Abdominoplasty Pittsburgh

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Introduction to

Abdominoplasty Pittsburgh

Are you self conscious of loose, sagging skin around your abdomen? When you do a plank and look down, do you see that tummy skin hanging like a curtain?  Looking good in form-fitting clothes can seem impossible and showing your midsection at the beach or pool can feel embarrassing. Pregnancy, weight loss, and certain genetics can bring about that stubborn loose, sagging skin.

About Abdominoplasty

An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a procedure aimed at tightening and removing redundant skin and restoring a flatter contour. Often, if the client desires,  it is combined with liposuction if there are fat deposits on the flanks, known as love handles or “muffin tops.” For individuals who have never had a “waist,” an abdominoplasty can give considerable improvement. The abdomen can be tightened in layers, depending on each patient’s needs. For young patients, or for those who have not had children, where there is excellent muscle tone, only skin needs to be removed. For those who have had a lot of weight loss or several children, both the muscle layer and the skin usually need tightening. The scar is variable in length and depends on skin excess. There almost always is a scar around the belly button, except in those patients whose skin excess is limited to beneath the belly button (in this case a mini-abdominoplasty is done). Sometimes there may be a short vertical scar extending up from the long scar above the pubic hairline. This needs to be done in cases where there is laxity of skin but not enough to completely excise the former “hole” around the umbilicus. Please ask Dr. Pautler to explain this if it seems unclear.

The surgery usually takes up to three hours and involves general anesthesia and can be either outpatient or involve one overnight stay. Before performing the surgery, Dr. Pautler will draw the skin excision pattern on you while you are standing. She will also outline the areas where fat will be addressed with liposuction. Drains are almost always used, as is some form of compression such as a binder or a garment to wear afterward.

Abdominoplasty Photos

See the results for yourself

After the surgery, you will need to sleep in a flexed “beach chair” position for several nights. You will also need to walk bent at the hips for the first week or so. This is because of tightness (which is good!), which will eventually loosen naturally as your skin and muscle layers relax. Pain and discomfort is controlled with a combination of light pain pills, anti-inflammatory meds, and a long-lasting injected local anesthetic. The drains are most often removed 4-10 days after surgery in Dr. Pautler’s office. The compressive garment is worn for about 4-6 weeks, and afterwards most patients can return to normal activities. Smaller abdominoplasties involve a quick recovery, while more extensive ones require more healing time.


Mini Abdominoplasty

A mini-abdominoplasty (mini tummy tuck) involves a shorter procedure.  The correction is limited to the lower portion of the abdomen, mostly below the belly button. After making the incision, Dr. Pautler brings separated abdominal muscles back together along the midline and then sutures them in place.  She removes excess fat pockets, smoothes the abdominal skin down, and trims away the excess skin.

Mini Vs. Full Abdominoplasty

Often patients come asking for a mini when what they need is a full. If the skin quality above the navel is fairly smooth and free of stretch marks, while the skin below the navel is loose and saggy, then a mini tummy tuck is appropriate. Liposuction of the flanks can be done too. If the skin both above and below looks wrinkly and stretch marked, then it’s probably best to do a full, with or without the liposuction.


The best candidates for a tummy tuck are adults who are in good health, do not smoke, have a positive outlook, and desire any or all of the following improvements:

  • Tightening loose, sagging abdominal skin
  • Flattening a protruding belly bulge
  • Removing areas of excess fat
  • Reshaping a stretched or distorted belly button,
  • STOP SMOKING!  If you are a smoker, Dr. Pautler will strongly urge you to cease as soon as possible.  It is important for you to stop smoking at least three months before and six weeks after your planned surgery. Cigarettes contain nicotine, a powerful substance that decreases blood circulation especially in the areas that need it the most:  surgical wounds.  Wound healing is slowed, infection risk is increased, and recovery from surgery may be prolonged.  Nicotine containing chewing gums, patches, and electronic cigarettes are as harmful as cigarettes, so please try not to use them.  If you absolutely cannot curb your smoking, Dr. Pautler asks that you be honest about it and let her know because she may need to alter her surgical plan for you.

