A tummy tuck refers to a cosmetic surgical process that enhances the appearance of the abdomen. Also known as abdominoplasty, excess fat and skin are removed from the abdomen during the procedure, and the connective tissues are tightened with sutures. Then the surgeon repositions the remaining abdomen skin to create a more toned appearance.
Many people who undergo a tummy tuck Houston have sagging skin or excess fat around the belly button area. There are many reasons why abdominal skin may sag, including:
- After birth.
- Significant weight changes.
- Your natural body type.
- Abdominal surgery such as a c-section.
If you have decided to undergo a tummy tuck, there are processes you will go through with your surgeon beforehand. During your first visit, your surgeon will discuss critical things about the procedure, including:
Review your medical history
The surgeon will ask questions about your past and current medical conditions. It is advisable to tell him/her about any previous surgeries you have had and what medications you are currently on if any. A tummy tuck is mainly related to weight gain or loss, so the doctor will ask more of such questions.
Conduct a physical examination
To determine if the surgery is right for you, the surgeon will examine your abdomen and take photos for the medical record.
Discuss the outcome and your expectations
The surgeon will want to know your expectations after the tummy tuck and why you want it. He/she will inform you of the risks, potential scarring, and how the outcome will be. Note that a previous abdominal surgery may impact the result of a tummy tuck.
What to expect
A surgeon performs a tummy tuck procedure under anesthesia so that you won’t feel any pain. Surgeons use different techniques for a tummy tuck depending on the changes you want to see after the procedure. During the process, the surgeon makes incisions between your belly button and pubic hair in an elliptical or horizontal shape to facilitate the removal of excess fat and skin. Then the connective tissues in the abdomen (fascia) are tightened through permanent sutures.
The surgeon then repositions the skin in your abdomen, and the belly button is brought out through a small incision and sutured to its normal position. The incision from the hip to hip above the pubic hair is sutured, resulting in a scar that falls within the natural bikini line crease.
After the procedure
After the surgery, your incisions will be covered with a surgical dressing, and small tubes might be placed on the area to drain excess fluid. The nurses will help you walk the first few days to prevent blood clot formation. Pain is normal, but pain-relieving medication will take care of that. Antibiotics are also necessary to prevent infections. Your surgeon will advise on how to take care of your scar, and you also need to schedule regular follow-up visits.
A tummy tuck eliminates the excess fat and skin and also tightens weak fascia. It can also remove stretch marks and excess skin in the lower abdomen area below the belly button, but it doesn’t remove stretch marks outside of this area. Most women choose to do a tummy tuck with other cosmetic procedures such as liposuction (removing excess fat under the tissues), fat breast surgery, or liposuction to contour the whole body.