Let’s be real for a second. My practice is made for moms. That’s what you’ll find here: moms who trust me for safe (and incredible) plastic surgery. Another favorite quote? Happy moms make good moms. Let’s get your tummy back; your confidence will follow.
A tummy tuck is the most powerful surgery that I perform. An abdominoplasty removes skin from the lower abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles, which can be stretched by pregnancy. Tummy tuck results are even more impressive when combined with liposuction, a procedure known as a lipoabdominoplasty. Not many surgeons perform a lipoabdominoplasty, but it makes all the difference in creating shapes and curves. Adding a breast augmentation or breast lift, labiaplasty, vaginoplasty, any surgery, notches your procedure up to a "Mommy Makeover." But it all starts with the tummy.
The best candidates for a tummy tuck are patients who have:
In the majority of cases, these patients are moms who are finished having children, but they may also be men or women who have lost a considerable amount of weight. Such patients may have had weight loss surgery such as a gastric bypass or lap band procedure.
It's common to feel guilty about plastic surgery when you're a mom, but as I’ve said before: happy moms make good moms. I have never once had a mom regret having a tummy tuck.
It improves self-esteem, which is good for parenting and for relationships. It may be hard to explain to your family and friends. They are likely to say "you don't need a tummy tuck." Well, you probably don't need a haircut or lashes or nails, but they sure make you feel good. Tummy tuck? Same.
A lot of moms feel a sense of guilt about pursuing a tummy tuck, but let’s be honest: you’re better when you’ve made time for yourself. You’ve given up your body for your family, so it’s fair to say that it’s your turn for attention. There's no question moms have more confidence after abdominoplasty. Having good self-esteem is the starting point for wellness, and it is hard to do when you've lost your body to pregnancy and weight fluctuations. Plastic surgery is about self-care, and vanity doesn't enter the equation, in my humble opinion.
Some, but not all, stretch marks can be removed with a tummy tuck. All stretch marks between the pubic area and the belly button will be removed with a tummy tuck. But, if there are stretch marks on the upper abdomen, or on the sides of the abdomen, these will remain after surgery. When a patient has stretch marks above the belly button, they can not be removed with a tummy tuck.
Do I have to get my blood drawn?
We check finger-stick labs at your pre-op visit before your tummy tuck. That means no lab draw and no poking at your veins to draw blood. With a finger-stick, we can check your hematocrit (blood count) before surgery right in our office and get you instant results. And unless you have other medical conditions, we don't require medical clearance or other complex labs before your abdominoplasty. If necessary, we will also perform an EKG right in our clinic. No need to wander the city to get studies done before surgery.
Am I too old for a Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tucks can be performed at any age, as long as you are in good health. Age is just a number. I have performed abdominoplasty surgery in women as young as 23 and as old as 73. Women who are in their 50s will often think they are "too old" for a tummy tuck. That is simply not the case; it is perfectly safe to perform abdominoplasty at any age. Because we are able to fully monitor our patients in our facility for 24 hours (overnight) after surgery, we can safely perform a tummy tuck for women in their 50s, 60s and beyond.
Can A Tummy Tuck correct my "bad lipo"?
If you've had bad results from liposuction before, don't stress: A tummy tuck can fix bad liposuction and smooth out the rough, wrinkled and dented appearance to the abdomen. Think of it as a ruffled bedsheet; by pulling down on the loose skin, the tummy can be pulled flat and the dents and dimples are smoothed out.
Do you offer any postoperative care following my Tummy Tuck?
I never want your family to be overly stressed with postoperative care following abdominoplasty surgery, so I keep all of my patients overnight in our recovery suite, attached to our surgery center. You will have your own overnight nurse, and will have IV fluids, a Foley catheter (so you don't need to get up to pee every few hours), and pain medications as needed. This takes some pressure off of your family.
Tummy Tuck & Lower Body Lift after
Massive Weight Loss and Gastric Bypass
You should be at your ideal weight before a tummy tuck.
I'm proud of moms, always, but I'm particularly proud of women (and men!) who have undergone massive weight loss. Transforming your body on the inside always comes first, and to do so requires an incredible amount of discipline. People who think that a gastric sleeve, lap band, or gastric bypass is an easy way out aren't worth a second thought. There are a few ways that a tummy tuck is different after massive weight loss.
Each person's ideal weight is different, but as a rule, your BMI should be at or less than 30 to have a tummy tuck. The goal should be to have more loose skin and less fat. This doesn't mean a crash diet before your tummy tuck surgery, but rather, a gradual weight loss is best. That means you will have to plan your tummy tuck surgery accordingly. For patients who are having trouble losing weight, I can help you.
