As a women in NYC, you want to look and feel your very best. Unfortunately, excess skin and fat on your abdomen can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. A tummy tuck — technically known as an abdominoplasty – can give you a flatter, firmer abdomen by removing unsightly fat and skin, as well as tightening your abdominal muscles.
Many of Dr. Nina Naidu’s tummy tuck patients are professional, independent women who are dissatisfied with their abdomen following pregnancy or weight loss. While foundation garments are a temporary solution, they can be uncomfortable and are not helpful in intimate situations. A tummy tuck is a way to restore their pre-pregnancy abdomen and regain their femininity.
For many of Dr. Naidu’s patients, the decision to have a tummy tuck is about more than their abdomen. The choice to have a tummy tuck signifies that they are finished having children and are ready to focus on themselves. Choosing to have a tummy tuck is a decision to feel more feminine and confident. Dr. Naidu’s goal is to help every patient look and feel her very best.
You are a good candidate for a tummy tuck if, despite diet and exercise, you are unhappy with the appearance of your abdomen. An abdominoplasty is a good solution for women whose muscles have been stretched during pregnancy, as well as women who have excess fat and skin following weight loss.
You must also have realistic expectations for the surgery. Abdominoplasty is major surgery and is not a treatment for obesity. It is also not an effective treatment for stretch marks located above the umbilicus.
For the best results from a tummy tuck, you should also be close to your ideal weight and your weight should be stable. You should be physically healthy and not smoke. If you are planning to become pregnant in the future, Dr. Naidu recommends postponing your tummy tuck until after you’re finished having children. She does not recommend you undergo a tummy tuck at the same time as a Caesarean section.
The first part of your tummy tuck is a comprehensive consultation in our NYC office. Dr. Naidu will get to know you and your goals for the surgery. For many women, a tummy tuck is a way to feel more feminine and return to their pre-pregnancy body.
During your consultation, you will need to tell Dr. Naidu about your goals for the surgery. She will also want to learn about your medical history (including abdominal surgeries) as well as your use of medications, nicotine and/or alcohol. The ideal candidate for tummy tuck surgery has finished having children and has achieved a stable weight.
Dr. Naidu will conduct a physical examination. She will evaluate the areas of excess skin and fat on your abdomen and flanks. In addition, she will examine the muscles on your abdominal wall. Some patients have hernias (defects in the abdominal wall) that can be repaired at the same time as a tummy tuck, in conjunction with a general surgeon.
To meet your aesthetic goals, Dr. Naidu may suggest additional procedures that could be performed along with your tummy tuck. This includes liposuction to contour your flanks and inner thighs. Some patients also choose to also undergo breast surgery to lift their breasts and add volume. The combination of tummy tuck surgery and breast surgery is commonly referred to as a “mommy makeover” procedure.
Depending on your anatomy, you may also be a candidates for non-invasive treatments, such as CoolSculpting® or PelleFirm™.
At the end of the consultation, Dr. Naidu will let you know if you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck and if it will meet your goals. She will educate you about your abdominoplasty options and answer your questions. Dr. Naidu wants you to make an informed decision about your tummy tuck and she will not pressure you to schedule a procedure.
If you decide to proceed with a tummy tuck, you will have a second consultation with Dr. Naidu in our NYC office. At this appointment, Dr. Naidu will also explain her plan for your surgery. She will let you know the length of your surgery and what to expect during your recovery. You will also complete the necessary paperwork for your abdominoplasty.
At this appointment, we will take pre-operative photographs. These photographs are an important part of your surgical planning and are considered part of your medical record. They will never be shown to other patients without your written permission.
Depending on your medical history, Dr. Naidu may advise you to discontinue certain medications prior to surgery. If you are a smoker, you must not smoke for eight weeks before or after the surgery. Prior to surgery you will be required to obtain routine bloodwork (and possibly preoperative clearance) from your primary medical doctor. For your safety, Dr. Naidu may also order additional screening tests.
