Board Certified
Plastic Surgeon
Since 1989

What is a tummy tuck?

Thinking about getting a tummy tuck? If you’ve been wondering “what is a tummy tuck,” you’ve come to the right place. We sat down with Plastic Surgeon Dr. Shlomo Widder to get the full scoop on tummy tucks.

tummy tuck

Q&A with Dr. Shlomo Widder

Read the Q&A with Dr. Shlomo Widder as he answers questions like “what is a tummy tuck” and beyond.

Q: What is a tummy tuck?

A: A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery procedure that helps to create a slim abdomen appearance.

There are several factors that cause the tummy to appear pudgy or saggy. Sometimes, it’s due to weight fluctuation, pregnancy, or even genetics. Although core exercises can greatly improve the abdomen, it may not be enough to achieve the chiseled form you want. During tummy tuck surgery, sophisticated tightening techniques will be used to remove excess skin and unwanted fat, as well as muscle tightening for a slender figure. However, prior to your procedure, Dr. Widder will sit with you to discuss all your cosmetic concerns and desires to create a treatment plan that will yield the best results possible.

Click here to view some incredible before and after photos, like the one below.

tummy tuck, what is a tummy tuck

Q: What happens during a tummy tuck? What can patients expect?

A: There are two approaches to a full tummy tuck. They are:

  1. Skin Tightening Only
  2. Skin and Muscle Tightening

I do literally only the skin and muscle tightening variety. After having children, during pregnancy, both the muscle and the skin are getting stretched, so you need to remove the excess skin and bring the muscles back together. You have to do what we call “plication” to tighten them back up. And there are also different techniques in that regard.

I use permanent sutures and I run them continuously from north to south. Then, if necessary, I also stitch them horizontally, in the lower and upper abdomen. Why? Because a baby is 3-dimensional. During pregnancy, the stretching of the muscle is sometimes in three dimensions. That’s why you need to tighten it sideways, from north to south, horizontally, and up and down. Not many doctors do the horizontal stitching; I’m one of the few who do horizontal. I use it quite frequently.

tummy tuck, what is a tummy tuck

Here’s how it works: After completing tightening the muscles, I pull the skin all the way up to the ribs, to the costal margin. And then I bend it, flex it, and pull the skin down as much as possible. The goal is to bring the hole of the bellybutton all the way down to the pubic area so the patient doesn’t have a scar in the middle of their lower abdomen. And then I do quilting sutures, meaning I put multiple dissolving sutures all the way from the ribs to the groin area and the pubic area. The purpose of this is to combat fluid buildup.

An important part of the muscles tightening, I stitch it to the pubic bone to prevent unwanted tissue bulge. Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of tummy tucks where this technique is not used, and it results in the patient’s pubic area bulging out, almost like a man’s crotch. Women do not want this and find it very unattractive.

Once I stitch the skin to the pre pubic fascia, I find out the location of the bellybutton and mark it, cut a hole, and remove the fat as well. Then I stitch the bellybutton to the new location, to the new hole in the skin. That’s the new bellybutton – the way it’s being seen when the patients stand up!

Once I’m done with the bellybutton, I then completely stitch the skin to the groin and pubic area. I use very strong dissolving sutures between the fascia of the skin and the fascia of the groin and pubic area. Then I stitch the skin with dissolvable sutures under the skin – little subcutaneous stitching – so no sutures need to be removed. It’s very nice. The patients love it.


Q: What is a drainless tummy tuck?

A: My tummy tucks are what we call “drainless” tummy tucks. There is no drain, and that’s very attractive because not many doctors are doing it. A lot of patients love the idea of a no-drain tummy tuck.

If you don’t drain or quilt stitch the skin during a tummy tuck, there’s fluid buildup. As the fluid is building up, it separates the skin from the muscle underneath and can actually compromise the patient’s circulation. It’s also very uncomfortable! Imagine walking with jiggling fluid in your belly. It’s very uncomfortable and it’s painful.

So the old technique was the drained tummy tuck with a catheter, to deal with that fluid buildup. The new technique – which more and more people are doing – is the drainless tummy tuck, often referred to as the stiches quilting tummy tuck.


tummy tuck, what is a tummy tuck

Q: Is there anything a patient can do to ensure they get the best results from this procedure?