I prescribe Qsymia, which is a weight loss medication that can help reduce cravings and accelerate weight loss. Call and ask my staff about this option if you are having trouble getting your BMI under control. I am happy to prescribe you Qsymia to get you started. I have certainly performed a tummy tucks in women whose BMI is above 30. There are some women who carry their weight in the thighs and hips and buttock. These patients are still good candidates for abdominoplasty, even though they may be above the BMI threshold.
Conversely, some women carry their weight in their abdomen - and worse - inside their abdomen. This is "visceral" fat or male-pattern fat (think of a man's "beer belly" where there is no loose skin and the abdomen is firm and full). These patients are not good candidates for abdominoplasty - even with a BMI BELOW 30 - because there is no way to tighten the muscles; there is no place for the fat to go.
In general, plastic surgery is best approached from an ideal body weight. This provides the best results with the lowest chance of complications, goals we can both agree on.
Calculate your BMI before your tummy tuck. The goal before abdominoplasty surgery is a BMI less than 30.
A mommy makeover can be anything you want it to be. The center point, however, in most cases, is a tummy tuck. Every tummy tuck has two basic elements: removal of excess skin and tightening (corset) of the abdominal muscles.
In that way, most tummy tucks are the same. What makes Dr. Oppenheimer's tummy tucks different are THREE MAJOR KEYS: a LOW scar, a CUTE belly button, and CURVES. Even though the scar may be long (hip to hip in most cases) with a low scar, no one will be able to see it. Hiding a tummy tuck scar underneath the bikini line is the most critical element that most surgeons miss. Don't get stuck thinking about tattoos or high-waisted shorts to cover up your scar. Keep it super low (lower than a C-section scar!)Read Real Patient Testimonials
The bulge that doesn't go away after pregnancy is usually from muscle separation, which goes by the name rectus diastasis or diastasis recti. The reason this happens, of course, is to make room for the developing baby.
The "six pack" muscles - the rectus abdominis - actually stretch apart in the midline, and the fascia - the covering of the muscles - becomes weakened. Rectus diastasis will not go away with diet and exercise, because it is not "baby weight." Rather, it is torn and stretched fascia. Much like stretch marks can't be unstretched, the muscle requires a physical repair to bring them back together.
Some women are just lucky in that they don't have muscle separation or they don't get loose skin. The vast majority, however, experience changes in their bodies from pregnancy. Twin moms especially can develop muscle separation, appearing to some that they "still look pregnant." Needless to say, this is a frustrating place to be for a young mom. I repair the muscle in three separate areas to tighten the waist as much as possible at the time of a tummy tuck. The sutures I use are special, and dissolve in around 6 months. By that time, your muscle is at full strength and is tightened back to normal on its own.
A Mini Tummy Tuck is rarely an option, but is a home run in the right patient. Less is more, right? Unfortunately, a mini tummy tuck is rarely the right option. To be a candidate for a mini tummy tuck, you need minimal muscle separation that is limited to a bulge below the belly button, and great skin quality with very little extra loose skin. Women who have skin that hangs over a c-section scar can have a mini tummy tuck, but only if there is no loose skin elsewhere. Even though it is a "mini" tummy tuck, the scar still needs to be longer than most women want it to be.
A mini tummy tuck is a great procedure in the right patient. For a mom with a slight "pooch" over the c-section scar and a minimal amount of rectus diastasis (abdominal muscle separation aka diastasis recti) below the belly button, a mini tummy tuck is a perfect option. The mini tummy tuck uses the same scar location as a full tummy tuck, but it is usually shorter. The scar location, like in a full tummy tuck, is always below the bikini line; very close to the location of the original c-section, if present.
The quality of your abdominal skin is the best determining factor of whether you need a tummy tuck or can have liposuction alone. Obviously whenever possible I try to minimize scarring, performing the least invasive surgery for my patients. When a patient is on the fence between lipo and a tummy tuck, we always will go with liposuction unless your goal is to have the flattest tummy possible. To be happy with the results from liposuction instead of a tummy tuck, you need to have great skin quality (no stretch marks and no looseness) and no muscle separation (no bulge).
A patient with great skin quality is a perfect patient for liposuction. This mom of one has great skin and no muscle separation. In patients who have some loose skin but really don't want a tummy tuck scar, liposuction alone is still a good option. I am all about realistic expectations after abdominoplasty surgery. If you are ok with some extra skin and NOT ok with a long scar, liposuction alone is the perfect option.
A Hernia repair can be done at the same time as a tummy tuck.
