The quest for a flat stomach. It’s almost mythical when you think about it. Between the millions of infomercials touting “six-pack abs,” the questionable fat-burning supplements, and the good old-fashioned crunch there’s somewhat of a national obsession with flat stomachs.
But, unless you quit your job and submit yourself to the commands of some sadistic personal trainer, most people just can’t get their stomach area flat. And if you’ve had children, it’s virtually impossible due to the sagging skin and muscles that have been over-stretched for too long.
That’s where a tummy tuck with Dr. Ferraro comes in. A tummy tuck gives patients a flatter, firmer, smoother profile in the abdominal area.
Tummy Tuck Before & After
What Is An Abdominoplasty?
Tummy tucks, clinically known as abdominoplasty, are really all about skin and muscle in the abdomen. Once over-stretched, this skin and muscle won’t rebound, no matter how much exercise the person does. Plus, our skin loses some of its elasticity as we age. Women and men both can benefit from a tummy tuck. Pregnancy is the most common event that leads to a woman wanting a tummy tuck. In men, loss of a large amount of weight can create the same saggy stomach.
Candidates For Tummy Tuck Surgery
A good candidate should be at a healthy, stable weight because additional weight loss can create more sagging skin. Also, if a woman plans on having additional children, a tummy tuck should be postponed until after that event because the weight gain and loss will negate the results of the tummy tuck.
Tummy Tuck Vs. Liposuction Surgery
If a patient is choosing between these two procedures, the difference comes down to loose skin. If a patient has a lot of loose skin, due to weight gain and loss or just the natural slackening from aging, then that skin will need to be pulled down and the excess skin removed. Underlying muscles will be tightened. That is the basis of a tummy tuck.
However, if pockets of stubborn fat are the problem, rather than stretched, loose skin, then all that is needed is liposuction to remove those pockets of fat. It’s also important for liposuction patients to still have good elasticity in their skin, so it can tighten back down after the fat has been removed.
In reality, most tummy tuck procedures with Dr. Ferraro also involve some degree of liposuction; it is simply a more efficient way to remove fat pockets. But with a tummy tuck, skin excision and muscle tightening are the main facets of the procedure.
"You're in good hands with Dr. Ferraro. I'm so glad I chose him. He has a great bedside manner and his whole staff was really nice and caring. He stays in touch and is easy to get in contact with. He is highly skilled and super safe. I was a tougher case but he exceeded my expectations and I'm really happy with the results! You can trust he will do what's best for you." -Tracey
How To Prepare For Abdominoplasty
Ideally, it’s wise to maintain a stable weight for 12 months prior to having a tummy tuck. You don’t want to lose significant weight after the procedure, as this will diminish your results, so Dr. Ferraro advises his overweight patients to lose the weight before you have this procedure.
You’ll have to stop smoking and taking certain medications, but those actions apply to all surgeries. Because you won’t be able to lift more than just a few pounds, you should plan on having someone not only drive you home, but stay with you for at least the first night or two of your recovery.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
With a tummy tuck, there are two options, a full tummy tuck or a mini. Which option is right for you depends on the amount of loose skin and its location. In a full tummy tuck, two incisions are made. The first incision runs from hipbone to hipbone, usually running along the pubic hairline. The goal is to be able to cover the scar with a bathing suit. The second incision is made at the belly button. Once the skin is separated from the underlying muscle, the abdominal muscles are pulled together and stitched into place to make the abdomen firmer and to narrow the waist. Next, the skin is pulled downward, excess skin is trimmed away, and the navel is reattached in a natural position.
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In a mini tummy tuck, only a single incision is made. The location is dependent on where the patient has the loose, sagging skin.
Disclaimer: Results and patient experience may vary
How Long Do The Results Of A Tummy Tuck Last?
The results from your tummy tuck are permanent. After all, excess skin and fat have been removed and your abdominal muscles likely will have been pulled together and stitched into place, narrowing your waist. These are permanent changes, and you’ll love your new contour. As long as you maintain a healthy weight and incorporate exercise into your life, your firmer, slimmer abdomen will endure. Of course, there will still be some slackening of the muscles and tissues in the area, but this will be very minor compared to where you were before the procedure with Dr. Ferraro.
Since abdominoplasty involves incisions in the abdomen and movement of muscle fiber, recovery is not simple. Dr. Ferraro uses Exparel during tummy tuck procedures to limit pain after surgery. Still, there will be pain and swelling for a few days after surgery. You will have residual soreness for weeks, possibly months. Obviously, any lifting or strenuous activity of any sort will have to wait for six weeks to not stress the newly placed muscle and skin.
How Do I Care For my Tummy Tuck Incision
Dr. Ferraro will instruct you on showering and your incisions. Once your dressings come off, you will still have steri-strips over your incisions. Leave these alone, just patting them dry after showering. They will come off on their own when ready.
You’ll have to be sure not to stress your incisions. For the first few days after surgery, your abdomen will feel tight and you’ll walk somewhat hunched over. To not stress your incisions, you cannot lift anything over a few pounds or perform strenuous exercise for at least six weeks.
