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Tummy Tuck by Dr. Forley

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Before/After Photo of Dr. Forley’s Patient

Abdominoplasty, known as a “tummy tuck”, is a procedure which improves the contour of the abdomen by reshaping the underlying muscle framework to create an internal girdle and remove excess fat and loose, redundant skin.

It involves an incision that is strategically placed in the pubic area to minimize visible scarring. The length of the incision depends on the amount of correction that is required. In some cases, it is necessary to reposition or reshape the umbilicus or belly button to contour the entire abdominal wall muscle and tighten the upper abdomen skin looseness.

40 year old patient of Dr. Forley discusses her experience with a tummy tuck

If there is minimal skin excess, a modified tummy tuck may be recommended that involves a shorter scar with less extensive muscle repair. If possible, the surgery will be planned to remove any old scars. In less severe cases, Dr. Forley uses BodyTite™, the new minimally invasive subdermal radiofrequency energy procedure to lift and tighten skin laxity of the abdomen.

Dr. Forley brings over 25 years of expertise and his meticulous attention to detail to provide you with a natural appearing tummy tuck result. The body is formed by a series of interlocking curves and restoring a youthful appearance to your tummy is emphasized by Dr. Forley in his attention to the three dimensional shape that he will create during the surgery.

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Before/After Photo of Dr. Forley’s Patient

A beautiful tummy is not complete without an equally appealing belly button that has no telltale signs of surgery. Dr. Forley spends time on the details of the belly button using special suture techniques so that it appears naturally infolded with a hidden scar and no outward evidence of the surgery. He also offers laser treatments to enhance the appearance of the scar.

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Before/After Photo of Dr. Forley’s Patient

Is This For Me?

Consultation

Preparation

Procedures

What to Expect After Procedure

Stages of Recovery

Potential Risks and Complications

Minimally Invasive Options

Is This For Me?

You should consider an abdominoplasty if:

  • You have loose, poorly elastic skin or excessive fat deposits with an undesirable fullness and bulging in your abdomen following pregnancy or weight loss.
  • You choose your clothing styles to conceal the excess skin of your stomach.
  • You notice that childbirth has stretched your abdominal muscles and tissues to an extent uncorrectable with exercise.

The Consultation

During your consultation, Dr. Forley will first ask about what concerns you most about your appearance. After discussing any relevant medical history, he will examine you to assess your skin quality and amount of skin and fat excess. Your abdominal muscles will be evaluated to look for the presence of lateral muscle displacement known as diastasis recti or any abdominal or umbilical hernias. Hernias may occur after pregnancy and can be repaired at the time of the tummy tuck. The procedure will be explained in detail and you will be given an idea of realistic expectations for improvement with examples of before and after results. Abdominoplasty cannot change the underlying skeleton and any limitations in how much actual muscles can be reshaped will be discussed during the consultation. The length of the incision placed just above the pubis depends on the amount of loose skin correction you require. Dr. Forley will discuss specific ways in which he can minimize the length of your incisions. The quality of the tummy tuck scar depends on several factors including your specific healing characteristics. Frequently, the final appearance of the scar will be a fine line.

Preparation

Achieving a stable body weight is important for the best result. A program of healthy eating and moderate exercise prior to the surgery that is resumed after the recovery period will contribute to maintaining the optimal outcome. A program of vitamins and supplements to optimize your healing and recovery will be provided to you during your pre-op visit. Instructions pertinent to reducing the risk of bleeding and bruising, minimizing discomfort, and maximizing a return to normal activities will also be discussed.

