What is a tummy tuck?

What is the solution? The answer may be a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty performed by a top plastic surgeon with extensive experience and dedication to this specialty. A tummy tuck is designed to remove the excess skin and fat that sags over the waistline while also tightening and repairing any underlying muscle structure and laxity. Dr. Joshua Lampert advises anyone considering a tummy tuck to be cautious when choosing their surgeon. Although abdominoplasty is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures, it requires a high level of surgical skill to produce a flat, sexy, and sculpted bathing-suit-ready midsection. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Lampert delivers beautiful, natural looking tummy tucks in Miami.

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Dr. Lampert’s Approach

Dr. Lampert understands the leap of faith it takes to place one’s body in the hands of a plastic surgeon. For this reason, he handles each client with the same care and delicacy as he might his own family members or loved ones. He is devoted to ensuring every patient receives personalized attention. Rather than rush through consultations in order to see a high volume of clients, Dr. Lampert focuses on fewer patients but with a much higher degree of detail and precision. His Miami tummy tuck clients consider Dr. Lampert to be among the most trustworthy, skilled, and compassionate plastic surgeons in the area -- and beyond.

Developing A Personalized Treatment Plan

No two tummy tucks and no two plastic surgeons are the same. Whether the patient requires mini abdominoplasty, a full tummy tuck, an extended or circumferential procedure, or even just a C-section scar revision with liposuction, each individual step and every detail is extremely important. Good tummies take time. The tummy tuck plan needs to be individualized for the patient. Developing this plan takes careful examination, adequate time spent discussing the goals of the patient, and an artistic understanding of the anatomy. 

Before & After Abdominoplasty

All plastic surgeons should be judged on the aesthetic merits of their work. Review Dr. Lampert’s before and after gallery to see what he has accomplished.

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Dr. Lampert and team prepping patient for mommy makeover and tummy tuck surgery

Tummy Tuck Procedure Overview

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Tummy Tuck, 360 Lipo, Breast Lift With Implant

Who is a Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?

As with most cosmetic plastic surgery, patients must be in good health and have stabilized any other medical condition such as high blood pressure. In performing tummy tuck surgery at his Miami practice, Dr. Lampert puts the safety of his patients above all else. In this regard, he will ensure that his patients are ready for cosmetic surgery. Tummy tuck procedures are extremely rewarding in patients who have areas of skin laxity or skin excess that cannot be adequately treated with exercise. Exercise can help build muscle, but it will not help tighten skin, and frequently patients are frustrated with skin laxity problems that do not improve despite vigorous workouts. With these patients, simple surgical correction of the skin excess utilizing a well-performed tummy tuck can be life-changing. 

Many tummy tuck candidates have wide muscle separation, which creates a "beer belly" appearance that also cannot be corrected despite a dedicated workout schedule. For these patients, tightening the abdominal wall musculature can frequently correct this problem and allow a fantastic improvement in not only aesthetic harmony but also the patient's underlying muscular-skeletal support.  Good muscle repair is very important, not just to flatten the tummy and set the abdominal frame but also from a physiological standpoint. In an Australian study, 214 women who underwent rectus plication (muscle-tightening) during abdominoplasty after childbirth had significant improvements in symptoms of lower back pain and urinary incontinence. (Taylor DA, et al. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018.)

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Is Tummy Tuck Surgery Right For Me?

The best way to decide if a tummy tuck in Miami with Dr. Lampert is right for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lampert. He believes in taking his time with each patient to fully understand what they are hoping to achieve through tummy tuck surgery. His goal is to provide the best tummy tuck Miami has available so his patients' image goals are achieved, boosting their self-confidence and improving their quality of life.

During your initial consultation, Dr. Lampert will assess your physique, listen to your goals, and then create a personalized treatment plan that can accomplish the changes you require.

What Are The Different Types of Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Mini Tummy Tuck

Dr. Lampert recommends this procedure for his Miami patients that have a very small pouch of excess skin that falls below the navel. Typically, their underlying muscle tension is good and does not require tightening. In this case, the incision is limited to the width of the pubic bone and produces a shorter scar that can become virtually invisible over time. Once the incision is made, the excess skin is removed, and the incision is closed. Recovery from a mini tummy tuck is relatively easier, as none of the underlying muscles have been tightened. Dr. Lampert usually performs simultaneous liposuction with all abdominoplasty procedures.