Tummy tuck surgery is performed on an outpatient basis in an ambulatory surgery center. The surgery lasts between two and three hours. It is performed under general anesthesia which is very safe and it makes certain that you will be completely comfortable during your abdominoplasty.
Dr. Naidu will meet with you immediately before your surgery. She will make several marks on your abdomen and flanks, as well as answer any last-minute questions.
After you have received general anesthesia, Dr. Naidu will make a long horizontal incision between your hipbones. This incision is hidden within your bikini line. In patients who have undergone a prior C-section, the incision can be made in the same location and extended to the sides. The skin and fat are loosened from the abdominal wall. Sutures are placed in the fascia of the abdominal wall muscles to create a tight, firm abdomen. Your abdominal skin and fat are carefully pulled down over the incision line and the excess is removed.
While the umbilicus has stayed in the same place on the abdominal wall, the skin around it has moved. This requires Dr. Naidu to create a new opening. The placement of the umbilicus is marked on the skin, and a hole is cut. The umbilicus is pulled through the skin and sutured into place. The incisions are closed using dissolvable sutures.
Drains are generally placed to prevent the buildup of fluid, which can create pressure on the incisions and re-draped skin. A drain is a clear plastic tube placed through a small incision, which leads out of the body to a small oval-shaped bulb. The drains will be removed in the office four to five days following surgery, depending upon the volume of drainage recorded. In some cases, Dr. Naidu will use special stitches on the abdomen which will eliminate the need for drains.
In the “mini” tummy tuck procedure, the lower abdominal muscle is tightened. Fat and skin are also removed. The mini tummy tuck is performed through a limited horizontal bikini incision, without repositioning of the navel. The resulting scar is usually low on the abdomen, and therefore can be concealed within most bathing suits and clothing. Small drain tubes are occasionally placed with this technique as well, although in select cases Dr. Naidu will opt to use sutures only
Following your tummy tuck surgery, you will wake up in the operating room and then will be transported to the recovery area. You may still be sleepy at this time, and therefore you will be carefully observed until you are fully alert. You will also likely receive a small amount of pain medication during this time.
As you wake up, you’ll realize that you are wearing a surgical binder around your abdomen. You will also (possibly) have two drains and Steri-Strip dressings over your incisions. Once you are no longer groggy, you will be transported to another recovery area and given something to eat prior to discharge. The nurses in the recovery area will demonstrate how to empty and record the output from your drains if these have been placed
You must have a responsible adult to escort you home and stay with you for the first night after your surgery. Alternatively, our office can help arrange to have a private nurse stay with you. When you return home, you should take a nap for two or three hours. Most of the narcotic medication which you received during surgery will have worn off by this time, so you should have little to no nausea after your nap.
Many of Dr. Naidu’s patients are strong, independent women who are reluctant to ask for help. These patients need to understand that a tummy tuck is major surgery and post-surgical assistance will be required. We strongly recommend that you create a plan to take care of your family so that you can focus on your own recovery.
Most patients report only mild discomfort following their tummy tuck. Rather than describing pain, they note that their abdomen feels tight — as if they have performed many sit-ups. Pain will typically diminish after 48 hours and pain medication is prescribed to manage any discomfort. If you notice sudden swelling, severe pain, redness, drainage, or a fever, you should contact the office immediately for evaluation.
Three or four days following your surgery, you will return to our NYC office. At this appointment, any drains placed will be removed. You will be placed into a compression garment that will help reduce your swelling during the early postoperative period. You will need to wear this garment continuously for two to three weeks following surgery. (Some patients elect to purchase a second garment, to allow one to be washed while the other is worn.)
Walking is permitted the day after surgery, but strenuous activity and heavy lifting are limited until six weeks following surgery. Swelling will be present for two to three months after surgery. The final results are typically seen three to six months after surgery. Your scar will continue to fade and soften for up to one year following surgery.
