The abdomen is the area of the body where excess body fat accumulates most commonly. As a person’s weight fluctuates, the skin stretches to accommodate the extra fatty tissue. Unfortunately, when people successfully lose weight, the abdominal skin typically does not shrink to the body’s new shape; instead, the skin hangs in loose folds. The abdominal muscles can also become loose, particularly in patients who have been pregnant. This problem can be incredibly frustrating for those who are committed to looking and feeling their best, and it typically cannot be resolved without surgery. As a highly experienced Modesto / Stockton tummy tuck surgeon, Dr. Silverton performs abdominoplasty (commonly known as tummy tuck surgery) to remove this excess skin and tissue for a smoother abdomen. Patients who need less extensive treatment may opt for a less invasive mini-abdominoplasty instead.
Click to view Dr. Silverton’s videos on the Avelar mini tummy tuck procedure
Tummy Tuck in Stockton
Dr. Silverton performs liposuction abdominoplasty at Lodi Outpatient Surgery Center, which is a fully accredited surgery center, located near Tracy and Modesto. The abdominoplasty procedure takes about five hours. To begin the tummy tuck, the patient is placed under general anesthesia. Dr. Silverton makes one incision running from one hipbone to the other along the lower abdomen, and another incision around the navel to separate it from the abdominal skin. Dr. Silverton then uses special sutures to tighten the abdominal muscles. In some cases, he may perform liposuction to remove some residual fat; however, abdominoplasty is not a weight loss procedure and produces better results in patients who have already lost most of their excess weight. Finally, Dr. Silverton will remove excess skin from the abdomen before carefully closing the incisions with sutures.
New and improved liposuction abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
The tummy tuck procedure has evolved and improved since the procedure was first tried in 1899.
The standard technique, which has been with us for about 30 years, consists of a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen. The skin and fat is lifted up off of the muscle. The belly button is saved by cutting around it. The muscles are tightened and the skin and fat flap is brought down and trimmed off.
This is still a fairly standard technique in most plastic surgery practices. It has a couple of problems that make this method rather risky.
First, there may be insufficient blood getting to the lower central skin after the procedure and this can result in an area of dead skin which can create a hole. This might take weeks or even months to heal up with intensive wound care. Liposuction at the same time as this technique makes this problem worse. As a result we avoided liposuction at the same time. This resulted in residual abdominal fat that would need liposuction as a second procedure.
The second is that there is a large space under this flap that needs prolonged drainage tubes and often drainage fluid will accumulate there after the drains have been removed. This is called a seroma, and the fluid needs to be removed by new drains or needles.
I have been doing a better technique since 2009 which seems to have solved these problems. Research has shown us that the blood supply for the lower abdomen comes through deep blood vessels in the upper outer portion of the abdomen. If this area is preserved then healing problems become rare or non existent. Liposuction can be done at the same time and healing still remains very good. So now we can do complete liposuction of the abdomen and then go ahead and do a modified tummy tuck to preserve these blood vessels.
The results have been amazingly good. The fat is gone. The stomach is tightened more than we could before. Healing is great. Drainage tubes come out in a week or less. Recovery is quicker. Pain is less. We use a long acting local anesthetic to help numb the surgical area for several days. Skin numbness is less. Seromas have all but been eliminated. We also use a product that immediately seals the skin incision. No dressing changes are required and showering is permitted. Return to normal activities is much quicker.
If you are extremely thin and you do not need the liposuction we can omit it and do the rest of the new and improved technique.
Please call (209) 952-2251 and speak to our patient coordinator to schedule an appointment.
I am Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. I have been in practice in Stockton for 30 years. I have a great deal of experience and body contouring procedures. Tummy tuck surgery is my special interest. I do a large number and I believe I have consistently excellent, safe, and quick results. I have been doing liposuction since 1986. More about Dr. Silverton here…
I have been very encouraged and excited by these results. If you are thinking about getting a tummy tuck done please make sure that you find out more about this technique first. I would be happy to schedule a consultation to tell you all about it. I am looking forward to meeting you.
Recovering from Tummy Tuck Surgery
In the early stages of tummy tuck recovery, patients should be prepared to rest at home for the best outcome. Frequent walking about the house in a stooped position is encouraged to minimize risks of blood clots. Some discomfort is normal, but this can be controlled with pain medication. Patients recovering from abdominoplasty will have surgical drains in place for a week in order to control swelling by draining away excess fluid.
It is always important for tummy tuck patients to wear a surgical support garment throughout the recovery process in order to minimize strain on the incision site and help the skin adhere more closely to underlying structures. Most of our Stockton / Modesto tummy tuck patients are able to return to work within a month of surgery and resume more intense exercise within six weeks.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
There are many important benefits associated with abdominoplasty. Most importantly, tummy tuck patients enjoy a smoother, firmer, shapelier abdomen. After abdominoplasty it is easier to fit into clothes, particularly swimsuits. There is a small amount of weight loss associated with the tummy tuck procedure, though it is not chiefly a weight loss treatment. Almost invariably, our tummy tuck patients report feeling more confident about their appearance. Visit our before-and-after gallery to see the full effects of this procedure as performed by Dr. Silverton.
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For many people who are dissatisfied with loose abdominal skin, excess fat, and stretched abdominal muscles, abdominoplasty offers a solution. Contact our practice to learn more about tummy tuck and mini-abdominoplasty. We can help you choose the procedure that best meets your needs.