Standard Tummy Tuck Incision

With a standard tummy tuck, the incision extends from the hip bone, over the pubic bone, and up to the opposite hip. The incision is gently curved and kept very low to ensure panty lines, swimsuit bikini bottoms, and other garments can easily conceal and hide the resulting scar. Scars fade and become thinner over time. Patients who want to ensure that their scars will be as invisible as possible can sometimes request additional scar therapy. The vast majority of patients do very well simply following the postoperative instructions carefully until they have fully healed.

Standard Tummy Tuck (Full Abdominoplasty)

Most patients are candidates for a standard tummy tuck, as long as the amount of excess skin and fat is moderate with an average amount of sagging. Most women who have had children have enough skin and abdominal wall muscle laxity that a standard tummy tuck with liposuction will produce a good result. The standard tummy tuck addresses and contours the entire tummy, including the upper abdomen above the belly button. Usually, the mini tummy tuck cannot adequately address this upper abdominal area.

Liposuction with a Standard Tummy Tuck

Once the incision is made, the excess skin is pulled down tight to create a flat abdomen. The excess skin is then removed. Dr. Lampert routinely performs liposuction of the entire abdomen to help with contour during abdominoplasty. This allows a better shape and improves the midline and flanks.  Liposuction also helps create that hourglass shape and further "etches" the lower body to define the abdominal wall musculature. Additionally, liposuction helps prevent contour abnormality and a smooth transition between the thick upper abdominal skin and the thin groin skin.

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Completing The Standard Tummy Tuck Procedure

The muscles that have separated from pregnancy or with age are sutured back into place and tightened to ensure that the underlying areas are strong and flat. The skin is then draped over the muscles and sutured in place. The belly button is brought out through a small opening that is sculpted and shaped to keep it small and sexy.

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Extended Tummy Tuck

This procedure takes a standard tummy tuck surgery one step further by treating not only the midsection but also the excess fat in the flanks and hips. The incision is longer, extending slightly beyond each hip bone, but the resulting scar is still kept very low and can be well-hidden by the patient's panty line and bathing suit. The extended tummy tuck is indicated for patients with a large pocket of excess fat and skin that protrudes well over the pubic bone. In this procedure, Dr. Lampert can use liposuction methods to suction fat from the abdomen, hips, and flanks to create an overall improved and slimmer midsection.

As in a standard tummy tuck, excess skin is removed, and the underlying muscles are repaired, tightened, and sutured back together. The navel is kept small and maintains its natural position. Patients should be at a stable weight, and women should not be planning for future pregnancy. Pregnancy or significant weight loss after a tummy tuck can lead to recurrent skin and muscle laxity. Waiting until the timing is right can help the patient to avoid needing to repeat the surgery.

What Can I Expect From The Consultation Process?

Tummy tuck surgery may seem daunting at first, but after your private Miami consultation with Dr. Lampert, you will feel informed, empowered, and ready to move forward towards manifesting your best self. Every tummy tuck procedure needs to be individualized for the particular patient, their anatomy, and their goals. With every tummy tuck, body contouring procedure, and mommy makeover, a detailed physical exam and history must be performed prior to ensure the optimization of safety and results.

The patient's anatomy and surgical history, including prior intra-abdominal surgery or C-section scars, must be noted and taken into consideration when planning body contouring and tummy tuck procedures. Dr. Lampert needs to evaluate every tummy tuck patient for skin laxity, any abdominal wall laxity, as well as any potential hernias that may exist.

Assessing Liposuction Candidacy

Many patients who come for abdominal contouring have areas of targeted fat excess or a layer of thick fat below tight skin that makes it hard to see the abdominal wall musculature. For these patients who do not have skin laxity, sometimes liposuction alone can be the correct procedure in order to get better definition and six-pack visibility. This can be done with conventional liposuction techniques or abdominal etching.

Assessing Candidacy For A Mini Tummy Tuck

Other patients may have a combination of fat excess and skin laxity. If skin laxity is isolated to the lower abdomen below the belly button, then frequently a mini abdominoplasty may be the correct procedure. This is commonly the case in patients who desire a mommy makeover with a less significant weight loss.

Frequently patients will have a C-section scar, which causes an indentation or dip in the lower abdomen. Retracted C-section scars, or a cesarean section scar that is tethered down to the abdominal wall fascia, can create an area of skin that pooches out above the scar and looks like a bulge.

Patients that have an above the C-section scar bulge often do quite well with the mini abdominoplasty procedure If they do not have much upper abdominal skin laxity.