A: Well, losing weight is important, because then I can tighten the abdomen optimally. If the patient is overweight and there is a lot of fat inside the belly, then I cannot tighten them as much as I would like to.

Here’s what happens if you tighten too much: the fat gets pushed up into the diaphragm and into the lungs, and the patient can’t breathe.

The way I determine how much to tighten is with the anesthesia machine. I take a look at the anesthesia machine and look at the pressure the machine has to exert to push air into the lungs. When it reaches a certain level, I don’t tighten anymore. Usually the way I do it is 25 centimeters of water pressure. When that pressure is reached, I don’t tighten the patient anymore and that’s the endpoint.


Q: How do you know if you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

A: The best candidates for tummy tuck surgery are people in good health, who are at or at least near their desired weight. Keep in mind that tummy tucks are not meant as major weight loss surgeries like bypass. Tummy tucks are meant to help tone and shape the midsection. Here are a few signs you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck:

  • Excessive skin around the bellybutton
  • Weakened abdominal wall muscles
  • Sagging or loose skin on the abdomen
  • BMI below 35

The most common reasons I see people coming in for tummy tucks are wanting to tone the tummy after significant weight loss or childbearing. Those are the most common reasons people do it.


Q: So tummy tucks are more for toning than weight loss?

A: Exactly. A tummy tuck is not really a weight reduction surgery. A weight reduction surgery is more things like bypass surgery, lap band, things of that nature. Tummy tucks are mainly to improve the patient’s appearance, self-esteem, confidence, and attractiveness. As a side benefit, they can also lose weight. Now, obviously, they have to pay attention to what they eat. I always tell them, “Pay attention to your body.” So if the patient feel there is too much in their stomach, they should stop eating. If they continue to eat, they will gain weight. So if they pay attention to the pressure in the stomach and they stop eating when they feel full, they will lose weight.

Obviously,  there are some people who are obsessed with eating, and they will gain weight. However, even though they gain weight, their results are still phenomenal.

There was a patient I’d done surgery on about 3-4 years ago. I removed about 20 pounds of skin and fat from her body – can you imagine? Twenty pounds! And she looks fantastic. If you see the pictures, you won’t believe your eyes. She’s still flat. But she gained weight and so she came to me and we are now planning to do liposuction. But the stomach is still phenomenal – flat, totally flat.

tummy tuck, what is a tummy tuck


Q: How do your patients tend to feel after a tummy tuck?

It’s amazing. I’m telling you, it’s just like a miracle what happens to these people. They look fantastic and their confidence soars. In French, we call it “joie de vivre.” You know what this means? A joy of living. Yes, they definitely know how to enjoy life; they have the joie de vivre.

tummy tuck, what is a tummy tuck

 


Q: Do men get tummy tucks?

A: Absolutely! While most of my tummy tuck patients are women, we do have men come in from time to time. Because, you know, men want to look good, too! So it’s just as helpful to them.

I’ve seen a lot of men who do excessive heavy lifting come in for tummy tucks. Sometimes when men do a lot of heavy lifting without protective gear – like a protective leather belt – there is separation of the muscle, like in pregnancy. I recently had a male patient come in for a tummy tuck for that exact reason. Obviously, he didn’t have children or a history of significant weight loss. When I asked him if he did heavy lifting in his youth, he said yes. And that was the reason he had a need for the surgery.


Q: Other than improved appearance, what are the benefits of a tummy tuck?

A: There are quite a few benefits. For example, the posture improves. They stand up straight. Plus, it takes off pressure from the lower back. So think about your lower back; by standing up straight, that reduces the strain on your lower back. Also, by tightening the abdominal muscles, it helps to stabilize the back. So it’s very helpful for the back overall.

I had one patient who spent thousands and thousands of dollars on a chiropractor and CAT scans because of her lower back pain. Once she had the tummy tuck, she didn’t need to see the chiropractor anymore; the pain disappeared. It was incredible.

Another benefit is weight loss. When you tighten those muscles, you can’t eat too much food, because it fills you up excessively. Eat too much and you’ll feel sluggish and uncomfortable. That’s what happens after a tummy tuck: patients don’t eat as much and they don’t feel as hungry.

