Tummy tuck | Dr. Forley
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Posts Tagged ‘Tummy tuck’


Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

In addition to an exercise program, a healthy diet following a tummy tuck is an essential component of a strategy designed to enhance and maintain the results that have been achieved surgically. When balance is achieved in your food choices and caloric intake, a desirable stability in your weight will be a readily attainable goal.

Portion control is key as smaller portions will allow you to consume a greater variety of foods. This makes it more likely that you will feel satisfied at the end of a meal. Feeling satisfied is one way to ensure that you eat only as much as your body needs and reduces the risk of overeating and the inevitable weight gain that goes with it. Weight regulation is also improved when late night eating is avoided.



A few healthy diet tips:


The importance of eating the “right” carbs is in the manner in which they are digested. Carbs that are part of a healthy diet are digested at a slow rate and, as a result, will make you feel full for an extended period of time while keeping blood sugar levels stable. These include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.

Unhealthy carbs are lacking in nutrients, bran, and fiber. As a result, they are quickly digested, cause an elevated blood sugar level, and lead to weight gain. White flour, refined sugar, and white rice are examples of carbs to avoid.


The high calorie content of dietary fat can lead to rapid weight gain when an excessive amount of fat is part of your daily intake. However, there are good fats and bad fats because of the role they play in the body. The good fats such as the polyunsaturated fats present in salmon, sunflower oil, flaxseed oil, soybeans, and corn contain omega-3 fatty acids that help to improve blood cholesterol levels and may decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. Monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, peanut oil, avocados, almonds, and pumpkin seeds are healthy fats that support functions such as blood sugar control and should be part of your diet.

Saturated fats contribute to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and should be reduced. This includes whole milk dairy products and red meat. Trans fats present in many snack foods and processed foods should be avoided.


Vegetables are low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates but rich in nutrients. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber are abundantly present and will naturally diminish the desire to eat more than your daily nutritional requirements.

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Friday, February 27th, 2015

A tummy tuck will remove excess fat and skin as well as tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. To achieve the best long term outcome, muscle toning exercises must be part of the plan after the initial recovery period is completed. Usually by 6-8 weeks a program of exercise can be resumed.

Muscles of the TrunkThere are four main muscle groups that determine the contour and appearance of your abdomen: the rectus abdominis, the internal and external obliques, and the transversus abdominis. Increasing the strength and endurance of these muscles will contribute towards optimizing the appearance of your tummy after surgery. Training this muscle “core” with exercise produces a greater degree of coordination and synchronization of the muscles and thereby enhances their function.

It is important to keep in mind that exercising the core muscles will not specifically target fat deposits in the abdominal region. The way to maintain and improve upon localized fat deposits, such as those in the abdomen, is with a healthy diet that will benefit your whole body.

A few options to consider after you have been advised to resume exercise:

The Crunch

As Resistance Training Specialist Phil Arico at David Barton Gym in New York City put it, “The crunch is one of the better exercises to help in the development of abdominal muscle tone. It requires minimal movement, which leaves less margin for improper form and injury. By squeezing between the lower ribs and top of the pelvis, and pulling them together, you create the movement of a crunch. Each repetition should be slow and controlled to allow for more time under muscular tension, a key component in muscle toning.”

The lower back should remain on the floor when a crunch is properly performed. This makes the exercise more effective by isolating the abdominal muscles. The addition of a twist to the crunch movement, with alternate lifting of the shoulders, will add the oblique muscles to the strengthened abdominal wall.

The Plank

A good all around toning exercise that doesn’t require any special equipment and can easily be done at home. You can visualize the exercise by thinking of it as a push up in which you remain in the up position. In some versions, your hands remain directly under your shoulders while other methods keep your forearms on the mat while you elevate your body and hold the pose for up to one minute. Try to keep your body straight and do not allow your hips to drop.

The Stability Ball

Achieving balance on a stability ball engages multiple muscle groups at once. Adding the ball to your plank exercise will fast track your efforts. After lying on top of the ball, put your hands on the ground and allow the ball to roll beneath your thighs while walking your hands forward. Keep your body as straight and stable as you can for 30 seconds while squeezing your thighs and tightening your abs.

A professional trainer will best be able to assist you in safely achieving the optimal results from your exercise efforts.