Assessing The Rectus Diastasis

Many patients, after children or massive weight loss, develop loose fascia between the rectus abdominis muscle, or six-pack muscles. When the six-pack muscles spread, this is called a rectus diastasis. A rectus diastasis makes the waist appear wider and creates a boxy look in the trunk and abdomen.  Repairing this muscle is an important component of any abdominal contouring procedure, as it sets the frame underlying what we see. Liposuction and tummy tuck procedures can help with superficial contouring, but the importance of the frame being set with a significant rectus diastasis repair cannot be stressed enough. Not only should the rectus diastasis be repaired to flatten the tummy and bring in the waist, but also to help prevent a bulge of the abdomen above the belly button.

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Assessing The Patient’s Scarring Potential

Abdominoplasty is defined by a scar around the belly button. Dr. Lampert spends over an hour on the belly button during the surgical procedure, which helps achieve the best possible scar. He tries to keep this scar very small and on the inside of the hollow of the umbilicus. Some patients are poor scar formers and are at a higher risk for keloid formation despite the surgeon’s best efforts. Patients like this must be adequately counseled regarding the risk of visible scars, especially if they have a history of keloid or bad scar formation. Patients who are larger or have even more significant skin excess may require an extended abdominoplasty where the scar goes beyond the "hip-to-hip scar. Furthermore, patients who have had massive weight loss may have significant skin that involves the lateral thigh and wraps around the entire trunk, buttocks, and lower back. Patients like this may benefit from a larger procedure such as a lower body lift, where the scar is circumferential -- a "360-degree tummy tuck." This can tighten skin circumferentially and give the patient much improved contours. Every patient must be analyzed individually, both anatomically with the physical exam and also in conversation, to assess the patient's desired goals and scar limitations. Safety is of utmost importance, and any medical issues must be adequately controlled prior to surgery in order to optimize all outcomes. 

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Expert Evaluation

When Dr. Lampert evaluates a patient, he tries to determine the maximal amount of muscle repair he can do in order to give the very best result. In order to achieve dramatic muscle repair, it takes a significant time in the operating room and an experienced understanding of the tension that the fascia and abdominal wall will tolerate. 

Having trained at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where Crohn's disease was discovered, Dr. Lampert has extensive education and training in abdominal wall reconstruction. This background in abdominal wall reconstruction and understanding the anatomy of the underlying muscular-skeletal frame helps him achieve a significantly narrower waistline. 

Rectus diastasis repair, or muscle tightening, can be performed with many tummy tuck procedures, but patients need to be evaluated to see if this is necessary.

It is most commonly necessary in patients who had children in the past but may also benefit patients who have had massive weight loss. 

Patients who have significant laxity of the upper and lower abdomen usually require a full abdominoplasty, as a mini abdominoplasty will not allow the upper abdomen to be sufficiently tightened. 

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What Can I Expect From the Procedure?

After the correct plan is developed with the patient, adequate time must be spent in the operating room in order to achieve the best possible results. When it comes to body contouring, Dr. Lampert performs the full gamut of procedures. (Dr. Lampert has been published in peer-reviewed journals on topics of safety and aesthetics in body contouring. See Kolker AR, Lampert JA. Maximizing aesthetics and safety in circumferential-incision lower body lift with selective undermining and liposuction. Ann Plast Surg. 2009 May;62(5):544-8. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e31819fb34a. PMID: 19387158.) 

Before Surgery

Dr. Lampert’s patients undergo abdominoplasty in Miami with the aid of a board-certified anesthesiologist to ensure maximum comfort and safety. Prior to anesthesia, the patient is marked for tummy tuck or abdominal contouring surgery in the standing position. Sometimes this is done the morning of surgery or the day before. 

Tummy tuck patients are NPO after midnight (which means that they are not allowed to eat or drink after midnight or have anything for breakfast.) The board-certified doctor of anesthesia and Dr. Lampert want the patient to have an empty stomach for 8 hours before surgery. This helps avoid the risk of vomiting and increases patient safety.

Once the patient is marked and has been interviewed by the anesthesiologist, they are then given “premedication” through an IV. This premedication allows the patient to relax, decreases any anxiety, and provides a mild sedative effect. After this premedication, patients do not usually remember being gently transported into the operating room.

Surgery is performed with them always sleeping under general anesthesia with the board-certified doctor of anesthesia watching over them.