We get hungry in two ways: one is chemical, the sugar level. Your sugar levels drop in the bloodstream, making you feel hungry. The other way we get hungry is mechanical, meaning the pressure in the stomach. In the stomach we have special nerve cells called baroreceptors. These baroreceptors measure pressure. When the pressure is high, they tell the brain, “Stop filling me up! I’m full.” When the pressure is low, they tell the brain, “Fill me up. I’m hungry!” The brain is not sophisticated enough to tell the difference between pressure from food or pressure from muscle tightening. So we basically fool the brain when we tighten the muscle; the brain simply thinks we get full faster. Then the patient doesn’t eat as much anymore and they lose weight.

I had one patient who lost 55 pounds after her tummy tuck procedure. She came in and we didn’t recognize her! We thought she had come in for another surgery, but she had just come in for a follow-up. The results were truly amazing.


Q: How long does tummy tuck surgery take?

A: Tummy tucks are outpatient procedures. The surgery itself varies from patient to patient, according to the amount of skin and fat, and the amount of muscle laxity. It typically ranges from 3.5 hours to 4 hours, although the longest one I’ve ever done took about 6 hours. It’s not a very long surgery, and it’s very safe. But again, it does vary from one patient to another.


Q: What is recovery like after a tummy tuck?

A: Tummy tuck recovery differs from person to person and really depends on what that specific patient is doing. If you have a desk job, you can usually return to work after one week. If it’s something more taxing, it takes 6-8 weeks to return to work.

For example, let’s say you’re a cook. At work, you have to lift up bowls, boxes, and containers of food and supplies. I would simply tell you, “Have someone else do it for you during your recovery.” Because that’s the most important thing: recovering well. It’s a big investment in yourself and you don’t want to mess it up by stretching the muscle and then losing the flatness.


Q: What are the typical restrictions during tummy tuck recovery?

A: Restrictions tend to all relate to movement. For example, typical restrictions include no sex for 6 weeks and no working out at the gym for 6-8 weeks. However, you can go to work, but going to work also varies according to your personal threshold for pain tolerance. I had patients who went back to work after 3 to 4 days, and I also had patients who went back to work after 2-3 weeks. However, the majority – the average – is about a week.

I have also noticed that patients who own their own business tend to return to work sooner than patients who do not.

tummy tuck, what is a tummy tuck


Q: Is this a procedure that requires maintenance?

A: No, once the tummy tuck is done, you don’t need maintenance or any other surgeries to keep it looking good. The only exception is if you get pregnant again – then you might have to redo a tummy tuck.

I had a patient who got a tummy tuck and looked so good, and she didn’t opt for tubal ligation and got pregnant, so I had to redo her tummy tuck. Obviously it was a while later, but that’s one of the possibilities of maintenance.

The other one is a need for liposuction. Now, only 10 percent of my patients who have tummy tucks request liposuction, because many of them lose weight and they’re very happy with the way they look. If they want additional help and thinning of the skin, then you can do the liposuction. I usually wait 2-3 months for their weight to stabilize and then I will do liposuction and a redo tummy tuck for them.


Q: Are there any medical conditions that might disqualify someone for a tummy tuck?

A: Well, one of the criteria for doing the surgery or accepting the patient for surgery is their BMI, which is Body Mass Index. My limit is 35, so if the patient’s BMI is over 35, I recommend to them to lose weight. BMI is just a recommendation because if most of the fat is in the stomach, then I don’t recommend the surgery.

I always check the patient’s stomach before making a final recommendation. If the stomach is flat, they’re an excellent candidate for the surgery. If the stomach is bulging, that means they have too much fat inside the stomach, and I won’t be able to tighten them optimally.

If you have any medical issues, you must be cleared by your family doctor or your specialist, whether that’s a cardiologist, neurologist, endocrinologist, or whatever you may need. Safety is our No. 1 priority here, so we take this very seriously.

The home page of our website says “Quality is our niche, beauty is our forte, and safety is our priority.” Safety really is our #1 consideration. We have to make sure that the patient will be safe.

If they have any risk – diabetes, asthma – they must be cleared for surgery by their doctors.

Also, every patient over the age of 45 must be cleared by their internist. As you get older, the risk of complications does increase, and you don’t want to take the risk of having any complications.

