Why Choose Dr. Zenn?
- Dr. Michael Zenn has performed thousands of abdominal surgeries
- He was board-certified in General Surgery before he became a board-certified plastic surgeon and has detailed knowledge and experience operating in the abdominal area
- He has taught the “quilting suture” abdominoplasty procedure to residents and young plastic surgeons
- Honored to be a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for Cosmetic Surgery
- Board Certified by American Board of Plastic Surgery
What Is A Tummy Tuck?
After years of weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and the unfortunate effects of aging, many women are left with weakened abdominal muscles, excess skin and fat hanging from their midsection. A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) removes excess skin, eliminates unwanted fat, and tightens separated abdominal muscles to provide a flatter and firmer stomach area. It is particularly important to note that tummy tuck surgery is recommended for patients at or near their ideal weight for the best long-term results. It is often performed as part of a mommy makeover procedure.
Dr. Zenn’s Approach
A tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure. The tradeoff is that surgery leaves a scar in place of the excised skin. Dr. Zenn precisely positions this incision below the waistline so that patients enjoy a natural-looking appearance in everyday clothing and beachwear. He evaluates each patient’s needs to determine whether this tradeoff makes sense for their situation. Sometimes liposuction alone, which leaves smaller and less prominent scars, is a better option.
Tummy tuck surgery helps patients improve the appearance of their abdomen through one or a combination of techniques:
- Removing excess skin
- Eliminating unwanted fat (liposuction)
- Tightening the underlying muscles to eliminate bulges (Diastasis Recti)
Many patients have collections of fat in the hips, stomach, and pubic area. Dr. Zenn includes abdominal liposuction as part of a tummy tuck. In this case, it is not considered an additional procedure.
Many of our abdominoplasty patients have developed an apron of excess skin that protrudes over their waistline. Therefore, Dr. Zenn removes this loose skin to achieve a flatter shape. This often simultaneously has the added benefit of eliminating vertical stretch marks in this area. Dr. Zenn feels it is important to end up with only the hidden scar along the bikini line – and no vertical scars.
Dr. Zenn will assess the degree to which your abdominal muscles may have separated. This is common after pregnancy or following extreme weight fluctuations, and it can cause a bulging belly that may not respond to diet or exercise. In these cases, Dr. Zenn uses internal sutures to bring together the abdominal muscles, significantly tightening and flattening your belly.
Too many plastic surgeons tighten all patients’ muscles whether or not there is a bulge. However, Dr. Zenn strongly feels this is often not necessary and shows a lack of understanding of the dynamic function of the abdominal core. It also unnecessarily lengthens recovery.
I have been waiting over 20 years to do my tummy tuck – I’m so glad I did and choosing Dr. Zenn was the absolute best decision my husband and I made.
Your Tummy Tuck Consultation
The consultation is a perfect time to “ask the expert” anything as well as everything you want to know about tummy tucks. Dr. Zenn takes the time to answer your questions to make sure you understand all the considerations for surgery. He will share his thoughts on all the “latest and greatest” inventions on the market to address fat in the abdomen. And Dr. Zenn will be honest with you if you are not a candidate. No question is too small or insignificant. We want you to be comfortable with your decision to have surgery. And without a doubt completely confident in your choice of surgeon.
During your initial consultation, we encourage you to openly share your aesthetic concerns with Dr. Zenn.
This is an opportunity to talk about what you like and dislike about your abdominal area. It also gives you a chance to get to know Dr. Zenn. Once he has learned about your health background and has a clear understanding of your goals and expectations, he will examine you to determine if a tummy tuck, with or without muscle repair, is the best plan to address your concerns.Following your physical exam, Dr. Zenn will share his extensive gallery of before and after photos with you. He will show you past patients who had similar concerns to yours — and explain what he did to correct their problem. He will then recommend a treatment plan specifically for you. When you are ready to move forward, you will schedule your pre-operative appointment and surgery.
Zenn Plastic Surgery patients have their procedures in one of several fully accredited ambulatory surgery facilities. A board-certified anesthesiologist (MD) helps patients sleep safely and comfortably throughout the surgery and also to wake up with little or no pain, sore throat, or queasiness.
Just prior to surgery, Dr. Zenn will review the surgical plan with you, and make marks to guide his work. Next, following his plan, Dr. Zenn will do one or more of the following:
- Perform targeted liposuction to flatten your belly and surrounding area
- Remove excess skin to give you a leaner body contour
- Close the separation between your abdominal muscles
What is the Recovery from a Tummy Tuck Like?
After surgery, your abdomen will feel tight with some soreness. If your muscles will be tightened, Dr. Zenn will perform a regional nerve block, which numbs the abdomen for 2-3 days after surgery. This can greatly diminish the need for pain medication during recovery. If tightening of the muscles is not necessary, the tummy tuck is much less painful and a nerve block is unnecessary.
You will see Dr. Zenn the morning following surgery and can shower that day. You should plan to stay home and be inactive for the first two weeks after surgery. Additionally, if your muscles are tightened, you must avoid heavy lifting of any kind for 6 to 8 weeks. Once Dr. Zenn gives you the okay, you may slowly ease back into your normal routine.
Following your tummy tuck, you will immediately notice an improvement in your figure because of a significantly flatter tummy. Your results will continue to improve as you heal, and by the end of your recuperation, you will enjoy greater confidence and maybe even a new wardrobe!