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Tummy Tuck Options

For patients who need few changes, sometimes liposuction alone or combined with a C-section revision is adequate enough to achieve the patient's desired goal. Sometimes this can be combined with abdominal etching to get better refinement and visualize the underlying muscle wall definition. This can help highlight the patient's six-pack muscles and achieve the abs that are so difficult for many despite aggressive, focused workouts. Sometimes minimally-invasive procedures can be performed at the same time as a C-section scar revision or abdominoplasty with combined liposuction, abdominal imaging, or muscle wall tightening.

When there is more skin laxity centrally, specifically above the belly button, then a full abdominoplasty or full tummy tuck is often indicated. For larger patients with more loose skin or patients with a significant amount of weight loss, an extended abdominoplasty or circumferential procedure such as a lower body lift may be necessary in order to further tighten the skin, not only of the abdomen but also the lateral thigh, posterior flank, and buttocks as well.

Avoiding Revision Surgery

It is not uncommon for Dr. Lampert to see patients desiring revision who have had the "wrong operation" with another surgeon.

It is important that patients see a plastic surgeon who is experienced with the entire spectrum of abdominal wall contouring -- firm, subtle liposuction improvements to less invasive procedures -- and even significantly larger procedures for severe skin excess. 

Many surgeons market themselves as being minimally-invasive experts without adequate understanding of the actual surgical anatomy and the patient's problems. Frequently, Dr. Lampert sees patients who have had severe complications from minor "minimally-invasive" procedures that were performed without appropriate evaluation by a doctor actually certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

No patient within the United States should ever consider evaluation and treatment for body contouring by any doctor that is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Furthermore, when choosing amongst plastic surgeons, patients should always make sure that their surgeon takes enough time with them and has adequate experience with all body contouring procedures in order to provide them with all options and the best possible result. 

Many patients have friends or family members who have had "bad tummy tucks" with high visible scars or a deformity of the belly button. These problems can more often than not be avoided if the correct decisions are made and adequate time is spent in the operating room focusing on the necessary details. Like anything in art, surgery, and life in general, it takes time to achieve the best results with an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery. It is better to get it right the first time, as revision surgeries are typically more challenging and may require longer scars. 

Dr. Lampert’s Difference

Dr. Lampert’s tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedures often take significantly more time than the vast majority performed by other plastic surgeons. As he is meticulously detailed and precision-minded, this longer operation is justified by the final aesthetically superior result. Every step is also made to ensure patient safety.

Tummy tuck surgery on an otherwise healthy patient should be safer than driving your car to the doctor's office. Still, patient safety must always be evaluated and perpetually assessed. Every measure should be taken to always improve it. No cost should be spared when it comes to patient safety. During tummy tuck surgery, it is important to have the safest equipment, best medications, and most experienced doctors, nurses, surgical assistants, and medical professionals. Frequently in life, you get what you pay for. Tummy tuck surgery is no exception.

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Cosmetic results and safety metrics are ultimately the best when the given surgeon takes his or her time to ensure they did their best, remained detail-oriented, and cut no corners to get there. The fast procedure is often not the right procedure, although it may be the cheaper one. When interviewing a plastic surgeon, ask them how much time they typically spend performing a tummy tuck procedure. If they pride themselves on sheer numbers, volume, and being fast, then they might not be the right surgeon for you. Good work takes time.

What Special Techniques Does Dr. Lampert Employ?

Dr. Lampert’s goal is always to get the patient looking great and feeling confident in a two-piece bathing suit or lingerie after body contouring, liposuction, and/or abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery. Whether performing a less invasive procedure, a mini tummy tuck, a full tummy tuck, or an extended tummy tuck, an aesthetic emphasis in contemporary tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) surgery requires the following:

1.) An emphasis on a natural-appearing belly button (or umbilicus) that can be shown at the poolside or beach without the tell-tale signs of surgery.

Patients keep their own belly buttons. Not all tummy tucks or abdominal contouring procedures require a scar around the umbilicus (or belly button.) Mini abdominoplasties do not require a scar, for instance.

Mini tummy tucks are best for patients who have skin laxity that is focused below the belly button. Also, patients with a poor C-section scar and an area of indentation typically do very well with mini tucks and liposuction. 

With patients who have a rectus diastasis (or abdominal muscle spread after pregnancy and desire mommy makeover surgery,) muscle repair could be performed with a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck procedure. Careful attention though should always be paid to the belly button with mini and full tummy tuck procedures. The plastic surgeon must be careful to not displace or pull the belly button down too much with a mini tummy tuck, which can create an unnatural-looking belly button, even though there is no scar around it. 

