Houston Tummy Tuck
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Westlake Dermatology is a leading provider of tummy tuck surgery (also known as abdominoplasty) in Texas. We offer tummy tuck procedures in Houston at our River Oaks and West University locations. Our plastic surgeons and staff are dedicated to helping Houstonians look and feel their very best!
Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that tightens abdominal muscles and removes excess fat and skin. Tummy tuck procedures can produce dramatic results, eradicating abdominal fat and loose skin to transform the silhouette of the body. Like liposuction, tummy tuck is a surgical body contouring treatment that tightens and tones the body; however, a tummy tuck differs in that it can also address excess skin that often results after weight loss or pregnancy.
Types of Tummy Tucks
There are many different types of tummy tuck techniques, each differing in terms of level of severity and results they provide. Common abdominoplasty types include:
- Mini Tummy Tuck: A minimally invasive version of abdominoplasty that is ideal for slender patients with a “belly pooch” (a small bulge in the lower abdomen between the mons pubis and belly button).
- Standard Tummy Tuck: Sometimes referred to as a full tummy tuck or traditional tummy tuck, a standard tummy tuck is ideal for individuals who seek to flatten the abdomen both right above and below the belly button.
- Extended Tummy Tuck: Sometimes called a circumferential lower body lift, an extended tummy tuck is more invasive than a standard tummy tuck as it addresses the full abdomen while also targeting the hips and lower back. This technique is ideal for individuals in good overall health who wish to completely reshape their upper body.
Am I A Good Candidate?
A tummy tuck is for anyone who has lost skin elasticity in the belly area or whose muscles have become overly stretched. Typically, candidates experience these conditions after pregnancy or significant weight loss.
In addition, the best candidates for abdominoplasty will have the following traits:
- Overall good health
- Within 20% of their ideal body weight
- Have kept their weight stable
- Aren’t planning to become pregnant
The purpose of a tummy tuck is not to help you lose weight, but to alter the shape of the body. Results are best for those who have surgery when they are already at their ideal body weight.
Liposuction is often performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck, but liposuction alone may be a better option for those who store fat in the abdomen, but have generally good skin elasticity.
Are There BMI Restrictions?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is the result of a calculation based on height and weight. BMI correlates with body fat percentage, and is an important indicator of one’s eligibility for elective surgery.
Undergoing anesthesia and surgery is not without risk. Patients with a BMI of 25 or above may be at greater risk for complications, including prolonged healing, blood clots, infection or breathing difficulty.
While every person’s case is unique, the following chart is often used by surgeons to help assess risk:
- under 25: Lowest risk
- 25-29: Moderate risk
- 30-35: Moderate risk if overall health is good
- 35-40: Potentially high risk
- 40+: High risk, likely ineligible for elective surgery
Tummy tuck surgery is not a weight-loss procedure, but a body contour procedure. Outcomes are best when patients undergo the surgery after having attained (and maintained) their ideal body weight. If your BMI is 30 or above, your doctor may recommend weight loss prior to surgery.
How Is A Tummy Tuck Performed?
Tummy tuck surgery is an outpatient procedure, the patient is able to return home following the surgery. Most abdominoplasty procedures are performed using general anesthesia. The procedure starts with an incision across the lower abdomen allowing a surgeon to remove excess skin and tighten slack muscles. Any remaining skin is then re-draped over the abdominal area leaving a flat and tight stomach. The procedure typically takes 2-3 hours to be performed and patients are able to return home following the surgery.
What Is Recovery Like
Patients may experience mild to moderate pain for several days following their procedure. Any discomfort during recovery can be treated with prescription pain medication. Most patients will be cleared to return to work, school, and other non-physical daily activities within 2 weeks of their procedure. The 6-week point usually marks the completion of the recovery process as most patients are cleared to begin undertaking strenuous exercise.
