A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a body contouring procedure that removes excess tissue from the abdomen to create a smoother midsection. In many cases, it also repairs the abdominal muscles. Patients who have undergone massive weight loss can be left with large amounts of excess skin that collects around the abdomen and hips. Holding excess skin and fat in this area can be detrimental to one’s mental and physical health, and a tummy tuck can help alleviate these symptoms for massive weight loss patients.
Dr. Alyson Wells is an experienced double-board certified plastic surgeon, making her the perfect physician to tackle complicated and extensive body contouring procedures such as abdominoplasty. If you are searching for exceptional professional expertise to achieve the contour you deserve, schedule your private consultation with Dr. Wells today. Call Valley Plastic Surgery and Medi-Spa in Baltimore at (410) 628-8200, or fill out this convenient contact form for more details.
- 1 Before and After Photos
- 2 All About Tummy Tuck Procedures
- 3 Benefits of Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss
- 4 Ideal Candidates
- 5 Personal Consultation with Dr. Wells
- 6 Preparation
- 7 Tummy Tuck Procedure
- 8 Recovery & Results
- 9 Cost of Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss in Baltimore
- 10 FAQ
- 11 References
Before and After Photos
All About Tummy Tuck Procedures
Although losing weight is a process in itself, being happy with the way you look and feel afterward can be another obstacle. Reaching a healthy weight can be encouraging and rewarding, but these feelings may diminish if loose skin is keeping you from seeing the results of your hard work. After massive weight loss (MWL) patients are often left with large amounts of excess skin around the abdomen. In most cases, this skin cannot be tightened without surgery. A tummy tuck procedure can help patients achieve a smoother and flatter abdomen and bring back lost confidence.
Traditional abdominoplasty requires an incision that extends from hip to hip, with variations in length and angle. Dr. Wells creates a flap of tissue that can be removed after meticulous preoperative measuring. This procedure can incorporate the use of liposuction to remove excess fat and create an even smoother contour. This procedure is often altered slightly to accommodate MWL patients.
Tummy tuck procedures may also require abdominal wall tightening to restore strength and contour. This is commonly performed on those who have experienced pregnancy, but many MWL patients can benefit from this step as well. When the body gains large amounts of weight quickly, it can cause these muscles to spread, greatly reducing the core strength of these individuals. A tummy tuck can repair this problem.
Extended Tummy Tuck
There are multiple types of tummy tuck. The chosen method depends on the amount of weight lost, the laxity of the abdominal skin, and the patient’s desired outcome. For those who have lost significant weight, an extended tummy tuck is often used. This method utilizes a longer incision that extends beyond the normal hip-to-hip scar. To sufficiently remove excess skin, Dr. Wells makes a longer incision across both hips, through the middle to the opposite side. (1)
Fleur-de-lis Tummy Tuck
For patients that have severe skin laxity in the middle of the abdomen, a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck is used. For this procedure, Dr. Wells makes a secondary incision vertically below the chest down toward the low waist. Though this technique creates more scarring, it can create a more appealing contour and waistline by removing more excess skin. (1)
Patients with significant 360-degree skin sagging may consider a body lift procedure.
Benefits of Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss
Studies have shown that quality of life increases in many patients after receiving body contouring surgery after significant weight loss. (2) Other benefits for patients who receive a tummy tuck after massive weight loss include: (1)
- More aesthetically-pleasing midsection
- Improved mobility and core strength
- Reduced skin rash incidence
- Increased hygiene
- Generally better self-image
Dr. Wells will inform you about these and many other benefits during your personal consultation.
To be a good candidate for a tummy tuck procedure after massive weight loss, you must be in good overall health. If you are someone who does not smoke (or is willing to quit), has reasonable expectations for what a tummy tuck can achieve, and has an excess of loose skin after losing weight, this procedure could be very beneficial.
Will I Lose Weight With a Tummy Tuck?
It’s important to remember that tummy tuck procedures are not considered weight loss surgery. Their purpose is to improve the body’s contour and visual appearance, not to remove large amounts of fat.
If you are curious about body contouring and think other procedures might be a better option for you, please read our blog to learn more about the procedures we offer.
