Finding the Right Tummy Tuck For You
- Overview of Abdominoplasty Surgeries
- Introducing the Parker Tummy Tuck
- Surgery & Recovery
- Additional Resources
The goal of cosmetic surgery of the abdomen is to create a flatter, more youthful abdomen. The extent of the procedure will vary depending on the severity of the problem and desires of the patient. In addition to the removal of excess fat, there is frequently the need to remove excess skin, stretch marks and tighten loose abdominal muscles (known as the rectus abdominis or “abs”).
For patients interested in a tummy tuck in New Jersey, there are four basic ways to improve the appearance of your abdomen:
- Liposuction alone
- Mini Abdominoplasty
- Classic Abdominoplasty
- The Parker Tummy Tuck (Modified Lipoadominoplasty)
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), classic abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) was the third most popular cosmetic surgery in 2012, with 156,508 abdominoplasties performed on both men and women across the country. Abdominoplasty also earned the highest patient satisfaction rating of all procedures last year, according to ASAPS.
Liposuction alone is used in patients with excess fat but good skin and muscle tone. Two tiny incisions in the pubic hair area and one inside the naval are used. Recovery is usually uncomplicated and quick.
Patients with limited excess skin and muscle laxity in their lower abdomen are candidates for “mini abdominoplasty.” A low horizontal incision, similar to that used in a C-section, provides excess for skin removal and muscle tightening.
Classic abdominoplasty allows maximal removal of excess skin, fat and tightening of the lax “abs” along their entire length. The incision is similar to that for a mini abdominoplasty but is longer in that the outer ends curve up to the hipbones. The incision may be designed so that it is hidden by high cut swimwear. A second small incision encircles the naval. Though the scars are permanent, they usually fade within the first year of surgery.
The Parker Tummy Tuck, or modified lipoabdominoplasty, is a relatively new procedure that combines aggressive liposuction of the abdomen with many of the principles of a classic or traditional abdominoplasty. Dr. Parker first learned this technique from international colleagues several years ago. He has since modified and improved the procedure to provide even better results with a quicker recovery.
The procedure begins with liposuction of the entire abdomen. The skin below the umbilicus is excised similar to a classic abdominoplasty, although lymphatic vessels are preserved to minimize postoperative swelling and promotes a more rapid recovery from surgery. Next, limited undermining of the upper abdominal skin flap is performed, preserving many blood vessels and nerves to the abdominal wall. The rectus abdominus muscles are then plicated to improve their shape. The upper abdominal flap is advanced and closed with multiple layers of dissolvable sutures that minimize scar tension and postoperative scar spreading. Many absorbable sutures are inserted in the soft tissues of the upper and lower abdomen as well as the umbilicus to help create greater definition of the abdomen and umbilical area.
Advantages of the Parker Tummy Tuck include:
- Improved abdominal shape due to aggressive liposuction.
- Lower rate of postoperative complications such as seroma.
- Less likelihood of postoperative numbness.
- More security for smokers and post weight loss patients.
- A shorter, less noticeable scar in many patients
- Quicker postoperative recovery with less swelling, bruising and pain.
Dr. Parker learned the technique of Lipoabdominoplasty from his colleagues in Brazil. He has made several improvements and it is currently his procedure of choice for patients looking undergoing a tummy tuck in NJ.
“My abdominoplasty was a complete success. I thank you so much Dr. Parker for your surgical expertise and your genuine caring for your patients. The post-surgical recovery nurses were wonderful. They made my overnight stay easier to handle. Thanks also to your office staff and spa gals for their understanding and caring. Like General McArthur said, ‘I shall return.’” —Tummy Tuck Patient
The Parker Tummy Tuck may be combined with other procedures such as liposuction of hips, back and extremities, body lifts, aesthetic breast and/or facial surgery. Lipoabdominoplasty should be delayed if future pregnancies are planned. Although pregnancy can proceed normally after surgery, the benefits of the procedure may be lost.
Patients undergoing liposuction and mini abdominoplasty can be treated with local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. Surgery time ranges from 1 to 2 hours. Patients are discharged within one hour after surgery wearing an abdominal binder. All sutures are dissolving.
Classic abdominoplasty and the Parker Tummy Tuck are performed under general anesthesia and take 2½ to 3½ hours, depending on the size of the patient. These patients are monitored overnight in our facility by a registered nurse. An abdominal binder is applied shortly after surgery and worn for approximately two weeks. Tummy Tuck procedures are commonly combined with liposuction of hips, back and extremities, body lifts, and/or breast augmentation.
Liposuction patients recover quickly. The abdomen is somewhat sore for the first three to four days. Ambulation is begun on the day of surgery and return to full activities within one week. Exercise may begin in two weeks.
Mini abdominoplasty, Classic abdominoplasty, and Parker Tummy Tuck patients are more uncomfortable due to the muscle-tightening component of the operation. Our “pain management protocol” is quite helpful in minimizing pain. The addition of a pain pump, which slowly infuses local anesthesia into the operative area for three days, virtually eliminates pain. Patients begin walking the day after surgery and can resume normal activities within seven to ten days. Light exercise can often begin at two weeks and return to full exercise at six weeks.
Tummy Tuck Blog Posts
Paul M. Parker, M.D. · Parker Center for Plastic Surgery · Paramus NJ