What is a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) helps flatten and improve the shape of the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin, as well as tightening the stomach muscles. A tummy tuck tightens and reshapes the abdominal area, helping to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing, slimmer overall appearance.
Tummy Tuck procedure with Dr. Altamira
Benefits of Tummy Tuck surgery
Tummy tuck surgery is good for areas of fat or loose skin that have not responded well to diet and exercise. Abdominoplasty can also be appropriate for slightly overweight people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity, and for women with skin and muscles stretched from pregnancy. Anyone planning on losing a significant amount of weight, and women planning on having (more) children, should most likely wait before undergoing abdominoplasty.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
Abdominoplasty takes approximately 2 to 4 hours to perform and is almost always done under general anesthesia. Two incisions are made: one from hipbone to hipbone along the lower abdomen or “bikini” line, and another around the navel. The abdominal skin is separated from the muscles below it, and then the muscles are pulled together and tightened to achieve a firmer abdomen and narrower waist.
The abdominal skin is then stretched downward over the newly tightened muscles, and the excess skin is removed. At this point, it is very common to perform some liposuction of the sides or flanks in order to remove excess fat from these areas if needed. The incisions are then closed, and sterile surgical dressings are applied over the sutured areas.
Types of Tummy Tuck procedures
- Mini-Tummy Tuck: Improves the Lower Belly with Less Extensive Surgery
- Classic or “Full” Tummy Tuck: Improves the Upper & Lower Abdomen
- Extended Tummy Tuck: Improves the Upper & Lower Abdomen and Flanks
Tummy Tuck Before and After
Tummy Tuck recovery
After surgery, a drain tube may be placed to drain excess fluid from under the skin of the surgical site. However, the drain tube may not be necessary and can be avoided completely in many patients now, with our new techniques. The surgery is usually performed as an outpatient or day-surgery, although some patients may elect to, or require an overnight stay.
Recovery time ranges from 2 weeks to 2 months. Abdominoplasty leaves a scar spanning the lower abdomen from hip to hip. However, it is low enough to be concealed by a bikini. Maintaining weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise provides long-lasting results.
When will I see results?
The final results may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete.
Within a week or two, you should be standing tall and confident in your new slimmer profile.
Abdominoplasty risks and side effects
In addition to the usual risks associated with surgery and anesthesia, risks associated with abdominoplasty include the following:
- Unfavorable aesthetic result
- Unsightly scarring
- Residual loose skin
- Numbness of skin
- Need for revisional surgery
Will I have a permanent scar?
The tummy tuck scar may take several months to a year to fade as much as it will. Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery or abdominoplasties in the past may find that their scars are raised or thickened, have stretched or are more noticeable in general.
Undergoing a scar revision may greatly improve the appearance of these old scars. Dr. Altamira specializes in improving the appearance of patients who have had previous surgery done elsewhere and were not satisfied with their results.
What to consider before getting surgery?
A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent. Individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck is not guaranteed to correct stretch marks. Although these may be removed or improved if located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised.
Schedule a consultation
If you are interested in the Tummy Tuck procedure, and would like to see if you are a good candidate. Call (713) 271-9000 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Altamira has plastic surgery offices located in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas.