Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) in Atlanta
A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and tightens up the underlying muscle, giving you a flatter, firmer, tighter stomach and a thinner waist. Georgia Plastic Surgery offers abdominoplasty in the Atlanta area, including full tummy tuck, mini-tummy tuck, and multiple torso contouring surgical procedures for massive weight loss patients (fleur-de-lys, belt lipectomy, and lower body lift). We provide our tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) service in Atlanta, GA and it's surrounding suburbs, including Cumming, GA.
During your consultation, Dr. Lincenberg will determine what kind of work should be done on three layers of tissue—the skin, the fat and the muscle. Traditional tummy tucks work on all of these layers, but the newer techniques of liposuction, ultrasonic liposuction and endoscopy allow for a truly customized approach to abdominal contouring. Dr. Lincenberg will recommend a custom-designed approach for you.
What is a tummy tuck?
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
The most common method of a tummy tuck is making an incision across the lower abdomen, a little above the pubic area, and beneath the bikini line. An incision is also made around the belly button to free it from the surrounding skin. The skin is separated from the abdominal wall and raised up away from the muscles all the way to the rib cage. Next, the loose tissue from the left and right of the abdomen is pulled together, toward the center and sutured together. This tightens muscles, provides a stronger abdominal wall and makes the waist smaller. The skin is then lowered and the we remove the excess fat and skin. A new opening is made for the belly button at the proper position.
Belt lipectomy, or lower body lift, offers a dramatic transformation of the mid and lower body. It resculpts the abdomen, hips, outer thighs and buttocks. The body lift procedure is performed on post-bariatric patients, and occasionally for patients who have not had large weight loss. While the body lift transforms patients who have excess skin after experiencing massive weight loss, results are just as dramatic in patients who want to reshape the lower body. Belt lipectomy can be done in one surgical session, or in stages, depending on the patient’s needs
Types of Tummy Tucks
There are several types of tummy tucks. Dr. Lincenberg will help you determine which one is the best fit for your needs. These procedures include:
- The Standard Tummy Tuck – This procedure uses four techniques: the loose skin is removed, the fat layer is thinned using advanced liposuction devices, the muscles are stitched together to restore flatness and strength, and the belly button is reshaped. Dr. Lincenberg will customize the combination of these techniques to each patient.
- The Core Tummy Tuck – Also known as an augmentation abdominoplasty, this procedure uses a natural silk band to strengthen the fascia connections between core muscles, restoring flatness and strength to the area. The band will disappear on its own in about two years.
- The Fleur-de-Lys Tummy Tuck – This procedure is similar to a standard tummy tuck with the addition of extra skin removal around the waist.
The recovery from an abdominoplasty takes place in three phases:
- First Phase – This phase begins immediately following surgery. Muscles will be weak, but you will be encouraged to walk leaning forward.
- Second Phase – Known as the collagen construction period, this phase lasts about four weeks. It is characterized by less pain. Changing positions will still be painful, and your full strength will not have returned. You can resume some light tasks and return to office-type work in about 10 days. After the full four weeks, you will be able to resume normal exercise, sports, and strenuous labor.
- Third Phase – The final phase of recovery lasts up to one year. During this time, the core strengthens and swelling resolves.
Who are candidates for a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty)?
A perfect candidate for a tummy tuck is a person who's tried to lose weight through diet and exercise but still isn't able to attain the body they're envisioning. Either from pregnancy or hereditary means, they aren't able to shed the last few pounds or their skin has lost its elasticity. We can create the stomach of your dreams through performing a simple tummy tuck. A perfect candidate is one who will continue their diet and exercise after the surgery as well. Dr. Lincenburg during his consultation will measure your stomach and talk with you to figure out if you're interested in a mini or a full tummy tuck. We can then instruct you on the process of the tummy tuck, what to do to continue keeping your stomach looking the way you want it to.
When is the Best Time to Get a Tummy Tuck?
The best time to get a tummy tuck is when you're at your normal weight, you have finished having children, and you are in good health. Being at a stable weight means you can maintain your weight without going on a starvation diet or exercising more often than you can schedule. Because both of those scenarios are hard to maintain forever. If you are planning for a future childbirth, you should wait until after the childbirth to have your tummy tuck. Being in good health means controlling any medical conditions such as high blood pressure and eliminating nicotine use and exposure for six weeks before the surgery. Watch our video below to learn more!
Tummy Tuck Skin Removal
How much skin is removed with a tummy tuck? As a general rule of thumb, I'll measure how tall and wide your tummy is and I'll preserve that amount of skin while removing the excess skin. Shapewise, the skin that is removed is contained within a football-shaped ellipse, drawn on your abdomen, with the points of the football at each of your hipbones. The lower curve of the football connects those two points and curves through the upper point of your mons hair zone. The upper curve of the football connects the ends through the belly button. The skin and the stretch marks within this football piece of skin will clearly be gone. The skin of your upper tummy is released so it can be drawn down to cover the whole tummy much like you're pulling down a window shade. At times, the football will be wider, wrapping around the sides of the tummy like the sides of an apron. It can also curve higher if there is a lot of upper tummy loose skin. Or the lower curve can dip into the mons hair to tighten the mons. For women with only a small amount of extra skin, the skin removal shape may resemble a quarter moon, more than a football. These markings are adjusted, removing the correct amount of skin for each individual. This creates a custom tummy tuck for you. Learn more in our video below.
