A flat stomach and trim sides are classic signs of youth, and it’s disappointing to watch them fade into the mists with advancing years. While diet and exercise can help you address some of these issues, many people find that this simply is not enough to recapture the firm, slim figures of their youth. Many people turn to a traditional Tummy Tuck, or abdominoplasty, to achieve the desire look. But a tummy tuck may be too painful and require too much recovery time, making it unreasonable for many.
Now there is the Smooth Tuck® in New York City. You can achieve a sleeker, smoother abdominal contour with less interruption to your busy lifestyle. The Smooth Tuck, developed by New York City plastic surgeon Matthew Schulman, M.D., combines moderate to high volume liposuction of the abdomen, flanks, and bra bulges with removal of loose skin. It is a great option for patients who desire a less invasive procedure and a more rapid recovery than the traditional tummy tuck.
The Smooth Tuck® offers several advantages over the traditional tummy tuck, including:
- Reduced post-operative discomfort
- More rapid return to activities
- Larger volume fat removal with liposuction
- An option for patients considered “too obese” for a tummy tuck
Let’s take a look at these one by one.
Reduced Post-Operative Discomfort
A traditional tummy tuck involves tightening of the abdominal muscles with several layers of internal sutures. These stitches through the sensitive muscles are responsible for most of the pain following a Tummy Tuck. Because no muscle repair is performed during the Smooth Tuck®, patients have significantly less post-operative pain. Less pain means less requirement for powerful narcotic pain medication, allowing them to avoid some of the common side effects of narcotic use, such as nausea, constipation, and that “foggy” feeling. Most patients are able to manage their pain with over-the-counter medications after just a few days.
More Rapid Return to Activities
After a standard tummy tuck, patients must protect those internal muscle sutures, so they are advised to avoid heavy lifting for about 6 weeks. This means no gym, no exercise, and no lifting children. Since the Smooth Tuck® does not require the same muscle restrictions, patients typically return to normal daily activities within 7 days and may begin light exercise and lifting after 14 days. This means that after your Smooth Tuck® you will need less time off work, less help around the house and will have a quicker return to work, family, and leisure activities.
Larger Volume of Fat Removal
During a traditional Tummy Tuck, there is usually only a small amount of liposuction performed. This is because when the muscles are exposed for the muscle repair, there is disruption of the blood supply to the abdominal skin. Liposuction can further damage the blood supply, increasing the risk of healing complications, which is the reason why liposuction is very limited during a Tummy Tuck. However, since there is no muscle repair during the Smooth Tuck®, the abdominal skin blood supply is completely protected, allowing more aggressive liposuction of the entire abdomen and flanks. On average, two to three liters of fat are removed from the abdomen, flanks, and bra rolls during a Smooth Tuck®. Compare this amount to about one half to one liter removed during a standard tummy tuck. Unlike the tummy tuck, the ability to remove large quantities of fat safely during a Smooth Tuck® allows Dr. Schulman to perform the procedure on patients with moderate to severe abdominal fat, who would be considered poor candidates for a traditional Tummy Tuck.
Frequently Asked Questions About Smooth Tuck® Body Contouring
Sound too good to be true? It’s not, but many people still have additional questions about the Smooth Tuck®. We’re happy to answer some of the most common here. If you have outstanding questions after reading through the FAQs, please feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schulman and learn more about the process, the results and your specific options.
Q. Who Is a Good Candidate for the Smooth Tuck®?
A. People who are not actively losing or gaining weight are good candidates for this procedure. If your weight is still in flux, it’s probably best to wait until you have plateaued so you and your doctor can make the best possible plan for you. Good candidates are also those who practice good diet and exercise routines, so that you don’t gain the weight back and re-stretch your skin after the surgery. All people desiring elective cosmetic surgery must be in good physical health, and not have any medical issues that would place them at increased risk for serious complications.
Q. Who Is NOT a Good Candidate?
A. Again, people whose weight is still changing should hold off. Also, if you’re a smoker, or use any nicotine products, you need to commit to stopping for at least 4 weeks before the surgery and 8 weeks after. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, reduces the effectiveness of your body’s healing, and can lead to serious complications.
Q. Can You Get Insurance Coverage for the Procedure?
A. Like traditional tummy tucks, the Smooth Tuck® is considered an elective surgery. This means that medical insurance will not cover this procedure because there is never “medical necessity”. Our office accepts many different payment options, including financing.
Q. Where Can I get a Smooth Tuck®?
A. While most Board Certified Plastic Surgeons will be able to perform a traditional Tummy Tuck, the Smooth Tuck® was created by Dr. Matthew Schulman and only performed by him. Because of the incredible popularity of the Smooth Tuck® procedure in the media, many surgeons have advertised that they offer this procedure, but Dr. Schulman has not yet taught other surgeons his Smooth Tuck® techniques. Perhaps one day, Dr. Schulman will teach other surgeons the Smooth Tuck® procedure, but until then, it is only performed by him in his New York City office.
Q. How Should You Prepare?
A. Because this procedure is a less invasive one than a traditional tummy tuck or mommy makeover, you don’t have to plan as much time off of work or request as much help around the house, whether that’s from a spouse, family or friends. Nevertheless, it’s important to have assistance for the first week or two, so plan accordingly. You should also schedule a ride home from the hospital and pick up your prescriptions ahead of time, so you don’t have to deal with it post-op.
Q. How Long does the Operation take?
A. The Smooth Tuck® will take approximately 2 hours to perform. Dr. Schulman performs all of his procedures in his fully certified and accredited office operating room. The is operating room meets the highest standards for safety, so you can be assured that you will be well taken care of.
Q. Do I need to stay overnight after my Smooth Tuck®?
A. You are able to go home the very same day as your procedure. You should expect to stay in our recovery room after the procedure for about 1-2 hours. You will then be able to go home with your escort. You will then be seen for a follow-up in about 5-7 days.
Q. When will I see my final results?
A. You will see improvement immediately, since all the loose skin of your abdomen will be gone. However, as with any cosmetic surgery, there is swelling and bruising that naturally occurs. You will see your body begin to take shape over the next several months and will continue to see improvement even a year after surgery.
Q. What if I am from out-of-town?
A. Many of Dr. Schulman’s patients travel from out-of-town, especially for procedures like the Smooth Tuck® that cannot be done anywhere else. Our office can assist with your travel arrangements and provide information for local hotels. If you are coming from far away, we recommend staying in the New York City area for 7-10 days to allow for adequate healing.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Are you interested in finding out more about Smooth Tuck® body contouring? Schedule a consultation at our New York City practice today. Dr. Schulman and the team are ready and willing to get you where you need to go, so call or email today!