The Procedure

Dr. Forley first makes very precise measurements and markings before beginning any reshaping to enable greatest accuracy in controlling the final appearance. The anesthesiologist will then review with you the epidural and twilight/sedation technique that is utilized exclusively in the Joint Commission accredited office surgical suite. Any excess fat is first contoured with liposuction. The skin and fat are then lifted off the underlying musculature of the abdomen from an incision just above the pubis to the level just below the ribs. If the abdominal muscles are stretched away from the midline, multiple rows of sutures in the fibrous layer that surrounds them will be placed to restore the muscles to their proper position. In essence, the underlying framework of the abdomen is reshaped. Dr. Forley places extra “shock-absorbing” layers of sutures to allow you to resume your normal activities without fear of disrupting the correction. The skin is then pulled downward to tighten it and remove any excess tissue. Although your belly button will remain in the same position, it may be necessary to make a new opening for it once the skin is pulled downward. Dr. Forley will determine what is required in your individual situation during your consultation. The wound is repaired in 3 layers to best support the healing process. None of the sutures will have to be removed—they simply dissolve.

What to Expect After Your Procedure

Most patients experience mild to moderate discomfort for 2-4 days following the surgery that is treated with pain medication. Although some discomfort may linger after the first few days, it usually is well tolerated with occasional use of medication. A liquid diet (e.g. soup, protein shakes) is recommended for the first 2 days after which you can resume a normal diet. It’s important to be up and about the day following your procedure. The amount of activity will depend on the specific procedure required to reshape your abdomen. A drain is used for 5-7 days after the surgery to remove any fluid that normally will develop in the area of the surgery. You will be able to shower within a few days. Swelling diminishes over the first 2-4 weeks and continues to improve for several months. A compression garment is used after the surgery for about 4 weeks. A sense of tightness and hardening of abdominal areas may be present for a few weeks until the swelling resolves and your tissues get accustomed to their new shape. Exercise may be resumed at 6-8 weeks.

The Stages of Recovery

  • Day of surgery: May be performed as an outpatient procedure in our accredited office-based surgery facility. A nurse can be booked to monitor you overnight.
  • Bruising and swelling resolve: 10-14 days for the first stage with continued improvement occurring for several months and up to 1 year.
  • Return to work, social activity: Average is 2 weeks.
  • Aerobic or strenuous activity: 6-8 weeks.

Potential Risks and Complications

Limitations and risks associated with abdominoplasty are few. Other risks common to all surgical procedures such as bleeding, infection, thickened scar tissue formation, and blood clots occur in a very small percentage of cases. We will give you more detailed information about these and other rare risks in our written information and encourage you to discuss any which concern you during your consultation.

Minimally Invasive Options

During your consultation, Dr. Forley will discuss alternatives to a tummy tuck for you to consider should you be a candidate for a less invasive approach. This includes BodyTite™, the new minimally invasive subdermal radiofrequency energy procedure to lift and tighten skin laxity of the abdomen.

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5 MYTHS ABOUT A TUMMY TUCK

01 Once I have a tummy tuck I can’t have another baby.

Ideally, a tummy tuck should be done when you have completed your planned pregnancies. However, should you change your mind or just aren’t sure if you might have another baby, it is certainly possible to become pregnant even after the tummy tuck is performed. It just might mean that a revision surgery will be necessary to repair any issues that arise in your appearance following the pregnancy.

02 A tummy tuck should be performed directly after C-section surgery.

Dr. Forley believes the best results are achieved after the skin, muscle, and fat have all had a chance to stabilize following childbirth. The many variables that are present at delivery can have an unpredictable effect on the outcome of your tummy tuck.

03 All my stretch marks will be gone

Stretch marks that are present on the excess skin that is removed as part of the tummy tuck will be gone forever. Following repair of the skin edges of the wound, the stretch marks that remain will be lower down on the tummy.

04 A tummy tuck is all I need for a flat stomach.

A tummy tuck will remove excess fat, loose skin, and return your abdominal muscles to their proper midline position. A tummy tuck will not strengthen or tone your muscles. The best results are achieved with an ongoing effort at muscle toning in the gym once you have recovered from your surgery.

05 I can eat whatever I want now.

That would be nice but would be a big mistake. Gaining weight and not observing healthy eating habits will cause weight gain that will have a negative impact on your appearance. After the tummy tuck, it’s all about maintenance.

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