Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty Surgery

Serving Knoxville, Sevierville, Knox County & Nearby Areas of Tennessee

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a body contouring procedure that can remove excess skin and fat from your abdominal area. With a tummy tuck, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Dean Kleto can restore weakened or separated abdominal muscles and provide a firm, smooth, attractive midsection.

Particularly following extreme weight loss, a tummy tuck can do wonders for reducing the appearance of a saggy, bulky stomach. By removing excess skin and firming muscles, tone and definition can be restored to your stomach, this body scultping procedure can help you look and feel as amazing as you deserve.

Find out if tummy tuck surgery is right for you. Please call 865.524.2442 today to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Kleto. Our plastic surgery office is based in Knoxville, and we serve patients throughout Knox County, in Sevierville, and nearby areas of Tennessee.

What Does an Abdominoplasty Correct?

A tummy tuck can be used to correct issues such as:

  • Excess sagging or droopy abdominal skin
  • Weakened or separated abdominal muscles
  • Excess concentrations of abdominal fat

When performed by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, abdominoplasty surgery can provide you with a smooth, toned, and attractive physique. This is particularly true following significant weight loss, pregnancy, or post-bariatric surgery.

What Are My Tummy Tuck Options?

Every patient is entirely unique. Dr. Kleto will carefully assess your entire frame to help determine the type of tummy tuck that will be most beneficial for your needs. Depending on the amount of skin and fat that needs to be removed, Dr. Kleto may recommend one of several approaches:

  • Mini tummy tuck
  • Traditional or "complete" tummy tuck
  • Extended tummy tuck

It is important to remember that an abdominoplasty is a complex surgical procedure. When you are looking at an extended tummy tuck, areas including the hips and flanks will be addressed as well. This can increase both surgical and recovery time. Sometimes Dr. Kleto may recommend combining more than one procedure for optimal results, such a tummy tuck and liposuction. Dr. Kleto will let you know what you can expect and answer any questions about abdominoplasty you may have during your initial consultation.

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Am I a Candidate for Abdominoplasty?

Dr. Kleto will evaluate a number of factors to determine if tummy tuck surgery is right for you. The initial consultation is of crucial importance in determining your suitability for the procedure. Dr. Kleto will perform a physical exam, discuss your health and medical history, and review your goals.

Some of the considerations for whether or not you are a good candidate for abdominoplasty include:

Your Health and Weight

Abdominoplasty may be right for you if you are dissatisfied with the appearance of a sagging apron of skin around your midriff area. Many people experience this excess skin as a result of:

  • Pregnancy
  • Weight loss
  • Aging

Bear in mind, however, that abdominoplasty is not a weight loss procedure. Ideal candidates for the procedure are at or near their ideal body weight who are dissatisfied with excess skin and fat that will not respond to diet and exercise. Women who want to retake their bodies after pregnancy are often interested in tummy tuck surgery, but abdominoplasty is often performed on men and women alike.

It is also important that you be in good overall health. If you have no significant health problems and are not predisposed to infection or sickness, the risks of any medical procedure, including abdominoplasty, decrease significantly. In addition, you should either be a non-smoker or able to quit and abstain from tobacco products for a time before and after the procedure. Smoking decreases the flow of blood, which negatively affects healing.

Pregnancy Plans

Before undergoing a tummy tuck, you should have a conversation with Dr. Kleto about any plans you might have for future children. An abdominoplasty will not prevent you from having children, and planning to have children is not necessarily a disqualifier.

However, we generally recommend that patients planning to have another child wait before undergoing an abdominoplasty. Pregnancy and child birth can affect the quality of your results and force you to undergo an abdominoplasty again.

Expectation of Results

It’s important to go in to your abdominoplasty with healthy, reasonable expectations. A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure, nor will it transform the appearance of your entire body.

If a tummy tuck by itself is unlikely to achieve the results you want, the possibility may exist for Dr. Kleto to perform a combination procedure. For example, abdominoplasty is often included as part of a mommy makeover for women looking to make multiple improvements to their body after pregnancy and having children.

