Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Abdominoplasty, also known as tummy tuck surgery, is performed at my Dallas plastic surgery practice to create a firm, taut abdominal contour. Good abdominoplasty candidates have loose abdominal skin and/or large fat deposits in their midsections that are unresponsive to diet and exercise. Many women who have had children find that abdominoplasty is the only way to restore the firmness that they once had in the abdominal area. This is a particularly common procedure performed during a mommy makeover operation. People who have lost significant amounts of weight and have excess abdominal skin and tissue are also good candidates for a tummy tuck. I can often achieve dramatic and natural-looking results for the massive weight loss patients.
Full abdominoplasty involves an incision around the belly button (umbilicus) and across the lower abdomen. The abdominal skin is elevated off of the abdominal wall and the underlying muscles are tightened. The excess skin is removed including any lower abdominal stretch marks.
Mini-abdominoplasty is similar, but there is no incision around the belly button and usually a shorter lower abdominal scar. The mini abdominoplasty still involves tightening of the abdominal muscles, but removal of less skin and less stretch mark removal. This procedure is really suitable for only a very small subset of patents seeking body contouring with abdominoplasty. Contrary to what patients may think, pain and recovery with mini-abdominoplasty is similar to (not appreciably less than) full abdominoplasty.
Video: The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Your Initial Consultation
During your abdominoplasty consultation at my Dallas office, I will review with you your goals and desires regarding your desired result. After examining you, I will be able to discuss what procedure will best achieve your desired result and whether you would benefit from any additional procedures such as liposuction or mommy makeover.
The cost of any body contouring depends on the nature of the procedure. My staff will provide you with detailed estimates of the plastic surgery costs involved, including the surgical fee, anesthesia fee, possible overnight stay and facility fee.
Fees for cosmetic surgery are payable in advance of surgery. The surgical fees include the cost of surgery and all post-operative follow-up care, with financing available through third parties for a portion of the surgical fees.
Your Abdominoplasty Procedure
On the day of your surgery, I will see you preoperatively and make marks on your lower abdomen to guide the surgery. Your surgery will be performed under general anesthesia. I will make an incision from hip to hip above the pubic area. Note that a smaller incision is made for a partial, or mini, abdominoplasty, which addresses smaller deposits of fat localized below the navel. Excess fat and tissue is carefully trimmed away from the middle and lower abdominal areas so that a svelte figure can emerge. Liposuction is sometimes used to further contour the body into an appealing shape. Finally, the abdominal muscles are brought together, tightening them with sutures to create a toned and athletic appearance. The incisions are then closed with absorbable sutures. It is often necessary to place a temporary drainage tube beneath the skin to ease the recovery process.
The surgery will usually require two to four hours to complete depending on the nature and extent of planned procedures. You may be discharged home after surgery or you may spend the night in the hospital or surgical facility, depending on the extent of your surgery.
After Your Abdominoplasty
My goal with all body contouring procedures such as abdominoplasty surgery includes minimizing discomfort for the patient and a swift recovery. You will be prescribed pain medication to use during the first few days, when you will feel the most sore and swollen. It is critical to begin walking as soon as possible after the abdominoplasty surgery to speed healing. Mild to moderate physical activity is excellent for the recovering abdominoplasty patient as it reduces swelling, lowers the chance of blood clotting, and tones the muscles.
Most patients will return to work after a week to ten days of home recovery.
Limitations, Risks and Possible Complications
All surgical procedures that involve an incision will leave a scar. All scars will be slightly raised, red and firm for a period following surgery, usually six to 12 months. As scars mature, they eventually, soften, flatten and fade to a color similar to or lighter than the surrounding skin.
Infection may develop after any surgical procedure. Infection is not common after abdominoplasty, but if it occurs, could require antibiotics or potentially surgical drainage. You will receive antibiotics at the time of surgery to further minimize this risk.
During the course of elevation of the upper abdominal skin, sensory nerves are severed. This could result in temporary or permanent sensation loss.
Residual contour deformities or lower abdominal stretch marks may persist after survey.
There is a small risk of complication from body contouring procedures under general anesthesia including the possibility of blood clots in the legs or lungs or even death. This risk is extremely small (much less than 1 percent).
Because plastic surgery for body contouring is highly customized to each patient, I invite potential patients to contact my office in Dallas for a tummy tuck consultation.