Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is an operation to tighten abdominal muscles and remove excess skin and fat. Dr. Pugash will examine you and suggest an operative plan to provide the best possible result.

Some Vancouver tummy tuck patients need only a mini-tummy tuck, in which the surgery is limited to the area below the navel. However, most patients benefit from a complete tummy tuck since the entire abdomen between the ribs and the pubic area usually needs correction. To learn more about tummy tuck surgery, compare the before-and-after abdominoplasty photos and explore the information below.
Before and after picture of abdominoplasty, ultrasonic-assisted liposuction back, hips, and thighs.
Patient 8: 37 years old, 3 children, 5’2″, 157 lbs. Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), ultrasonic-assisted liposuction back, hips, and thighs.

SEE MORE »

Abdominoplasty in Vancouver

Dr. Eric Pugash usually performs tummy tuck as an outpatient procedure. Occasionally, however, tummy tuck may require a one-night stay at the clinic.

Most tummy tucks begin with liposuction to reduce excess fat accumulations. Dr. Pugash uses standard or power-assisted liposuction to reduce fat accumulations in the waist and hips. Although liposuction and the subsequent abdominoplasty reduce some of the excess fat, Dr. Pugash cautions his Vancouver tummy tuck patients that these are not weight loss procedures. Patients should try to lose most of their excess weight before seeking liposuction or tummy tuck – procedures that will complement the weight loss by adding contour and definition to the body.

After completing liposuction Dr. Pugash makes an incision across the lower abdomen, passing low over the pubic area and angling up over the hips. The abdominal apron is peeled up to the bottom of the rib cage. Loose abdominal muscles are then tightened with sturdy stitches. The apron is then pulled down, excess skin and fat are removed (usually the entire roll between the navel and the pubic area), and the abdomen is carefully stitched up. The tummy tuck Vancouver patient is left with a fine scar around the navel, and a scar across the lower abdomen that will be hidden by most clothing.

After Your Tummy Tuck Surgery

Patients can expect to wear a compression garment, or girdle, for about a month following surgery. The abdomen is quite tight for the first week or so, and most patients will note moderate discomfort during this time. Many individuals will return to normal activities of daily living after 2 to 3 weeks. Strenuous activity is avoided for 6 to 8 weeks to allow the newly tightened muscles to heal.

Possible complications of abdominoplasty surgery include reactions to the anesthetic, infection, bleeding, inaccurate placement of the navel, fluid accumulations, skin loss, irregularities from the liposuction, and an unsatisfactory aesthetic result. Some patients will require a revision, or touch-up, to refine the results. The vast majority of Dr. Pugash’s Vancouver abdominoplasty patients, however, do not experience any complications, recover quickly, and are extremely satisfied with their results.

What Can Tummy Tuck Surgery Do for Me?

For many people diet and exercise are not enough to tone the stomach. Tummy tuck surgery (also called abdominoplasty) is designed to improve the appearance of a protruding or sagging abdomen. The procedure will repair separated abdominal muscles, remove areas of localized fat and eliminate excess skin. After tummy tuck you can enjoy a flatter, firmer stomach and a leaner profile.

Who is a Candidate for Abdominoplasty?

Suitable candidates for abdominoplasty are individuals who have loose abdominal skin and fat from the following:

  • Pregnancy
  • Significant weight fluctuation
  • Aging
  • Genetics

In general, candidates should be in good health, have reasonable expectations of the results and be within 25 pounds of their ideal weight. Abdominoplasty is not a weight loss procedure and will produce the best results for individuals who are not significantly overweight. Also, women who are considering future pregnancies should postpone tummy tuck, as pregnancy can reverse the effects of the procedure.

How Much Does Tummy Tuck Cost?

The cost of tummy tuck depends on several factors, including the specific approach that Dr. Pugash takes. For example, full tummy tuck may cost more than a less-extensive variation of the procedure called mini tummy tuck. If you’d like more specific information about tummy tuck cost, please contact our office at (604) 522-5199.

Tummy Tuck FAQs

Dr. Pugash answers the following tummy tuck questions most frequently:

Do I need tummy tuck or liposuction?

Liposuction is purely a fat-removal technique. Liposuction can be used to remove a small area of fat. However, if you have other issues such as loose skin or separated abdominal muscles, you will need tummy tuck surgery.  Dr. Pugash will perform a physical examination during your consultation and advise you of the best approach for your personal needs and goals.

Will I have a scar?

Every surgical procedure leaves some degree of scarring. Dr. Pugash will place the incision as low as possible on the abdomen so it will usually be hidden beneath underwear or a bathing suit (but not necessarily a bikini!). Also, he uses advanced techniques to minimize scarring and will provide a scar treatment product that you will apply after your surgery.

When can I return to work?

In general, tummy tuck patients return to work after approximately three to four weeks if they have a sedentary job. Patients with physically demanding jobs that require bending or lifting may need to recover for longer before they can return to work.

