A Beginner’s Guide to Abdominoplasty in North Carolina: Pre and Post-Care

Abdominoplasty, most commonly known as a “tummy tuck,” is a transformative procedure that reshapes the abdomen for a smoother, firmer appearance.

Whether you’re exploring this procedure for the first time or have already taken steps toward scheduling your surgery, we’re here to ensure you feel supported throughout your journey. Understanding both the preparations before surgery and the care needed afterward is crucial for a successful outcome and a comfortable recovery.

Let us guide you through this process with care and clarity.

Discover what abdominoplasty in Asheville, North Carolina involves and whether it might be the right choice for you.

What Is Abdominoplasty, and How Does it Work?

Abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat in the abdominal area, and may also include ancillary procedures such as repair of weakened abdominal muscles (aka diastasis recti) and/or liposuction.

This procedure can be particularly beneficial for those who have experienced:

– Significant weight loss

– Childbirth

– Changes in skin elasticity due to aging

By carefully removing excess tissue (and tightening abdominal muscles when appropriate), abdominoplasty aims to create a flatter abdominal profile, ultimately enhancing both physical appearance and self-confidence.

How to Prepare for Abdominoplasty

During your initial consultation with Dr. Halvorson, our double-board-certified plastic surgeon, we’ll discuss your aesthetic goals and whether you’re an ideal candidate for abdominoplasty. Once you have been deemed a candidate, we’ll create a personalized care plan that involves thorough preparation details. Some general steps we’ll recommend include:

Lifestyle Adjustments: Making necessary lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and maintaining a stable weight through a balanced diet, is essential for optimal surgical outcomes and a comfortable recovery period.

Medications and Supplements: Reviewing your medications and supplements with Dr. Halvorson is crucial to prevent any complications during or after the procedure. Some adjustments, like temporarily pausing your usage of certain medications, may be necessary to support your healing process. Be sure to inform us of any and all medications you’re currently taking during your consultation.

Planning for Recovery: Abdominoplasty will require you to undergo anesthesia, so you will need to arrange for transportation home following your surgery. Because this procedure will involve some downtime, we also recommend planning to have a loved one around to stay with you during the first few days after your surgery.

What to Expect From Abdominoplasty Recovery

As with most plastic surgery treatments, you can expect to experience some swelling and discomfort after your abdominoplasty procedure. Dr. Halvorson will help manage your recovery through carefully prescribed medications and detailed aftercare instructions, all of which are reviewed with you during your preop visit and printed out for you in a folder.  Dr Halvorson was an early adopter of “enhanced recovery after surgery” or ERAS protocols, also known as “multi-modal” pain management.  Using this strategy patients have less pain, take far fewer narcotics, and therefore have much fewer side effects from the narcotics (constipation, nausea).  

We recommend wearing a supportive abdominal garment to reduce swelling and support the healing tissues.  These garments are called abdominal binders and we recommend wearing one around the clock for at least 1 month, then during the day for a second month, and then as needed after that. 

We will also schedule follow-up appointments to closely monitor your healing process, making adjustments as necessary to ensure optimal recovery. Gradually, as the weeks pass, you’ll begin to notice the swelling subside and the contours of your new abdomen take shape.

Most patients can return to light activities within a few weeks and more vigorous activities after a month, but full recovery and the final results may take 3 months or more to fully manifest, revealing a firmer, more contoured abdomen.

Abdominoplasty in Asheville, NC FAQs

Who is a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery?

Ideal candidates for abdominoplasty with Halvorson Plastic Surgery are those in good overall health, at a stable weight, and with realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure. This surgery is particularly suitable for individuals with excess abdominal skin or fat that hasn’t responded to diet and exercise, as well as women who have experienced changes in their abdominal area due to pregnancy.  We generally recommend losing weight if your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30.  

What are the additional side effects of tummy tuck surgery?

Aside from the common surgical risks like bleeding and wound healing issues, tummy tuck surgery can have specific side effects, including numbness, bruising, and a long recovery period. There’s also the potential for scarring, which can be significant and permanent. Swelling may last several months, and there might be a temporary change in skin sensation or numbness near the treated area.

During your consultation, Dr. Halvorson will review in detail any potential side effects you may encounter and how to best alleviate them.

Are there different types of tummy tuck procedures?

Yes, abdominoplasty procedures can vary based on individual needs. Options include full tummy tucks, mini tummy tucks, extended tummy tucks (aka fleur-de-lis or inverted T abdominoplasty) and procedures that may incorporate liposuction or address excess skin on the sides of the abdomen. Dr. Halvorson will recommend the most appropriate approach based on your goals and anatomy.

What are the benefits of tummy tuck surgery?

Tummy tuck surgery offers several benefits, including:

– Improved abdominal shape and contour

– Tighter abdominal muscles (if applicable)

– Removal of excess, saggy skin

– Enhanced self-esteem and confidence

– Improved posture and reduced lower back pain (if applicable)

How do abdominoplasty and liposuction differ?

Abdominoplasty and liposuction are different surgical procedures addressing body contour. Abdominoplasty removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles (if needed), ideal for individuals with loose skin and diastasis recti. Liposuction, on the other hand, primarily removes fat from targeted areas of the body without significantly addressing skin laxity or muscle tightness. It’s suitable for individuals with good skin elasticity wanting to reduce fat deposits.  Patients with minimal excess skin and good skin tone can expect modest skin tightening after liposuction, however in patients with excess skin or poor skin tone can develop relative skin excess after liposuction, as fat is removed but the skin may not contract. 

Dr. Halvorson’s Unique Approach to Tummy Tucks in Asheville

Dr. Halvorson’s tummy tucks in Asheville, NC combine the science of surgery with the art of body contouring. He takes the time to understand the lifestyle, needs, and aspirations of each patient, integrating this insight into a customized surgical plan.

With a focus on achieving balance and proportion, Dr. Halvorson uses precise techniques to create smooth, natural-looking contours that align with your vision for your body.

Contact us today to learn more about our patient-centered approach to abdominoplasty and how we’ll work together to meet your aesthetic goals.

Halvorson Plastic Surgery, Asheville

5 Livingston Street, Asheville, NC 28801


Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.