Here at Bridges to Beauty, we have been performing Tummy Tucks at our Shreveport location for over two decades! Tummy tucks are a popular and safe solution when dieting and exercising are not enough to take care of waistline problems. In such cases, a patient may wish to consider a tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty). A tummy tuck is the surgical removal of excess skin or fatty deposits from the abdomen, along with the re-positioning of abdomen muscles into a tighter formation. This bodily enhancement procedure is designed for those who wish to have a flatter and tighter stomach. It is also helpful in remedying the vertical separation of abdomen muscles known as diastasis, which can occur following pregnancy.
Reasons for Considering a Tummy Tuck: (Abdominoplasty)
- Inability of dieting and exercise to improve the abdomen area.
- Excessive accumulation of skin following weight loss.
- Loss of skin elasticity or diastases (loose abdomen muscles) due to pregnancy.
- The removal of unsightly skin and fat deposits as well as the proper alignment of the abdomen muscles to produce a more flattering look.
Who is a candidate?
A flattened stomach and an attractive waistline is important to a physically fit appearance. However, a healthy diet and regular abdominal workouts can sometimes do little to eliminate accumulations of excess fat and loose sagging skin in the abdominal area. This is particularly true after pregnancy or weight loss. If you are bothered by these appearance problems, abdominoplasty (also called tummy tuck) may be a good choice for you.
Scheduling a consultation for a tummy tuck at our Shereveport offices is a simple way for men and women in the ARLATEX region who have been pregnant and have excess abdominal skin, stretch marks and fat.
Abdominoplasty is designed to firm, shape and smooth the abdomen. Often called a tummy tuck, this procedure is designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdominal region and restore the muscular tightness of the abdominal wall. The result is a flatter, tighter and attractive abdominal profile.
Is a Tummy Tuck right for me?
Abdominoplasty is best suited to women and men who are in relatively good shape and no significant medical problems, but have a moderate amount of loose abdominal skin and/or a significant amount of lower abdominal fat that won’t respond to dieting or exercise.
If you have one or more of the following, then you bay be a great candidate for a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty)
- Excess or loose, sagging abdominal skin.
- An abdomen that protrudes and is out of proportion to the rest of the body.
- Bulging abdominal muscles that have been weakened by pregnancy, weight gain or aging.
Unfortunately, if you plan to become pregnant you should wait on having a tuck at this time. If you’re considering a tuck but are also planning to lose a lot of weight, you may want to call our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Bridges as these situations should be considered on a case by case basis. Scars from previous abdominal surgeries may limit the results of an abdominoplasty. However, in some cases, an existing scar can be used for the new incision, as is often the case for women with Cesarean section scars.
Smokers are very poor candidates for abdominoplasty. Smoking should be stopped prior to an abdominoplasty. Smoking greatly increases the risk of complications.
What can I expect from a Tummy Tuck consultation?
A personalized consultation for a tummy tuck at our Louisiana office is the first step for every patient considering abdominoplasty. During this meeting, Dr. Bridges will assess your physical and emotional health and discuss your specific cosmetic goals for the surgery.
You should arrive at the consultation prepared to provide complete information about:
- Previous surgical procedures
- Past and present medical conditions
- Family history of medical conditions
- Medications you are taking, including herbal remedies or nutritional supplements.
When examining your abdomen, Dr. Bridges will evaluate:
- The quality of your abdominal skin.
- The location of any existing scars.
- The degree of skin laxity and stretch marks.
- The amount and location of any excess fat.
- The status of the underlying muscles.
Dr. Bridges may suggest other treatment to better meet your appearance goals. For example, some patients may benefit from liposuction alone or a more limited type of abdominoplasty. We often are asked, what is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction. The difference is usually the skin laxity (how lose the skin is) and the presence of stretchmarks. If these exist the best liposuction, even Smart Lipo, which can tighten the skin, is to turn an abdomen that “looks like a prune into a raisin”. I find most women do not find this attractive nor meets their goals.
How are Tummy Tucks performed?
Generally speaking, a tummy tuck begins with a horizontal incision placed just above or within the pubic area. The lowest possible incision will be made. The length of the incision, which extends outward toward the hipbones, depends largely on much lose skin and the elasticity of skin to be removed. In most cases, Dr. Bridges is able to keep the horizontal incision below the swimsuit line for a better aesthetic appeal. This incesion is then worked trhough to access the the underlying abdominal muscles. Thes muscles are tightened by drawing them closer together and then stitching those muscles in place. The remaining excess skin is then neatly trimmed away.
In a mini-tummy tuck some of the stretch marks in the regions of the tummy below the belly button will be removed. In a full tummy tuck all the stretch marks below the belly button will be removed. Its not possible to completely remove the stretch marks above the belly button. Stretch marks above the belly button will reside below the belly button afterwards and be stretched relatively flat. These residual stretch marks cannot be permanently removed.
In a full tummy tuck a second incision may be made around the navel. This way, the excess skin above the navel is separated from the deeper tissues so the skin can be pulled downward and removed. Although its appearance may be slightly altered, the naval’s position is unchanged. In patients requiring only a mini-tummy tuck a naval incision is not performed. Most women who have finished their pregnancies require a full tummy tuck.
