Tummy tuck surgery is a popular and safe solution when diet and exercise are not enough to handle waistline problems. In these cases, a patient may consider a tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, to remove excess skin and fat deposits from the abdominal area and reposition the stomach muscles to form a tighter contour. I have been performing tummy tucks at Bridges to Beauty in Shreveport for over two decades, and I am devoted to the satisfaction and safety of my patients to help them achieve their desired results.
Tummy tuck surgery is a body contouring procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen to produce a flatter, tighter stomach area. Vertical muscle separation can occur after pregnancy or weight fluctuations, which can be remedied by a tummy tuck to produce more muscle definition.
By removing excess, hanging skin and fat from the abdominal region, a tummy tuck can achieve a slimmer physique and restore your youthful, pre-baby body. A slimmer body shape with enhanced abdominal contours can also introduce more clothing options that patients feel comfortable in.
Feeling uncomfortable in your own skin can become very discouraging. After tightening loose muscles and removing undesirable fatty tissue and loose skin (including skin that may have had stretch marks on it), your smoother, more defined stomach can be revealed. Many patients have a boost in self-confidence after a tummy tuck.
Every patient is given a personalized consultation, where I assess your physical and emotional health and discuss your specific cosmetic goals and preferences. Please be prepared to provide information about any previous surgical procedures, medical conditions, your family medical history, any medications you are taking (including herbal remedies or nutritional supplements), and any other pertinent information.
During your examination, I will evaluate the quality of your abdominal tissues, including the location of any existing scars, your skin laxity (how loose it is), stretch marks (if any), the amount and location of excess fat, and the status of your underlying muscles.
In general, a full tummy tuck begins with anesthesia, and then a horizontal incision is made directly above or within the pubic area as low on the body as possible. This incision extends outward toward the hip bones, and the length depends largely on how much loose skin and fat there is as well as the elasticity of the skin. A second incision may be made around the navel to access the deeper tissues and pull the skin downward for removal.
The incisions are then opened to access the underlying abdominal muscles. Muscles are drawn closer together and then stitched into place for a tighter core. Residual excess skin is neatly trimmed away. All stretch marks on the removed skin (generally, stretch marks below the belly button) are eliminated.
If excess fat exists on the sides of the abdomen, it is usually liposuctioned to enhance the final contour. I include liposuction in my tummy tuck procedures; it is not a separate item.
Alternatively, a mini tummy tuck may be ideal for you. Some of the stretch marks below the belly button can be removed. This option is for patients with less stretch mark concerns who desire fewer incisions, as a navel incision is not performed.
Upon the completion of your surgery, you will be taken to a fully staffed recovery area to begin your recuperation. Many patients need a small drainage tube temporarily applied under the skin to help collect any fluids and avoid accumulation. Discomfort can be controlled with pain medication, and a support garment should be worn for approximately three months.
When you get home, your first several nights should be relaxing. Sleep in a lounge chair that will allow you to sleep upright. Lying down and standing straight will likely be uncomfortable during this time. Keep from straining, bending, or lifting while you recover. I encourage patients to move around and get the blood circulating, which can speed up the healing process. Drainage tubes and stitches are usually removed in the first week.
Although everyone heals at a different rate, you can expect any swelling, numbness, bruising, and general discomfort to begin to improve in about 10 days. Our in-office massages with a massage therapist can be arranged around eight to 10 days after your procedure, which is included in your procedure cost. Exercise can be increased gradually, and most patients can resume work within 10 days. Warming pads are not recommended during your recovery.
You should see a steady improvement in your abdominal appearance throughout the first three months.
Incisions will likely begin to fade from a reddish color to a dull, light line. Treating your skin with additional care helps reduce your healing time. Avoid direct sunlight and dark-colored clothing when outside to prevent your skin from getting warm. As the months pass, your incision line should continue to fade; however, your scar is permanent. This is a small trade-off for your new firmer, sleeker appearance.
Pain can be treated with prescription medication as needed.
There will be a noticeable difference in the shape of your body very soon after surgery. Patients often describe their new contour as firmer and flatter. Many patients go down about two pant sizes and have more comfortable-fitting clothing options.
Tummy tuck surgery 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.
Abdominoplasty is best suited for women and men who are in relatively good shape without significant medical problems. Patients should have a moderate amount of loose abdominal skin or a substantial amount of lower abdominal fat that is not responsive to dieting or exercise. Women should be finished having children before having a tummy tuck, as a subsequent pregnancy could reverse the results of the procedure.
If you have abdominal skin laxity and the presence of stretch marks, abdominoplasty is likely the best option for you. A tummy tuck can address the loose skin and stretch marks, whereas liposuction only removes the fatty tissue.
Once your date for tummy tuck surgery has been scheduled, you will be provided with specific pre- and post-operative care instructions. I will also discuss the details of your procedure with you and address any questions or concerns you may have prior to your surgery.
Many factors are involved in the pricing for your tummy tuck surgery, so our patient coordinator can discuss pricing during your consultation. The techniques, preferences, and other aspects can change the pricing dramatically. We also offer financing programs for our patients.