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Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Patients who undergo surgery to improve the appearance of their abdomen can enhance the outcome after recovery with some targeted efforts at weight management and exercise. The abdominoplasty or tummy tuck will handle three problem areas:

  1. Excision of excess and redundant skin
  2. Reduction of fat deposits
  3. Tightening of the abdominal muscles

Before & After 31 year old female 3 months following a tummy tuck

Although the surgery provides improvements that are often unachievable with even the most diligent efforts at diet and exercise, the best outcomes are attained when patients become active participants in the long term enhancement and maintenance of the results.

There are two primary problems that cannot be altered surgically:

  1. Internal or visceral fat excess located below the abdominal muscles
  2. Muscle tone

Both of these areas require a committed effort that balances a moderate caloric intake with exercise. Reducing internal fat and increasing tone in the muscles that have been tightened as a result of the surgery will produce an even flatter abdominal contour. In the next blog, we will offer recommendations on how to make these goals a reality following a tummy tuck.

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Monday, December 22nd, 2014

The decision to proceed with a tummy tuck often follows a period of exhilaration at starting a family followed by distress at the consequences of pregnancy on the appearance of the tummy. The effect of pregnancy on the skin, fat, and muscle of the abdomen varies from person to person. In some cases, the contour of the tummy can be restored with exercise and a healthy diet. In many cases, however, the effects of pregnancy on skin elasticity and muscle spreading away from its natural midline position, known as diastasis, will limit the benefits of even the most conscientious exercise and diet routine. Dr. Forley uses advanced techniques in tummy tuck surgery to make the desired goals of self improvement a reality for women who are unable to do so on their own due to the anatomic changes that have occurred following childbirth.

In the following video, a mother of two shares her thoughts on deciding to have a tummy tuck and how she feels about the results.



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embrace® Advanced Scar Therapy

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Achieving the most favorable scar appearance after surgery is dependent not only on the quality of the repair performed at the time of surgery but also on the mechanical forces that affect healing during the post-operative period. Control of the natural tension of skin during wound healing has been shown to minimize hypertrophic or thickened scars after procedures such as tummy tucks or breast surgery. Until now, none of the scar treatment modalities commonly used have been able to regulate wound tension in a manner that will impact on the final appearance of the scar.


embrace® Advanced Scar Therapy, a new FDA-cleared technology that helps reduce tension on the healing scar, enables us to enhance the results of surgery for our patients. The treatment involves the application of an adherent, water resistant elastic sheet that is stretched and applied to either side of the scar. Skin tension is actively reduced during the healing process due to the contraction of the device following its application. It is comfortable to use and normal activities, including showering and exercise, can be performed during the 8 week treatment course. Clinical studies have consistently demonstrated the efficacy of this device when compared to untreated scars.

embrace effect

Dr. Forley is now offering embrace® Advanced Scar Therapy to his surgical patients and will discuss its use with you during your consultation.

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Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

After weight loss surgery, resuming normal life can be a challenge. The most significant change is the amount of food that can be eaten. Most weight loss surgeries reduce stomach capacity to a few ounces or less of food or liquid. This means that there will be less energy, in the form of calories, available for daily activities. Recovery time will vary but many people return to normal activities within six weeks of the surgery.


Copyright © 2011 American Society of Plastic Surgeons

The reduction in the amount of food that can be consumed assists in the weight loss that results following surgery. Those who lose considerable weight are left with loose or excess skin in various parts of their body. A variety of cosmetic procedures are available to help remove this sagging skin and improve body contour. For example, a body lift removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen, hips, thighs and buttocks. Abdominoplasty tightens muscle and removes excess abdominal skin and fat. A brachioplasty or arm lift will tighten the sagging upper arm skin that frequently accompanies weight loss in the rest of the body. A mastopexy or breast lift is often combined with procedures to tighten the loose skin in the lateral chest that remains after weight loss.


Copyright © 2011 American Society of Plastic Surgeons

It is important to understand the there will be permanent scars from all these procedures. However, the incisions are designed to make the final scars as inconspicuous as possible. Patients usually feel that the benefits of the surgery are worth the scars that are needed to produce the desired result. During the initial consultation with Dr. Forley, the body contouring procedures that are recommended and the sequence in which they should be performed will be discussed. In general, once the ideal body weight is achieved following weight loss surgery, it should remain stable for 4-6 months before any body contouring procedures are performed.