Cosmetic surgery, you want to have it; you don’t need to have it. It’s not like you have appendicitis and need surgery immediately. Surgeries like that, you have to have. On the other hand, cosmetic surgery is something you want to have, so you want to reduce the risk and complication rate to a minimum.

That’s why, for example, I won’t do a tummy tuck with breast augmentation. Some doctors do it, but I will not do it. Why? Because they are painful operations and the patient lies in bed and doesn’t wanna move. They don’t drink because they’re afraid to go to the bathroom – and then they get blood clots.

There were also studies showing that if you do tummy tuck with other procedures, especially liposuction – it can be dangerous. There are some doctors that do tummy tuck and liposuction at the same time. I don’t, because there was a recent study in the Plastic Surgery Journal about this exact thing. The data was obtained from insurance companies that only cover cosmetic surgery cases. They revealed that combining tummy tuck and liposuction increased the severe complication rate 10 times higher than tummy tuck alone.

In Florida it’s illegal to do tummy tuck and liposuction over 1000 CCs. Under 1000 CCs, it’s okay, but beyond 1000 CCs it’s forbidden by law. The reason is that there were too many complications and deaths from that combination.

If you do tummy tuck with another procedure, the risk increases as well, though not as much – about 2-3 times higher. So that’s the reason I won’t do tummy tuck with breast augmentation.

Now, if you do tummy tuck and breast lift, that’s okay, because breast lift is not painful. If you do tummy tuck and eyelid surgery, that’s okay because that’s not painful.

The additional limiting factor in my practice is the surgery time, so I don’t do anything over 6 hours. Why? Because by the anesthesia society recommendation, surgery over 6 hours increases the complication rate significantly. Again, safety is our #1 priority and I’m committed to keeping all of our patients safe.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Shlomo Widder for Your Tummy Tuck

Are you ready to get your confidence back and look amazing? Schedule a consultation for a tummy tuck with Dr. Shlomo Widder today by calling 703-506-0300 or contacting him online.

tummy tuck, what is a tummy tuck

What is a tummy tuck? | Widder Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center – Vienna, VA

Tummy Tuck Expectations

It’s the beginning of another year and many men and women are thinking about how they will enhance their appearance. For many, their stomachs can be the problem area they want to focus on changing.  Unfortunately, our bodies often don’t always respond to diet, exercise and dramatic weight loss in the way we would like. The abdominal area is particularly vulnerable to pregnancy, childbirth and other stresses that put a lot of strain on your muscles and skin, which can leave you frustrated and dissatisfied with your figure.  When it comes to the abdominal region, the tummy tuck is a plastic surgery procedure that will tone and tighten that area of the body where diet and exercise alone could not.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS, defines the procedure, “A tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty) is a cosmetic procedure that reshapes and flattens the abdominal area. It does so by removing excess fat and skin, as well as tightening the muscles in the abdominal region, the end goal being a tighter and firmer abdomen.”

Not all tummy tucks are alike.  Discussing overall aesthetic goals with Dr. Shlomo Widder of Widder Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery in Vienna, VA, will provide the opportunity to address all questions and concerns. Dr. Widder has been in practice for over 31 years and performed well over 1,000 patients.  His experience, technical skill, and aesthetic eye are critical for a good outcome.  The most performed tummy tucks are 1. Full Tummy Tuck and 2. Mini Tummy Tuck, though much less frequently chosen.  What is the difference?

Full tummy tucks are for patients that want to address the sections above and below their belly button, the full length of the abdominal wall. Patients who opt for a full tummy tuck often want to resolve general roundness and excess skin. Full tummy tucks present the most natural-looking outcome, and include a much firmer abdomen, narrower waist, nice belly button, improved body posture and are commonly associated with weight loss due to the muscles tightening that reduces the amount of food that can be consumed and sense of hunger.

Mini tummy tucks are for patients that are only concerned with “the belly pooch” or tiny bulge in the lower abdominal region.  Dr. Widder will remove excess lower abdominal skin, resulting in a firmer, smoother lower belly.

