Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck Procedure

For the most part, tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) is a procedure for women who have had babies and suffered some irreversible changes to their midsections. Skin is stretched – often beyond its ability to “snap back”. Abdominal muscles have been stretched apart to the point that no amount of exercise, sit-ups or Pilates can correct the problem. Some areas have more fat than they did pre-babies, and they simply resist all attempts at weight reduction. This procedure is also effective for women with a healthy body weight who have developed a protruding, loose or sagging abdomen which can be caused by aging, weight fluctuation, heredity and prior surgery. If you find yourself in these situations, you may be a candidate for a tummy tuck.

As is the case with so many of our procedures, the way I do this surgery is different from most of my colleagues. I place my incisions much lower than other surgeons. And, I aggressively use my cutting-edge liposuction techniques to sculpt the abdomen, flanks and hip rolls (the area in the low back just above the pelvic bone). My technique of repairing the muscles minimizes discomfort and allows our patients to get back to most normal activities within a few days. Many women who have also had a C-section say that the recovery is comparable to a tummy tuck.

If you have experienced some unflattering changes as a result of having babies or losing weight, or are simply cursed with genetics that keep you from whittling away the excess pounds, I encourage you to look at our before and after photos and call for a confidential consultation. At your visit we will discuss your individual goals and possible solutions. I look forward to the opportunity of helping you regain your figure, feel confident in your clothing and bathing suit.

Below is a sample of a tummy tuck before and after photo from one of my patients. If you would like to see more before and after images for this procedure, select "Photo Gallery" on the left.

Tummy Tuck - Abdominoplasty Before and After Photo

A tummy tuck basically removes excess fat and skin, and in the majority of cases, also restores separated or weakened muscles in the abdominal area. The result is a firmer looking and smoother abdominal contour. Remember, however, this procedure should not be considered a replacement for losing weight, eating a healthy diet or maintaining a regular exercise routine.

Typically, tummy tuck results are normally permanent, however, the positive results you achieve can be minimized if you have significant weight fluctuations. Anyone who is planning to lose a substantial amount of weight, or women who are considering pregnancies in their future, may be instructed to delay having this surgery. It will not remove stretch marks, unless the stretch marks are located on the excess skin (typically lower than the belly button) that will be removed during the procedure.

Your Consultation

A safe and successful surgery depends very much on your being completely candid during the consultation. Be sure to address any problems, concerns and questions with Dr. Van Natta. He will ask you a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

Be Prepared to Discuss:

  • Why you want a tummy tuck, your expectations and desired outcome
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries
  • Family disease history

Dr. Van Natta May Also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Take photographs for your medical record 
  • Discuss likely outcomes of this surgery and any risks or potential complications 
  • Discuss the use of anesthesia during your procedure

Preparing For Your Surgery

Prior to tummy tuck surgery, you may be asked to get lab testing or a general medical evaluation, take certain medications or adjust your current medications. If you smoke, you will need to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. You should also avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.

Your tummy tuck surgery will be performed at Meridian Plastic Surgery Center, an AAAHC accredited facility utilizing experienced anesthesiologists from St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon

  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
  • How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
  • Is the office-based surgical facility where you perform surgery accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
  • Am I a proper candidate for this procedure?
  • What will be expected of me in order to get the best results?
  • Where and how will you perform my procedure?
  • Is there a specific surgical technique recommended for me?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
  • How do you handle complications?
  • What are my expected results, and how quickly will they be visible?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of my tummy tuck?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure?

About Dr. Van Natta

Dr. Bruce Van Natta is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and was trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery. He had 5 years of general surgery training followed 2 ½ years of training in plastic surgery and has been in practice for 25 years.

Liposuction Blog Article

You may want to review the blog post I have written that outlines the tummy tuck procedure step-by-step with photo illustrations.