As for the incisions, they will darken initially as the body creates new collagen fibers to fill and close the wounds. This will make your scars darker, thicker, and somewhat more prominent for anywhere from 3-6 months. This can make you depressed, but they will lighten, so you need to be patient. Once the body has formed enough collagen at the wound site, some it will break down and the blood supply decreases. Now the scar will become lighter, thinner, and flatter. This can take one to two years.
There are a couple things you can do for the actual incision scars. Once the incision has fully closed and is no longer covered with any scabs, you can apply topical treatments. The best options include silicone. Silicone can help the skin in the area hydrate normally, and it can help to preclude the body sending excess collagen to the scars.
Keep your skin well moisturized, but only after your incisions have fully closed. Doing so early can prevent incisions from closing properly and increase your risk of infection.
Keep sun off your scars. UV exposure makes scars darker and thicker. It’s best to cover them with clothing to really protect them.
Warning Graphic Material, Actual Abdominoplasty Surgery
See What Our Patients Are Saying:
"Dr. Ferraro is a wonderful doctor and I am extremely happy with my surgery. He came recommended from professionals in the medical field and I am very pleased with the whole process. He does not hesitate to answer any questions that you may have to make you feel more comfortable about your surgery. Also, the recovery period was much better than I had anticipated because of Dr. Ferraro's expertise. I highly recommend Dr. Ferraro. He is very patient friendly."
Can I Combine A Tummy Tuck With Other Procedures?
Tummy tucks can be combined with other procedures with Dr. Ferraro. Often, after a woman has her abdomen tightened after childbirth, she can then feel as if her breasts sag as well. Rather than having a separate procedure for a breast lift, it can be combined with a tummy tuck. Liposuction is often a part of most tummy tuck procedures, but it can be extended to the thighs and buttocks when combined with a tummy tuck. Thigh lifts and butt lifts can extend the contour improvements to these areas, as well.
Risks Of Tummy Tuck Surgery
Abdominoplasty is major surgery, and the procedure involves the same risks as with most any surgery: reaction to anesthesia, poor healing, continued bleeding, and danger of infection. The procedure with Dr. Ferraro involves very low rates of complication or risk. However, it’s important to remember there will be a major scar involved. Dr. Ferraro places the incision at a height that can be hidden under panties or a bikini bottom. Over time, the scar will fade. There can also be some changes in skin sensation affecting the sensory nerves in the abdominal area. This usually resolves in the months after your procedure.
Tummy Tuck Faqs
When Can I...?
Drive: Most patients can drive three or four days after an abdominoplasty.
Work Out: Dr. Ferraro asks his patients to wait one month before physical activity.
See Results: You will see immediate changes after this procedure. Your stomach pooch will be gone and your contour much slimmer. There isn’t much swelling in the area, but you have to walk a little hunched over and the skin of your abdomen will feel tight. You will be in a compression garment for at least a couple of weeks, so you won’t really see your stomach contour until those garments come off full time.
Do I Need To...?
Use The Pain Reliever: Yes, I use Exparel to keep you from having significant pain after an abdominoplasty. It is a long acting anesthetic that will allow you to have less pain after the procedure and you will use less narcotics. The medication is injected while you are under anesthesia and can last three days. It will facilitate your recovery because you will be more comfortable and move more quickly.
Have Drains Put In: Dr. Ferraro uses drains for breast reduction and abdominoplasty procedures. They will come out at two to three days depending on what procedure you have had done.
Have Help With My Kids After The Procedure: Yes, try to arrange help for two to three days, depending on the procedure.
Receive Additional Surgery: Dr. Ferraro and his staff are here to support you throughout your recovery period. Problems are rare, but if they occur you will be treated appropriately and the costs will be minimized if at all.
Rest After The Surgery: Yes, we ask you to really consider two to three days of limited activity.
When Will I...?
Get The Drains Removed: Most of the time I take the first drain out six days after surgery, then the second drain out on day seven. They are removed in the office.
No Longer Need The Garment/Binder: In general, the longer you wear the garment the better your result. Most patients will wear the binder for two weeks, then switch into a secondary garment more consistent with a girdle. Most patients wear the garments for a total of 4-6 weeks, but some use it longer and have the best results. The compression garments play a big role in your recovery and serve to improve the final result.
See The Swelling Go Down? Are The Areas To The Sides Of My Incisions Going To Flatten Out: The swelling or edema will take up to one year to go away. The area to the side of the abdominoplasty incision is elevated on the hip so it will be more raised than the front.
Begin Using The Scar Cream? Is there anything else I can use along with it: We use a scar cream that resembles a liquid bandaid. You will begin to apply the cream to the incision site at four weeks and use it for three months. You will use it once per day and apply moisturizer as well. We have the scar cream for you in the office.
Can I Order A Second Garment?
Yes, my staff will assist you with the second garment size, style, and color.