While these are the two most performed tummy tucks, only during a consultation with Dr. Widder, will it be determined if these procedures alone will provide the aesthetic goals desired?  Deciding which procedure is right for you will be contingent upon several factors that include; your desired results, overall skin quality, body type and location of excess skin on the body. The amount of excess skin will also determine which procedure is most appropriate. Finally, any scarring attained from a previous cosmetic procedure or surgery can determine which kind of tuck the patient qualifies for.

To schedule your consultation, call 703-506-0300.  Dr. Widder and staff look forward to working with you obtain your aesthetic goals.

Umbilical Float Tummy Tuck

Q: Is it possible to support a full pregnancy after having an umbilical float tummy tuck, without belly button necrosis?

Front and side view pictures would have been very helpful. I have been in practice for over 30 years and performed an umbilical float tummy tuck on one patient only, out of well over 1,000 tummy tuck surgeries.

The ideal belly button location is one inch above the anterior iliac spine. When the location of the belly button is below that level, it is unnatural and unattractive. It is quite rare to have a high location of the belly button to justify the floating umbilical technique.

I would recommend that you discuss it again with your surgeon, or consult other experienced board-certified plastic surgeons who operate in an accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the before and after pictures in the photo gallery, to make sure that they are numerous, consistent and attractive with a flat stomach, tight and youthful looking skin, nice belly button, improved body posture, and low scarring.

Recovery From Mini Tummy Tuck

Q: I know this is a hard question to answer. But, I’m looking for the most realistic answer. Should I expect to be laid up for 2–3 days? When can I shower?  And how should I expect to get around the house for the first few weeks after? Is there a general timeline of when I can expect to feel normal again (the new normal)?

Front and side view pictures would have been helpful. Before answering your question, I would like you to realize that mini tummy tuck is not very common procedure, especially if you have delivered children.  The more common surgery would be full tummy tuck.

Mini tummy tuck on a person who needs full tummy tuck is a regrettable compromise because it will eventually cause you to have the full tummy tuck surgery, later on, doubling the cost and recovery time. I hope that you consulted with an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, who indeed judged you to be a good candidate for mini tummy tuck.

As far as recovery time, it depends if you are getting skin tightening only or, your muscles are tightened as well. The two options require pain medication for 2–3 days, and you should avoid driving during that period. Afterwards, you should avoid any physical activity for 2 weeks. But do not stay in bed; rather, walk and drink lots of fluids to avoid blood clots. Strenuous activity should be avoided for one month in case of skin surgery only, or 6 weeks for skin and muscles surgery.

Tummy Tuck & Lipo

Q: Can liposuction of the abdomen and tummy tuck be done at the same time? Is it safe?

Front and side view pictures would have been helpful to answer as it varies for each individual. Cosmetic surgery is purely elective (you do not have to have it); and as such, complication rates should be reduced to a minimum.

In my practice of over 30 years, I do not combine tummy tuckand liposuction of the abdomen, because of the significant increase in severe complication rates, including death.

In a recent article in the plastic surgery journal that was based on data from cosmetic surgery only insurance company, it was revealed the combining tummy tuck and lipo increase the severe complication rate 10 times higher than a tummy tuck alone!

In Florida, it is illegal to perform tummy tuck with lipo of over 1,000 CCs (small amount), after a government investigation revealed a significant increase of severe complication rate—including death—due to combining the two procedures!

So, as you can see: An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure!

Always consult with experienced board-certified plastic surgeons who operate in an accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the “before & after” pictures in the photo gallery, make sure that they are numerous, consistent, and attractive with flat stomachs, tight and youthful looking skin, nice belly button, improved body posture, and low scarring.

To view real patient results for Tummy Tuck before & after photos, click here.

Full Tummy Tuck

Q: I’m scheduled to have a hybrid tummy tuck (short-scar/mini, floating umbilicus tummy tuck with flank liposuction) in 10 days. I’m starting to get nervous that my surgeon hasn’t chosen the right operation for me. Should I be getting a full tummy tuck? I’m 5’7?, extremely athletic with minimal body fat, and 120 pounds. I’ve had four pregnancies, but have gained very little weight in each one. I don’t seem to have much skin laxity, though there’s some when I bend over and suck in my abdominal muscles.