Mini tummy tucks are best for patients who have abdominal skin laxity on the lower abdomen or an unsatisfactory C-section scar. Patients with umbilical hernias can also have these repaired with a mini tummy tuck as well.

Patients with more skin excess or abdominal laxity, specifically above the belly button, often require a full abdominoplasty. With these patients, a scar must often be made around the belly button. 

This is what defines a full abdominoplasty: the ability to address the contour of the entire abdomen’s skin laxity and whether it requires a necessary scar around the belly button. Dr. Lampert spends over one hour on the necessary details to ensure the best belly button possible on all full tummy tucks. 

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Creating The Perfect Belly Button

Not all belly buttons are created equal. When Dr. Lampert performs an umbilicoplasty -- or performs a full tummy tuck with a scar around the belly button -- he spends a significant amount of time ensuring the best possible scar in order to decrease the risk of visibility. The art of perfecting a belly button in an abdominoplasty is arguably the most technically challenging component of the procedure. From its initial design to the completion of its scar, numerous detail-oriented steps are required in the operating room in order to ensure the best outcome. 

Like everything in life, good belly buttons take time. Dr. Lampert spends over one hour on belly button reconstruction during full abdominoplasty. For full tummy tuck belly buttons, he feels a smaller belly button almost always looks better, as belly buttons tend to stretch with time. He always designs a smaller belly button with his signature hexagon-shaped umbilical scar pattern. This belly button design also includes numerous quilting sutures, which help pull the belly button scar deep under the hood of the umbilicus edge. This step takes time but is necessary in order to best hide the scar within the shadow of the belly button. 

Everyone’s belly button, and abdominal anatomy, is different. Specific patient anatomy must be taken into account with the development of every tummy tuck belly button. Patients with a significant abdominal pannus (or lots of extra fat and skin) may have a very long belly button tunnel. For these patients, sometimes this “tube “ of skin must be significantly shortened in order to prevent a “telescoping belly button.”

Repairing An Umbilical Hernia

Frequently, some patients also will have a small undetected umbilical hernia. This can typically be fixed using the patient’s own muscle tissue to repair the hernia without a mesh.

Large umbilical hernias may require mesh repair, but this can usually be determined in the preoperative examination. 

Sometimes very large hernias require a combined team surgery repair with the general surgeons at the hospital. Simultaneous tummy tuck and abdominal contouring procedures can often be performed at the same time as a hernia repair. Frequently, private health insurance will help pay for a portion of the surgery if a hernia repair or scar revision is necessary in combination. 

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Indications For A Lower Body Lift Or Extended Tummy Tuck

Patients with severe massive weight loss and the associated skin laxity after bariatric surgeries like gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery often require an extended abdominoplasty or a lower body lift. With these procedures, more skin laxity can be removed from places like the outer thighs, posterior flanks, and back. These bigger procedures also have a low scar like a tummy tuck and a focused scar around the umbilicus. Lower body lifts and extended tummy tucks have longer, lower scars that sometimes wrap around the hips and even may wrap around the posterior circumference completely. Regardless of the technique, every effort is made to keep the scar below the bikini or panty line.

Extended Tummy Tuck Before & After

Dr. Lampert performs an Extended Tummy Tuck on this patient

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2.) Maintaining a very low, fine scar that is easily hidden below bikini bottoms and the panty line.

Patients keep their own belly buttons. Not all tummy tucks or abdominal contouring procedures require a scar around the umbilicus (or belly button.) Mini abdominoplasties do not require a scar, for instance.

Mini tummy tucks are best for patients who have skin laxity that is focused below the belly button. Also, patients with a poor C-section scar and an area of indentation typically do very well with mini tucks and liposuction. 

With patients who have a rectus diastasis (or abdominal muscle spread after pregnancy and desire mommy makeover surgery,) muscle repair could be performed with a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck procedure. Careful attention though should always be paid to the belly button with mini and full tummy tuck procedures. The plastic surgeon must be careful to not displace or pull the belly button down too much with a mini tummy tuck, which can create an unnatural-looking belly button, even though there is no scar around it. 

Mini tummy tucks are best for patients who have abdominal skin laxity on the lower abdomen or an unsatisfactory C-section scar. Patients with umbilical hernias can also have these repaired with a mini tummy tuck as well.

Patients with more skin excess or abdominal laxity, specifically above the belly button, often require a full abdominoplasty. With these patients, a scar must often be made around the belly button. 

