Regional Plastic Surgery Center

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

If you feel self-conscious due to a less-than-perfect stomach appearance, the talented tummy tuck surgeons of Regional Plastic Surgery Center can help you enhance both your body contours and self-confidence. They use leading-edge surgical techniques to eliminate excess, saggy skin tissue that often accumulates in the stomach area following pregnancy and massive weight changes.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

During tummy tuck surgery—or abdominoplasty—excess skin is removed from the midsection and abdominal musculature may be tightened to create smoother, leaner waistline contours and a flatter tummy. To remove stubborn fat deposits and further sculpt the region, liposuction techniques are often incorporated into the surgical plan. Women who want to regain their pre-pregnancy figure as well as individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight are often the best candidates for abdominoplasty. At Regional Plastic Surgery Center, our plastic surgeons routinely perform tummy tuck surgery for both women and men with excellent results.

What Can a Tummy Tuck Do?

Tummy tuck surgery is a dynamic plastic surgery procedure that can achieve a wide range of impressive cosmetic and structural improvements to the midsection. When performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, abdominoplasty can:

  • Reduce loose, excess skin in the abdomen
  • Eliminate tummy rolls and a protruding lower-abdomen
  • Tighten the waistline
  • Smooth abdominal contours
  • Tighten and repair stretched or torn abdominal muscles
  • Reshape the midsection
  • Reduce the appearance of “love handles”
  • Remove inelastic skin and stretch marks

Each tummy tuck is highly customized and designed to meet the specific needs and goals of the patient. In some cases, liposuction techniques may be included in the surgical plan to help remove fat and sculpt the abdomen and flanks for optimal results. The results achieved with tummy tuck surgery are usually quite dramatic, and many women enjoy being able to wear a bikini again once they have recovered from their procedure.

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction

Many of our patients ask about the differences between abdominal liposuction and a tummy tuck. While abdominal liposuction provides a way to sculpt and remove fat from the midsection, tummy tuck surgery is designed to remove stretched skin and tighten the abdominal muscles. For patients with a small to moderate amount of localized abdominal fat and good skin elasticity, liposuction may be the most appropriate way to contour the midsection. However, liposuction performed in areas without good skin elasticity or abdominal muscle tone can potentially exacerbate sagging skin and may not adequately address abdominal protrusion. Your plastic surgeon can advise you on the best approach for achieving your goals during your one-on-one consultation.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

People with loose skin and excess fat in the abdominal area are often good Dallas tummy tuck candidates. Genetics and substantial weight loss cause skin to lose its elasticity and sag, and fat to accumulate. Tummy tuck is often performed as part of the body lift procedure for post-bariatric surgery patients. In addition, pregnancy can separate and weaken abdominal muscles, as well as create stretch marks. Individuals suffering from these aesthetic problems often come to the offices of Regional Plastic Surgery Center to obtain consultations and treatments from leading cosmetic surgeons.

The Abdominoplasty Consultation

During the initial consultation concerning tummy tuck, a complete medical history is taken. The incision made and techniques used will depend upon the circumstances of our tummy tuck patients. Patients should tell their plastic surgeon of any previous abdominal surgeries, as existing scarring can affect results. Female patients should discuss their plans to become pregnant, as well as plans for other surgery, such as breast augmentation. Our cosmetic surgeon will examine the abdominal area and assess the skin’s elasticity. Our patients should be candid about their abdominoplasty expectations.

The Tummy Tuck Procedure

The typical abdominoplasty procedure for our patients begins with an incision placed just within or above the pubic area that is laterally extended in each direction toward the pelvic bones. When possible, the incision will remain in an area that is easily covered by a bathing suit or undergarments. A second incision will be made above the navel if loose skin is there as well. Excess skin is removed and, when possible, skin containing stretch marks is removed. Liposuction may be used to remove excess fat. The remaining abdominal skin is pulled down to the incision and stitched to the muscle to tighten the area. The navel is repositioned through an incision in the skin.

  • Skin Elevated
  • Skin Removed
  • Muscle Repair
  • Incision

What to Expect After Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty is usually performed as a short-stay surgery. Our surgeons usually perform drainless tummy tucks, but there may be a need for small tubes to be attached to help drain fluids. Your plastic surgeon will provide you with detailed postoperative tummy tuck instructions to start following after surgery. These instructions include the following key directions:

  • You MUST ​have someone available to drive you home after surgery.
  • It is important that you have another responsible person available to assist you for the first 2-3 days after surgery.
  • It is extremely important that you take short walks every 1-2 hours in your home up until bedtime to prevent clots in the legs. We want this to start THE NIGHT OF SURGERY!
  • You will be provided with a strong pain medication to help manage the post-operative pain. Most patients do require this medication for the first week. Do not drive within 6 hours of taking pain medication. Most patients after a tummy tuck do not feel like driving for the first week.
  • You may shower the day after surgery.
  • No lifting greater than 20 pounds for the first 8 weeks.
  • You may resume “normal activities,” such as, shopping and light chores as tolerated, usually after the first 4-10 days. An office job can commonly be resumed 10 days after surgery. Jobs which require heavy lifting (such as a hospital nurse) will commonly require 6 weeks of off time.

