Lower abdomen, from hip to hip, and around the belly button
Return to regular activity
Have you ever stood in front of a mirror holding in your tummy and wishing it were flat? A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) may be the answer. This procedure is useful for abdominal improvement: getting rid of excess fat and skin, and having the muscles tightened.
A tummy tuck is designed to give the abdomen a firm and smooth appearance. It also will serve to tighten the abdominal muscles and trim the waistline. The best candidates are men and women who have excess fat and loose skin or muscle of their abdominal wall, from pregnancy or weight loss, despite diet and exercise. The incision at the lower part of the abdomen can be hidden in the bikini line or by underwear.
BENEFITS OF SURGERY
Patients who are not happy with the way their tummy looks may benefit from one of several procedures:
Level I Mini Tummy Tuck: For people with good muscle tone, minimal fat, and good skin tone above the belly button, but loose skin below the belly button. Excess skin below the belly button is excised.
Level II Abdominoplasty: For people with loose muscle tone, extra abdominal fat, and loose skin above and below the belly button. Excess skin is excised, abdominal muscles are tightened, and excess fat is liposuctioned from the abdomen and flanks.
Level III Abdominoplasty: For people with loose muscle tone, loose skin above and below the belly button, and a larger amount of fat of the abdomen and flanks. May have an extended incision around the flanks or an inverted “T” incision.
We believe a well-prepared patient leads to a successful surgery and recovery. Whether you are flying in internationally or are local, our staff strives to give you a great experience. During your initial call to our office, one of our patient care coordinators will discuss the different options available to improve the areas of your concern. A consultation is scheduled with the doctor. The doctor will review your medical history, spend the appropriate time to review all surgical and non-surgical options, and discuss whether surgery can be performed in-office under local sedation or at the hospital under general anesthesia. In sharing our before and after photos, you get a better sense in the quality of surgery our doctors offer and what outcome you can expect to achieve. We will review pre- and post-operative care so you can be prepared for what your role is in surgery. You will be asked to stop smoking two weeks prior to and post-surgery. Safety is our top priority, so we will ask you to see your primary care physician to perform a physical exam, lab work and, in some patients, an EKG 30 days prior to surgery. Next, we see you for a pre-op appointment two weeks prior to surgery to discuss any questions you may have and review surgery details, ensuring everyone is on the same page. You will then receive a courtesy call the evening before surgery to review instructions and any questions you may have.
Level I: This procedure takes about two hours and is typically done under general anesthesia. An incision is made hip to hip, excess skin is excised, minimal liposuction is performed and muscles are tightened, if necessary.
Level II: The procedure takes about two to three hours on average, and it involves making an incision in the lower abdomen, from hip to hip and around the belly button, elevating the skin and fat flap up to the ribcage, and removing the excess skin without injuring the belly button. As the skin and fat flap is elevated, the abdominal muscles are tightened to create firm abdominal muscles. By tightening the muscles, a nice waistline is formed. Next, the skin is closed leaving a scar in the lower abdomen and one around the belly button. The flanks, or sides, are liposuctioned, if needed, further enhancing the patient’s waistline. The end result is a firmer, more aesthetically pleasing abdomen.
Level III: This procedure can be thought of as an exaggerated tummy tuck- more skin is removed, more fat is removed, and more significant muscle tightening is accomplished. This procedure takes three to four hours. It involves making an incision in the lower abdomen, from hip to hip and around the belly button, elevating the skin and fat flap up to the ribcage, and removing the excess skin without injuring the belly button. As the skin and fat flap is elevated, the abdominal muscles are tightened to create firm abdominal muscles. Next, the skin is closed leaving a scar in the lower abdomen and one around the belly button. The flanks, or sides, are also liposuctioned. The scar is around the belly button and from hip to hip extending to the flanks, and possibly including a vertical abdominal scar as well.
Our office will provide a comprehensive post-operative plan to ensure the best possible outcome. The plan will include what to expect postoperatively, such as estimated recovery time, pain management, garments or dressings, and anticipated activity level. For your safety, we require that an adult stay with you at least the first 24 hours after surgery and drives you to your next day follow-up visit. With most body procedures, you will be instructed to limit activity for the first week or two, which could include restrictions on driving, prolonged travel and flying. In addition, we ask you refrain from exercise until cleared by the physician, usually around four weeks post-op. You are asked to refrain from smoking for a minimum of two weeks. To optimize healing, we recommend that you eat a high protein diet with 80-100 gms of protein a day. You should anticipate a variable degree of bruising and swelling, as with any surgical procedure. We also offer scar creams at an additional cost to optimize results.
To promote healing and minimize complications, you will be seen in a series of post-op appointments, including the day after surgery. These appointments will continue throughout the first year after the procedure to make sure you are healing as planned. For your added convenience, you also have direct access to Dr. Bitar’s and Dr. Lickstein’s cell phone numbers if you need to reach your physician after hours. The final post-op visit, one year after surgery, is one of our favorites since the results are fully apparent and we love seeing our patients happy. You are always welcome to come back and see us, even years after your surgery.
MAXIMIZING POSITIVE OUTCOMES
At the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute, we take pride in providing our patients with the best surgical experience possible, emphasizing patient safety while trying to optimize surgical results. This is a process that includes comprehensive pre-operative preparation and patient education, the development of a personalized operative plan, and a thoughtful post operative care regimen emphasizing patient comfort and promoting recovery.
There are a number of strategies which the Institute has adapted to further ensure patient safety. We are selective and only offer surgery to patients whose general health and lifestyle choices permit healing and facilitate recovery. To minimize risk, we require a preoperative assessment that includes a thoughtful history and physical exam, as well as targeted laboratory tests.
We operate at accredited hospitals and surgicenters that have demonstrated a commitment to the highest standards of care, employing board certified anesthesiologists and nurses. We adhere to well established surgical principles designed to ensure patient safety and have developed policies and protocols to minimize the risk of infection. Our surgeons are committed to continuing education, honing their skills and introducing new techniques always with the aim of improving safety and surgical results.
We emphasize patient safety in our peri-operative care plan, advocating early mobilization, optimizing nutrition, and providing detailed care instructions. After surgery, patients are seen in our office frequently and early, starting the day after their procedure, and a staff member is available around the clock for any questions or concerns. Our entire team is committed to our patients’ well being and every measure is designed to minimize potential complications, promote comfortable and rapid recovery, and optimize surgical results.
WHY CHOOSE BITAR COSMETIC SURGERY INSTITUTE?
Our commitment to excellence and exceptional patient care is in every step of your doctor-patient experience. Dr. George Bitar and Dr. Larry Lickstein are distinguished board certified plastic surgeons, with over 30 years of combined experience, who exclusively perform cosmetic surgery. Our doctors stay on the cutting edge of advancements in cosmetic surgery and technology to offer the best possible results. With a blend of artistry and meticulous surgical technique, they are able to achieve beautiful and natural results for our patients. We provide a high level of patient safety and our experienced and caring staff will be with you every step of the way. Our institute offers a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical options, from skin care, injectables and lasers to in-office or hospital options, to provide a versatile approach to fit individual patient needs. Your aesthetic goals are our priority and each procedure is customized to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
For more information, call our office at 703-206-0506.
Content on this website is for information only and should not be used to diagnose or treat your plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery problems. Please contact your plastic surgeon with all questions and concerns.