Thanks for posting your pictures. In my previous response to your question, I suggested that you consult with other experienced board-certified plastic surgeons. Now that you posted your pictures and detailed your surgical plan, I can tell you that it will be in your best interest to consult with other surgeons.

I have been in practice for over 30 years and performed tummy tuck surgeries on well over 1,000 patients.  From observing your pictures, I can tell you that you have a good reason to be nervous about your surgeon’s plan for you.  You should seek better options.

There is only one procedure that will give you the flat stomach, tight and youthful looking skin, nice belly button, and nice posture. That procedure is full tummy tuck—and anything less will be a regrettable compromise that will make you unhappy, and eventually require a full tummy tuck, thus doubling cost and recovery time. If you will have the floating belly button procedure, your belly button will have to be reconstructed in order to make it look natural and attractive.

So, consult with experienced board-certified plastic surgeons who operate in an accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the “before & after” pictures in the photo gallery; make sure that they are numerous, consistent, and attractive, with the above-mentioned features and low scarring.

Abdomen Skin Tightening

Q: Will skin tightening treatments work, or do I need a mini tummy tuck? I had smart lipo in May 2016 to my flanks. However, my lower abdomen seems to have excess skin and no longer feels tight, as I can literally pull it away from my body. I am 5′ tall and weigh 105 pounds. I have never been pregnant. Would something like thermitight help? Or would I require a mini tummy tuck?

Thanks for posting your pictures, though side view pictures would have been helpful.

From observing your pictures, you are a great candidate for liposuction with PAL (Power Assisted Liposuction). This procedure, when performed correctly and aggressively from multiple directions, brings significant skin tightening.

So, as long as you do not have abdominal muscles laxity (best seen on side view), you do not need a mini tummy tuck, but rather liposuction. However, you have to realize that not all results are the same, because experience, skills, and aesthetic eye are critical for a good outcome. Do your due diligence carefully, and choose your surgeon wisely.

Always consult with experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons who operate in an accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the before and after pictures in the photo gallery to make sure that they are numerous, consistent, and attractive, with flat stomachs, nice hips- and waist-silhouettes, and smooth skin.

Belly Button Bleeding After Tummy Tuck

Q: Belly button bleeding after drainage taking off. I’m only a week post-operation (tummy tuck). They took my drainage off this Wednesday because the drainage slowed. But today I noticed my belly button bleeding. Is this normal?! My surgeon’s office isn’t open on weekends. What should I do?

Posting front pictures of your abdomen would have been helpful. Your best mode of action would be to contact your surgeon directly, either by phone (I give my cell phone number to all my patients to contact me in case of situations like yours) or through an answering service.

Most likely, it is unrelated to the drain removal. It is probably a result of stitch granuloma, which can be treated with:

  • hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab, with

  • Bacitracin ointment and gauze,

  • twice a day

Until you can visit the office. However, it will be most prudent to discuss it with your surgeon.

Abdominal Protrusion After Tummy Tuck

Q: I’m 7 months post-op. My stomach is still big with a lot of fullness—what is causing this? The doctor did not mark me in room standing up. He marked me in the operating room while I was laying down. Is this why I have excess fat and why my stomach isn’t flat? (Also, I? have balls in the incision area where the doctor gave me steroid shots.)

Thanks for posting your before and after pictures, and sorry for your sub-optimal result .

From observing your pictures, indeed the stomach is protruding excessively. However, the cause can be due to the following:

  1. The surgeon tightened only the skin and not the muscles.

  2. The surgeon tightened the muscles, but due to excessive fat intra-peritoneally, for your own safety, he could not flatten the stomach, to avoid breathing difficulty after surgery.

    (In my practice, I ask the tummy tuck patients during the first consultation to lie on their back flat. If the stomach is still protruding while flat, I notify the patients that for their own safety, I will not be able to tighten the muscles optimally, which will result in a stomach that is not totally flat.)

  3. The surgeon tightened the muscles optimally, but you were too active after surgery  and stretched the muscles during repair, which resulted in the protrusion.

    Lie flat on your back. If the stomach is flat, surgical re-tightening of the muscle surgically will help. If the stomach is protruding, you need to lose weight.

I would recommend reading the book “Sugar busters”, which will educate you about eating low Glycemic food and losing weight. I give this book to all my overweight patients.