Do you offer mini tummy tucks in Shreveport?
Although a full abdominoplasty is right for most women, it is not the best choice for everyone. Dr. Bridges will advise you whether a full tummy tuck or a mini-tummy tuck or liposuction would be the best option for your desired aesthetic goals.
The “mini” abdominoplasty or mini-tummy tuck: This procedure may benefit you if you are primarily dissatisfied with the appearance of the abdominal area below the naval. A mini tummy tuck requires a horizontal incision and no navel incision. It’s important to realize, however that the mini tummy tuck will not correct loose skin above the navel.
Are there other tummy tuck alternatives?
Liposuction alone – If you have good skin elasticity and muscle tone, (probably only 7% of women after pregnancy), liposuction alone may be used to remove subcutaneous abdominal fat. This alternative may appeal to patients who are planning to become pregnant in the future.
Are tummy tuck’s safe?
Each year, thousands of people undergo tummy tuck and experience no major complications. However, a tummy tuck is an extensive procedure and we want to insure that you are aware of the risks as well as the benefits or any Plastic Surgery procedure. There are always small risks of complications and all of these will be discussed in full, with Dr. Bridges, during your consultation. Dr. Bridges is comfortable, and very familier, with answering all of your questions, so come prepared to ask any questions you may have. Smoking cessation is probably the most important thing to do prior to any operation but in particular with a tummy tuck.
What can I do to prepare?
When the date for your tummy tuck at our Shreveport office has been set, Dr. Bridges will provide you with specific instructions for the days immediately before and after your surgery. A number of points may be covered, including:
- There are certain medications that may complicate your surgery
- Abstaining from Smoking, for a time, before or after the surgery
- Arranging care, or additional help, for you after the surgery
What care will I receive on the day of my Surgery?
Tummy Tuck’s can be performed as an outpatient procedure in most cases. This means you will most likely be able to leave on the same day as your surgery.
Medications are administered to keep you comfortable during the procedure. A general anesthetic is used so that you will sleep throughout the procedure.
How will I look and feel right after surgery?
Whenever a surgery is completed at Bridges To Beauty you are taken to a fully staffed recovery area to start your recovery. In many cases, there will be a need for some small drainage temporarily under the skin to prevent any fluids from accumulating. During this time, any discomfort you feel can be controlled with pain medication if you wish. Our goal is to keep you comfortable and on the path to a healthy and speedy recovery.
For the first several nights you will want to sleep in a lounge chair of some kind as lying or standing stand straight at first will be uncomfortable. While we are still in the early stages of healing, straining, bending and lifting should be avoided but we will encourage movements to get the blood circulating and speed the healing process.
Although everyone heals at a different rate, you can expect that your recovery will follow this general time line:
Within the first week
- We can remove the surgical drainage tubes and you can start taking showers again.
- Although it could take up to 10 days, stitches will generally be removed within the first week.
- Any swelling or bruising will reach it’s peak.
- Around 8 -10 days our In-office massages will be arranged. Per form these one week apart and our Our massage therapist will teach you to perform the massage yourself at home. The massage is included in the price of the procedure.
After several weeks
- A support garment will need to be worn for around 3 months following the tummy tuck
- You will be able to increase your exercise and activity gradually
- Typically within the first 3 weeks you may return to non strenuous work. Most patients return to work is about 10 days. They may be moving a bit slow.
- Bruising and swelling will continue to subside and there will be additional improvement in reducing waist circumference. Most women drop at least two waist sizes.
- You’ll need to avoid any warming pads during this time. Some of the skin could still be numb from the procedure and be burned by a pad.
After a few months
- Feelings of tightness will disappear. Your incision line will likely begin to fade from its reddish color following the procedure. (Note, sometimes full fading can take up to a year or more)
- It will be very important to treat your healing skin with extra care during the first few months after your tummy tuck – Like many warm areas, patients who receive a tummy tuck’s in Louisiana have to be very careful to avoid the sun and avoid wearing dark-colored clothing that can absorb a lot of heat from the sun and can actually burn your healing skin and complicate recovery. (Extremely rare.)
- Numbness can be a common occurrence around the surgical area and during this period the numbness of the skin will likely begin to improve. However, numbness below the belly button could take several years to completely resolve and some areas could remain permanently numb.
What about my Tummy Tuck Results?
Quite soon after surgery, you will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your body. Many people find that their firmer, flatter abdomen boosts their confidence and makes them feel more comfortable in clothing. Most women will go down about two pant sizes.
As the months pass, your incision line will continue to fade; however, it’s important to realize that your scar will be permanently scar as a small trade-off for their firmer, sleeker appearance.
Tummy tucks produces long-lasting results. Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight, you can expect to retain your new shape for many years.
How long will I continue to see Dr. Bridges?
After the initial period, your healing process will remain on track and be aided by a followup visit to Dr. Bridges. Following this visit, you may be asked to return for a few periodic followup visits.
For a tummy tuck in Louisiana, Shreveport LA, or anywhere in the ARKLATEX region, contact Bridges to Beauty today to make your appointment for a consultation with Dr. Bridges.