Traditional Extended, Mini, and Modified Tummy Tucks in Fredericksburg, VA

Dr. R. Shane Palmer is renowned in the plastic surgery field for his attention to detail and beautiful tummy tuck results. He is known for his expertise in working with patients who have a higher body mass index of 45 or less and have lost a substantial amount of weight. These factors have led him to be the preferred extended and modified tummy tuck surgeon in Washington DC, Fredericksburg, Richmond, Charlottesville and the surrounding areas of Virginia and Maryland. 

What Is a Tummy Tuck?

An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a surgical procedure that can remove lax, sagging skin around the waistline and tighten the abdominal muscles, often following dramatic weight loss or pregnancy. There are a couple of different variations of the procedure that can be performed (they are listed below), so generally many people dealing with skin laxity issues in the abdomen are good candidates for tummy tuck treatment. 

According to a report from The Aesthetic Society, close to 243,000 tummy tucks were performed throughout 2021. That is a 49% increase from the year prior. It is the third most popular cosmetic surgery among women and the fifth most popular among men. If those stats show us anything, it is that despite a growing market for nonsurgical options, tummy tuck surgery is here to stay because of the stunning amount of correction it can provide. 

What Can a Tummy Tuck Treat?

Tummy tucks excel at correcting contouring issues in the abdomen and love handles, including:

  • Excess skin
  • Unwanted fat
  • Weakened abdominal wall
  • Stretch marks

The extent to which you have these conditions will determine whether you are a better candidate for a standard, extended or modified tummy tuck. For anyone who is a tummy tuck candidate, these procedures can restore a taut, youthful appearance to the stomach and waistline that is unachievable through diet and exercise or any other type of procedure.  

What Is an Extended Tummy Tuck?

An extended tummy tuck is performed on people with significantly more excess skin than a typical tummy tuck patient. Candidates for this procedure typically have one or more of the concerns above, just on a much more extensive scale than what could be achieved with a standard tummy tuck. Generally, people who need additional correcting in the flanks, lower back and lower chest opt for an extended tummy tuck since the additional incisions in this technique provide for this broad and desired level of improvement. 

What Is a Modified Tummy Tuck?

A modified tummy tuck is performed on patients with a large apron of skin and fat that hangs below the waist. This technique is visually a much better approach to correcting an overhanging apron of skin than the traditional panniculectomy, which removes the pannus without concern for aesthetic appearance.

What Is a Mini Tummy Tuck?

Whereas an extended tummy tuck broadens the scope of the abdominoplasty, a mini tummy tuck narrows it. Smaller incisions on this approach ultimately means less scarring and less pain during recovery, but it also means less ability to make substantial corrections to the targeted area. If you are someone with mild laxity or drooping concerns, then it might be in your best interest to opt for a mini tummy tuck instead.

Why Do We Need Tummy Tucks?

There are two main causes of significant skin laxity: pregnancy and weight fluctuation. In both cases, the effect is the same. After the skin has stretched to accommodate the new mass, it has a harder time shrinking than your fat cells. This means after you’ve lost fat, the tissue and skin largely remain. Unfortunately, nonsurgical options cannot provide the same tier of correction that tummy tucks can, so people looking to address severe, moderate and even minor laxity need to turn to a surgical option. 

How Are Tummy Tucks Performed?

Dr. Palmer will explain the options thoroughly during your consultation and the two of you will decide which tummy tuck technique best fits your needs.

Standard Tummy Tuck

During a standard tummy tuck, a horizontal incision is made in the lower abdomen inside the bikini line, where any scarring from the procedure is relatively easy to hide. Excess skin is then excised and the remaining skin is redraped over the body, creating a smooth surface across the abdomen. This technique is intended to address a mild to moderate amount of hanging or excess skin.

Extended Tummy Tuck

An extended tummy tuck is similar to the standard tummy tuck, except that the incision continues around the hips to the buttocks to address a larger amount of excess skin. Dr. Palmer will make every effort to keep the scarring minimal, but prospective patients should be aware that it may be harder to hide the longer scar underneath clothing. An extended tummy tuck is often paired with liposuction to remove any small pockets of remaining fat in the area for even more dramatic results.

Modified Tummy Tuck

In the case of a modified tummy tuck, it is possible to have a standard incision inside the bikini line. A modified tummy tuck is performed instead of a panniculectomy to address severe draping of belly skin and fat and is often coupled with abdominal muscle tightening. 

Mini Tummy Tuck

The incisions during a mini tummy tuck are much less extensive than that of a standard abdominoplasty. It is still made in the bikini line, but it does become much easier to hide with the shorter scar development. It is typically reserved for patients with minor skin sagging or unwanted fat. 

On the day of your procedure, Dr. Palmer recommends bringing a pair of typical underwear or a bikini to determine the ideal incision location and ensure a discreet incision placement. To minimize scarring further, he will utilize a newer technique called “progressive tension sutures” that reduces tension on the horizontal incision. This helps diminish the appearance of scars and creates a more natural aesthetic.