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Sunday, January 29th, 2012
TUMMY TUCK 36 year old female following 3 C-sections

36 year old female following 3 C-sections

Extra fat or loose skin around the abdominal area can be a persistent problem that does not respond to diet or exercise. When combined with muscle weakness after pregnancy or weight loss, surgery may be the most effective solution to improving the appearance of your tummy. Two procedures to consider are liposuction or abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Here, we discuss which one may be right for you.


Many factors can affect the contour of your abdomen. Excess fat deposits can produce undesirable bulges or fullness. Childbirth can stretch abdominal muscles to an extent uncorrectable with exercise. Loose skin following childbirth or weight loss can result in an unattractive surface appearance of the abdomen.

TUMMY TUCK 4 months following tummy tuck

4 months following tummy tuck

Abdominoplasty, known as a tummy tuck, is a procedure that improves the contour and appearance of the abdomen by tightening or reshaping the underlying muscle framework and removing excess fat and loose skin. If fat deposits are the only contour problem, they may be correctable with liposuction alone. Muscle that shifts laterally as a result of pregnancy will remain there and creates a weakness that prevents you from attaining a flat tummy. It cannot be returned to its proper midline position with exercise. After significant weight loss, your abdominal skin may become much looser, and sometimes actually hang downward, creating a pleating effect. Skin does not respond to any type of exercise, and similar to stretched muscle, will require a tummy tuck to remove the excess. How much your abdomen can be reshaped depends on several factors. The quality of your tissues is very important and is variable amongst patients. If you are significantly overweight, you’ll get a much better correction if you achieve a more ideal weight before your tummy tuck. To reshape the underlying muscle-based support framework and remove excess skin, incisions are necessary. The length of the incision placed just above the pubis depends on the amount of loose skin correction you require. Any necessary incisions will produce scars. The quality of these scars depends on several factors including your specific healing characteristics. However, most patients view the scars as a worthwhile trade-off for the significant improvement that can be achieved in the shape of the abdomen.


TUMMY TUCK 30 year old female prior to surgery

30 year old female prior to surgery

Age, heredity, and hormonal factors can sometimes counteract our best efforts to attain the type of physical appearance we desire. Even in individuals who are not overweight, localized deposits of fat can occur in areas of the abdomen, producing undesirable contours. Liposuction alone can be used to treat the fat when muscle and loose skin are not contributing to the problematic appearance.

Careful assessment prior to the procedure will determine if this is the right procedure for you. First, you must look at your skin. If it does not hang and it snaps back when pinched then you can expect it to contract well after fat removal. When you inhale and tighten your abs, you will be able to determine the contribution made by the fat under your skin to the bulging of your tummy. When you exhale, the added prominence that results is due to muscle laxity. The difference between the two is what can be treated with liposuction.

TUMMY TUCK  5 months following liposuction of the abdomen

5 months following liposuction of the abdomen

Small incisions are used to insert narrow tubes or cannulas to suction away the unwanted fat. Remember, liposuction is not designed as a weight reduction procedure, but as a technique to blend body outlines more aesthetically. Surgery needs to be combined with a program of fitness and nutrition to achieve and maintain long lasting results.

During your consultation, Dr. Forley will advise you as to the best treatment options to enable you to achieve the appearance that you desire.

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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Along with the healthy eating habits discussed in Part 1 of this series, you need to pursue a good exercise program following your body contouring procedure. Although liposuction and tummy tuck surgery will be of great benefit to your appearance, the long term maintenance of the result requires your active participation. If you hear friends complaining that the surgical results didn’t last or fat went to other parts of their body after their liposuction procedure, it usually is an indication of a sub-optimal or non-existant program of diet and exercise. Excessive caloric intake of any kind-protein,carbs,or fats-will get deposited as body fat no matter how much prior surgery you may have undergone. The observation that the fat may get deposited in “new” areas not typical for you is because there are fewer fat cells remaining in the areas treated by liposuction. Again, this is an indication that you are not utilizing the calories that you consume in your diet and therefore they are being stored as fat.


When you actively build muscle mass, you burn calories more efficiently and regain a more youthful metabolism. The more muscle you build, the more calories you burn, and the easier it is to keep your weight under control with less obsession about diets and calorie counting. Regular exercise will not only help you lose weight but can improve your mood, prevent health problems, and promote good sleep habits. You will look better and feel better, which can boost your confidence, improve your self-esteem and prevent depression. Staying active also helps manage your blood pressure and cholesterol.

