Sagging, loose tissue that accumulates around your abdomen may be preventing you from achieving the attractive body contours you desire. Unsightly excess tissue is often the result of pregnancy, weight loss, or the natural aging process. Countless men and women attempt to tone their midsection and restore lean contours through diet and exercise. However, once your skin loses its elasticity, no amount of natural remedies can restore its firmness. Dr. Kao performs abdominoplasty to eliminate excess, hanging abdominal tissue for patients who desire firmer, more toned abdominal contours.
Who Can Benefit From Abdominoplasty?
Poor Definition After Pregnancy
Following pregnancy, women can experience a significant loss of abdominal definition. Weakened abdominal muscles can create the appearance of an abdominal pooch. Dr. Kao’s abdominoplasty technique can specifically target the laxity problems many women face post-pregnancy.
Skin Sagging After Major Weight Loss
Men and women who lose a significant amount of weight may find that they have redundant folds of skin around their midsection. This can be frustrating for patients attempting to gain their ideal bodies. Dr. Kao can tailor abdominoplasty to provide each patient with smooth abdominal contours.
Full Tummy Tuck
Dr. Kao creates a pencil-thin incision low on the abdomen directly above the pubic bone (typically lower than a C-section scar). The incision follows the natural curvature of the pelvis with each end gently curving upwards.
Through the incision, Dr. Kao trims away excess skin. He pays careful attention to the thickness of the upper and lower flap and the contours of the mon pubis. He thins out the tissue of the mons pubis and thins the deeper fat of the upper skin flap so that it matches the slimmer aesthetic of the rest of the abdomen. Dr. Kao brings the upper skin flap down to the edge of the lower incision and removes any excess skin.
Dr. Kao can tighten a loose rectus abdominis muscle if necessary. He stitches the muscle together by pulling the midline edges together and then adding another layer of sutures to provide support. Dr. Kao utilizes suturing techniques that provide definition along the obliques. Tightening the abdominal muscle helps create a flatter, more toned appearance.
Dr. Kao can correct the appearance of the navel if it has begun to sag along with the skin. He creates an incision around the navel, which allows him to place it in a more attractive position. Dr. Kao pays special attention to ensure the navel maintains a natural appearance by creating a hood in the upper portion and a gentle slant in the shape. He is especially proud of the natural belly button he can create.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Mini tummy tucks are reserved for patients who have good skin elasticity in the upper abdomen and isolated laxity in their lower abdomen (lower “pooch”). The incision is limited and placed very low on the abdomen so it can be easily concealed. Excess fat and skin are removed from the lower abdomen.
Endoscopic Tummy Tuck
Patients who qualify for an endoscopic tummy tuck are either thin with little excess skin and muscle laxity or candidates for a mini tummy tuck who also have some muscle laxity.
Dr. Kao makes an incision in the lower abdomen about the size of a C-section incision.
Using an endoscope, Dr. Kao dissects up to the xiphoid process (lower end of the sternum) and places two layers of stitches to strengthen the muscles and tighten their appearance. He then removes a small amount of skin if necessary.
Dr. Kao always uses liposuction on the hips with all of his abdominoplasty techniques. Liposuctioning the hips helps create a better curvature and brings the hips into balance with the new abdominal contour. Restoring this balance creates a natural-looking appearance and enhances your overall abdominal aesthetic.
Dr. Kao places drains at both ends of your incision, which he removes after seven to 10 days. After your drains are removed, you will be fitted for an abdominal binder. You will experience some bruising, swelling, and tightness of the abdomen.
All of Dr. Kao’s patients have the option to stay at an aftercare facility following their procedure. Serenity is a post-surgical care facility situated just across the street from Dr. Kao’s surgical facility, and located in a federally and state-licensed healthcare center.
Patients may get out of bed by themselves and walk around the day after surgery. Most patients can drive within 10 to 14 days after surgery and can return to work within two weeks. You will need to limit your physical activities for three to four weeks following your surgery. Major swelling should begin to subside after six weeks.
Dr. Kao’s incision techniques result in minimal scarring. The pencil-thin incisions combined with his five-layer stitching technique results in a fine, obscured scar. Dr. Kao also places incisions beneath the underwear line so you can easily conceal the resulting scar.
The cost of your abdominoplasty will vary depending on the technique used, surgical fees, facility fees, and anesthesia fees. You will receive a detailed price during your consultation.
You are likely to experience some discomfort during your initial recovery period that can be controlled using an oral pain medication.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What type of anesthesia is used during abdominoplasty?
Dr. Kao performs abdominoplasty with the patient under propofol sedation. He rarely uses general anesthesia for this procedure. Dr. Kao also uses a long-acting anesthetic block that lasts three days, so most patients wake up with little discomfort.
Will my incision be visible when I wear a bathing suit?
Dr. Kao considers how the individual patient wears his or her underwear or swimwear when determining the location of the incision so that the resulting scar can be easily hidden.
Can abdominoplasty improve the appearance of stretch marks?
Any stretch marks and other blemishes that are present on excised skin will be permanently removed. This helps you achieve a smoother abdominal appearance.
How long will my abdominoplasty results last?
Tummy tuck results should be long lasting if you follow proper post-operative care. Additional weight loss or gain can alter your results, so you will be advised to maintain a stable weight following your surgery.