Will I Look Like That Picture On Vanity Fair Magazine?
Realistic expectations are important to understand. The pictures we see on social media and print ads are photo shopped but you will be flatter and much improved.
Frank J Ferraro Abdominoplasty
Does Tummy Tuck Correct Stretch Marks?
This is a big “maybe.” If your stretch marks are on skin that is trimmed in the surgery, then they will obviously be addressed, as the skin will be removed. However, if the stretch marks are outside of that trimmed skin they will not change due to this surgery.
Will My Belly Button Look The Same After A Tummy Tuck?
The appearance of your belly button will not change. For instance, if you have an inner directed belly button, it will stay that way. However, depending on the extent of your tummy tuck with Dr. Ferraro, he may need to move your belly button higher, due to the skin he removes.
"Dr. Ferraro is amazing! He is very attentive to my concerns and address them with facts and great care. Since my surgery he has taken care of my with professionalism. I have recommended Dr. Ferraro people I know that is interested in have this type of surgery. I am happy with his work and I look stunning! You are in good hands with Dr. Ferraro and his staff." - R. Gibbs
When Is The Best Time To Get A Tummy Tuck?
There are two aspects to this question. First could be eligibility timing. Dr. Ferraro requires his tummy tuck patients to be sure they do not want to have any additional children. Doing so will stretch the incisions and negate all of the benefits of this procedure. Also, patients need to be within 10 percent of their ideal body weight before they should have a tummy tuck.
As for timing, our New Jersey winters are a great time for your recovery from this procedure. You can lay low, gradually increasing activity, and you don’t need to be outside. If you can schedule a tummy tuck in the late fall or early winter, you’ll be healed and your scars will begin the process of lightening by the time summer rolls around.
At What Age Do People Typically Get Tummy Tucks?
Age really isn’t the determinant with this procedure: it is really about the degree of sagging in your lower abdomen, regardless of your age. Younger people may have gained and lost weight or had a couple children, and now they have a noticeable loose tummy that won’t tighten back up. Or an older person may simply not like the pooch in his or her stomach area that has developed due to the muscles and support tissues slackening with age. Age is not relevant with this procedure, as long as the patient is in good overall health.
Is It Possible That I'll Need Another Tummy Tuck in the Future?
Abdominoplasty is an investment into your immediate and long-term appearance. Your procedure is approached with a great deal of care to make sure you can enjoy a flatter, firmer midsection for many years. That said, no surgery can offset the various biological and lifestyle factors that can alter the shape of the body. There are a few instances in which a tummy tuck may be repeated. These include:
- You get pregnant. If you become pregnant and carry full-term after having a tummy tuck, it's safe to say that your midsection will stretch. How much it stretches and what consequences that carries are different for every woman. You can safely have a full-term, healthy pregnancy after a tummy tuck. Your skin and muscle may also retract to some degree after you give birth. The question is whether or not the remaining tissue will be too loose for your liking.
- You gain and lose weight. Before having a tummy tuck, you will need to have maintained a stable weight for several months. Dr. Ferraro will likely assess your BMI, as well, when determining whether or not you're an ideal candidate for abdominoplasty. You can gain some weight after your tummy tuck without incurring significant risks to your appearance. A gain of 15 to 20 pounds or more, though, depending on your age, can result in loose or sagging skin that you want to have addressed.
- You get older. This isn't a factor that you have any control over, nor is it one that has to have a significant impact on your tummy tuck results. As you age, your body will make less collagen and elastin. These are the chemicals that help keep your skin taut and stretchy. Unlike pregnancy and weight gain, aging skin will have less of an effect on your tummy tuck results. This is because, provided you maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine, aging skin is only one layer of many layers of tissue to affect your appearance. If you wish to repeat treatment due to aging skin, it may be much less invasive and may not even require surgery, depending on the nonsurgical skin-tightening treatments that are available at that time.
How Should I Sleep After My Tummy Tuck?
Your tummy tuck aftercare is a vital aspect of your immediate and long-term recovery. As you may know, the tightened state of your abdominal muscles and skin may prevent you from stretching out completely for a week or two. If you're a stomach sleeper, this may be somewhat of a challenge. Your quality of sleep can be attended to with a few strategies.
After your tummy tuck, you'll need to refrain from sleeping on your stomach. Ideally, you'll sleep on your back in an elevated, bent position. Yes, sleeping on your side would help you curve your body into a bent position, but it may also put some stress on your abdominoplasty incision. We don't want that. Therefore, back-sleeping it is!
Sleeping on your back doesn't need to be uncomfortable. One suggestion around this is to start training yourself to sleep on your back before surgery. You can make this transition very comfortable by placing several pillows around your body and finding the right thickness for the pillow beneath your head. After surgery, it'll be necessary to elevate your head and shoulders both. You may also sleep with one or two pillows beneath your knees to keep them in a bent position. If you have a recliner, you might try sleeping in it to see how it feels and how you can remain comfortable and supported for a full night's sleep.