Your surgeon can help you determine the right time to resume normal activities and return to work after abdominoplasty. Stitches are usually self-absorbable and do not need to be removed. The incision will initially be red and will remain red for several months. The incision is permanent, although it will fade with time. The area may be numb, and it could be several months before all feeling is regained. It usually takes several weeks for bruising and swelling to diminish.

Tummy Tuck Scarring

Our plastic surgeons will be very careful with the length, location, and suturing of your tummy tuck incision so as to minimize the appearance of scarring. Because the incision for a tummy tuck is made very low along the abdomen, any visible scar that remains can be easily concealed beneath the material of your bikini bottoms. During healing, it is important to protect your incision from the sun, as sun exposure can amplify the prominence of a scar. As the healed tissue matures with time, the coloration will fade and the texture will flatten. If you desire treatment for the appearance of your mature scar, you may inquire about laser resurfacing techniques that can diminish the appearance of scar tissue with worthwhile results.

The majority of our tummy tuck patients are so impressed by the way their tighter, smoother abdominal contours look in a bikini that they rarely focus on the appearance of the easily concealed incision that helped transform their figure.

Potential Risks of Abdominoplasty

All of our plastic surgeons have at least six years of surgical training and experience. Patient safety is our top priority. Still, complications remain possible, despite the fact that thousands of people each year successfully undergo a tummy tuck. Our plastic surgeons will discuss these in detail during the consultation. Complications from abdominoplasty include bleeding, infections, and negative reactions to anesthesia. Further, tissue along the incision may die; this typically happens when the procedure is extensive or the patient smokes or has certain medical conditions such as diabetes. If incisions heal poorly, additional surgery may help. Fluid may accumulate under the skin but can be painlessly removed.

Tummy Tuck Results

When the swelling is gone, what is left behind is a firmer, flatter abdominal area. The large majority of abdominoplasty patients are thrilled with the outcome. View our tummy tuck before and after photos to see the incredible body sculpting results abdominoplasty can achieve. Abdominoplasty results at our surgical center usually last a long time unless our patient gains or loses a substantial amount of weight. Eventually, aging and gravity may cause the abdomen to sag again. If this happens, another abdominoplasty procedure can be performed in our surgical facility.

BeforeAfter
BeforeAfter
BeforeAfter

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Pregnancy After Tummy Tuck Surgery

Our plastic surgeons recommend that a tummy tuck be performed after you are finished expanding your family; however, if you should become pregnant following a tummy tuck, there is no safety concern for you or your child. If you find that your previous tummy tuck results have changed once you return to your ideal weight, you and your plastic surgeon may discuss a touch-up procedure to fine-tune your figure, though this scenario is fairly uncommon. Most patients who have a child after a tummy tuck find that they do not require additional surgery to restore their original results.

Frequently Asked Abdominoplasty Questions

How safe is a tummy tuck?

There is no surgery that is 100% without risk; however, when you choose a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in the tummy tuck procedure and performs surgery in a fully accredited facility or hospital, the likelihood of experiencing complications are greatly diminished. For your safety it is important to closely adhere to all pre- and post-surgical instructions, in addition to attending all follow-up appointments, to ensure you are healing properly. If you experience problems at any time, or have questions, it is also recommended that you contact the practice as soon as possible. When complications are caught early it is often far easier to reach a quick resolution.

What can I eat after tummy tuck surgery?

When you are recovering after tummy tuck surgery it is important to avoid foods and beverages that cause bloating or lead to dehydration; therefore, our plastic surgeons recommend drinking plenty of water and staying away from salt, carbonated beverages, and alcohol. To support proper healing it is also suggested that you include plenty of protein in your diet. Your surgeon may also advise you eat foods that contain certain vitamins/minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin, C, and zinc, that can provide an additional boost to your system during recovery.

What is seroma after tummy tuck surgery?

One of the more common complications that can develop after a tummy tuck is called a seroma. A seroma is a pocket of fluid that can become trapped under the skin following tummy tuck surgery. While we take every precaution to avoid any setbacks in the healing process, some non-threatening complications can arise and we work quickly to administer appropriate treatment to eliminate any problems. Our surgeons usually perform drainless tummy tucks; however, your surgeon may determine you need small tubes to drain excess fluid.