Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, helps New Jersey patients flatten their abdominal region by tightening the underlying muscles, removing excess fat, and trimming away extra skin. The procedure can be an ideal solution if you are in relatively good shape and are bothered by loose or hanging skin around your midsection. A tummy tuck can be very effective for:

  • Women who have weakened abdominal muscles due to pregnancy.
  • New Jersey patients whose skin has lost its youthful elasticity because of weight loss.

Your Consultation

Your experience begins in our New Jersey offices in a private, one-on-one visit with Dr. Herbstman. This is an important time to discuss all aspects of your treatment — from your medical history to your lifestyle and aesthetic goals — to help you both effectively work toward the result you want to achieve.

During your consultation, Dr. Herbstman will perform a thorough physical examination and evaluate factors such as the skin quality and muscle tone of your abdomen and the amount of unwanted fat present. He will also take measurements to assess your proportions so that he can ensure an even, natural-looking result.

Dr. Herbstman emphasizes the importance of open, candid communication as part of the patient experience. It’s imperative that you share your honest expectations about tummy tuck surgery and relevant health history with us, so we can be sure your procedure goes as smoothly as possible, and your results are beautiful and long-lasting.

At the end of your consultation, our staff will provide you with a written quote that reflects your specific surgical plan. We will also explain the financing options we offer to our New Jersey patients. Although you may schedule your procedure during your consultation, we understand that plastic surgery is a big decision, and it’s possible that you may want some time to weigh your options. It is important to discuss your treatment with your spouse, partner or family before setting a date for your procedure.

Deciding to Have a Tummy Tuck

You are likely a candidate for a tummy tuck if:

  • You are bothered by excess, sagging, or loose skin around your abdomen. This can be caused by past pregnancies, weight loss, aging, and even genetics.
  • You have stretched or separated abdominal muscles that cause your belly to protrude.
  • You are in generally good health.
  • You are at or near a healthy, stable weight.

Abdominoplasty is one of several different approaches to contouring a person’s torso, and our practice offers a variety of options to New Jersey patients. During your consultation, Dr. Herbstman can discuss the treatment that best fits your needs and aesthetic goals.

In general, tummy tuck is the most impactful solution for getting a flat, firm belly. Alternatives include:

Liposuction. This common cosmetic procedure targets areas of fat around the midsection, thighs, and other features. By removing fat cells, the surgery debulks these trouble-spots, but it does not get rid of excess skin or tighten the underlying abdominal muscles.

Mini-tummy tuck. This surgery uses a smaller incision than a full tummy tuck and focuses on the lower abdomen to remove excess skin between the belly button and pubic area,

If weakened abdominal muscles and excess skin in the upper abdomen are your biggest aesthetic concerns, and if there has been significant damage to the tissue around your midsection, you may be a better candidate for a full tummy tuck. Dr. Herbstman can advise you about which option will be most appropriate based on your consultation and physical examination.

What to Expect With Tummy Tuck Surgery

Dr. Herbstman performs most of his tummy tuck procedures for New Jersey patients on an outpatient basis, meaning that you will be able to go home on the same day as your surgery. If the procedure is more extensive or involves additional areas of liposuction it may be advisable to recover overnight in the hospital with discharge home the next morning.

During the procedure, Dr. Herbstman will:

  • Place an incision along the lowest part of the abdomen just above the pubic hairline.
  • Remove excess fat from the midsection.
  • Tighten the abdominal muscles for a flatter body contour.
  • Stretch the skin downward, pull it taut across the muscles, and trim away the excess.

Dr. Herbstman will often use liposuction as part of a tummy tuck to remove the unwanted fat. He can also provide liposuction on other areas of the body to complement the result of the tummy tuck. Women who choose to have a tummy tuck may also elect to have breast augmentation to enhance their figure further.

Recovery After a Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck can provide effective and attractive results where options such as diet and exercise may not have succeeded. However, it is an intensive procedure, and patients should understand that they will require at least one full week of downtime for recovery. For some patients, this downtime may last up to three weeks away from work and normal activities.

For this reason, the most successful and comfortable recovery comes from planning ahead so that you can get the rest that you need after the procedure. If you have young children, we recommend that you get help with their care so that you can have the appropriate time to heal.

Although you will need to rest while at home, we encourage patients to engage in light activity, such as walking, as soon as possible. This prevents the formation of blood clots and often helps them feel better as well. By the end of the second week of recovery, most of our New Jersey patients are back to self-sufficiency in normal daily activities.  We restrict strenuous exercise for an additional few weeks.

Once you are fully healed, you should have a flatter, attractively contoured abdomen. You should also be able to maintain these results indefinitely, provided you stick to a healthy diet and exercise habits and avoid significant weight fluctuations.

Signs of Surgery

A tummy tuck procedure can completely reshape your figure in a single surgical session. The necessary incision will leave a scar, but placement is generally in an inconspicuous area. Our New Jersey patients find that this exchange is well worth the improvement they see.

Dr. Herbstman will use several different approaches to minimize the visibility of the surgical scar. For example, he will apply advanced surgical techniques to reduce the size of the incision. He will also strategically place the incision so that, in most cases, the scar can be easily covered by a bikini. As part of your recovery, our team can advise you about other scar management practices to follow.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know if I need liposuction or a tummy tuck?

    Maybe you want to change the way your midsection looks but aren’t sure which procedure is the best option. To decide, it helps to understand how liposuction and tummy tuck surgery differ.

    Liposuction only removes fat from the area. If you have stubborn fat along your midsection and skin that is fairly elastic (meaning it will “bounce back” after the fat is gone), liposuction may be the right approach for your needs. However, if you have stretched, loose skin or bulging abdominal muscles, then a tummy tuck may be a better choice.

  • Can I have children after a tummy tuck?

    It’s perfectly safe to become pregnant after a tummy tuck, but our practice typically advises patients to wait to undergo the surgery until after they have decided not to have more children. This is because the changes that a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy can significantly alter the results of a tummy tuck. This may necessitate an additional surgery in the future to ensure your results are maintained.

    If you are considering a tummy tuck with our New Jersey practice but aren’t sure if you would like to have more children after surgery, we may be able to recommend an alternative procedure. We are happy to talk through family planning issues during your consultation and come up with a treatment plan that suits your lifestyle.

  • Will exercise give me the same results?

    Although good diet and exercise habits can go a long way toward giving you the body you want — and keeping you healthy — they can’t do anything to reduce the presence of loose, hanging skin or muscles that have been stetched and distorted.  Only surgical excision can permanently remove this skin and repair of the muscles to restore a taut, smooth contour to your abdomen. Many of our New Jersey patients are already in excellent shape when they opt to have a tummy tuck.

  • When can I resume exercise after a tummy tuck?

    After 1-3 weeks, you should be feeling well enough to return to work and most daily activities. You can begin gradually returning to exercise at this time, starting with walking and low-impact activities. It’s important not to overexert the abdominal area during the healing process, so strength and core exercises such as crunches should be avoided. Over the course of about 6-8 weeks, you can resume full activity. We are happy to advance you to different levels of exercise during your follow-up appointments as we monitor your progress.

Schedule a consultation with Contemporary Plastic Surgery to find out more about what you can expect with a tummy tuck. Dr. Robert Herbstman takes a personal approach to each patient’s care. See the difference when you visit our practice in East Brunswick and Red Bank in New Jersey. To learn more about abdominoplasty, request a consultation online or call us at (732) 254-1919.