Always consult with experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons who operate in an accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the before and after pictures in the photo gallery; make sure that they are numerous, consistent, and attractive, with flat stomachs, nice belly buttons, improved body posture, and low scarring.

Abdominoplasty Revision

Q: I’m not happy with my revision of my tummy tuck. I was concerned about the incision asymmetry almost immediately after my surgery in 2016. After much persistence, my surgeon finally agreed to fix the asymmetry problem and lipo the excess fat from that area as well. It’s 6 months after the revision now, and it’s still bothering me! I now have a flappy piece of skin that I still have to tuck into my underwear or into my bikini bottoms when I sit or bend over. The lipo area also has a large depression in it now. What do I do?

Posting front and side view of your before and after pictures would have been very helpful. Since this is the second time that you are unhappy with the surgical outcome of your tummy tuck, it will be in your best interest to consult with other experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons, who will be able to assess your situation and offer you the right solution.

As you realize from your own experience, not all results are the same, because, experience, technical skills and aesthetic eye are critical for good outcome. So, do your due diligence carefully and choose your surgeon wisely.

It is critical that you check the before and after pictures in the photo gallery, to make sure that they are numerous, consistent, and attractive, with flat stomachs, tight and youthful-looking skin, nice belly buttons, improved body posture, and low scarring.

The Tummy Tuck Nutrition Plan

Dr. Shlomo Widder, “The D.C. Butt Doctor,” says that surgery isn’t the only component to looking your best.  In a consultation with Dr. Widder, the topic of nutrition and general health is often a significant part of the conversation.  He insists that not even plastic surgery can mask the effects of poor dietary habits and that combining healthy eating with his procedures is the most effective way to achieve and maintain great results.

tummy tuck nutrition

When a patient consults with him about tummy tuck, Dr. Widder doesn’t speak solely about the details of the surgery.  He discusses the two main ways that the body controls appetite and the physiology of the way fat is produced by the body.  He may discuss general information about previous cases relevant to the current situation.  For example, he once performed the tummy tuck procedure on two different men who, after following Dr. Widder’s dietary recommendations, both lost 30 pounds.  He emphasizes, however, that dramatic and positive outcomes like these don’t come by merely “going on a diet” for a limited time, but by giving your entire diet and lifestyle a complete, healthy overhaul.

A true diet has nothing to do with partaking in fads or short-term changes, Dr. Widder explains.  It is the spectrum of foods eaten by an individual over time.  A good diet requires a commitment for the long haul.  Widder recommends choosing low glycemic index foods and directs patients to the book Sugar Busters to help them on the journey to better food choices and better health.  He will continue the discussion if other poor health habits seem to exist.  If Dr. Widder can inspire a smoker to kick the habit, he feels even better about that opportunity to promote health and well-being.

Plastic surgery can be a quick fix for someone looking for specific physical changes.  However, it can’t reverse a lifetime of unhealthful living.  Only after changing a bad diet and other bad health habits can a patient reap the full scope of the rewards possible.  Dr. Widder does his best to make his patients extremely happy by working to achieve the beautifully sculpted bodies they desire.  The dietary and additional health information he provides is key to helping patients maintain their great plastic surgery results for life.

Dr. Shlomo Widder, known as the “The D.C. Butt Doctor,” is the only surgeon in the Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia area offering buttock implants and has made it his mission to help each patient achieve the very best behind.  Contact Widder Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery at 703-506-0300.

About Widder Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery:

Dr. Widder is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).  The surgery center is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).  He serves the Northern Virginia area, WashingtonD.C. metropolitan area and beyond.  He has performed plastic and cosmetic surgery for over 25 years.

Services include Facial Implants, Facelift, Botox and Facial Fillers, cheek, chin, and eyelids surgery, Liposuction, Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift, and Breast Reduction, Rhinoplasty, Otoplasty Ear Tuck, Pectoral Implants, Calf Implants, and Gynecomastia Surgery.  Widder Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery is the only area plastic surgery center offering Buttock Implants. For more information about “The D.C. Butt Doctor,” visit: http://www.widderplasticsurgery.com.

