Tummy Tuck New York City

Choosing Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty (more commonly known as a “tummy tuck”) is a medical procedure that flattens your abdomen by removing excess fat deposits and loose skin, as well as tightening the abdominal wall. An abdominoplasty can be a great option if you’ve been unable to achieve a flat stomach through diet and exercise.

Am I a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty?

You are a good candidate for an abdominoplasty if, despite healthy eating and exercise, you are unhappy with the appearance of your abdomen because you have loose or excess skin and/or bulging. An abdominoplasty is a good solution for women who’ve had their abdominal muscles and skin stretched due to pregnancies. It is also ideal for people who have lost a great deal of weight and have excess fat and skin in their abdominal area. There are also people who do not fit into either of these categories, however they have excess skin and/or poor elasticity to the skin of their abdominal wall. Patients like this often are interested in liposuction procedures to reduce the size of their abdomen, however they may need skin excision (only achieved through tummy tuck) in addition to or in lieu of liposuction.

You must also have realistic expectations for the surgery. Abdominoplasty is major surgery and is not a substitute for weight loss, a healthy diet or regular exercise. For the best results, you should also be close to your ideal weight (within 10-15 pounds) and your weight should be stable. If you are planning to become pregnant, Dr. Cangello recommends postponing your abdominoplasty until after you’re finished having children.

Finally, ideal abdominoplasty candidates must also be in good health, live in New York City (or be willing to travel), and be motivated to follow Dr. Cangello’s pre-operative and post-operative instructions. This includes wearing an abdominal binder following surgery and refraining from exercise or any sort of lifting/straining for a period of a few weeks.

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The Consultation: Creating Your Plastic Surgery Plan

Your abdominoplasty journey begins with a consultation with Dr. David Cangello in our New York City office. Dr. Cangello will discuss your medical history and the results that you want from your abdominoplasty. For your surgery to proceed safely, you need to be honest about your allergies, medications, personal habits, and previous surgical procedures.

Dr. Cangello will ask about your goals for the abdominoplasty and the look you hope to achieve. He will conduct a physical examination, in order to see the areas of concern on your abdomen. Following the physical exam, Dr. Cangello will recommend a surgical plan that will help create the body contour that you desire. He will also answer your questions and explain how to prepare for your abdominoplasty, as well as what you can expect in your post-operative care.

Preparing For Abdominoplasty

Dr. Cangello is committed to achieving the best results possible. During your initial consultation, he will create a pre-operative plan for you to follow. This plan is designed for your unique needs, to make sure that you have the best outcome possible. Your pre-op plan may include changes in diet and other habits that impact your health. You will be advised to avoid ANY nicotine-containing products for at least two to four weeks before and after surgery.

Dr. Cangello and his staff will also give you instructions for the days before your surgery. These include stopping certain medications and supplements. You will also be told not to eat beginning at midnight on the day of your surgery.

Finally, Dr. Cangello and his staff will explain your post-operative plan. He will give you prescriptions to fill prior to surgery and ask you to find someone to drive you home following surgery.

Where Will the Surgery Be Performed?

Your abdominoplasty will be performed at Dr. Cangello’s New York City office. He has a fully accredited (AAASF) state-of-the-art operating room on-site. You are encouraged to ask for a tour of the operating facility when you come in for your consultation.

Types of Anesthesia

Abdominoplasty generally takes two to three hours. Abdominoplasty is usually performed using general anesthesia. Smaller abdominoplasty procedures, such as a “mini” tummy tuck where skin from only the lower abdomen is removed may be done with just local anesthesia.

Abdominoplasty Surgery Techniques

On the day of your surgery, Dr. Cangello will mark your body with a pen to identify the key areas of the surgery. Dr. Cangello asks that on the day of your surgery you wear an undergarment to the office that is representative of the type that you would wear most frequently. This way he can place his skin markings so that the resultant surgical scars are concealed in positions behind where the undergarments contact the body. This will be done while you are standing, to make sure that you achieve the most natural look possible following your abdominoplasty.

Once your anesthesia has been administered, Dr. Cangello will make an incision along the marking drawn below your bikini/undergarment line. The incision length will depend on how much skin needs to be removed and can span from one hip to the other. The more skin there is that needs to be excised the longer the incision will potentially be. Next, Dr. Cangello will carefully separate the loose skin and fat from your abdominal muscles so he can repair (tighten) these muscles. An incision is also made around the umbilicus (belly button) so that all of the excess skin and fat above it can be mobilized downward and removed. Once the muscles are repaired, excess skin and fat are removed from your abdominal area. The remaining skin is carefully stretched toward the bikini-line incision and closed with all absorbable sutures (so that none need to be removed). At this point, Dr. Cangello will also insert drains to keep fluid from building up in the area.

Patients who have just a small amount of excess skin below in the lower portion of the abdomen only (below the belly button) may not need an incision around the naval.

