When you come to our office for a tummy tuck consultation, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. George P. Chatson will make a full assessment of your body. Depending on your skin and muscle tone, tissue thickness, and amount of excess skin, Dr. Chatson will determine if you are a candidate for abdominoplasty, liposuction, or a combination of the two.
To schedule your tummy tuck consultation with Dr. Chatson, please contact us today. Consultations can also be scheduled by calling our Andover, MA office at 978-528-1174 or our Nashua, NH office at 603-294-4189.
- Tummy Tuck Basics
- Types of Tummy Tuck Surgery
- Tummy Tuck Benefits
- Abdominoplasty Candidates
- Preparing for Your Procedure
- Tummy Tuck Recovery
- Maintaining Tummy Tuck Results
Tummy Tuck Basics
Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal area. This procedure is also used to tighten stretched abdominal muscles, providing a firm, slim, and toned appearance to your midsection. It can be combined with liposuction or other body contouring treatments for optimal results.
At our comfortable surgical centers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Dr. Chatson will customize your tummy tuck procedure to meet your exact needs. All tummy tucks will require incisions thorough which excess fat and skin can be removed. Dr. Chatson is careful to place these incisions under your clothing line to help ensure inconspicuous scarring.
Tummy tucks are best for patients who have loose skin and stretched muscles after pregnancy or for patients who have experienced significant weight loss. Dr. Chatson will explore all of your options and answer any questions about abdominoplasty that you have during your initial consultation.
Patients who have an umbilical hernia can have this problem corrected at the same time as a tummy tuck. Repair of an umbilical hernia is usually covered by health insurance.
Types of Tummy Tuck Surgery
There are two main types of abdominoplasty procedures:
- Partial or Mini Abdominoplasty: This type of tummy tuck is often performed on people with fat deposits located below the navel, though the navel itself is not shifted during a mini-tuck. Partial abdominoplasty is often best for men and women with only a small amount of excess skin around the belly
- Complete Abdominoplasty: With a complete abdominoplasty, Dr. Chatson will contour your abdominal skin from hipbone to hipbone in a way that lifts and sculpts your lower tummy. Full tummy tuck addresses separated abdominal muscles, larger amounts of excess skin, and more significant deposits of fat in the midsection. Umbilicoplasty (belly button surgery) is often included in a complete tummy tuck
Both tummy tuck techniques remove excess fat and skin from your abdominal area. Both procedures are used to tighten stretched abdominal muscles in a way that provides a slim, firm, and toned appearance to your midsection. Either procedure can be combined with SAFELipo™ for ideal results, but only one option will be ideal for your needs. Call our Andover office at 978-528-1174 or our Nashua, NH office at 603-294-4189 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chatson and learn which one it will be for you.
Tummy Tuck Benefits
The benefits of a tummy tuck are both aesthetic and physical. The appearance of a firm and toned abdomen can do wonders for your self-esteem, improve clothing options, and help you look and feel your absolute best. A tummy tuck can also help you lose excess weight, be a fantastic starting point for a healthy lifestyle, and improve your overall physical strength and endurance. Of course, some of these benefits will require a commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but with some effort on your part, this procedure can have a profound impact on your overall physical wellbeing.
Tummy tuck surgery is commonly performed as part of a mommy makeover or during post-bariatric body contouring. It can also be performed as a stand-alone procedure. During your initial consultation, Dr. Chatson will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your various body contouring options, and help you determine if an abdominoplasty is right for you.
To be a good candidate for abdominoplasty, you will need to be:
- A nonsmoker
- In good health
- Close to your goal weight
- Prepared for a surgical procedure
- Able to take time off to recover
- Willing to follow specific pre and postoperative instructions
In addition to these considerations, you will need to discuss your goals with Dr. Chatson to ensure that tummy tuck surgery can help you reach them. Having realistic expectations is essential for satisfaction following your procedure, which makes understanding the benefits and limitations of abdominoplasty an important part of determining your candidacy.
Our board-certified plastic surgeon brings decades of experience into the consultation room and applies that same experience to planning and carrying out every procedure. During your initial consultation at our Andover, MA or Nashua, NH office, Dr. Chatson will listen closely to your concerns, fully evaluate your abdomen and surrounding areas, and discuss your candidacy in greater detail.