What Type of Anesthesia Is Used in All of the Tummy Tuck Variations?

All tummy tuck procedures are performed in a surgical suite using intravenous sedation and tumescent local anesthesia. IV sedation generally allows for a quicker recovery and has fewer risks than general anesthesia. Tumescent local anesthesia is a solution injected into the treatment area that helps reduce pain and discomfort. It can last up to 18 hours, helping to relieve postsurgical pain and keeping your body relaxed throughout the surgery.

You will be fully monitored throughout the entire process by Dr. Palmer and a skilled registered nurse who is both qualified and experienced with sedation procedures. Our office is proud to say that we have a 100% safety rate when it comes to our patients. Since we began providing care in 2008, our office has never had to transfer a patient to a hospital. But just because we believe in our safety measures, doesn’t mean we are prepared — there are protocols and procedures in place and practiced in the event something does not go as planned. 

How Should I Prepare for a Tummy Tuck?

Although it is a routine procedure, a tummy tuck of any variety is major surgery and the recovery reflects that. We require that all patients arrange for someone to drive them home after surgery and recommend having assistance with postoperative care for at least the first week. This will prevent you from having to overexert yourself on household chores or other responsibilities during your most important week of recovery.

We may ask you to adjust some medications if we find that you could be put at a bigger risk because of them. We always ask that any anti-inflammatory medications like Tylenol or similar natural supplements be stopped immediately since they can cause excess bleeding during surgery. The adverse effects of tobacco are well documented, and particularly dangerous during surgery, so we will always ask you to quit smoking as soon as possible, but at least six or so weeks before having the surgery performed. 

This measure is to help preserve your safety and the integrity of your results. Nicotine and other harmful products found in cigarettes and other tobacco-like products can inhibit your healing and cause your scars to become much more noticeable than they otherwise would have been. 

Recovery Station

In the days leading up to your procedure, we always recommend preparing a recovery station for yourself wherever you will be resting. Stock the area with snacks, medications, drinks, electronics, chargers, books, magazines, remotes and other necessities to prevent you from overexerting yourself in the first few days of your procedure. You will need to get up and move around to help blood flow through your healing body, but you can avoid unnecessary exertion by following this quick step. Make sure it is somewhere you will be able to get ample amounts of rest. 

What Should I Expect from a Tummy Tuck Recovery?

Our office advises using the following items to reduce pain, swelling and discomfort after a tummy tuck:

  • A compression garment to support the abdomen and reduce swelling
  • A drainage tube to prevent fluid buildup
  • Pain, muscle spasm and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Antibiotics
  • Nausea medication
  • A stool softener to prevent constipation.

You will need plenty of rest to ensure a safe recovery and should avoid lifting more than 25 pounds for the first six weeks. Our office also recommends planning for at least three weeks off from work. An extended tummy tuck usually requires the longest recovery.

You will return to our office for a series of follow-up appointments. These visits are typically scheduled after one day, one week, two weeks and then intermittently through three months, depending on the progress of your unique recovery. If you are traveling to our office, we recommend spending the first night in a hotel for easy travel to the first follow-up. Our office can assist you in making the arrangements if needed.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a Tummy Tuck?

Most patients see full results within three months, but it can take up to six months for swelling to subside fully. 

An extended tummy tuck creates a slimmer, tauter appearance throughout the entire abdomen, hip and back area. Your waist will be much slimmer and the entire aesthetic of your body will be more balanced.

Since a modified tummy tuck focuses on hanging skin and fat in the belly, the results are noticeable mostly in the abdominal area. You can expect significantly less skin laxity and an overall slimmer appearance. You will also have much less scarring than an extended tummy tuck.

Are There Any Risks Involved with a Tummy Tuck?

It is critical to keep in mind that there is risk involved with any surgery. Although rare, anesthesia complications, infection and poor wound healing are a possibility and should be considered when thinking about any tummy tuck variation.

The best way to minimize risk is to work with a board-certified surgeon who is highly experienced in body contouring procedures. Dr. Palmer is a board-certified surgeon and is also certified in basic life support and advanced cardiac life support. If you choose an experienced professional and follow all pre- and postoperative instructions, your risk level is as low as possible.

Tummy Tuck Cost and Financing in Fredericksburg, VA

There are a lot of figures available online that can give you an idea of what kind of cost you can expect for a tummy tuck surgery, but you should always remember that these are best used as estimates — your final cost will be determined based on the type of tummy tuck you are having performed, the amount of correction you need, combination procedures and your aesthetic goals. 

For a better reference for our office, here are two general prices for a regular tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck.