During your consultation, Dr. Naidu will explain the risks of a tummy tuck so that you can make an informed decision about this surgery. As with other surgeries, the risks of a tummy tuck include bleeding, infection and numbness.
You will have a permanent scar on your lower abdomen following your tummy tuck. Although the scar improves with time, it will not completely fade. In some cases the scar may become thick or wide, but this cannot be predicted. Dr. Naidu will provide you with a set of silicone strips to use following surgery to assist in scar reduction.
Complications from a tummy tuck can be reduced by choosing a skilled surgeon, providing a thorough medical history, and carefully following your pre-operative and post-operative instructions.
We understand that cost is very important to our clients. Although some patients may wish to have a tummy tuck performed at the same time as a C-section, Dr. Naidu does not believe this is in the best interest of your health. Abdominoplasty surgery may be safely performed at the same time as a hernia repair or hysterectomy in conjunction with a general surgeon or gynecologist. Even if insurance covers the hernia repair or hysterectomy, an abdominoplasty is considered to be a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance.
Please call our NYC office at 212-452-1230 and we will be happy to provide information about the cost of a tummy tuck, as well as information on financing. You will be provided with the exact cost of your procedure following your consultation with Dr. Naidu.
Dr. Nina Naidu is an experienced, compassionate plastic surgeon who wants every patient to look and feel her very best. She understands that, for many women, having a flat tummy is an important step toward self-care and self-confidence. Dr. Naidu specializes in surgeries that contour the female body and restore femininity.
Dr. Naidu completed her undergraduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University and obtained her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. After completing her general surgery and plastic surgery training at New York Presbyterian – Weill Cornell Medical Center, she performed an additional year of fellowship training at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Naidu is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast comprise a large part of Dr. Naidu’s NYC surgical practice. Since 2006, Dr. Naidu has served as a clinical investigator in the Breast Implant Follow-Up Studies (BIFS) trials. She offers her patients the full range of breast implants. She is excited to be one of only five plastic surgeons in NYC to offer the Ideal Implant®, which combines a natural feel of silicone with the safety of saline.
After pregnancy or weight loss, excess skin and fat can distort the appearance of the abdomen. In particular, many women find that after their second child or after bearing twins, their muscles and skin do not return to their original appearance secondary to repeated stretch of the abdomen. The abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck” procedure, creates a flatter, firmer abdomen by removing excess fat and skin, and tightening the abdominal muscles.
The abdominoplasty procedure is performed with a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen within the bikini line. In patients who have undergone a prior C-section, the incision can be made in the same location and extended to the sides. The rectus abdominis muscles of the abdomen are tightened, and the excess skin and fat are trimmed and redraped. Liposuction is sometimes used in addition to address the flanks. Most abdominoplasty surgeries require repositioning of the umbilicus, or navel. In the “mini” abdominoplasty procedure, lower abdominal muscle tightening with fat and skin removal are performed through a limited horizontal bikini incision only, without repositioning of the navel. The resulting scar is usually low on the abdomen, and therefore can be concealed within most bathing suits and clothing. Small drain tubes are placed with both techniques. The procedure averages two hours in length, and is performed in the hospital or in an ambulatory center under general anesthesia. Most patients are able to return home that evening.
After surgery, an abdominal binder is placed. This is followed by a compressive garment after the drains are removed one week following surgery. Most sutures placed will dissolve. Patients generally require one week off of work after surgery. Walking is permitted and encouraged the day after surgery, but strenuous activity and heavy lifting are limited until six weeks following surgery. Most patients do not complain of severe pain following this surgery, but note that the abdomen feels “tight”, as if they have performed many sit-ups. Pain medication is prescribed for any discomfort. Swelling will be present for the initial 2-3 months after surgery, and the final results are typically seen 3-6 months after surgery. The scar will continue to fade and soften for up to one year following surgery.
Our office is conveniently located at 1021 Park Avenue in NYC. If you’d like to learn more about tummy tucks – and whether it is right for you – please call our office at 212-452-1230 and schedule an appointment.