Preparing for Your Procedure
Preparing for tummy tuck surgery is important for reducing risks and helping ensure a comfortable recovery. Depending on your lifestyle, medication use, and other unique factors, abdominoplasty preparation may require:
- Quitting smoking. This includes e-cigarettes and any other product containing nicotine. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that can result in delayed healing response, greater risk of postoperative infection, and thick and unattractive scars
- Ceasing certain medications and herbal supplements. Some medications and supplements can thin blood, increasing risks for excessive bleeding. Others may interfere with proper healing response and make complications more likely
Dr. Chatson will review the medications and supplements you currently take and make sure you have enough time to reduce your intake safely.
In addition to preparing for your surgery itself, there are several things you can do to prepare for a safe and comfortable recovery:
- Be sure to purchase all of your medications and dressings beforehand
- Create a comfortable space complete with supportive pillows and warm blankets
- Place anything you may need at hip level - that way, you do not have to reach or bend down while you are in the postoperative phase
- Keep a good moisturizer on hand to put on your surgery scars
- Take deep breaths and relax
- Try to remain active by walking around periodically to promote blood circulation
During your tummy tuck consultation at our Nashua or Andover office, Dr. Chatson will cover preparation – both pre and postoperative – that can help make your recovery shorter, your results more appealing, and your overall experience more rewarding.
A Closer Look at Abdominoplasty Recovery
Taking time to heal is necessary for your health and the quality of your results after a tummy tuck. Tummy tucks vary in how extensive they are, and the time you need to heal may be longer or shorter than what is described on this page. Factors that will influence your recovery include your body’s natural healing ability and how closely you follow pre and postoperative directions. Dr. Chatson will be able to discuss what you may personally experience in more detail during your initial consultation.
- In the hours after surgery, you will feel uncomfortable and may experience some mild pain. After you are released to go home, don't lift anything, bend over or exert yourself physically. You should arrange to have a spouse, friend or other trusted individual with you for the first 24 hours to help around the house so you can dedicate your time to resting and walking periodically.
- In the first week after your procedure, you may feel some degree of discomfort and pain, and you may not be able to stand straight comfortably. As you walk around, it's normal to bend your torso slightly forward, to prevent straining your muscles and incision location. During this time, you should remain active by walking periodically, to promote good blood circulation.
- After one to three weeks, you should be able to comfortably return to work and most of your other activities. Most people go back to work and all their social activities after two weeks. To protect the incisions and your healing abdominal muscles, you should plan to avoid strenuous, intensive exercise, exertion and other physical activities for up to six weeks. Allowing your body to heal lets you see your results soon and prevents the risk of any post-surgical complications.
- After six to eight weeks, you should feel fully recovered. Your results should be mostly finalized at this point, although you may continue to experience reductions in swelling and slight changes in the appearance of your abdomen for several months.
Maintaining Tummy Tuck Results
It may take several months before the final results of your abdominoplasty are realized, but there are steps you can take during and after recovery to help ensure the most pleasing appearance. These include:
- Getting at least three hours of moderate exercise every week. While daily exercise of 30 to 90 minutes will enhance your tummy tuck results, getting at least three hours a week should be enough to maintain them.
- Choosing a well-balanced and healthy diet. Lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and a diverse selection of fruits and vegetables should be included in every meal. Avoid sugar, simple carbs, and processed foods to optimize results and improve your overall health in the process
We would be happy to discuss maintaining and enhancing tummy tuck results during your time in our care. For specific questions about which foods are best for your body and which exercise techniques may be most beneficial for your physical makeup, it can be helpful to work with a nutritionist and personal trainer. However common sense and a simple commitment to living well may be sufficient for your needs. As with all aspects of your procedure, this will be dependent on factors unique to you.
George P. Chatson, MD serves men and women living in Lowell and surrounding areas of Massachusetts from our office in Andover, and Manchester and surrounding areas of New Hampshire from our office in Nashua. Please call 978-528-1174 or 603-294-4189 to schedule your tummy tuck consultation at the office nearest you and let us help you reach your body contouring goals.