What to Expect During the Procedure

The traditional incision location for tummy tuck surgery starts in the pubic area and extends just above the top of the thighs. Dr. Kleto will tighten the muscle tissue below the skin in order to give you the toned appearance for your abdomen that you want to achieve. In order to address excess fat in the upper abdomen, Dr. Kleto might need to make an additional incision around the belly button. Once the muscles are revised, Dr. Kleto will remove any excess skin before closing up the incision. If the second incision involving the navel was required, he will make a new belly button opening.

woman unwanted belly fat

If a mini tummy tuck is sufficient for your goals, Dr. Kleto will make a smaller incision just above the pubic region. The smaller incision limits access to the muscles in the lower abdomen. As a result, mini tummy tuck surgery is usually best for addressing small quantities of unwanted fat and loose skin in the part of the belly that hangs over the waistline of your pants.

As the name implies, the incision for an extended tummy tuck is longer than the options above. It may extend the length of your hips, depending on how much loose skin you want to remove. The extended tummy tuck surgery may be performed as part of a body lift that trims and tightens drooping skin and removes stubborn fat.

The anesthesia used during tummy tuck surgery will depend on the extent of the procedure. Dr. Kleto will discuss your options prior to surgery so you know what to expect.

What Are the Risks of Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Every surgical procedure carries some degree of risk. Abdominoplasty is no exception. Possible complications include:

  • Post-surgical bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • Poor healing of the incision site
  • Unfavorable scarring

Dr. Kleto will take every precaution to provide you with a safe and rewarding experience. He relies upon his decades of experience to deliver superior results, and will provide you with thorough postsurgical directions with the aim of a successful recovery and optimal results.

What to Expect During Tummy Tuck Recovery

The length of your recovery from abdominoplasty will depend on factors such as your age, your physical health, your natural ability to heal and the extent of the procedure (i.e., recovery time for mini tummy tucks is generally shorter than a full tummy tuck or expanded abdominoplasties). But, as a general rule, a complete recovery can take several months.

For the first few days after surgery, you are likely to experience some discomfort. Dr. Kleto will prescribe you pain medications, as well as provide instructions on the activities to avoid, how to care for surgical drains, as well as when you will have a followup appointment at our office in Knoxville.

In most cases, you should be able to return to work within two to three weeks. Some patients need up to four weeks before they can return to work.

Strenuous activities such as aerobic exercise and lifting will need to be avoided until Dr. Kleto tells you they can be resumed. This can take up to six weeks. However, during this time, a mild exercise regimen will help reduce swelling and decrease recovery time.

Benefits of tummy tuck

You will need to wear compression garments supplied by our office for several weeks following your tummy tuck. Diligently wearing these garments will assist in reducing swelling and discomfort, and also help improve the aesthetics of your final results. In addition to compression garments, you will need to follow all of Dr. Kleto’s postsurgical advice to help ensure against potential complications.

A tummy tuck can dramatically improve the appearance of your stomach and its surrounding areas. While some recovery time will be necessary, most patients find it negligible when compared against the remarkable emotional and physical benefits offered by this procedure.

What Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?

The cost of your tummy tuck will depend, in part, on the type of surgery. The more extensive the abdominoplasty, the more you can expect to pay. Other factors that can affect the price of the procedure include:

  • Fees charged by the surgery facility or hospital
  • Fees for anesthesia
  • Cost of post-surgery medications, bandages, etc.
  • Where the surgical facility is located
  • The experience of the surgeon performing the procedure

Dr. Kleto is proud to offer plastic surgery financing through CareCredit. This flexible payment plan solution enables you to develop a timeframe to pay for your procedure that works with your budget.

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Wonderful doctor! I love my results! I would highly recommend him

Contact Our Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Today

Dr. Dean Kleto has over 25 years of experience as a plastic surgeon. He has performed tummy tuck procedures extensively for patients with a wide variety of needs and goals. During your initial consultation, he will discuss what abdominoplasty can achieve for you.

If you are interested in learning more about the tummy tuck procedure, please contact Dr. Dean Kleto by calling  865.524.2442  to schedule an initial consultation today. Our board-certified plastic surgeon serves patients in Knoxville, Sevierville, Knox County, and nearby areas of Tennessee.

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