck.
Also known as a standard tummy tuck, full abdominoplasty was the first procedure designed to treat excess skin, fat, and muscle weakness in the abdominal region. For this procedure, Dr. Fata will make a horizontal incision along the “bikini line” above the pubic hairline. The length of the incision and subsequent scar will depend on the amount of excess skin and fat that need to be removed. Proper care of your incisions will help reduce long-term scar visibility.
During a full tummy tuck, excess skin is lifted away from the muscles before being removed. The navel is preserved and brought out through a new opening in the tightened abdominal skin to maintain its proper location. The abdominal wall muscles are tightened in the midline with stitches and the skin is carefully closed.
Extended Full Tummy Tuck
If you have lost a large amount of weight, an extended tummy tuck may be just what you need. This type of abdominoplasty follows the same principles and techniques as a full tummy tuck:
- A horizontal incision is made above the pubic hairline
- Excess and unnecessary skin is separated from the muscles and trimmed away
- The navel is preserved and brought out through a new opening in the abdominal skin
- The muscles are tightened, and the skin is closed with stitches
The typical candidate for an extended tummy tuck has lost a large amount of weight, usually at least 75 pounds. The other candidate for an extended tummy tuck is a person who is significantly overweight but has a Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 30. A tummy tuck is not substitute for weight loss, and so the expectations in this situation need to be realistic and in line with the fact that you will lose some inches but not lose any noticeable weight.
Because extended abdominoplasty may follow significant weight-loss, you may also have other areas of loose skin around your arms and legs that bother you. Talk to Dr. Fata and see if you would be a good candidate for other body contouring procedures, such as an arm lift or a thigh lift.
A mini-tummy tuck is the most limited type of abdominoplasty available. This may be the right procedure for you if your loose skin and muscle weakness are limited to the area below the navel.
To perform a mini-tummy tuck, a short, horizontal incision is made just above the pubic hairline, similar to the incision used in a C-section. The loose skin below the navel is lifted and stretched, and the excess skin is trimmed away. The abdominal wall muscles below the navel are tightened with stitches.
A mini-tummy tuck has the shortest scar and will produce the least amount of swelling. Your recovery will generally proceed more quickly but you may still need to take it easy for up to six weeks to get the best results.
Extended Mini-Tummy Tuck
A mini-tummy tuck is an ideal procedure for men and women with limited amounts of loose skin and muscles weakness below the navel. But while many people fit this description, they may also have fullness or bulges above the navel. For these patients, Dr. Fata combines the short scar of a mini-tummy tuck with the muscle repair of a full tummy tuck for an extended mini-abdominoplasty procedure. It is the perfect in between solution for individuals who need more than a mini-tummy tuck but do not need a full tummy tuck.
An extended mini-tummy tuck uses the same short incision the mini-tuck, and a limited amount of skin is removed. As in a mini-tummy tuck, a limited, horizontal incision is just above the pubic hairline, the loose skin below the navel is lifted and stretched, and the excess skin is removed. The main difference is that, with an extended mini-tummy tuck, abdominal muscle tightening extends from the pubic region hairline up to the rib cage, similar to full abdominoplasty
At your initial consultation, Dr. Fata will evaluate your muscle laxity, skin elasticity, type and quantity of belly fat, and degree of stretch marks to determine which tummy tuck technique is the best option for you. Call us at 317-565-1009 to schedule your consultation and learn more.
Tummy Tuck Costs
The cost of abdominoplasty varies by type and by the amount of time Dr. Fata estimates the procedure will take. The prices listed below include Dr. Fata’s fees, anesthesiologist's fee, surgery center facility fee, and all of the post-operative care by Dr. Fata.
The cost of your tummy tuck at Renaissance Plastic Surgery will include everything from planning through recovery. There will be no surprise charges or extra fees added on. Included in the cost of both the full and extended full tummy tuck is an overnight stay at the surgery center ($500), which is necessary for this procedure.
- The estimated total cost of a standard tummy tuck is about $6,200
- The approximate cost of an extended tummy tuck is $7,200-7,500
- The mini-tummy tuck has an estimated cost of $4,850 but may be a little higher for extended mini-tummy tuck where additional muscle manipulation is needed
We accept cash, Visa and MasterCard, and financing from Key Bank, one of the leading banks in Indianapolis. If you would like additional information about financing your abdominoplasty procedure, we would be happy to discuss your options during your initial consultation.
Am I a Good Tummy Tuck Candidate?
