2 to 3 hours
WHAT CAN IT DO? Creates a flatter abdomen by removing excess skin and fat
Do you dream of a slimmer figure with a flatter abdomen? Then tummy tuck may be the right procedure for you. Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a cosmetic procedure designed to improve the contour of the abdomen. Patients often seek this procedure after weight loss, pregnancy or aging. During abdominoplasty excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen is removed while the muscles are tightening in the middle and the belly button is repositioned to a new location to create a slimmer, more appealing look. At Houston Dermatology and Plastic Surgery our surgeons are highly skilled at abdominoplasty procedure and deliver safe and effective treatments that can help you achieve natural looking firmer silhouette you’ve always dreamed of.
Abdominoplasty Consultation and Planning
During your consultation your surgeon will listen to your goals, review your history and perform an exam. Your surgeon will discuss different types of abdominoplasty and together you will decide on which option will achieve your ideal result. Your surgeon will also discuss any risks associated with the procedure and instruct you on how to get ready for your surgery.
Can abdominoplasty be combined with other procedures?
Tummy tuck is often combined with other surgical procedures, most commonly: liposuction, body lift, or mommy makeover. Liposuction of the flanks and hips can safely be performed with abdominoplasty and can improve the final contour following abdominoplasty procedure.
Patients that have excess tissue on their hips and buttock may benefit from a circumferential body lift combined with the tummy tuck. Body lift surgery is started with patient lying face down and excision of the excess tissue in the hips and back is performed first. The patient is then turned on his or her back to perform the abdominoplasty. This procedure may especially be indicated for patients who have lost significant amount of weight.
Mommy makeover is the combination of abdominoplasty procedure with some kind of breast surgery whether it is a breast reduction, breast lift, breast augmentation, or combination of two.
How soon after pregnancy can I have an abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty should not be considered by women who are less than one year from the birth of their last child. Pregnancy produces significant physiologic changes in a woman’s body creating significant tissue looseness. If abdominoplasty is performed too soon after pregnancy, this produces a sub-optimal result such as recurrence of the abdominal laxity and bulging. Additionally, abdominoplasty should not be considered by anyone desiring to have more children. Although abdominoplasty will not preclude a woman from carrying a healthy pregnancy to term, pregnancy can undo the results achieved by abdominoplasty and produce recurrence of adnominal bulging. Women are advised to finish having children prior to undergoing a tummy tuck.
Abdominoplasty Procedure Description
Tummy Tuck surgery is performed in our outpatient certified surgical center in Sugar Land under general anesthesia and patients go home the same day. The surgery typical takes 2-3 hours.
Surgeon makes an incision low on your abdomen and around the navel. Skin and fat of the abdomen is elevated. Lose abdominal muscles are then tightened to produce an internal corset. Patients are usually placed into a beach chair or semi flexed position to excise as much loose skin as possible. After the skin is excised incision is closed. New opening is made for the navel and it is also sutures into position. All sutures used are absorbable. Drains are usually placed, one on each size of the abdomen, and secured to the skin with a sutures. Patients are placed into a surgical garment prior to leaving the operating room.
What do abdominoplasty scars look like?
Tummy tuck scar is usually positioned low in the abdomen. It is helpful if you bring a bathing suit bottoms or undergarment style that you usually wear in the morning during your procedure so that your surgeon can mark and ensure that the incision is well hidden within the garment. Incision in most cases will extend from hip to hip but occasionally can be shorter depending on the amount of skin that needs to be excised. Rarely a small vertical incision needs to be left in place, the site of previous belly button. There is also an incision around the umbilicus after it is placed in its new position. It is difficult to predict how any patient will scar. The incision is closed meticulously into a fine line with absorbable sutures but each person’s genetics determines the ultimate scar outcome.
After the incision is well healed, scar management can begin with silicon containing products to help mature and improve the appearance of scars. Your surgeon will instruct you on when it is safe to begin scar management and recommend some products to try.
Tummy tuck with drains or no drains?
Drains or draining tubes are commonly used during tummy tuck. Use of drains helps to minimize complications from fluid collection in the abdomen. Usually two drains are placed and secured to skin with sutures. These remain in place for about 1 week and patients are instructed on how to care for these and measure the draining amounts. Placement of special sutures inside the abdomen, called progressive tension sutures, have shown to decrease the rate of fluid accumulation and decreases the need for draining tube use. Thus, for ideal candidates, abdominoplasty may be performed with progressive tension sutures only, without the use of drains.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
You will have a close follow up with your surgeon. All the sutures are absorbable but there are usually two drains left in the abdomen which are removed within first week after procedure. Patient is required to wear a surgical compression garment for four to six weeks. Your surgeon will prescribe you oral pain medications that will be sufficient to control any discomfort after this procedure. It is recommended that patients do not drive while taking these medications or while they’re experiencing discomfort, which for most people is about two weeks.
Patients are encouraged to ambulate immediately after the procedure. Patients need to walk several times per day to decrease on the risk of blood clots in the legs. No strenuous exercise or heavy lifting more than a gallon of milk should be done for about 4 to 6 weeks. After 4-6 weeks patients may resume some of their regular exercise and may only be limited by the discomfort. At six weeks most patients are able to return to everything they were doing prior to their operation including any core training.
Why do I need to wear a surgical compression garment?
A compression garment is a must after an abdominoplasty procedure. The garment helps to decrease on the swelling and if liposuction is performed at the same time also improves the absorption of the fluid back into the body. Most importantly the compression garments decreases the space between the skin flap of the abdomen and the abdominal wall to prevent any fluid collection. Compression garment should be worn around the clock for four weeks and only removed for showers and to be washed. It is recommended to obtain two garments so that one can be worn while the other is being laundered.
Tummy Tuck Risks
Every surgery carries risks. Your surgeon will explain these risks during your consultation.
You can eliminate stubborn excess fat, tighten your abdominal muscles and achieve a flatter more attractive abdominal appearance with tummy tuck surgery from Houston Dermatology and Plastic Surgery.
Call our office to schedule your consultation today!