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Abdominoplasty at a Glance

Feeling comfortable & confident in your body can make it easier to enjoy an active lifestyle. If you're bothered by sagging skin, tummy rolls, or loose muscles on your midsection, tummy tuck surgery, or abdominoplasty, can restore a firmer, smoother, and flatter shape. This powerful procedure can help clothing fit more comfortably and attractively, plus you'll likely wear a smaller size!

Quick facts about tummy tucks:

  • The scar from a tummy tuck is typically located so it can be easily hidden by a bikini bottom
  • Most patients return to work about 2 weeks after a tummy tuck
  • Tummy tuck costs in Charlotte typically range from $9,000 to $15,000
  • Nearly 112,000 men and women in the U.S. had abdominoplasty in 2013

Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, can help you improve your appearance and comfort, removing excess, sagging skin and restoring weakened abdominal muscles to create a flatter, more defined abdominal wall. The result is improved body contour and a smoother shape to the abdomen.

"My OUTSTANDING results!! Dr. Ditesheim is awesome. He is so personable and really puts his patients at ease. He spent a lot of time with me prior to the surgery to understand what I wanted. He and his staff are always friendly and I never feel like I'm being rushed during an office visit. He even took the time to meet me at the office on a holiday just to check to see that my recovery was on track. I have already referred him to friends and will definitely be back for any future needs."

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Jeffrey Ditesheim

As a premier plastic surgeon, Dr. Ditesheim is worth knowing. Learn more about his background and practice, and please call us with any questions.

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Lasting, dramatic improvements to your body contour

After significant weight loss, many people find themselves with sagging skin and fat around the belly and decreased strength and tone of the muscles beneath. A tummy tuck addresses these problems for both women and men. Women who have had children are often left a loose “inner girdle” that stretches during pregnancy. The tummy tuck is the only procedure that will tighten an inner girdle.

After a tummy tuck, clothes will fit better. You may find yourself trying on form-fitting dresses and bikinis for the first time in years – and liking what you see.

Dr. Ditesheim’s personalized approach

When Dr. Ditesheim began his Charlotte practice in 1997, he did so with the idea that the patient should be the one to decide what changes to make to his or her body. Our practice remains committed to this patient-first philosophy. At your consultation, Dr. Ditesheim listens to your goals and explains all of your options, helping you understand what results are possible with each, based on his experience, training and surgical expertise.

For tummy tuck surgery, he will help you choose the best option based on your anatomy, your personal goals and any reservations you have about surgery. Choices may include whether to have a mini or full tummy tuck, whether or not to have water assisted liposuction as well, or whether or not you want to have abdominoplasty at this time at all.

What’s involved in abdominoplasty surgery?

An abdominoplasty procedure usually lasts between 2 to 3½ hours or longer, depending on the extent of surgery. General anesthesia is administered by a board certified physician anesthesiologist for your safety.

The procedure is performed in our own AAAASF (American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities) accredited surgical suite. Our surgical facilities are built and run by strict standards, to ensure the highest level of safety and comfort.

The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the degree of correction necessary. Through this incision, weakened abdominal muscles are repaired and excess fat and skin are removed. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen.

Dr. Ditesheim will speak with you about the options available for your body type to meet your individual goals.

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What type of scar can I expect from a tummy tuck?

This is a great question, and an important issue to address as you consider your options. The scar after a tummy is a thin horizontal line, placed very low on your torso. Dr. Ditesheim uses a technique that places the incision as low as possible, just above the pubic mound. This is not just so resulting scar can be hidden by a swimsuit, but it actually helps preserve the length of the torso for a more natural, aesthetically pleasing result.

With proper care, a tummy tuck scar usually heals very neatly and fades over time. You can help ensure your scar heals properly by wearing your compression garment and following all post-operative instructions from Dr. Ditesheim.


Our unique tummy tuck recovery process

Once the tummy tuck surgery is complete, your incisions will be bandaged, and you may be given a compression garment in order to reduce swelling and to ensure optimal results for your newly contoured stomach.

You may also have temporary tubes present to aid in the drainage of blood and fluid; these are typically removed after 2 to 4 days, if used. Most women report only slight discomfort, but the pain is usually mild.

Personalized attention from Dr. Ditesheim & our caring staff

If you have a full or extended tummy tuck, you will spend the first night after surgery in our private recovery suite. A trained member of our staff will be with you overnight, ensuring you are comfortable and that your recovery is going well.

Dr. Ditesheim will see you the following morning, after which you can go home. For a minimal tummy tuck (e.g., a mini-tummy tuck or removal of skin only), you may be able to go home the same day as surgery.

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You’ll be walking upright the same day you have surgery

Dr. Ditesheim will prescribe medications for pain management to aid in any discomfort. You will be able to walk, standing upright, without being bent over, starting the night of surgery. You will continue a post-operative walking regimen daily for the first week.

Our goal is for every patient to be able to do 80% of their regular pre-op activities by the middle of the second week.

This means returning to work, driving carpool, caring for the family. Aggressive or strenuous activity is gradually re-introduced. Most of our patients take about 1 to 2 weeks off of work to slowly restart normal activities. Dr. Ditesheim usually requests that a patient wait about a month before getting back into more vigorous activity.