The majority of tummy tuck patients that Dr. Pautler sees are mothers who are looking to get their confidence back and feel great about wearing a bikini again.  She also sees patients, both women, and men, ranging in age from 16-70, who have lost a significant amount of weight but are left struggling with the burden of hanging skin.

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Consultation

During consultations for a tummy tuck, the same question is always asked:

Why bring a bikini bottom or skimpy underwear to the surgery?

You do not need them for the surgery itself, but before surgery, when Dr. Pautler sees the patient in pre-op prior to going to the operating room. Dr. Pautler will mark the areas for liposuction (if planned) and where to design the incisions, so she needs to see where each client would optimally like the scars to be hidden. This is not the same for every patient! Some like a super low, under-the-hipbone line tummy tuck, and some prefer a higher V shape tummy tuck, so hip-revealing high-waisted garments can be worn. Due to this, Dr. Pautler has her patients put on the garment of their choice, and carefully marks the incision line so both know that this way, the scars won’t show when the next swim season comes along!

Ready to schedule your consultation for an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and ensure your scars are perfectly hidden for that next swim season? Book your consultation now, and let's discuss your unique preferences. Dr. Pautler is here to help you achieve the results you desire.

» Read more about tummy tuck surgery

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"Dr. Pautler is an amazing person. I wanted to have a breast augmentation but was nervous. She took the time to fully explain everything to me. I never felt as if a question was stupid or not worth her time. I quickly realized that I had found the right doctor. My surgery went very well, thanks to the expert hands of Dr. Pautler. The first few days of my recovery were as expected. Then I noticed that my incisions were becoming increasingly itchy. On a Saturday morning, I called the number Dr. Pautler had given me. A little while later, she met me in her office. I was having a rare allergic reaction to the adhesive. She was able to treat me and told me to come into the office on Monday. I was very grateful for this weekend visit with her. Much to my surprise, I got a phone call the next day, from Dr. Pautler. It was a Sunday! She was calling to see how I was feeling. I would definitely recommend her to anyone. I wish more doctors were as caring and as compassionate as her.”

"I recently went to Dr. Pautler to have my first breast augmentation back in May 2017. Dr. Pautler is such an amazing women and surgeon. From the moment I walked into her office for my consultation to my last follow up appointment, every one in her office was so welcoming, professional, and made my experience so much better. She took a lot of time with me during our initial consultation to discuss all of my options. She was so honest with me from the get go and I instantly felt comfortable putting my personal appearance into her hands. I never once felt that she tried to pressure me into doing anything that I was not comfortable with. Her bedside manner is absolutely amazing...and I am a nurse who works on a post surgical unit and frequently see how surgeons do not always have the best bedside manner. The staff in her office are so friendly and remember you when you come in for all of your appointments...and that meant a lot to me that I was not just another patient. During my pre-op and post op stages at the hospital, all of the staff had great things to say about her. They often refer to her as "amazing", which made me feel so good! I am now completely healed from the surgery, and I could not be happier with my results. She made me feel so much better about my physical appearance and I have so much more confidence now thanks to her!”

"Worth the long drive. The local surgeons close to me have 2 hour long office waits, incompetent staff, change pricing and hospital locations at zero hour, and don't explain everything well. Dr. Pautler came recommended to me and I'm glad she was.”

"Wonderful doctor who is so caring! Having her perform my mommy makeover was the best decision of my life!! My body looks amazing thanks to her!”

"I was on the fence with going through a Breast Augmentation for a few years. There were obvious reasons on why I wanted one, but I knew that going through with this surgery would need to be done at the best time with the best doctor. After visiting a few doctors that I was uncomfortable with, someone I knew personally suggested trying her doctor, Dr. Pautler. I immediately called the office...”

"I recently went to Dr. Pautler to have my first breast augmentation back in May 2017. Dr. Pautler is such an amazing women and surgeon. From the moment I walked into her office for my consultation to my last follow up appointment, every one in her office was so welcoming, professional, and made my experience so much better. She took a lot of time with me during our initial consultation to...”

How Much Does Abdominoplasty Cost in Pittsburgh?

The cost of a tummy tuck varies because it is a highly individualized surgery tailored for each patient. The overall price may include anesthesia, operating room facilities, new breast implants, and other related expenses. Additional tests and imaging may also add to your total. Contact Us for additional information.


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