About Westlake Dermatology Houston
Westlake Dermatology is a leading provider of plastic surgery in Texas. Our entire Houston team is dedicated to providing the best care to our patients. We use the latest techniques and implants in our state-of-the-art surgical facility to help patients safely achieve their desired end results.
Our Houston Locations
Houston, Texas 77005
Meet Our Houston Plastic Surgeons
- Cameron Erickson, MD: Dr. Erickson is a board certified plastic surgeon who believes in a patient focused approach with an emphasis on obtaining a true connection with his patients. He served as Chief Resident at UT Southwestern in Dallas, a leading plastic surgery training program in the country. Dr. Erickson sees patients at our River Oaks location.
Are Tummy Tuck Results Permanent?
A tummy tuck procedure tightens abdominal muscles and removes excess fat and skin. These results are considered permanent, but can change with significant weight gain, or weight loss. In addition, a tummy tuck cannot stop the natural aging process, which may contribute to a return of skin laxity over time.
If your tummy tuck procedure includes liposuction, the fat cells removed will never return. However, remaining fat cells can still expand with subsequent weight gain.
Weight gain and pregnancy can re-stretch skin, while significant weight loss may lead to lose or sagging skin, negating the results of the skin-tightening procedure. For these reasons, it’s important to schedule your tummy tuck only after you’ve achieved your ideal body weight. Maintaining your post-surgery weight will help maintain your results.
How To Maintain Tummy Tuck Results
Follow After Care Instructions
Following your doctor’s post-surgical advice, including wearing your compression garments as directed, will contribute to maintenance of your results.
Keep Your Weight Stable
The most significant thing you can do to maintain your tummy tuck results is to keep your body weight stable. Exercise regularly, eat healthy foods in moderation, and keep yourself well hydrated at all times. Strength training to improve muscle tone can also help maintain and enhance results.
Protect Your Skin
Maintaining healthy, elastic skin not only helps skin tighten after surgery, but helps your tummy tuck results last longer. To best care for your skin after tummy tuck surgery, avoid smoking and exposure to pollutants, keep your belly protected from the sun, and consistently moisturize and hydrate.
What Happens to the Belly Button After Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery tightens muscles, removes fat and removes excess skin. During the process, the belly button may need to be repositioned or its appearance altered.
Mini tummy tucks treat only the area below the navel, and will not affect the belly button’s appearance. A standard tummy tuck, otherwise known as abdominoplasty, often requires making changes to the shape, position or appearance of the belly button.
Experienced plastic surgeons will place the belly button in such a way that it enhances the final results. When choosing a surgeon, ask to see photographs of before and after pictures of past patients, paying particular attention to the final appearance of the belly button.
Will A Tummy Tuck Cause Scarring?
Like all surgical procedures, tummy tuck will result in permanent scars. The extent of this scarring will differ depending on the type of tummy tuck surgery you had and the skill of your plastic surgeon. Most tummy tuck scars are placed in areas that are minimally visible, such as in and around the navel and below the bikini line.
- Mini Tummy Tuck: This least-invasive tummy tuck results in a scar that’s only slightly longer than a typical C-section scar.
- Traditional Tummy Tuck: This procedure will result in a scar from hip to hip, as well as a small scar around the belly button.
- Extended Tummy Tuck: Also known as a circumferential lower body lift, an extended tummy tuck may require an upside down, T-shaped scar that transverses the entire abdomen.
Request A Tummy Tuck Consultation in Houston
Additional Tummy Tuck Resources
- Ask A Plastic Surgeon: Hourglass Tummy Tuck
- Will My Belly Button Change After Tummy Tuck Surgery?
- Fact Check: 8 Common Tummy Tuck Myths Debunked
- Exercising After Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Surgery
- Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Body Contouring – Which Method Is Best?
- Will Tummy Tuck Surgery Leave Scars?
- Tummy Tuck Recovery: Tips + What To Expect
- Different Types Of Tummy Tucks – Which Technique Is Best?
- Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction