Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Houston
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that gets rid of excess abdominal skin and fat, while tightening the vertical muscles of your abdominal wall and smoothing the area around the navel. After a tummy tuck, not only will your waistline be slimmer, but you will be trimmer all the way from your upper abdomen to your bikini line. More and more men and women are turning to a tummy tuck to slim down a protruding abdomen and restore a youthful silhouette.
A tummy tuck offers the following benefits:
- Firms abdominal contour that has been weakened from pregnancy or aging
- Removes loose, sagging abdominal skin for a sleeker midsection
- Removes stubborn abdominal fat that has not responded to diet and exercise
- Sculpts a protruding abdomen to make it proportionate to the rest of your body profile
- Gives you more confidence in wearing some types of clothing, belts and a bathing suit
Tummy Tuck Houston
Options in Tummy Tucks
In addition to a full tummy tuck, Dr. Rappaport can perform a mini tuck or partial abdominoplasty on patients that do need as much skin and tissue removed. In a mini-tummy tuck, Dr. Rappaport will separate the skin from the incision line up to the navel, tighten the fascia over the muscle, stretch the skin flap down, remove the loose excess skin and stitch the flap back in place. You achieve a more sculpted midsection with smaller incisions and less downtime than a standard tummy tuck.
How is a Tummy Tuck Performed?
Although a tummy tuck can be performed on an outpatient basis for some patients, most prefer an overnight stay in the facility to get extra rest and care immediately following the surgery. These procedures are performed under general anesthesia and usually take up to three hours to perform. The incision for a full tummy tuck extends from hipbone to hipbone and is placed where it will be hidden beneath underwear or a bathing suit after surgery.
During the tummy tuck, Dr. Rappaport tightens the fascia over the abdominal muscles that have become lax, while removing excess tissue and skin from the midsection. If necessary, the navel will also be repositioned to provide a natural look to the abdomen. Liposuction can be performed in combination with a tummy tuck to remove isolated deposits of fat around the thighs, hips or flanks and create even more definition in the midsection.
What is the Recovery Like?
Discomfort after a tummy tuck is usually managed with long acting local anesthesia and oral medications. You will have surgical drains in place for several days and a wear a special compression garment to reduce swelling and promote healing to the midsection. Most patients are able to return to light activities within two weeks after a tummy tuck, although most strenuous activity is discourage for 6-8 weeks to ensure complete healing of the abdomen.
Dr. Rappaport Answers Questions about Tummy Tucks
Can I have a tummy tuck if I intend to have children?
Yes, you can have a tummy tuck and/or liposuction prior to having children. However, it’s important to realize that if you get pregnant, you will likely lose the benefits of your abdominoplasty.
If I exercise after having a baby, won’t that get me back to a pre-pregnancy shape?
It depends on your body. Some women are fortunate to resume near-pre-pregnancy shape, but most women complain that they cannot return to their previous figure. While exercise will help strengthen the muscles stretched open during pregnancy, it cannot replace the effectiveness of tummy tuck surgery for the correction of damaged or loose skin.
Is a tummy tuck a good way to lose weight?
No, but having a slimmer waistline will make it look like you’ve lost weight. A tummy tuck is not a weight-reduction procedure – it is a contouring operation. I’m creating a contour of the patient’s torso that fits with the rest of his or her body.
Wouldn’t an ideal female belly be perfectly flat?
No. A woman’s belly should have a gentle softness in the area from below the belly button to the pubic region. This is a natural curve—we’re not looking for iron abs.
Does a tummy tuck remove stretch marks?
A full tummy tuck removes most, if not all, of the skin between the belly button and the pubic region—along with the stretch marks. But any stretch marks above the navel will not be removed.
Will my tummy tuck scar show when I wear a bikini or low-rise jeans?
Scar position is an important consideration. I attempt to position the scar so it is concealed by most clothing. Keep in mind, however, that clothing styles do change and that scars are permanent, though they fade with time.
I’ve heard of a non-surgical tummy tuck. What is that?
A new form of light-based energy uses laser heat to tighten excess skin. This does not address even minor fat pockets, but can improve very mild laxity. Minimally invasive or noninvasive devices are continually begin developed but to date there is no perfect solution.
My stomach hangs over my pubic region ever since I lost weight. Can a tummy tuck pull this up and tighten it?
This may require a procedure called a panniculectomy to reduce significant skin and fat hanging below the abs. This degree of skin sag is often experienced by men and women who were or are morbidly obese. Gastric bypass patients often need this type of body contouring for overall hygiene as well as aesthetic considerations.
Is a tummy tuck considered cosmetic surgery or reconstructive surgery?
In most cases, a tummy tuck is considered a cosmetic procedure. However, if a tummy tuck is performed in conjunction with a medically necessary hernia repair or panniculectomy, it is possible that some portion of these procedures may be considered for coverage by your insurance carrier.
Dr. Rappaport is known for his ability to create a natural profile with body contouring procedures like the tummy tuck. His conservative approach to surgery ensures patients will enjoy results that are in line with the rest of their body proportions. To learn more about the benefits of a tummy tuck, contact Houston Center for Plastic Surgery at 713-790-4500.