This is what defines a full abdominoplasty: the ability to address the contour of the entire abdomen’s skin laxity and whether it requires a necessary scar around the belly button. Dr. Lampert spends over one hour on the necessary details to ensure the best belly button possible on all full tummy tucks. 

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Benefits Of The Low Tummy Tuck Scar

Ultimately, Dr. Lampert feels that low scar tummy tucks always provide a better end goal opportunity, being far superior to the high scar procedure. Once a patient has a high scar tummy tuck performed, it is often very difficult to lower the scar, and sometimes very long scars are necessary in order to attempt revision procedures on high scar tummy tucks. 

High scar tummy tuck scars can be nearly impossible to hide underneath a panty line or bikini bottoms. That is why Dr. Lampert is dedicated to providing his patients with the lowest possible tummy tuck scars. Every patient is different in terms of the position of their belly button, whether it is naturally high or low. Individual skin laxity is also variable and must be taken into account when designing a low scar tummy tuck. 

Some patients with a very high belly button and a very long torso with less laxity may require a small vertical scar extending up from their low scar tummy tuck. This is uncommon but is always discussed with the patient on preoperative evaluation if there is any potential risk that it could be necessary. Operative plans are discussed at length with the patient, who has ample opportunity to ask all necessary questions.

3). A tight and strong muscle repair of the abdominal wall or rectus plication in order to significantly bring in the waistline and flatten the tummy. 

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Correcting Rectus Diastasis

All muscle repairs are not created equal. A poor muscle repair has a higher risk of muscle separation or rectus diastasis recurrence. Tightening the muscle is a very important part of the tummy tuck procedure. Frequently the abdominal bulge that patients complain about is not due to fat or skin excess but is actually due to loose muscle spread. 

Commonly, especially in mommy makeover surgery, the muscles have spread significantly apart and allow the intra-abdominal contents to bulge forward, creating significant abdominal protrusion. The only way to correct this abdominal bulge and flatten the tummy for these patients is with a strong and secure muscle repair. 

The muscles that require repair are the abdominal muscles, specifically the rectus abdominis (or "six-pack") muscles. With pregnancy and weight loss, they often spread apart and widen. For many patients after pregnancy and weight loss, the muscles stay spread wide, and this is called a rectus diastasis. A loose abdominal wall, or rectus diastasis, allows deep fat and intra-abdominal tissue to protrude significantly, causing abdominal projection for many pre-tummy tuck bellies. 

Also, the separation of the muscles contributes to a wider waistline in many patients. Tightening the muscles takes time and multiple layers of suture repair. Making significant efforts to maximally tighten loose abdominal muscles and repair rectus diastasis is one of the most important steps in narrowing the patient’s waist. Furthermore, this is arguably the most important step in achieving a flat tummy for patients seeking a mommy makeover or post massive weight loss surgery. 

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Dr. Lampert’s Strategic And Innovative Approach

In order to do this muscle repair quickly, some surgeons cut corners and take one long suture and run that stitch like a baseball seam down the entire muscle repair. Sometimes this fast but inferior technique utilizes only one knot at the start of the run and one knot at the end. Some "fast surgeons” use fewer knots and a suture with barbs instead. 

The problem with this fast technique is the limited reinforcement and the fact that one suture failure or knot rupture could lead to separation of the entire muscle and an unzipping of the entire rectus diastasis repair. When Dr. Lampert performs a rectus diastasis repair, he utilizes a very heavy absorbable suture. The suture lasts longer than six months before it is absorbed by the body and replaced with an even stronger scar. This suture material is very thick, but it does get absorbed, so there is no risk of long-term palpability. In other words, patients cannot feel it after it has dissolved post-op. 

Utilizing this heavy absorbable suture material, Dr. Lampert places a series of sutures -- too many to count, with numerous knots spaced approximately 5 mm apart. This creates a very strong rectus diastasis muscle repair that cannot fail with knot rupture, suture failure, or a patient’s deep breath or cough. Like a bundle of sticks being stronger than one stick alone, this multiple suture/multiple knot technique creates a far superior muscle repair than that used by the overwhelming vast majority of other plastic surgeons more focused on volume and a rapid surgery. 

Dr. Lampert’s muscle repair technique takes over an hour and is very meticulous. Deep muscle repair with methodical surgical technique and an anatomic artistic goal in sight is so important, as it provides the underlying architecture of the deep frame with correction that is so very much needed for an excellent tummy tuck contour -- especially in mommy makeover patients. 

