Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a procedure designed to give your abdominal area better contour. In addition to removing excess skin and fat, the abdominal muscles are tightened to give a smoother look. Whether you have recently lost weight, want to get rid of stretch marks, or are looking for a mommy-makeover, you could be a candidate for an abdominoplasty.

How long will the procedure take?

Abdominoplasty is a procedure done under general anesthesia. It can take about two hours and is done on an outpatient basis.

Where will the incisions be?

The incision is usually from hip-to-hip and made at the lower part of the abdomen. Sometimes this scar can be hidden under your favorite bathing suit or underwear style. A new opening is made for the umbilicus in the skin that is pulled down to give a more youthful look.

What will recovery be like?

Typically, the immediate recovery is about two weeks. This can vary from person-to-person and will be tailored to your individual needs. You should be able to shower about two to three days after the procedure. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled for you about one week later for drain removal. Once the drains are removed, you can transition into a smoother, softer abdominal garment.

What else should I know about abdominoplasty?

Usually one or two drains are left to collect any excess fluid for the next couple of days. You will get detailed instructions on how to care for these drains. Long-acting pain medication is placed throughout the belly to help with post-operative pain. You'll go home with an abdominal garment or binder to help remind you to avoid strenuous activity after your surgery and let the area heal properly. You will need a responsible adult to drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after the surgery. Dr. Aboutanos and her staff will review all of these instructions with you. Dr. Aboutanos will be there every step of the way to ensure the best results.

Liposuction

Liposuction is a procedure designed to improve your body contour. While it is not a treatment for obesity, liposuction is done to target exercise-resistant fat deposits. It helps by decreasing excess fat deposits in the inner and outer thighs, hips, arms, and neck. Liposuction is a procedure that can be done in combination with other procedures, such as face-lift, neck lift, and abdominoplasty.

How long will the procedure take?

Liposuction is a procedure done under general anesthesia. Depending on the number of sites treated, liposuction typically takes one to two hours and is done on an outpatient basis.

Where will the incisions be?

The incisions for liposuction are usually very small and usually measure less than 1 cm. Oftentimes, these scars are hidden and not visible after they have healed.

What will recovery be like?

Typically, the immediate recovery is about two weeks. This can vary from person-to-person and depends on the location and number of liposuction sites. You should be able to shower about two to three days after the procedure. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled for you about one to two weeks later.


Initially, you should plan to avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, and housework. You will need to walk and keep your legs moving after surgery to avoid complications.

What else should I know about liposuction?

Long-acting pain medication is placed throughout the liposuction sites to help with post-operative pain. You will go home with a compression garment to help decrease swelling and ensure better long-term results. This garment should be worn for at least two weeks. You will need a responsible adult to drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after the surgery. Dr. Aboutanos and her staff will review all of these instructions with you. Dr. Aboutanos will be there every step of the way to ensure the best results.

Arm Lift

An arm lift, also known as brachioplasty, is a procedure designed to improve your arm contour. Brachioplasty is performed to remove excess skin along the upper arms, axilla, and chest wall. This procedure can be combined with liposuction to give a smoother contour and help facilitate more skin removal. Brachioplasty is a surgery that can also be combined with other procedures such as mastopexy.

How long will the procedure take?

Arm lift/brachioplasty is done under general anesthesia. Brachioplasty typically takes two to three hours and is done on an outpatient basis.

Where will the incisions be?

Brachioplasty incisions are typically hidden along the inner aspect of the arms so that they are not visible with the arms at the sides or from the back. These incisions can be carried further to the axilla and side of the chest if more skin is to be removed.

What will recovery be like?

Typically, the immediate recovery is about two weeks. This can vary from person-to-person and depends on the extent of your surgery. You should be able to shower about two to three days after the procedure. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled for you about one week later.


Initially, you should plan to avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, and housework. You will need to walk and keep your legs moving after surgery to avoid complications.

What else should I know about brachioplasty?

Long-acting pain medication is placed throughout the brachioplasty sites to help with post-operative pain. You will go home with a compression garment to help decrease swelling and ensure better long-term results. This garment should be worn for at least two weeks. You'll need a responsible adult to drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after the surgery. Dr. Aboutanos and her staff will review all of these instructions with you. Dr. Aboutanos will be there every step of the way to ensure the best results.

Thigh Lift

A thigh lift is a procedure designed to improve your inner and/or outer thigh contour. A thigh lift is performed to remove excess skin along the inner and/or outer thigh. This procedure can be combined with liposuction to give a smoother contour and help facilitate more skin removal.

How long will the procedure take?

A thigh lift is done under general anesthesia. A thigh lift typically takes two to three hours and is done on an outpatient basis.

Where will the incisions be?

Thigh lift incisions are typically hidden along the inner and outer aspect of the thighs so that they are not visible.

What will recovery be like?