Fortunately because of my general surgery training, I am able to repair hernias at the same time as a tummy tuck. Not every surgeon is able to do this, however, and many surgeons will require it to be fixed beforehand. Surgeons who perform abdominoplasty in the hospital (I perform all of my cases in our private on-site accredited surgical center) can perform the procedure along with a general surgeon who can fix the hernia at the same time as the tummy tuck.
I have repaired ventral hernias, incisional hernias and umbilical hernias at the same time as a tummy tuck. No mesh is required, and because of the muscle repair that is also performed during abdominoplasty, the likelihood of the hernia coming back is exceedingly low. Insurance may cover the hernia repair portion of your tummy tuck, and I will help with a letter of medical necessity to my patients to have a portion of the surgical fees covered. We do not, however, work with insurance companies directly as we do not accept insurance.
A BBL can be done at the same time as a Lipoabdominoplasty
For the most curves, I perform a BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift) at the same time as a tummy tuck to help fill out the hip dips and round out the curves while also increasing the projection and fullness of the buttock. Think of a BBL as a "push-pull" type procedure: I pull away fat from the love handles and push the fat into the buttock and hips. The result is BOTH a narrower waist AND fuller hips, that classic ogee curve shape that is a beautiful "S" curve.
Everyone wants a mini-tummy tuck because they think the scar will be shorter and the recovery quicker. Mini-tummy tuck scars, however, are often quite long. Use the "PLEAT TEST" to determine how long your scar will be.
The Pleat Test
Sit upright with your abdomen fully relaxed and look at the fold created by your lower tummy. However long that "pleat" extends on each side is the length of your tummy tuck scar. When a scar is made shorter than required, a "dog ear" will result. A “dog ear” is the leftover "fabric" (loose skin) that was not removed during the surgery. The good news is that while incredibly rare for my patients, dog ears from other surgeons can be fixed with an in office procedure under local anesthetic: essentially, the dog ear "pleat" is cut out and the scar is made longer; the same length that it should have been all along.
Cute Belly Button
Nothing says tummy tuck like an unattractive belly button. One of the Major Keys to a good tummy tuck result is a cute belly button. There are several tricks that I use to create a cute belly button, but the end result should be an "innie" with a nice funnel shape and slight hooding of the upper portion. Don't fear a tummy tuck because of an ugly belly button. I will help you get you a flat tummy without any evidence of plastic surgery.
An ugly belly button is a total giveaway that you’ve had a tummy tuck. I use several additional techniques when creating a belly button to make sure it’s cute and that the scar is hidden and tucked away.
Low Tummy Tuck Scar.
One of my pet peeves is a high tummy tuck scar. My tummy tuck scars are ALWAYS LOW and hidden underneath the bikini line. When there isn't quite enough skin to remove the previous belly button location or piercing, but the muscle separation goes all the way up the abdomen, a full tummy tuck is still required with a short vertical scar at the location of the low midline. This looks like a very short "T" that might (or might not!) peek out above the bikini line.
See that short "up and down" scar in the low midline? This mom of 5 didn't have much loose skin, so I wasn't able to remove her previous belly button location and piercing. The result is a short "T" scar in the midline that peeks out of the top of the bikini.
In order to be a candidate for a male tummy tuck, you really need to have lost weight, either with weight loss surgery (WLS) as above, or "the good old fashioned way" with diet and exercise.
Male tummy tucks DON'T need a muscle repair. That's the main difference between the sexes when it comes to abdominoplasty. One technical key of male tummy tucks is the management of the skin of the pubic area. Like women, a pubic lift is performed at the time of a tummy tuck. This has the added benefit of making the penis appear longer by tightening the skin around the shaft of the penis.
In women, conversely, the pubic lift component of a tummy tuck can sometimes make the inner labia appear more prominent, and can rotate the vaginal cleft superiorly. (While some may consider a pubic lift separately, every tummy tuck includes a pubic lift and usually mons pubis lipo as well!) In most cases this is favorable, resulting in a fuller appearance to the labia majora, but labia minora "show" can be distressing to some women. A labiaplasty can be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck, or at an interval (even under local anesthesia), to reduce the labia minora.
I always want to make a tummy tuck as easy as possible after surgery. We use a special HydroSeal Silicone dressing to secure the incision after surgery. This dressing stays in place for up to 3 weeks, and even beyond. Once the dressing is removed in clinic, we begin silicone scar gel therapy, which you will continue at home twice daily. Silicone Glide can be applied twice a day for a year and beyond to continue scar maturation.
Despite these efforts, some patients experience thickening of their scars, known as hypertrophic scars. Red pigmentation of tummy tuck scars can be common in patients with fair skin. These patients can be treated with CO2 laser scar therapy in our office as early as 3 months #postOPP.