4) Comprehensive liposuction of the entire abdomen, flanks, posterior trunk, and other areas in order to achieve proportional harmony and artistically sculpt the abdomen and more naturally flatten the tummy.

Many surgeons are afraid to perform liposuction of the entire abdomen during tummy tuck procedures. In the olden days, this was deemed as taboo, and frequently older surgeons would insist on patients coming back for multiple secondary procedures and not perform liposuction of the central abdomen. Dr. Lampert employs liposuction of the central abdomen, lateral flanks, and posterior flanks with most every tummy tuck he performs. There are very few patients who do not benefit from this. Dr. Lampert has demonstrated and published articles on the safety of performing a simultaneous liposuction with these body contouring procedures of the entire trunk, including the central abdomen. Liposuction is most important for superficial layer shaping during the tummy tuck. Liposuction also helps prevent step-off deformities and rough transitions at the level of the incision.

Liposuction not only allows highlighting of the abdominal wall musculature and the development of the patient’s natural midline abdominal violin shape, but it also helps ensure a smoother contour below the belly button and at the level of the incision. Comprehensive liposuction does take more time and typically requires the placement of drains, but the general outcomes are so much better that it makes it all well worth it. The concept of the lipo-abdominoplasty, or comprehensive liposuction of the entire abdomen during a tummy tuck, is one of the greatest advancements in modern day body contouring technique – whether it is a mini tummy tuck, full tummy tuck, extended or lower body lift procedure.

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What Can I Expect From My Recovery?

Patients will recover at different rates depending on their overall health and the degree of correction they have achieved. Most patients will need to take at least 1-2 weeks off work if they have desk jobs. More strenuous work will require additional weeks off. 

Dr. Lampert gives tailor-made instructions to each patient so that they can plan their recovery and, more importantly, get the best result from their surgery. Dr. Lampert makes himself always available to his patients, any time of the day, in order to afford them a greater degree of security.

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Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline 

Immediately After Surgery

Patients wake up after surgery and remain for about an hour or so in the post-anesthesia recovery room with the registered nurse and anesthesiologist. Patients are helped up and out of bed to the bathroom. We want patients to walk to the bathroom and around the house a little bit starting right after surgery in order to decrease the remote risk of blood clot formation. 

Patients either stay overnight with the nurse or go home that afternoon with a capable adult as an ambulatory surgery patient. Some patients hire a nurse to come home with them and help with their care.

The First Few Days

The first couple of days are usually the toughest for tummy tuck patients. Adequate muscle tightening can be painful during this time, and oral pain medication and muscle relaxers are often helpful. Patients are maintained strictly in the reclined "beach chair position" while they are in bed in order to avoid any unnecessary tension or mechanical stress on the abdominal skin closure or muscle repair.

This "beach chair position" involves the patient lying with a wedge or pillows behind their back and head, with more pillows below the knees. A La-Z-Boy-style recliner can also be used. This allows flexion of waist, hips, and knees at the same time, which allows the wounds to heal without tension. This position is maintained for about one month after surgery. 

Avoiding forced extension of the tummy helps prevent the risk of bad scars, recurrence of abdominal wall laxity, suture rupture, and the rare risk of wound separation. Patients usually need help getting up and out of bed the first few days after surgery.

The First Few Weeks

Help is usually needed around the house and driving the first couple of weeks after surgery. Most of the abdominal contouring procedures (mini tuck, full tuck, etc.) involve significant shaping with liposuction. The full abdominal liposuction often is key in order to create an aesthetically refined result that appears natural and flat.

The Use Of Drains

More often than not, a much better abdominoplasty result can be obtained with appropriate liposuction of the entire abdomen and sometimes the posterior flanks. In order to ensure the best possible result and a more rapid recovery with decreased risk, drains are typically used during surgery.

Drains are soft tubes that come out of the skin and allow the drainage of fluids, which decreases the risk of seroma or fluid collection. Although “drainless tummy tuck” procedures were once popular once, Dr. Lampert prefers the demonstrated safety and significant aesthetic benefit of full abdominal liposuction using drains. 

For patients who have had significant liposuction, full abdominoplasty, and extended tummy tuck or lower body lift procedures, multiple drains may be used and may require utilization for a longer duration. Patients often go home with drains. The patients and their families are instructed by the nurse on how to care for the drains and also record the drain output. Oftentimes, the family will record a short video of the nurse demonstrating drain management, but typically this is very easy and straightforward. Drains are removed during subsequent post-op office visits. Dr. Lampert will typically see the patient every week after surgery until all drains are removed. 