Ideal tummy tuck candidates are in good overall health, somewhere close to an appropriate body weight, and have realistic expectations. Beyond these basic criteria, a tummy tuck can be an ideal procedure for the following people:
- Men and women with excess abdominal fat or loose skin in and around the belly
- Women who are looking to restore their figure following pregnancy – in particular, women who have weak, separated, or stretched abdominal muscles and skin due to one or more pregnancies
- Men and women who have excess loose, hanging skin following gastric bypass surgery or massive weight loss
- Older men and women who have lost skin elasticity in the abdominal region due to aging, resulting in sagging skin
The following factors may rule you out as a tummy tuck candidate:
- Women who plan to become pregnant again – future pregnancies can adversely impact the results of your tummy tuck. However, in certain situations, such as pregnancy at a very young age, conservative modifications to a tummy tuck can be made to accommodate them
- Individuals who are not comfortable with the presence of a scar along the bikini line. Every care is taken to reduce visible scaring during your procedure, but how you care for your incisions and how your body heals will play a direct role in the thickness and protrusion of your tummy tuck scars
- Smokers – smoking prior to and immediately following surgery can adversely impact the healing process and increase your risk of complications, such as infection and wound breakdown. Smokers are much more likely to experience thick, ropey, and unattractive scars following abdominoplasty
- Men and women who are so overweight as to be classified as obese
It is important to have realistic expectations for the outcome of your procedure. A tummy tuck cannot give you the perfect body, and it is not a tool for weight loss. However, it can enhance your figure and provide a more toned abdomen and waist. This often results in a boost in self-esteem and increased feelings of attractiveness.
It is also important to realize that your tummy tuck will leave a scar. Dr. Fata will make the incisions in a location that will conceal your scars underneath clothing. However, it is unrealistic to expect that you can undergo a tummy tuck and not have any scarring following the procedure.
Reading about candidacy is one thing, but the only way to actually know if abdominoplasty is a good fit for your needs is through a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Fata. Use the contact form on this page or give us a call today to schedule your consultation and learn more.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
Every patient is unique, and so is every recovery process. The exact day you’ll be able to return to work and your normal schedule will be determined by factors that are impossible to predict before your procedure.
However, most of Dr. Fata’s patients who undergo a tummy tuck experience a recovery schedule along these lines:
- You’ll want to take it easy for a couple days after your procedure. Some light walking is a good idea, as it stimulates blood flow and eases healing, but spend most of your time resting and relaxing. Let others take care of any domestic duties you might have
- There will be some swelling and discomfort in these first few days. Our Indiana plastic surgeon might address the former with a compression garment and prescribe painkillers for the latter
- Depending on your job, you should be able to return to work within one to two weeks of your procedure. If you have a job that requires strenuous physical activity, you’ll have to wait a while longer
- After a couple weeks you can gradually begin returning to your exercise schedule. But keep it light at first and lay off the weights for a while
- Six weeks is the point where most of our patients are able to resume a full, active, pre-surgery schedule
At all points during your recovery, you can rely on Dr. Fata and his dedicated staff. We’ll arrange a schedule for you to visit Renaissance Plastic Surgery after your procedure for check-ups and status updates. If you experience any complications, we’re here for you.
Health Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery
It would be irresponsible to suggest that abdominoplasty alone can make you healthy. It would be equally misleading, however, to suggest that the removal of stubborn fat deposits and physically-restricting pooches of skin would offer no benefit at all.
Any loss of fat can help improve overall health and the removal of loose and sagging skin can improve range of motion. What’s more, when separated abdominal muscles are reattached, core strength and balance may be improved. Addressing diastasis recti has the added health benefit of supporting the low back and helping prevent organ prolapse and herniation.
Perhaps what tummy tuck surgery does best is provide a springboard for a healthier lifestyle. With a slimmer midsection and restored abdominal wall, you can begin to engage in more advanced forms of exercise to further sculpt and tone your frame. When you add to this a healthy diet, the results of your tummy tuck surgery may last for a lifetime.
Dr. Fata will cover pre and postoperative abdominoplasty instructions to help ensure you are only beginning more advanced forms of exercise when your body is ready. If you struggle with making wise food choices, try working with a nutritionist who can personalize a meal plan that works for your body-type and disposition. A personal trainer can assist in enhancing abdominoplasty results once you have recovered enough to begin a more intense workout routine.
Contact Renaissance Plastic Surgery
If you live in Indianapolis, Carmel, Noblesville, or a nearby area of Indiana, please call Renaissance Plastic Surgery at 317-565-1009 to schedule your tummy tuck consultation today. Dr. Fata is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 25 years of experience helping men and women in the Indianapolis area achieve their cosmetic goals. If you have been considering tummy tuck, we encourage you to get in touch with our office and learn more about your options.