Personal Consultation with Dr. Wells
Your private consultation with Dr. Wells will be your opportunity to provide all pertinent information for the most helpful and rewarding surgical experience possible. She will ask you questions about your overall health, past and present, and inquire about how you lost your weight to better understand your medical needs. Dr. Wells will perform a full examination of the area to help her visualize the surgery, determine the technique that will be best for your body, and make sure you are fit to undergo the procedure.
After your consultation, a member of the Valley Plastic Surgery team will assist you in scheduling your surgery and follow-up appointments.
Dr. Wells will offer detailed instructions on how to prepare for your tummy tuck, as well as provide a list of medications to avoid in the following weeks. Make sure you follow these instructions carefully to be fully prepared. You may need to alter your current prescriptions, as well as discontinue the use of any NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen. Limit your alcohol intake and stop smoking as these substances can interfere with the healing process.
Dr. Wells will also provide aftercare instructions. You will be drowsy and moderately sore following the surgery and will need a trusted friend or family member to watch over you for the first few days. They should also drive you to and from the surgery center, as you will not be able to drive yourself.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
Dr. Wells first marks your abdomen preoperatively to determine how much tissue can be comfortably removed. This step allows her to properly plan the procedure from start to finish.
We will administer general anesthesia to keep you comfortable for the entire procedure. Dr. Wells measures her dissection again before making her first incision. The technique performed determines the position of this incision. It is at this point that liposuction is performed before Dr. Wells creates the main incisions.
Then, she creates an abdominal flap, carefully separating the excess tissue from the muscle beneath. This can be done by cauterization or a blade. Once the flap is separated, where necessary, the abdominal muscles are carefully sutured to their original position, instantly creating a cinched and smooth contour. Dr. Wells then removes excess tissue with focused precision, making sure to have enough room to close the incision.
As the procedure draws to a close, the incision is sutured in multiple layers starting with the innermost tissue to ensure little pressure builds within the outermost layer of skin. This will promote incision healing and a smooth, easily concealable scar.
Recovery & Results
Most patients need at least 2 weeks of downtime after a tummy tuck procedure. Sutures and drains are usually removed after around a week, and by that point, you should see much less swelling and bruising. Make sure to take short, easy walks every few hours to encourage good circulation to the healing area. It may take at least 6 months to see results, and 12 months to observe what your final results look like.
Once your incision is fully healed, your body will be transformed. Your abdomen will be tighter, smoother, and flatter than before. You should maintain a healthy exercise routine and a healthy diet to maintain your results.
Cost of Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss in Baltimore
At Valley Plastic Surgery, the cost of a tummy tuck will vary according to the patient. Dr. Wells takes into consideration every one of her patient’s wants and needs to give them the best results. To schedule your first appointment to discuss a tummy tuck, fill out our contact form or call us directly at (410) 628-8200.
Can a tummy tuck after massive weight loss remove my stretch marks?
It depends on where your stretch marks are located.Abdominoplasty will not inherently remove all stretch marks from the skin. It can, however, remove skin that may contain stretch marks, resulting in a reduction of them when you are healed.
What is scarring like after a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck scarring varies from person to person but generally, there will be a residual scar from hip to hip which is easily concealable in the bikini line. Patients may also use scar strips and silicone gel to reduce their appearance.
How soon can I resume my exercise routine after my tummy tuck?
You may need to wait 8 to 12 weeks before introducing exercise back into your daily routine. This is ultimately up to Dr. Wells. She will inform you during your personal consultation.
- Sadeghi P, Duarte-Bateman D, Ma W, et al. Post-Bariatric Plastic Surgery: Abdominoplasty, the State of the Art in Body Contouring. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2022;11(15):4315. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11154315
- Alzahrani Khalid J, Kattan Abdullah E, Ezzat Loui A, Alsaleh Saud A, Murad Khalid A, Alghamdi Bader A. A Psychosocial Analysis of the Effect of Body-Contouring Surgery on Patients After Weight Loss. Eplasty. 2017;17:e12. Accessed December 5, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372753/