Typically, the immediate recovery is about two weeks. This can vary from person-to-person and depends on the extent of skin removal. You should be able to shower about two to three days after the procedure. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled for you one week later. Initially, you should plan to avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, and housework. You will need to walk and keep your legs moving after surgery to avoid complications.

What else should I know about thigh lift?

Long-acting pain medication is placed throughout the surgical sites to help with post-operative pain. You will go home with a compression garment to help decrease swelling and ensure better long-term results. This garment should be worn for at least two weeks. You will need a responsible adult to drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after the surgery. Dr. Aboutanos and her staff will review all of these instructions with you. Dr. Aboutanos will be there every step of the way to ensure the best results.

Mommy Makeover

“Mommy Makeover” is a catch-all term for a set of customized procedures designed to help address some of the most common breast and body changes associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Typically, mommy makeovers include a procedure to reduce breast sagging and improve fullness, such as a breast lift or breast lift with augmentation, combined with procedures to recontour the body, including a tummy tuck to remove excess skin on the lower abdomen and, sometimes, liposuction to reduce stubborn pockets of fat.

During your consultation, Dr. Aboutanos will work closely with you to determine which combination of procedures is optimal for achieving your goals. Please contact us today to learn more or schedule a personal consultation.

How long does a mommy makeover take?

This can vary based on which procedures you’re having and how many procedures are being performed at once. Breast surgeries typically take two to three hours, while body contouring typically takes two or more hours, depending on the severity of your concerns.

All procedures will be performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis, though you may be required to stay overnight after a tummy tuck.

Where will my incisions be?

Dr. Aboutanos places incisions as inconspicuous as possible, where resulting scars will be hidden in the natural folds of your skin or easily hidden by your underwear or a swimsuit. For a breast lift, incisions are typically made around the areola and vertically down the center of the breast to the breast fold, in a lollipop shape. The type of incision used depends on the amount of reshaping that needs to be done, and Dr. Aboutanos may also need to make an additional incision along the crease under the breast.

With a tummy tuck, Dr. Aboutanos will make an incision along the lower part of the abdomen from hip to hip, where it can be hidden under low-cut underwear. She will also make a small incision in the umbilicus so she can restore a natural, youthful look to the belly button.

Liposuction incisions are usually very small and strategically placed in the most easily hidden areas near where you are having fat removed.

What is mommy makeover recovery like?

Again, your recovery will depend on which procedures you have. After breast surgery, many patients are able to return to non-strenuous work within the first week, are able to shower after a few days, and slowly begin resuming light activity in around two weeks. Exercise, heavy lifting (including toddlers), and housework will need to be avoided as your incisions heal, though walking is encouraged early in your recovery to avoid complications.

Recovery after a tummy tuck is often more intensive, as a greater degree of reshaping has occurred and the larger incision will take longer to heal. Additionally, one to two drains are often left for the first few days after surgery to remove excess fluid and keep swelling down. You should start feeling more like yourself in about two weeks, though you will still need to avoid exercise and strenuous activity until you get the go ahead from Dr. Aboutanos.

Prescription pain medication will be prescribed to help manage your discomfort, though most patients transition to an OTC pain reliever after around four to five days. You will be required to wear special surgical garments, such as compression wear around the abdomen and a surgical bra. These garments can be inconvenient, but they will help alleviate your discomfort and protect your results as your body begins to heal.

Swelling and bruising should resolve over the course of a month or so, and you’ll start to see your results take shape over the next few weeks.

Renuvion

Renuvion Skin Tightening Richmond, VA

A truly revolutionary technology, Renuvion has furthered the boundaries of what radiofrequency devices can achieve for patients, notably in the area of tightening lax skin. In the hands of an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon, this minimally-invasive procedure is a powerful option for patients bothered by lax skin on the neck or body who would benefit from a boost in collagen production.

How Renuvion advances RF technology for increased results

Renuvion adds the power of helium plasma to RF technology to provide a significant cooling effect, which allows for a greater level of radiofrequency to be used in treatment. Additionally, the device is inserted under the skin to reach deeper layers of the skin. The combination of these strategies significantly increases the collagen-building benefits for the patient.

Learn more about Renuvion

Dr. Aboutanos is well-versed in this new technology and recommends coming in for a personal consultation to determine if Renuvion is right for you. Please call us at (804) 355-3410 to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Aboutanos.


What is Renuvion treatment like?

Depending on the areas being treated, you will be given an appropriate level of anesthesia with or without sedation. Dr. Aboutanos will then make a pencil-eraser sized incision to insert the Renuvion device probe under your skin in each area you have chosen to have treated. Treatment is relatively quick, and you will only need small bandages afterward to cover the incision(s). You can expect to be sore in treated areas for a few weeks following treatment, with residual bruising lasting approximately four weeks.

How does Renuvion compare to other skin tightening options?

While Renuvion requires a more significant recovery time than typical non-surgical procedures, it offers excellent results without the invasiveness of a plastic surgery procedure.