Even women with darker skin tones - Indian, Latina, and African-American - Can have a tummy tuck with a nice low scar. Keloids are rare. If you have ear piercings without any issues, you should be just fine with surgical scars. Even if the scar needs to be long to avoid "dog ears" and to pass the Pleat Test, you can always count on the scar being very low; low enough to hide under a bikini or underwear line.
Abdominoplasty Recovery: The rule of 2
The best binders, wraps & Fajas for after your tummy tuck
Two Days. Two Weeks. Two Months.
After a tummy tuck, you are in "patient mode" for about 2 days. That means you will do very little except walking. You need to have someone waiting on you hand-and-foot for those first few days. Very often this is a husband, partner, mom or BFF!
At two weeks, you will be feeling good enough to do most daily activities. Please take it very easy! Most ladies feel great at this point, but I always caution my patients to go very slowly. This is the time where fluid can easily build up after surgery. The more work you do, the more chance of a seroma at this time. At one month my patients can go back to the gym.
At two months, patients are full go, back to all activities, and full intense workouts. If you are a crossfit athlete or similar superstar, we ask that you wait 3 months to return to full steam.
I provide my patients will all of the aftercare garments they need following a tummy tuck. We start with an abdominal binder for the first week while the drains are in place. We then remove the drains and size you in the clinic with a specialized compression garment.
You should wear your garment as much as possible for the 6 weeks following abdominoplasty, but plan on strict compression for two solid weeks postOPP. At the 6 week mark, you can move to using a Faja or Spanx of choice. Just remember that not all of the nerves to the lower abdomen will have sensation at this point after a tummy tuck. Don't place anything too tightly over the tummy because you might not feel it digging into your skin and you can get chafing and injury to the skin during this time.
My Whole Entire Mission: To do my very best for you. Helping moms get their bodies back is my sole reason for showing up to work each day. I'm ready to give me best to help you be your best. Nothing more, and nothing less.
For the short answer to this question, just click HERE to get our full price list. The long answer is that pricing varies widely for tummy tucks, especially in the state of Florida (quality is expensive) but also in my office and surgical suite, depending on the amount of liposuction we perform and the other work we may decide to include.
One lesson I have learned: Don't take shortcuts with your body. You will definitely be able to find a less expensive tummy tuck, but I challenge you to find similar results to my work, along with an office that includes everything you need to heal correctly and safely. That may sound a bit confident, but the differences can be seen throughout my instagram account. Natural belly buttons, low scars, and nice curves, to name the major keys. Plus, our procedures are all-inclusive. That means your overnight stay, your scar care, your garments, your anesthesia and facility fees, all of your aftercare is included. Because of our beautiful facility and in-house surgical center, we can provide top notch, concierge service to our patients in a boutique environment that caters just to you.
Patience is key to have great results with a tummy tuck. If you're a new mom, you should weight 6 months after breastfeeding and delivery before having a tummy tuck.
I like my patients at a physiological baseline before surgery, and breastfeeding clearly has a large impact on metabolism and weight. Pregnancy can also lower your blood counts, so wait at least 6 months after pregnancy before scheduling a consultation for a tummy tuck surgery. Following weight loss surgery, I recommend you wait at least a year afterwards so that your weight can stabilize and so that your metabolism can normalize.
Best option for pain control after a tummy tuck: Exparel
Exparel (which stands for EXtended PAin RELeif) is a super long acting local anesthetic that can be injected during a tummy tuck. Not only do I inject Exparel in every tummy tuck I perform, but I also place it as a true nerve block: A TAP block.
TAP (transversus abdominis plane) blocks aren't just injected into the skin or muscle, they are injected deep into the plane where the nerves are found. This reduces pain dramatically and helps keep pain controlled for much longer than if just injected into the skin. Exparel lasts 72 hours (3 days) after a tummy tuck. After it gradually absorbs on day 3, your pain is much less than it would be otherwise. You don't suddenly have a spike in pain levels, but with Tylenol, a muscle relaxant and a pain relief medication called Ultram, your discomfort will be kept to a minimum.
Swelling can last 3 months after tummy tuck.
Swelling can last for up to 3 months or more after a tummy tuck. Swelling is very different than a seroma, which can feel like a fluid wave or a waterbed. Swelling feels more like firm edema and is often worse as the day progresses. That's why some women (and I don't like this term at all, for the record) call swelling that persists beyond 1 month "swell hell."
Essentially the patients feel great, but they only look great first thing in the morning. Again, patience is a big part of this process. In addition, when liposuction is included in a tummy tuck, there will be more swelling. By limiting activities early on for the first month, by wearing great compression for 4-6 weeks, and with a diet low in salt, the swelling will be minimized.