Wearing A Compression Garment

Dr. Lampert sees the patient one week after surgery, and this is often the time that the compression garment or Faja is placed. Dr. Lampert likes to wait this amount of time before placement of the compression garment in order to allow the best return of blood supply to the healing tissues. Once the compression garment is placed, it is typically worn for 23 hours a day for the first month and then at night during the second month after surgery. Some patients choose to wear it longer, which is okay. Some patients also choose to have lymphatic massage after surgery. Dr. Lampert sees the patient again the second week after surgery to remove any small surgical tapes and reevaluate progress.

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The First Few Months

Patients typically go back to light exercise at one month after surgery and are allowed to return to more strenuous physical activity, high-intensity training, and heavy lifting at two months after surgery.

Dr. Lampert sees the patients frequently after surgery in order to ensure the appropriate timing of return to strenuous activity. Sometimes additional body contouring procedures, such as EmSculpt, are performed to further refine the tummy months later. 

The First 6-12 Months

Scars continue to fade over the course of a year, and swelling typically takes many months to subside, frequently with the final abdominal shape and musculature detail not visible for about one year after surgery. There is a significant decrease in swelling that occurs over the first 6 to 7 months, but a small residual amount of swelling continues to diminish as scars fade over the course of the year.

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Tummy Tuck FAQ

Where Is My Tummy Tuck Performed?

Dr. Lampert performs all of his procedures at the hospital or his Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC), Miami Surgery, LLC, which is Federally Certified by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). This is the same agency that licenses all of the best hospitals in the state of Florida. It is currently one of only three other Plastic Surgery ASCs in Miami-Dade County Certified by AHCA. Dr. Lampert’s practice is held to a higher standard. Having control of his own ambulatory surgery center, he is able to provide patients the advantage of many surgical technologies and a higher quality of equipment that is not available at the hospital. He has equipped his facility with the latest tummy tuck surgery and safety equipment, including a smoke evacuation system, high-definition imaging, LED lighting, visualization technology, power-assisted liposuction devices, video laryngoscopy, forced air patient warmers, and much more.
Click here for more details: https://www.lampertmd.com

Can Tummy Tuck Be Combined with Other Procedures?

Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty procedures are commonly performed with cosmetic breast surgery, such as a breast lift procedure or mastopexy, breast augmentation, breast revision, or breast reduction. The combination of tummy tuck and cosmetic breast surgery is frequently referred to as a mommy makeover procedure, though a mommy makeover can include any combination of surgical procedures done on a patient who is a mommy. Frequently, patients undergo an abdominoplasty at the same time as an umbilical or abdominal hernia repair. This can be an advantage to the patient sometimes, as private insurance frequently will cover umbilical or abdominal hernia repair costs as well as overall anesthesia and facility costs. Very large, complicated hernias sometimes can require surgical treatment at the hospital. More often though, small hernias can be fixed at the same time as a tummy tuck and the patient can go home as an ambulatory patient. A number of cosmetic procedures can be performed at the same time as an abdominoplasty, including rhinoplasty, eyelid lift, breast implant removal or exchange, scar revision, or labiaplasty, just to name a few. Frequently, fat transfers are performed at the same time as an abdominoplasty procedure. Fat can be transferred to anywhere that is appropriate, including the face, breasts, and buttocks (these areas being the most popular.) Fat that would otherwise be thrown out during the abdominoplasty or tummy tuck procedure can be utilized elsewhere in order to provide a more hydrated look to the face and lips or augmentation and volume to the breasts and buttocks. If you are interested in additional procedures, speak with Dr. Lampert about it during your private consultation. He is always happy to customize your treatment plan so that your aesthetic goals are reached and your expectations for improvement are exceeded. Combining procedures can often save you both time and money, so don’t be afraid to explore your options.

Will a Tummy Tuck Eliminate My Belly Fat?

A tummy tuck is not intended to replace weight loss. It is a body contouring procedure, and any weight loss that occurs is incidental. Liposuction and abdominoplasty combined together can create an excellent contour and a flat, shapely tummy. For patients who are at a healthy weight with stubborn belly fat that isn’t responding to diet and exercise, liposuction and abdominoplasty can help them achieve that figure they desire.

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*The content/images on this website are not a guarantee of individual results. Individual results may vary. The information provided on this site is for general informational purposes only, and does not replace the need for a formal consultation.

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