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The 360 Degree Abdominoplasty: Tummy Tuck

Even though we have the best of all the skin tightening/liposuction technologies on the market in our BodyTite™ procedure, the abdominoplasty still remains a valuable and essential procedure for removing excess abdominal skin and tightening loose abdominal muscles. Similar to the facelift for treating severe skin laxity of the face, the abdominoplasty still remains the gold standard to provide an unequaled and transformative result that leaves a tight, flat abdomen while contouring the entire torso to a pre-pregnancy or pre-weight-gain look! The improvement of the before and after profile is one of the most satisfying outcomes in our practice, and it is so exciting to see how our patients enjoy their new look and invest more in their health and happiness! Most people will not only keep the weight off but will continue to lose ten pounds or more following their procedure. 

Why Get a Tummy Tuck?

People are often bothered by their protruding abdominal area and loose, wrinkled skin. Weight fluctuations and weight loss, as well as changes from aging, pregnancy, and genetic factors can all contribute to stretch marks, residual fat, and a shelf of loose skin that does not respond to healthy lifestyle changes. There is a saying that you can’t exercise your skin! Abdominoplasty addresses these issues by neatly trimming away the excess skin for a smooth, taut figure. Loose abdominal muscles are tightened to yield a flat abdomen. In addition, the hips and back can be treated with liposuction and BodyTite™ for a “360-degree” result.

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Your Tummy Tuck Procedure: What is the 360 Abdominoplasty?

Dr. Stephens customizes every tummy tuck to ensure an optimal outcome for each patient. Besides the tummy tuck, Dr. Stephens typically performs liposuction of the pubic area, hips, lower back, and torso to provide a slimmer figure overall, hence the 360-degree result that leaves a dramatic change in your profile from all angles. Where there is a condition of the abdominal muscles called “diastasis”, or stretching of the abdominal muscles, he will perform a rectus muscle plication to tighten them, similar to making an internal corset. With his experienced and skilled team in our state-licensed, state-of-the-art, AAAASF-certified ambulatory surgical suite (ASC), the procedure is done under a light general anesthesia. Our skilled anesthesiologist is an ACGME, board-certified physician who has years of experience in outpatient cosmetic surgery procedures, ensuring that patients do not feel anything during their procedure. Recovery is smooth and comfortable. Before leaving our office, our patients are cared for by one of our skilled and caring recovery nurses.

During your procedure, Dr. Stephens will perform a long-acting nerve block of the abdominal muscles (if work is done on them) to alleviate much of your pain following surgery. Our team is devoted to providing a safe, pleasant, and comfortable experience for every patient.

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Incisions and Scars

The amount of correction and skin removal will determine how long the incisions are. Typically, incisions begin around the pubic region and extend toward the hips. Dr. Stephens is known for concealing these incisions low on the abdomen, beneath undergarments and swimsuits, and for creating a small unoperated-looking belly button. We know that a poor or long scar is the fear of many people and we work to create as small a scar as possible with careful skin closure. Typically the results from the procedure are such that we do not hear many complaints about the scar. We recommend bioCorneum®+, which is an FDA-approved, topical, silicone-based treatment to reduce the size and thickness of scars. For darker skin types, we also recommend a topical scar lightening medication.

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Your Recovery After Your Tummy Tuck: Minimizing Pain and Ensuring a Quick Recovery

Every effort is made to provide a smooth recovery following abdominoplasty, including placing a very effective nerve block in the abdominal muscles, called an iTap block, using a long-acting, slow-release, local anesthetic called EXPAREL®, which lasts upwards of 36 to 72 hours. In addition, the tumescent local anesthetic used in the liposuction or BodyTite™ areas lasts for six to 12 hours following surgery. We provide a comprehensive recovery program to help our patients to resume quiet activities like walking in the first 24 hours and increasing activities as the days pass. Most patients return to work within two weeks and continue light exercises after about four to six weeks. Dr. Stephens sees all of his tummy tuck patients within 24 to 48 hours at their home or hotel. While patients recover, our team guides them from day one with specific instructions to educate them in the best recovery method.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tummy Tuck  

Who is an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck?

Men and women who are unhappy with the appearance of their abdomen because of loose abdominal muscles and excess skin and fat may benefit from a tummy tuck. It is essential to have realistic expectations, be in good general health, be finished having children, and be close to your ideal weight before undergoing a tummy tuck to achieve the best results.

What risks are involved after tummy tuck surgery?

Our team strives to reduce the risks associated with abdominoplasty surgery by regularly updating safety recommendations and carefully adhering to safety guidelines and reviewing these risks with our patients. Serious complications are rare. The potential risks include: blood clots in the deep veins of the thighs and pelvis (DVT) and their possible risks of developing pulmonary embolism (PE), bleeding risks, fluid accumulation or bleeding, causing a collection called seromas or hematomas, poor healing of the navel, adverse anesthesia reaction, heavy scarring, and soft tissue loss because of poor circulation to the skin and infection. Dr. Stephens and his staff will discuss the risks involved with your procedure during your consultation.

Is the procedure painful?

General anesthesia, combined with local anesthetics, allows for a safe, comfortable, pain-free procedure. We were one of the first practices in the country to utilize EXPAREL®, a long-acting local anesthetic, as an iTap nerve block, which has been a big improvement in pain management. Our team takes care to provide a pleasant experience for our patients. Mild discomfort, swelling, and bruising may be experienced, which can be alleviated using pain medication.

When will I see my results?

As the swelling reduces, your results become more evident. The abdominal region and your hips become slimmer, tighter, and more defined. While you will see an immediate improvement in your tummy and torso after the procedure, several months will pass before you see the final results.

How can I maintain my results?

As long as you maintain a consistent weight and a healthy lifestyle, you will enjoy the results of your tummy tuck for many years! It is truly a transformative procedure that will provide years of happiness and enjoyment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Take the guesswork out of Plastic Surgery

We are extremely pleased to feature the Vectra XT 3D system in our patient consultations. The results are spectacular and our patients are consistently amazed by the realism of the image!

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Voted The BEST

Consecutively voted in the top 5 “Best Favorite Plastic Surgeon” in Evening Magazine’s Best of Western Washington and “Best Cosmetic Surgeon” in 425 Magazine.

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Have a question, or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stephens ? Fill out the form below or call our office at 425-455-0444 to schedule your appointment.

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Our Location

Within easy access from all points in the Northwest, Bellevue makes the ideal location for all your cosmetic needs. Free parking included.

10687 NE 2nd Street
Bellevue, WA 98004

Phone: (425) 455-0444

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