Will my results be permanent?

As long as you maintain your weight with healthy diet and exercise habits, you will be able to enjoy your tummy tuck results. If you gain a significant amount of weight or become pregnant, your abdominal muscles will stretch, your skin will loosen and you will develop excess fat.

How should I prepare for my tummy tuck consultation?

Dr. Pugash’s website has a good deal of information on the procedure, including animated videos. His office will already have sent you a brochure before your consultation.

What should I expect the day of my tummy tuck procedure?

Dr. Pugash and his staff will have educated you fully on what to expect. You will arrive at the clinic 90 minutes before your procedure, having fasted since the previous midnight. Surgery will take 2 ½ to 3 hours. You will then spend 2 to 3 hours in recovery before being taken home by a family member or friend.

Will I have drains after the surgery? How long will they stay?

Dr. Pugash usually does not place drains for abdominoplasty.

Do you always repair the muscle?

Nearly every patient needs muscle repair to get the best result from the surgery. Occasionally, Dr. Pugash and the patient may agree not to do a repair if the main problem is excess skin and fat, and if a muscle repair would not add much to the result. Muscle repair is also often not required in males.

Will my “abs” show?

It may be possible to increase muscle definition in already relatively fit individuals. However, heavier patients should not expect to see their “abs” after surgery.

Will this operation help me lose weight?

Abdominoplasty is meant to change your shape, not your weight. The tissue removed during the surgery, even when impressive to look at, rarely weighs more than a few pounds.

Will sutures need to be removed after surgery?

Dr. Pugash uses dissolving sutures, so none will have to be removed manually.

What are 3 things to look for in a great tummy tuck result?

A pleasing abdominal shape, a pretty umbilicus, and a symmetrical scar.

What is post-treatment abdominal swelling like?

There will be generalized swelling affecting the abdomen and the rest of the body for two weeks or so. Areas that have been liposuctioned can be subtly swollen for a number of months. Lastly, there will be a bit of swelling just above the scar that can take up to a year to settle.

Can I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?

You can get pregnant after a tummy tuck, but you may lose some or all of the improvements gained from the procedure.

How long does recovery take?

Most people go back to most normal occupations about 4 weeks after surgery. Dr. Pugash advises his patients that muscle repair can take 2 months to heal, and that they need to avoid exercise during that time. Moms should be allowed 2 to 3 weeks without family responsibilities in order to heal, wean off pain medications, and develop mobility.

What are the most common tummy tuck complications?

The most common complications would be areas of delayed healing due to suture exposure or small areas of tissue loss. Dr. Pugash will ensure you are familiar with a complete list of risks and complications, both frequent and uncommon.

Can I have a full-body sculpting at the same time?

Adding a full-body sculpting means the risks of surgery increase, along with the length of the procedure. It may be possible to add other sculpting, depending on your overall medical condition and the additional procedures’ complexity. More prolonged operations may require an overnight stay in the clinic.

How long before I can exercise?

You may exercise two months after surgery. Before then, patients are encouraged to walk as much as possible.

When can I pick up my baby or toddler after a tummy tuck?

Most patients will not be comfortable picking up a child before 2 to 3 weeks after surgery.

My abdomen feels tight after surgery. Will I hurt something if I move?

Your abdomen is supposed to feel tight – that was the point of the surgery! However, it is essential to avoid stressing the muscle repair by pushing or straining against your tummy muscles.

Is a tummy tuck painful?

Patients should make no mistake about it: abdominoplasty is a major operation with an uncomfortable recovery. That said, Dr. Pugash has not heard patients say they regret the procedure. However, moms with very young families need to consider how they will manage their recoveries.

Will you use my own belly button?

The patient’s own belly button is preserved— it is brought out through a new opening in the skin, once the extra skin has been removed.

How long does the tummy tuck procedure take? How does it take me?

A tummy tuck generally takes 2 ½ to 3 hours, depending on the patient.

How do I choose a tummy tuck surgeon?

Nearly every potential patient today will consult surgeons’ websites for actual surgical results, as well as patient review sites. At a minimum, patients should expect their surgeon to be certified in Plastic Surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada or the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Most patients understand the value of a surgeon’s experience and the fact that a long waiting list is usually a good sign.

 

Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation Today

If you are struggling with excess skin and fatty tissue in the stomach area, schedule an appointment with Dr. Pugash and explore your tummy tuck options. During your consultation, Dr. Pugash will also discuss other body contouring treatments, such as liposuction and mommy makeover in Vancouver. To book an appointment and begin your aesthetic transformation journey, call Dr. Pugash’s plastic surgery Vancouver offices at (604) 522-5199.

Learn More

To book an appointment and begin your aesthetic transformation journey, call Dr. Pugash’s plastic surgery Vancouver offices.

Contact Us Today!