Women and men considering tummy tuck surgery at our Houston and Cypress practice often arrive at their consultations armed with plenty of questions about the procedure. That’s expected because the decision to get a tummy tuck (also called abdominoplasty) is significant and should be made only after carefully considering your specific situation.
Of all the questions I hear during these consultations, I’ve chosen 4 of the most common to address here in this blog post. I hope this provides information that’s helpful if you’re thinking about having a tummy tuck.
Am I a good tummy tuck candidate? A number of factors need to be considered to determine if a tummy tuck will benefit you. Tummy tuck surgery removes excess abdominal skin and fat that remains after significant weight loss. The most common tummy tuck patient is a woman who is finished having children, but men can also benefit after massive weight loss. Good candidates for the procedure should ideally be at or near the weight they want to maintain. Also, patients need to be healthy enough for elective surgery. I review your past medical and surgical history, and your anatomy, to make sure you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck procedure.
Which tummy tuck procedure is right for me? I can tailor a tummy tuck procedure to the specific needs of each patient. I offer 3 different techniques for abdominoplasty patients: traditional, mini, and extended tummy tucks. It is also quite common to perform simultaneous liposuctioning at the time of a tuck time to sculpt enhance a patient’s curves.
- The traditional tummy tuck is the most commonly performed of the 3 and is usually appropriate for patients who have had children. It can involve removing excess skin, repairing abdominal muscles separated during pregnancy, and repositioning the belly button.
- A mini tummy tuck is an option for patients whose concerns are limited to the area below the belly button. The incision is shorter, and recovery is less extensive.
- An extended tummy tuck is good for patients who want to remove more abdominal tissue than what is usually involved in a traditional tummy tuck. This occurs when the loose skin includes the abdominal area and extends into the waists.
What are your qualifications to perform tummy tucks? This is a question all patients should ask during their consultations with any plastic surgeon. Being certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, as I am, is a must. Beyond that, I’ve completed thousands of body contouring procedures and use advanced pain management techniques to enhance the recovery process.
What is the recovery experience like? Using nerve blocks during all of my tummy tuck surgeries helps minimize any discomfort patients experience during the first several days after their procedure. In some cases, patients don’t need to use any prescription pain medications during their recovery. Patients are walking flexed at their waist for about 7 days. Each day you can slowly straighten out more and more, but it’s important to progress slowly. It’s also important to sleep in the lawnchair or recliner position for about 10 days. The flexed position allows you to rest and relax the incision to facilitate good healing. Most of my patients are very comfortable to return to a desk job at 10 days after surgery. Even though my patients are feeling close to their baseline in 10-14 days after surgery, there still are some limitations: No heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks. You need to give time for everything to truly heal.
You can also see for yourself the kinds of results our patients enjoy by viewing our before-and-after tummy tuck photos.
If you’re thinking about getting a tummy tuck and want to learn more about the procedure, contact us using the online form or call our plastic surgery practice at (713) 799-2278.