Abdominoplasty: $5,808

Abdominoplasty (Mini): $5,278

Other options like extended and modified tummy tucks are quoted on a case-by-case basis during your consultation. Surgical Arts of Virginia accepts payment by cash, personal check, money order, credit card and financing options like CareCredit, United Medical Credit, and Prosper Healthcare Lending.

Insurance

Since a tummy tuck is not a medically necessary procedure, insurance of any sort does not usually cover the treatment. You will likely need to pay for the service out of pocket or through one of the services listed above. We can help you understand your payment options in more detail during your consultation.

Can I Combine My Tummy Tuck with Other Procedures?

By combining multiple procedures into one surgery, you are accomplishing many different factors at once. The first is that you will be amplifying your final results without adding to your timeline, making your transformation much more dramatic. Secondly, you are saving yourself both time and money in the long run. Your recovery and downtime being combined reduces the time you need away from work and other obligations. Plus, you will only need to pay for things like facility fees and anesthesia once — reducing your overall cost. 

Here is a list of common tummy tuck combinations. If you don’t see a procedure here you were interested in, don’t fret — it is likely still combinable. 

Breast Procedures

Breast Augmentation. This procedure focuses on improving the size of your bust, which pairs nicely with a taut abdomen. Having this performed alongside your tummy tuck can provide a dramatic improvement to your body’s overall contour. 

Breast Augmentation w/ Fat Transfer. The end result of this procedure is the same as a regular augmentation. The only difference is that standard augmentation uses implants, while this method uses fat from your own body to improve your size. Generally, the size is limited based on the amount of available fat, but it can still help accentuate your new curves.

Breast Lift. If you aren’t interested in going up in size but would like to restore the shape of your breasts, then a breast lift is a reliable way to get back your perky bust and modest breast size. 

Breast Reduction. If after your weight fluctuation or pregnancy (or even before it), you found that your breasts were too large for your liking, a breast reduction can get you down to the size you like. Aesthetics are all about balance — so don’t feel bad if a bust that’s too big is throwing off your ideal look. 

Body Procedures

Liposuction. This treatment is a widespread phenomenon — according to The Aesthetic Society, more than 491,000 of these procedures were performed throughout 2021. It’s no exaggeration to say that this treatment literally sucks the fat right out of you — making it perfect to pair with your tummy tuck operation as a way to sculpt your ideal aesthetic. 

Brazilian Butt Lift. If you are putting all this work into tightening your abdomen and getting rid of excess tissue, but you are still underwhelmed by your backside, then you are probably going to want to pair these treatments together to achieve that contour of your dreams. This procedure uses liposuction to remove fat from your body; then, it injects it back into your derriere for a bolstered, fuller buttock appearance. 

Mommy Makeover. Technically, there is no definition for a Mommy Makeover. It can be any combination of procedures that aim to improve the damage that is usually done during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding. So your tummy tuck would be considered to be part of this treatment, but other areas, like the breasts, buttocks, and extremities, are also addressed when needed. 

Vaginal Rejuvenation. If you are interested in correcting some of the changes that happen in your vagina, then our ThermiVa system is perfect for you. It can help tighten loose tissue and give you a more taut, healthy look.

Thigh Lift. The thighs are the next part of the contouring that begins near your abdomen. If you feel your thighs are out of proportion with the rest of your appearance, then it might be worth having unwanted tissue or fat removed from them alongside your tummy tuck procedure. If your goal is to look great in a bikini bottom or tight clothing, this can help you achieve that goal. 

Arm Lift. Just like the thigh lift, an arm lift is about attaining proportion and balance throughout the body. Loose skin in the arms will detract from an otherwise taut abdominal appearance and ultimately impact all of the contouring on your body as well. Ask about this procedure if you feel like your arms could use a little improvement. 

Why Should I Choose Dr. Palmer?

When choosing a surgeon to perform your treatments, you should always go for the most qualified, skilled and knowledgeable surgeon available. In all regards, Dr. Palmer stands out from the rest. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Phlebology, and he has grown his cosmetic practice from the ground up since 2006 through his unique philosophy on cosmetic care and his stunning results.

Dr. Palmer believes cosmetic surgery should be accessible to a greater number of people at an affordable price. He has dedicated his career to providing top-tier care to people in that gap. He holds a 100% safety rate in anesthesia since he began using it in 2008. 

Ready to Sculpt Your Abdomen?

If you are ready to learn more about how tummy tucks can improve your appearance and give you the look you desire, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, give our office a call at (540) 371-7372. You can also fill out this contact form below to have someone from our office call you at a more convenient time. We know you need someone you can trust on your aesthetic journey, and we are excited to be that support system. 

Traditional, mini, extended, and modified abdominoplasties are a great way to address aesthetic issues affecting the abdomen. Dr. R. Shane Palmer offers several tummy tuck options for patients in Washington DC, Fredericksburg, Stafford, Richmond, Charlottesville and nearby Virginia communities. Contact Surgical Arts of Virginia today to schedule a free consultation.

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