You don’t even need to set aside major chunks of time for working out. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk during your lunch break. Dedicated workouts are great, but physical activity you accumulate throughout the day helps you burn calories, too. Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and, as a result, your entire cardiovascular system works more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work better, you’ll have more energy to do the things you enjoy. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. A good night’s sleep can improve your concentration, productivity and mood. Physical activity doesn’t have to be drudgery- try yoga, hiking, or an at home weight lifting program. Visit www.active.com for exercise resources.

To maintain ideal muscle tone, aim for at least 20-30 minutes of strength-training exercises 2-3 times a week. Remember to allow your body to rest in between workouts so your muscles have time to recover and grow. Here are a few recommendations from Wellness 360 https://www.realsimple.com for some quick, at-home workouts, which do not require any special equipment.

  • Squats: If you are looking to build muscle and gain strength in both your buttocks and thighs
  • One-Arm Row: To strengthen your upper/middle back and shoulders, and a great way to target those lateral muscles.
  • Push-Ups or the Modified Push-Up: A quicker way to build muscle in the chest, abdominals, shoulders, and arms
  • Shoulder Press: A good way to tone your shoulders and arms.
  • Bicep Curl: To build endurance and power in your biceps
  • Kick-Backs: To get those well-defined arms in the triceps area
  • Plank: Good for overall strengthening and toning of the body

If you’re carrying some extra pounds and having a hard time losing them, it’s tempting to blame a sluggish metabolism. But is your metabolism the only reason you can’t lose weight? And, more importantly, is there anything you can do about it?

In Part 3 of this series, Dr. Forley will discuss how your metabolism can influence your success at maintaining your new shape.

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Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Now that you have undergone a body contouring procedure – liposuction, tummy tuck or body lift – you will want to maintain the benefits…

Maintaining the results you have achieved after cosmetic body contouring surgery requires a long term commitment to a healthy diet and a reasonable amount of exercise. The reason is simple, if the calories you consume exceed the calories you burn, the excess will get deposited as fat. This balance can also be affected by your metabolic rate, which can vary with age. As you get older, you will have to work harder to maintain your calorie balance. Finally, stress can play a role in your life and affect your overall health. Read New York City Plastic Surgeon Dr. Bryan Forley’s advice on how to reduce its impact on your sense of well being.


Good nutrition requires a satisfactory diet. Finding a diet with the right combination of nutrients, that works with your lifestyle and that you can also enjoy is a very individual process. There are many nutrients that make up a routine diet, such as fats, carbohydrates, protein, fiber and vitamins. Below, we will give you a general idea of what each nutrient entails.

Fats are nutrients that give you energy. Fats can either be saturated or unsaturated and most foods have both types of fat. Saturated fat or “bad” fat is mostly located in animal products such as milk, cheese, and meats. If you are going to eat meat try poultry or fish as they have less saturated fat than red meats. Saturated fats are in coconut oil, palm oil, and cocoa butter, which are processed in snacks, coffee creamers, and whipped toppings. Trans fat is another type of “bad” fat that is found in shortening and partially hydrogenated oils, such as chips, crackers, cookies, some margarines, and salad dressings. There are “good” fats, and those are known as unsaturated fats, which help to lower cholesterol. The two types of unsaturated fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fat is located in canola, olive, and peanut oils. Polyunsaturated is found in safflower, sunflower, sesame, soybean, and corn oils, and mainly in seafood. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that can reduce the risk of heart disease. Salmon or mackerel are full of Omega-3 fatty acids and it is recommended that you should eat 3oz. twice a week. Other sources of “good” fat are flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, nuts, and seeds. It is recommended that 20-35% of your total calories each day come from fat. This includes, no trans fat, up to 10% polyunsaturated fat, up to 10% saturated fat, and 10-15% monounsaturated fat.