Renuvion vs plastic surgery

Besides being less invasive, Renuvion offers an advantage over plastic surgery: it is specifically designed to stimulate collagen production. In contrast, plastic surgery can excise more skin or even tighten muscles as in a tummy tuck, but it cannot provide the improvement in general skin elasticity offered by Renuvion.


Renuvion’s small incisions heal fairly quickly, and results develop slowly over time as your body produces more collagen, resulting in natural skin tightening. Optimal Renuvion results are seen in the 6 to 12-month range. With surgery, you will see a more dramatic change immediately after the surgery, but the longer incisions associated with plastic surgery lifting procedures take more time to heal.


As with surgery, Renunvion can be applied to most areas of the body where skin tightening is desired, however, it is not often appropriate for treatment of the breasts, which typically require surgical reshaping. Renuvion can be used in conjunction with liposuction, which is helpful for patients who would benefit from targeted fat removal via liposuction but have some skin laxity.


Renuvion is an excellent choice for patients with moderate skin laxity who would see excellent results with a boost in collagen production. Patients who have significant skin laxity due to aging or notable weight loss will likely be better off with a body lifting procedure such as arm lift, thigh lift, or neck lift.

Renuvion vs Thermage

While radiofrequency (RF) technology has gained popularity in recent years through treatments such as Thermage, they have only provided truly satisfactory results for patients with quite mild concerns. Renuvion provides more significant skin tightening thanks to combining the power of Helium plasma with RF technology.


QWO Cellulite Treatment

Dr. Aboutanos is excited to introduce QWO®, the first FDA-approved injectable to treat cellulite dimpling, to her Richmond patients. QWO is a combination of naturally occurring collagenases that work to release the collagen bands responsible for the appearance of cellulite dimpling in the buttocks.

Why do women get cellulite?

Cellulite occurs in roughly 90% of adult women. While it isn’t medically harmful, most women find it unappealing. As women age, their estrogen levels decline, causing a lack of blood flow, especially in the lower body. Since blood flow is critical for collagen production, this decreased circulation results in a reduction in new collagen formation. Collagen is responsible for creating healthy, supple skin, and when skin is deprived of collagen, it can become thin and saggy. At the same time as estrogen begins to decline in women (25-35 years old), fat cells begin to grow. Fat cells sit just beneath the surface of our skin, and when our skin lacks collagen, this fat can press up against it, forming visible dimples.

If you struggle with cellulite, you’re not alone—even the healthiest women often still struggle with skin dimpling. Cellulite’s prevalence and its difficulty to be eliminated through diet, exercise, or liposuction make QWO a revolutionary treatment.

How does QWO work?

QWO is the first cellulite treatment that doesn’t require incisions like Cellfina, or lasers like Cellulaze. QWO’s collagenase formula is injected directly into your cellulite dimples and immediately goes to work breaking down the fibrous collagen bands that cause the appearance of cellulite rippling. Once these bands are released, your fat cells are able to redistribute, resulting in smoother, more even-looking skin. QWO also encourages new collagen growth in skin, a process called neocollagenesis. Since neocollagenesis takes about 6 to 9 months, your results will continue to improve long after your treatment.

How effective is QWO?

At the end of QWO’s Phase 2 clinical study, roughly 45% of women who received QWO treatment saw a significant improvement in their cellulite.

Actual patient. Unretouched photos taken before receiving QWO and 28 days after final treatment. Women in clinical trials received 3 treatments of QWO, 21 days apart. Results may vary. Photo: QWO.

What areas can I treat with QWO?

QWO is currently FDA-approved to treat cellulite in the buttocks of adult women.

How many QWO treatments will I need?

While many of our patients see an improvement in their cellulite after just one treatment, it typically takes 3 treatment sessions spaced 3 weeks apart for QWO to fully release your collagen bands. During your QWO treatment, Dr. Aboutanos will administer 6 injections in each buttock for a total of 12 injections. Each session takes about 30 minutes, and injections are relatively painless.

When will I see my QWO results?

QWO results are typically visible in less than 10 weeks; however, this time frame will depend on the extent of your cellulite and the quality of your skin.

What side effects are associated with QWO?

QWO has been found to be very safe via a number of clinical trials. Like any other cosmetic injectable, there are a handful of side effects that have been associated with QWO, including:

  • Minor pain
  • Allergic reaction
  • Minor bruising and swelling
  • Itching
  • Hardening of tissue at the injection site

These side effects are typically mild and resolve on their own.

Where can I get QWO injections in Richmond?

While QWO is a relatively simple procedure, it’s important to work with a qualified plastic surgeon to achieve optimal results. Dr. Sharline Aboutanos is board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and has over 20 years of experience helping women in the Richmond, VA area feel comfortable in their bodies. Contact Dr. Aboutanos online or call (804) 355-3410 to learn more about QWO injections in Richmond.