Our bodies slowly change over time, due to aging, weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and more. Body contouring procedures can help restore a more youthful and contoured body shape. Patients who are bothered by loose or excess skin on the stomach, and those looking to repair separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti), can benefit from abdominoplasty, also known as tummy tuck surgery. The Woodlands and Houston Tummy Tuck Specialists at My Houston Surgeons are experienced Plastic Surgeons dedicated to helping you look and feel your best.
What Is Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is the physician’s name for a tummy tuck. This surgery removes unwanted skin and fat from the lower abdomen. In some cases, the abdominal muscles also need to be tightened in order to reshape the area. This is especially common in women whose abdominal muscles have stretched due to childbirth. Abdominoplasty results in a flatter, trimmer stomach.
Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery
- Tightens the abdominal skin and muscles
- Improves the appearance of stretch marks
- Reduces abdominal fat
- Improves overall body contour appearance
- Improves self-esteem
- Easily combined with other procedures such as the Mommy Makeover
Types of Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty: This procedure removes excess fat and skin from the stomach area for a more toned abdominal appearance. Abdominoplasty generally includes tightening of the lax abdominal muscles and liposuction of the abdomen and flanks.
Mini Tummy Tuck: The mini tummy tuck focuses on minimizing fat and excess skin in the lower abdominal region only. This procedure benefits individuals who have good abdominal contour with only minimal lower abdominal laxity.
Liposuction With Tummy Tuck
Liposuction is often performed with abdominoplasty surgery in order to remove pockets of stubborn fat to achieve a flat abdomen. Patients report a 99% satisfaction rate when combining abdominoplasty with liposuction.1
Liposuction: Liposuction is used to eliminate targeted fat that has been resistant to diet and exercise. In the properly selected patient, this technique can create a slimmer appearance in the stomach, thighs, arms, love handles, face, back, and breasts.
Smartlipo Triplex™: This type of liposuction utilizes a high-powered laser to remove fat while tightening the skin. This laser lipolysis system offers significantly less bruising and downtime than traditional liposuction.
What to Expect During Your Tummy Tuck
Your surgeon will address your aesthetic concerns while keeping an eye towards concealing incisions in positions where they will be hidden by undergarments for the most natural-looking results. Each patient’s incision length is different and will depend on how much excess skin needs to be removed. Incision site length can span anywhere from several inches to the length of the area between the hips.
Your surgeon will begin the surgery by making an incision and separating the loose skin and fat from the abdominal muscles to tighten and repair them if needed. An additional incision may be made around the perimeter of the belly button so excess fat and skin can be removed. Some patients may not need this second incision around the navel—particularly those who have only require a small amount of fat and skin to be removed from the lower area of the stomach.
Once your surgeon has repaired and tightened the abdominal muscles, excess skin and fat are excised. Remaining tissue is stretched toward the incision just below the bikini line and closed with absorbable sutures that dissolve over time. As a final step, your surgeon will insert tubes to allow fluid to drain from the surgical site.
Preparing for Your Tummy Tuck
The first step toward achieving your aesthetic goals is to set up your personal consultation with a board-certified and board-eligible plastic surgeon at My Houston Surgeons. This meeting, which includes a thorough medical history and a physical examination, is meant to be informative for you and your surgeon and will provide the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic concerns and the results you’d like to achieve through abdominoplasty. Your surgeon will use the information gathered during the consultation to create a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.
All of our surgeons are happy to discuss any concerns or answer any questions you may have about the abdominoplasty procedure. You can expect to leave your consultation with detailed preoperative and post-operative guidelines to follow to ensure optimal results and recovery.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
You’ll leave our state-of-the-art surgical center wearing an abdominal binder, which you’ll keep on 24/7 for roughly six weeks. This garment will help to avoid fluid buildup and will also work to support your abdomen as the tissue heals. Patients should expect to keep fluid drains in place for a few days following surgery.
Patients should plan to have a friend or family member meet them after the surgery to drive them home and stay for at least 24 hours following the procedure. Recovery is generally six weeks for an abdominoplasty. It is important that you plan to have sufficient time to heal fully before returning to the more active and strenuous activity of normal daily life.
Tummy Tuck Results
Abdominoplasty removes excess skin and tightens the stomach muscles to restore a slimmer, toned, and more youthful appearance and has remained in the top five cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S. because of its dramatic and lasting results.2
Frequently Asked Questions About Tummy Tuck Surgery
Am I a candidate for abdominoplasty?
While abdominoplasty tightens loose skin and reduces excess fat, it is important to remember that this is not a weight loss procedure. The best candidates for this surgery include men and women who are close to, or at their ideal weight, and are non-smokers in good general health.3
Will pregnancy ruin my abdominoplasty results?
This is an important question to discuss with your surgeon as each patient’s anatomy is different. Since pregnancy often causes the skin and underlying muscles of the abdominal wall to stretch, your surgeon may recommend that you wait to have your abdominoplasty until after you finish having children to ensure that your results are permanent.
What is a Mommy Makeover?
A Mommy Makeover entails several surgical procedures performed in conjunction with one another. Many women choose to combine an abdominoplasty with liposuction, a breast augmentation or breast lift for comprehensive rejuvenation.
What are the risks of abdominoplasty?
Any surgical procedure comes with some risk of side effects and/or complications. Abdominoplasty presents the following risks: infection, bleeding, unfavorable scarring, and changes in skin sensation.
1 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Improve Quality of Life, Reports Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Available at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/liposuction-and-tummy-tuck-improve-quality-of-life-reports-plastic-and-reconstructive-surgery
2 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. Available at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2018/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2018.pdf
3 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Who is a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery? Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/tummy-tuck/candidates
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