Plastic Surgery Implications for Weight Loss | Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

Weight Loss and Plastic Surgery

A welcome side effect of plastic surgery is that many people who have a tummy tuck or liposuction experience additional weight loss.  Dr. Shlomo Widder discusses this natural phenomenon and why it is important to maintain healthy eating habits post surgery.

Q: How does the tummy tuck procedure result in weight loss?

The reason you lose weight after a tummy tuck is that the procedure is not only a tightening of the abdominal skin but also tightening of the abdominal muscles. When you tighten the muscles, you increase the pressure on the stomach, and that in turn sends a message to the brain that says, “Stop filling me up.  Stop eating.”  That’s how patients lose weight.

I always tell my patients about that; it is part of my initial talk.  I tell them that hunger is managed in two ways.  One is a chemical, which involves sugar.  When the blood sugar goes down, you feel hungry and you eat.  The other is mechanical.  When the stomach is empty, it starts contracting and you might hear all those gurgling noises.  It is saying to the brain, “I’m empty – Fill me up.”  The stomach has special cells that measure pressure, but the brain is not so sophisticated as to tell the difference between pressure from food in the stomach or pressure from the outside.  So we can fool the brain by adding pressure from the outside by tightening the muscles.

I just did a tummy tuck for a military guy.  He told me that he was constantly hungry.  He was in good shape – trim and muscular – but he hadn’t reached what he physically wanted to achieve.  His stomach muscles were loose from lifting heavy weights.  Sometimes men, due to heavy lifting, rip the attachments of the abdominal muscles and it causes this problem.  For some women, a similar thing can happen when they have children.  The pregnancy stretches the abdominals and laxity of the muscles result.  If the muscles are loose, they just extend outward when you eat.  You don’t feel satisfied, so it is easy to keep on eating.  After his tummy tuck surgery, this man I mentioned, felt full and much less hungry.  He’s already lost 10 to 15 pounds and he’s achieved his weight goal.

Q: What will occur if you get liposuction or another procedure that encourages weight loss, and then continue a habit of overeating?

It depends on the surgical technique used.  When my patients have liposuction, I tell them that they have to lose, at least, the same amount of weight that I remove from them.  If they don’t lose that amount of weight, any new fat gained can go into those sections where I did not do the liposuction.

In order to do effective liposuction, you really have to enter with the suctioning cannula from many different directions in order to remove as many fat cells as possible.  For this reason, I take a very aggressive approach and go from multiple directions.  If a surgeon goes from only one or two entries, fat cells will be left between the tracks of the cannula, the tube that is used to aspirate the fat.  Each fat cell is able to store more fat by increasing its size by 50%.  So if you leave a lot of fat cells, two to three months after the procedure, it may look as if nothing was done.  But if you go from multiple directions and are very aggressive with the fat cells removal, the number of fat cells that remain will be reduced dramatically.  Then, no fat or very little can go in those areas in the future.  However, it can go elsewhere. If a patient keeps overeating in the same fashion as before, since the fat can’t go into the liposuction area, it might go to the shoulders, face, butt, breasts, and so on. So the secret really is for me to do a very thorough removal of the fat cells and for the patient to lose the same amount of weight that was removed by the liposuction.

 Q: If a person has a tummy tuck or liposuction, how long before he or she can take on an exercise regimen?  Are there exercises you recommend in addition to a shift in dietary lifestyle? 

 For liposuction, I limit their exercise for two weeks, and then for the following two weeks, they can increase exercise in a gradual fashion. On the first week back, they can exercise at a 25% capacity of what they did before.  The following week, I advise they go to 50% of their former activity level.  Then one month after the surgery, they are free of any limitation.  For a tummy tuck, they have to wait six weeks before any physical activity or lifting.  Then as with the liposuction, they can gradually return to normal activity over a two week period.  After two months, they are back to full speed.

The main type of exercise I recommend is cardiovascular, or aerobic.  Any type of cardio can get you in good shape.  It could be a stationary bike, it could be a treadmill –all of those machines at the gym are good.  The key is to put forth at least 20 minutes of constant effort during which the heart rate is raised to two-thirds of maximal capacity.  Do this, and you’ll be burning fat and lose weight.

For a free consultation and 5% off any surgical procedure, schedule an appointment on our website! http://www.widderplasticsurgery.com/contact.php

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.