We’ll follow up with you throughout your recovery

Our experienced staff will provide you with postoperative guidelines that provide instructions for the most comfortable and successful healing. In addition, one of our nurses will call you each day to make sure that you are recovering properly. We’re here to ensure that your recovery is a success story waiting to be told.

What Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?

Total costs for a tummy tuck include professional anesthesia care (MD), credentialed, accredited surgical facility (OR and Recovery) and surgical fees (all professional care). The actual price will vary depending on the complexity of your particular case

Is tummy tuck surgery right for me?

Your decision to have a tummy tuck or any other plastic surgery procedure is personal. At your consultation, Dr. Ditesheim will discuss your motivations, evaluate your current situation, and help you understand all your options. In general, you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck if:

  • You feel bothered by the size and appearance of your stomach.
  • You have lost weight, but now have hanging, excess skin on your abdomen.
  • You have tried to live a healthy lifestyle through a healthy diet and exercise and have achieved a stable weight.
  • You are in good health and finished having children.
  • You are a non-smoker or plan to quit smoking well in advance of the scheduled procedure.

Tummy Tuck

FAQ

We help you get the look you want

If you’re interested in abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, you’re likely to have a lot of questions about what the procedure can do for you.

At Ditesheim Cosmetic Surgery, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey A. Ditesheim can respond to each of your questions and concerns to ensure that you are comfortable and confident about moving forward with cosmetic surgery.

Am I a candidate?

Ideal candidates for a tummy tuck have undergone significant weight loss or have been pregnant. If you’re bothered by loose, excess abdominal skin, lingering fatty deposits around the abdomen or separated abdominal muscles, you may be a good candidate for abdominoplasty.

Women frequently pursue tummy tuck surgery after they have completed their families, while both men and women can be excellent candidates if they have lost any amount of weight that leaves them with baggy abdominal contours. Candidates should reach their goal weight prior to surgery, be in good physical and mental health and have realistic expectations about their results.

What’s the difference between a full and a mini tummy tuck?

Either a full or mini tummy tuck can deliver beautiful results in the right candidate. At your consultation, Dr. Ditesheim can explain in detail the difference between the two tummy tuck types and evaluate your current skin laxity, abdominal contours and the state of your abdominal muscles to help determine which tummy tuck is right for you.

A mini tummy tuck focuses on excess skin and fatty tissue below the belly button. While keeping the belly button intact, Dr. Ditesheim removes small amounts of fatty tissue through a small incision just above the pubic mound. He can also tone the lower abdominal muscles before pulling the skin over your new shape and trimming away any extra. A mini tummy tuck is best for patients with little to no excess skin or fatty tissue in the upper abdominal region and minimal abdominal separation.

A full tummy tuck is a more comprehensive procedure that addresses skin and muscle laxity throughout the abdomen. Through a slightly longer incision, Dr. Ditesheim can remove excess tissue throughout the stomach and repair the upper and lower abdominals. He will then pull the stomach skin tight, excise any extra and reinsert the belly button in a natural position. A full tummy tuck is common for patients who have undergone dramatic weight loss, multiple pregnancies or have contouring concerns throughout their midsection.

When is liposuction used in conjunction with a tummy tuck?

While Dr. Ditesheim removes small amounts of fatty tissue during a tummy tuck, the procedure’s ability to reduce pockets of subcutaneous fat is limited. For patients with stubborn fatty deposits in and around the abdomen, Dr. Ditesheim can use AquaShape® water assisted liposuction to remove fat cells in problem areas. While not every patient will require liposuction to reach their goals, this combined technique can result in greater contouring possibilities than either procedure alone.

Are the results of a tummy tuck permanent?

A tummy tuck is intended to create long-lasting results. However, it’s important that patients understand that their bodies will continue to respond to lifestyle changes, diet, age and hormones. Post-weight loss patients are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep their new contours.

Additionally, women who plan on becoming pregnant in the future are often recommended to wait until they have completed their families before getting a tummy tuck. While abdominoplasty won’t affect a woman’s ability to carry a child to term, future pregnancies may reverse some of the contouring accomplished in a tummy tuck.

Will I have permanent scars?

As with any surgery, the scars from a tummy tuck are permanent. However, Dr. Ditesheim takes special care to place the incisions as discreetly as possible. The scar from a tummy tuck should fall below the bikini line so as to be well hidden. With proper care, many patients find that their scars fade dramatically within the first one to two years following surgery.

When can I see results?

You should notice a difference in your figure immediately after surgery, although your results will initially be obscured by any swelling or bruising you experience as you recover. By the middle of the second week, most patients can return to most of their daily activities, easing into more vigorous exercises over the next several weeks. You should have a good idea of your final results within 4 to 6 weeks after your tummy tuck.

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Discover the difference at Ditesheim Cosmetic Surgery, and schedule a personal consultation to discuss your vision, hopes, and dreams. We listen, we care, and we are here to help you have a positive experience, with results that are beyond your expectations. Schedule your private consultation to find out more.

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