Types of Tummy Tuck Procedures
Luxury Tummy Tuck
Tummy Tuck Recovery
How long is the recovery after a tummy tuck? There are three phases. The first phase begins right after surgery. You will be encouraged to walk immediately, even though your stomach muscles will not allow you to stand up straight. By the third or fourth day, the stomach muscles will hurt less and you can walk upright. Phase two has been described as having less pain, although changing positions still hurts and your core strength is not yet normal. You can resume some light tasks and return to office-type work after ten days or so. You'll also begin our beautiful scar program by applying liquid medicines to your scar. The second phase is the collagen construction period and continues for about four weeks. After the month you can return to your normal exercise, playing sports, and doing manual labor. Phase three will then continue for up to a year. Your core will strengthen beyond its pre-surgery level. During this phase, the collagen cross-links and the swelling gradually resolves, and the pinkish color of the scar fades away. Many patients say they have better posture, less back pain, and of course, a body that looks thinner. Learn more in our video below.
Controlling Tummy Tuck Pain
What is the best way to control pain following a tummy tuck? The pain of a tummy tuck is mostly caused by the tightening and repositioning of the abdominal muscles. This pain is most intense for the first 3-5 days but can last up to a month until your muscles accept their new position without talking back to you. The usual medicines to control this pain include narcotic analgesics and muscle relaxers. This is a time-tested method and is very effective, although there may be side effects of the medicines. Those side effects can include constipation, drowsiness, and confusion. There are two additional options that can add to pain control while allowing you to use less of the narcotics. One option is to place a pair of pain relief catheters over the rectus muscles so that long-acting local anesthetic can be delivered to the muscles themselves. The catheters are slipped out several days later. My patients have had very positive comments about this method. Another option is to spray a foamy long-acting narcotic over the muscles, just before the end of the surgery. Its also effective and lets you use fewer pain pills. Both options localize the medicine to the muscles themselves avoiding circulation to the brain and minimize the side effects of narcotic pills. Learn more in our video below.
Minimize Tummy Tuck Scar
What is the prescription for the best possible scar? Your scar begins to heal from day one following surgery. What you do from day one to day thirty has a greater following effect than what you do months later. My secret to creating beautiful scars start with a healthy diet and avoiding all types of nicotine. I seal all my surgical scars with several layers of sterile tape. And as soon as we remove the tape, we recommend applying a silicone cover to the scar. This could be in the form of a sheet of silicone or a silicone ointment. These topical medicines could also prevent dark pigmentation, thickened scar tissue, or prolonged inflammation. Remember, these methods to heal a scar require constant attention. There is a huge difference between scars that just heal on their own and ones that are taken care of every day. Learn more about scar care in our video below.
When is a Tummy Tuck Enough?
Do you need a mini or a full tummy tuck? The navel is our guide to choosing a mini or a full tummy tuck, so by judging where you would like to enhance, we can decide which procedure would be better for you. A mini tummy tuck is generally considered when the loose skin on the tummy is below the navel. So if there is also loose skin on the upper tummy, a full tummy tuck would give you a better appearance.
Let's look at the tummy to having three layers of tissue that we can modify, the skin, the fat, the muscles. The fat located below the navel or the sides of the tummy is reduced in both operations. The extra fat above the navel, a mini tummy tuck can be enhanced by removing fat above the navel. Significant loosening of the abdominal muscles from pregnancies or aging is a sign that a mini tummy tuck will not deliver the results that you deserve. Your muscles will need to be tightened from the bottom of the rib cage to the hips and will require a full tummy tuck. In short, a mini tummy tuck is for tummies that only need augmentation from the below the navel, and a full tummy tuck is for patients who need the entire tummy enhanced.
Tummy Tuck: Mini vs Full
No Drain Tummy Tuck
Can your surgery be done without drains? There are benefits of drains, but your surgery can be performed without them. A drain looks like a soft white plastic hose connected to a bulb. The bulb collects serum and blood sucked out of the surgical site like a vacuum sucks in dust. If the serum stays inside of you, it will form a puddle and keep the skin tissue from touching each other. If they don't touch, then they can't stick together. If they don't stick together then they won't begin to heal. By removing the serum, the tissue begins to stick together and start the healing process. The drainage is also a way of measuring the healing occurring under the skin. Drains, although effective, can be uncomfortable and hard to manage. Another option is to perform a no-drain procedure.
As I'm closing up the surgical area, I will stitch the two tissues together in a technique that has been likened to a quilted blanket. It will add time to the surgery, but we believe it is time well utilized. These points of attachment hold the layers in place and your body begins to heal before you awaken from anesthesia. Watch our video to learn more.
Georgia Plastic Surgery Reviews
"Dr. Linceburg and his staff are amazing! He is definitely worth every penny. They were all so accepting, they treated us like family. Dr. Linceburg makes you feel so comfortable and he shares in on the excitement that you feel! He is amazing at what he does!!! I love Dr. Sheldon and his staff." - Kaylyn
"Staff was so friendly and accommodating! Dr. Lincenberg made me feel so at ease about my procedure and I am very happy with the results!!" - Drewlonda
"This the absolute best surgeon in Atlanta! He did an amazing job on my chest! The staff is wonderful and so very personable and helpful. You cannot ask for better service and experience with the staff and doctor! Thanks so much for a new outlook on life! Y’all are awesome!!!" - Lee
"By far one of the nicest and most professional offices I have been to. Plus he is an outstanding surgeon and has a good bedside manner, which if you are anything like me, the bedside manner is really important. I've had two surgeries with him (both on my chest) and I am thrilled with the result! The only thing difficult about the office is trying to spell his last name. " - Melvin
"Wonderful experience with both the doctor and staff. It was prompt and every question was answered with professional ease. I would recommend Georgia Plastic Surgery to anyone that was looking for advice." - Caiden