Processed carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, cookies, and soft drinks are made up of simple sugars and refined-flour products, which contribute to the problems of obesity and type II diabetes. “Good” carbohydrates include whole grains, which are less processed and maintain more healthful properties. Whole grains are high in fiber, contain antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, are virtually fat-free, and are more slowly digested and absorbed than refined carbohydrates. It is recommended to eat three servings per day of whole-grain carbohydrates. If you’re looking for a whole-wheat product, the first ingredient listed on the label should be whole wheat. Whole-grain carbohydrates include brown and wild rice, barley, bulgur or cracked wheat, whole-wheat pasta, buckwheat, whole kernel corn, and popcorn. Bran cereals are also a good source as they are the highest in fiber. When choosing breads, select those with at least 3 grams of fiber per slice, and cereals with 5 grams or more per serving.


Protein can help you shed those unwanted pounds and keep your belly full. Quality protein also helps you sustain muscle during weight loss, improve muscle fitness, improve immunity and antioxidant function, build HDL cholesterol, and enhance insulin and leptin function – all of which contribute toward optimal weight management efforts over time. But it’s important to eat the right amount and the right kind of protein to get the health benefits. Seafood is one of the best sources of protein because it’s usually low in fat. Fish such as salmon is a little higher in fat but it is the heart-healthy kind, filled with Omega-3 fatty acids. White meat of poultry is good for excellent, lean protein rather than dark meat, which is higher in fat. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are not only dairy foods but are excellent sources of protein, containing valuable calcium. Choose skim or low fat dairy to keep bones and teeth strong, prevent osteoporosis, and enhance weight loss. Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. The American Heart Association says normal healthy adults can safely enjoy an egg a day. One-half cup of beans contains as much protein as three ounces of broiled steak and they are loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full for hours. Pork tenderloin is great and this versatile white meat is 31% leaner than 20 years ago. The intake of soy protein daily can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Combine soy protein foods like tofu with a healthy low fat diet. Lean beef has only one more gram of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast. Lean beef is also an excellent source of zinc, iron, and vitamin B12. If you are looking for protein on the go, grab a meal replacement drink, cereal or energy bar. Check the label to be sure the product contains at least six grams of protein, and is low in sugar and fat. To get the potential weight loss benefit, experts advise aiming for around 120 grams of protein a day. If you want to increase your protein intake, do it slowly over the course of a week.

Eating a higher-fiber diet has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels, improve and prevent constipation, and slow digestion. The American Dietetic Association recommends the intake of 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day. There are two types of fiber, insoluble and soluble. Though both have health benefits, there’s a difference between the insoluble type of fiber found in whole grains, carrots, tomatoes, and lettuce, and the softer, water-soluble type found in oatmeal, pears, strawberries, and apples.

Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. It helps keep bowel movements regular, and may reduce the risk of colon problems. It may also reduce the risk of hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and obesity (by making us feel full). Insoluble fiber is in: Whole-wheat grain and wheat bran, brown rice, bulgur, seeds, and vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, and tomatoes).

Soluble or viscous fiber is the softer type that dissolves in water. When digested, it helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed in the intestines. This type of fiber is also thought to help minimize the rise in blood sugar levels after a meal, which is particularly helpful for people with diabetes. This type of fiber comes from: beans, oatmeal and oat bran, some fruits (apples, mangoes, plums, kiwi, pears, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, citrus fruits, dried apricots, prunes, and figs), and some vegetables (dried peas, beans, and lentils).

Vitamins are essential nutrients that contribute to a healthy life. There are many good reasons to consider taking vitamin supplements. Your body uses vitamins for a variety of biological processes, including growth, digestion, and nerve function. There are 13 vitamins that the body absolutely needs: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate).

There are two types of vitamins, water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are easily absorbed by the body, which doesn’t store large amounts. The kidneys remove those vitamins that are not needed. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed into the body with the use of bile acids, which are fluids used to absorb fat. The body stores these for use as needed.

Dr. Forley recommends VitaMedica as a supplemental vitamin program. The morning and evening packets make it easy and convenient to stick with a daily routine. The program provides a combination of vitamins and nutritional supplements, filled with minerals, organic flax seed oil, and antioxidants. It is formulated with nutrients that support glowing skin, hard nails & lustrous hair; strong bones and flexible joints; and a vital cardiovascular system.

If the concept of healthy eating seems challenging, begin by slowly incorporating these recommendations into your diet. Drastic changes are more difficult to maintain long term.

Follow these links to help you with your calorie intake:




NEXT BLOG POST BY NEW YORK PLASTIC SURGEON DR. BRYAN G. FORLEY: The best exercises to maintain your new body shape

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