The Recovery Process

You will wake up with a surgical dressing over your incisions. You will also be wearing a compression garment around your abdomen. There will be two drainage tubes placed that arise from above the pubic area and they may drain fluid for a few days. Your abdomen may feel bruised, swollen or sore. It is not uncommon to feel a loss of sensation in the lower abdomen as well, but this invariably resolves over time. It may however take several months. Dr. Cangello will prescribe pain medication to keep you comfortable. Wearing the compression garment is essential to controlling swelling and getting the results you desire.

You will need several days of minimal activity following your abdominoplasty. Beginning the day after surgery, you will be asked to walk slowly to help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. However, when you do walk, you should remain slightly hunched over so as not to put stress on the closure of your incision. You should not engage in any strenuous activity or lift anything greater than two pounds. You will see Dr. Cangello within five days for a follow-up appointment. Most people start to feel better within ten days and are ready to return to work after two weeks. All of your sutures and drains will be removed by that time, and most often they are removed within the first few days to one week.

You will not be able to lift more than five pounds for four to six weeks, so it’s critical that you have help if you’re caring for small children or pets. You will also need to avoid strenuous exercise for six weeks.

Please call our New York City office at 212-644-4416 to set up a consultation and learn how you can benefit from abdominoplasty.


  • What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

    The differences between a tummy tuck and liposuction are multiple. With liposuction, only fat is removed. No skin is removed at all. The skin does contract to some degree after liposuction, however the best candidates for liposuction have minimal skin excess and good elasticity to their skin. A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is best suited for women who have skin excess with poor elasticity, with or without a bulge to their abdomen. The bulge occurs secondary to stretching of the abdominal wall muscles and separation of the rectus abdominis (six pack muscles) from the midline. This most commonly occurs after child bearing. With a tummy tuck excess skin is excised, the muscles are tightened, and when necessary, liposuction is also performed.
  • Can I get a tummy tuck and liposuction?

    When you have a traditional tummy tuck you can have liposuction, but only to the sides of the trunk (also known as the flanks or love handles). You cannot have liposuction to the front of the abdomen when having a traditional tummy tuck as it could jeopardize blood flow to the skin of the abdomen and result in skin necrosis (death). You may have liposuction to the front of the abdomen as an ancillary procedure several months after your tummy tuck to make you abdomen flatter. Alternatively, there is a procedure that Dr. Cangello performs called a lipoabdominoplasty. This is not a traditional tummy tuck and the entire trunk, including the front of the abdomen is suctioned aggressively at the time of abdominoplasty. This procedure results in the most dramatic and beautiful results. Not all women are candidates for a lipoabdominoplasty though, so all women cannot opt for this procedure. During your consultation with Dr. Cangello, he will inform you if you are a good candidate.
  • Will the results change if I’m pregnant?

    Dr. Cangello recommends that you be done having children before you have a tummy tuck. Pregnancy can cause the muscles of the abdominal wall and skin to be stretched again, thereby necessitating another tummy tuck procedure.
  • Can a tummy tuck get rid of stretch marks?

    A tummy tuck can and does get rid of stretch marks. The issue is that the only stretch marks that will be removed are stretch marks of the lower abdomen. Essentially, stretch marks from the lower abdomen all the way up to the umbilicus (navel/belly button) will be removed. Women who have significant stretch marks of the upper abdomen will likely retain some of their stretch marks after the procedure, however they will be moved to the lower aspect of the abdomen.
  • Are the results permanent?

    The results of a tummy tuck are permanent assuming you do not get pregnant again or have significant weight gain. You should be within 10-15 lbs of your ideal weight when having this procedure to assure long lasting results.
  • What is a mini tummy tuck?

    A mini tummy tuck is really not a full tummy tuck. Some women just have a little excess skin of the lower abdomen that can be excised without going through a full tummy tuck procedure. Women should understand that they cannot have the results of a traditional tummy tuck with a minimal scar. Many women are under the impression that a mini tummy tuck can achieve the results of a full tummy tuck with a smaller scar (like a C-section type scar). This cannot be done.
  • Can I combine a tummy tuck with breast surgery?

    A tummy tuck can be performed at the time of breast surgery and this is commonly done. It is often referred to as a “mommy makeover”. The most common procedure(s) to be combined with a tummy tuck are breast augmentation and/or breast lift (mastopexy).
  • Should I lose weight before my tummy tuck?

    For optimal results you should be within 10-15 lbs. of your ideal weight before having tummy tuck surgery.
  • When can I start working out after my surgery?

    Dr. Cangello recommends that you do not work out until 4 weeks after tummy tuck surgery. At this time, you can start light exercise. Abdominal work and more strenuous exercise can be performed at 6 weeks postoperative.
  • Why does choosing a Board Certified plastic Surgeon matter?

    It is extremely important that you chose a plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (only) for your tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery.

    A surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic surgery has to undergo rigorous training in the field of both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. In addition they have to pass very difficult oral and written examinations to verify their proficiency in the field. Unlike surgeons who undergo cosmetic training alone, plastic surgeons also have extensive experience with reconstruction of the entire body. So they are the most qualified to deal with any untoward event that may occur as a result of having tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery. They are also the most qualified to have in depth understanding of the anatomy involved when performing the procedure.

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