Dr. Sean Bidic and Dr. Vinay Gundlapalli perform abdominoplasty, often called a tummy tuck, in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, to give women and men slim and smooth midsections by removing excess skin and fat, correcting a bulging belly wall, and removing fat from the back and flanks. Patients visit our surgeons for tummy tuck surgery from South Jersey and the Jersey Shore because they trust their qualifications and the results they consistently achieve. As one of only a handful of board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S. with a Master of Fine Arts, Dr. Bidic has unique qualifications in the technical and aesthetic aspects of body contouring.
A Consultation That's All About You
One Patient's Tummy Tuck & Liposuction Experience
Dr. Bidic and Dr. Gundlapalli are known for their longer-than-average consultations at our Mullica Hill office. For tummy tuck and other plastic surgery patients, they value patient education, and make sure that you feel comfortable and confident about your procedure and recovery.
During your consultation, they will work with you to determine the best approach to your tummy tuck. This is influenced by your aesthetic concerns and the degree of correction needed.
Are You a Good Tummy Tuck Candidate?
There are several reasons you might consider a tummy tuck. Women finished having children often get tummy tuck surgery as part of a mommy makeover. Some patients have lost a significant amount of weight, either through surgery or lifestyle changes, and have excess skin they'd like to remove. Whatever your specific motivation is, there are some general guidelines that make you a good candidate for a tummy tuck:
- Your weight doesn't fluctuate significantly. A tummy tuck isn't a weight-loss procedure; rather it refines your contours by tightening skin and muscles. Still, weight changes can affect your results, so you should be at a stable weight prior to surgery.
- You are in good physical health. Healthy patients generally tolerate the recovery process very well.
- You don't smoke. If you are a smoker, you should stop at least 6 weeks before the surgery. Smoking is linked to an increased risk of complications and slows down the healing process.
Your Tummy Tuck Procedure
Our patients often say, "I work out, I eat right, and I still can't get my abdomen back into pre-pregnancy shape." This condition is a result of lost elasticity in the abdominal tissues. To accommodate the enlarged uterus (or womb) during pregnancy, all 3 abdominal wall layers — skin, fat, and muscle encased in fascia — from just above the navel (belly button) to the pubic bone stretch beyond the body's ability to create new tissues. The abdominal wall tissues of mothers bearing multiple children (twins, triplets, etc.) are stretched to a more extreme degree. How well these tissues bounce back after delivery is dependent on many factors, including:
- Skin elasticity
- Weight gain during pregnancy
Although abdominal muscles can return to a normal state after pregnancy, the tissue that encases these muscles (the fascia) and the skin do not have the same resilience. The stretched fascia and skin produce a protruding belly. This mechanical change in the tissue cannot be corrected with exercise or diet.
Muscle and Skin Laxity
During surgery, the surgeon removes excess skin and repairs the muscle wall. This procedure will help tighten the abdominal corset from the inside by restoring weakened or separated muscles thus creating a smoother and firmer abdominal profile. The only way to completely eliminate stretch marks is to remove them.
As a natural part of pregnancy, fat stores on the back and flanks increase. These new stubborn deposits usually resist diet and exercise. This change alters the feminine hourglass figure, creating a less curvaceous and more masculine shape. The surgeon uses liposuction to remove this excess fat during a tummy tuck.
Women and men who have lost a great deal of weight also benefit from tummy tucks for the correction of muscle laxity, excess skin, and fat deposits as part of a lower body lift.
The Cost of a Tummy Tuck
The price of tummy tuck surgery in New Jersey can vary widely from patient to patient depending on the extent of correction needed and whether other procedures are done at the same time. Cosmetic surgery costs also vary from region to region and vary with the surgeon's training and experience. During your consultation, you will be provided with a specific estimate tailored to your specific procedure. Our cosmetic surgeons strive to keep their prices competitive within the region, and they offer financing options to help their patients achieve the results they desire.
What to Expect After Surgery
The abdominoplasty incision is tailored to the patient's needs, depending on the amount of skin and fat overhanging, and will be closed with dissolving sutures. Only your naval (belly button) will have sutures that will have to be removed. You will have 2 surgical drains in place for about a week to prevent fluid accumulation (seroma).
You will have an overnight extended recovery after surgery and will walk and have a shower on the day after surgery, but you will be sore and unable to walk fully upright for several days. Most patients require 10 to 14 days of rest before returning to work. The patient must wear an abdominal binder, refrain from lifting greater than 10 pounds, and avoid activities that increase the heart rate above 100.
Advanced 3D imaging lets you see the possibilities.
We use VECTRA to help evaluate your needs and better assess the expectations that are possible with surgery. You and the surgeon will be able to review the 3D outcomes for the same procedure you seek.
Frequently Asked Questions
That's a common question for patients struggling with stubborn fat on their abdomens. People who have good skin elasticity and tight abdominal muscles but also have bulges caused by exercise-resistant fat are often good candidates for liposuction alone. If a patient's skin has lost its elasticity and is loose or stretched, liposuction alone may actually make matters worse. That's because the skin doesn't "snap back" into place after removing fat and creates additional excess skin. Those patients are usually better suited for a tummy tuck. Our plastic surgeons frequently use liposuction as part of a tummy tuck to fine-tune the abdominal contours.