New twist on traditional tummy tuck makes procedure less invasive

Since the standard tummy tuck is too invasive for some patients, one surgeon developed a new procedure that's working wonders.

This time of year, smooth stomachs are the hottest beach bag accessory.

"When I mentioned to my son, 'Oh I'm gonna get a bikini,' he said, 'Oh that's so gross!'" Doris Gray said.

Fifty-seven-year-old Doris Gray won't don a two piece, but she is tastefully showing off her tummy after dropping two sizes.

"I have abs of steel!" Doris said.

Dr. Matthew Schulman gave Doris a smooth tuck, a new option for those who aren't thin enough for the traditional tummy tuck.

"A tummy tuck is a skin operation and a muscle operation, so ideally the patients are skinny, have just loose skin and muscles that are weak from pregnancies and changes in weight. Unfortunately, that wasn't the majority of patients. Most of my patients were coming in, and they were 20 to 30 pounds overweight like the majority of Americans,” plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman said.

In the new procedure, surgeons first remove two-to-three liters of fat then take off excess skin. Unlike a tummy tuck, they don't cut any muscles.

"Since I'm not doing any muscle repair, the recovery is much, much quicker,” Dr. Schulman said.

How much quicker? Smooth tuck patients are back to work in one week instead of two and can resume normal activities in three weeks instead of six. Patients typically lose up to 10 pounds and two-to-three inches around the waist. The total cost, $8,000. Meghan Redfield says it was worth it.

"I've had three children by three C-sections in four years. I've been working out, and I've been running and the weight after the third just really isn't coming off,” Megan Redfield said.

She lost three inches around her middle, and like Doris gained back her confidence.

"I guess it's vanity, but it made me happy, and I decided to make me happy,” Doris said.

Dr. Schulman only recommends this surgery for women who are finished having children.

Compared to a traditional tummy tuck, this is about $2,000 less.

Despite the recession, Americans spent almost $10.5 billion on cosmetic procedures last year. That's down two percent from the year before.


BACKGROUND: According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 34 percent of adults are obese. This is more than double the percentage 30 years ago. A total of 13 percent of men and 16 percent of women will undergo weight loss treatment as they are considered obese. But most of them will opt for a surgery to help with the weight loss battle. In-fact, over $10 billion is spent on cosmetic surgery in the United States each year. Over $1.2 billion of that money is being spent on liposuction.

TUMMY TUCK: According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, removes excess fat and skin, and in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles.
This procedure is an invasive surgery that isn't ideal for some patients. Usually, the cosmetic results of a tummy tuck are not as good for obese people. The typical tummy tuck recovery time is about three weeks and more than 100,000 surgeries were performed since 2000.

SMOOTH TUCK: A new procedure developed by surgeon Matthew Schulman M.D., helps those who aren't thin enough for a traditional tummy tuck. Unlike the tummy tuck, this new procedure, called Smooth Tuck, doesn't cut any muscles. This means significantly less pain and a recovery period of one week instead of two. In addition, according to Dr. Shulman's website, the Smooth Tuck repositions the belly button. However, this procedure is done from the inside and no visible scar can be seen. Furthermore, the Smooth Tuck procedure liposuctions the entire abdomen and flanks. The procedure removes two to three liters of fat and then takes off the excessive skin. Patients typically lose up to 10 pounds with this procedure.

EXTRA INFO: As with any body contouring procedure, the results are best seen in women who are done having children. Compared to a traditional tummy tuck, this new development is about $2,000 cheaper. Additionally, the Smooth Tuck procedure only takes about 2 hours under general anesthesia.

For More Information, Contact:
Matthew Shulman, MD
(212) 289-1851

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WNDU - Channel 16 54516 State Road 933 South Bend, IN 46637 Front Desk: 574-284-3000 Newsroom: 574-284-3016 Email:
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 97973529 -
Gray Television, Inc.