A tummy tuck surgically removes redundant skin and unwanted fat from the abdominal area and may also tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The result is a sleeker profile and a tighter, flatter tummy.
Proper diet and exercise does not always result in the flat stomach you seek. Loose skin, excess fat and lax abdominal muscle can sometimes limit your abdominal appearance no matter how many stomach crunches you do. If you are bothered by the less than sleek appearance of your stomach, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) may be a good option for you.
Though tummy tuck information is provided on this website, the best way to get answers to specific questions about your needs is to schedule a personal consultation with a Harley Body Clinic Doctor.
Am I a good candidate for abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty offers great benefits to health men and women of all ages. It is best suited to those in relatively good shape, but with loose abdominal fat that won’t respond to dieting or exercise.
Men or women bothered by any of the following conditions are often good candidates for a tummy tuck:
- Loose, sagging abdominal skin
- Excess fat in the abdominal area
- A protruding abdomen
- Abdominal muscles weakened by pregnancy or aging
Because pregnancy and weight fluctuation can mar your tummy tuck result after surgery, many postpone their procedures until they plan no more children and their weight is stable. Abdominal scars from previous surgeries can limit your abdominoplasty result. Though in some cases, such as with many Cesarean section scars, the new incisions can be made below the existing scar which can then be removed at the time of your tummy tuck.
An incision just above the pubic area
is used to remove excess skin and fat from
the middle and lower abdomen.
What should I expect from the consultation?
What should I expect from the consultation?
A personal consultation with your surgeon is the first step for any patient considering abdominoplasty. Harley Body Clinic believes in careful patient consultation to assess your physical and emotional health, discuss your aesthetic goals, and address any questions or concerns you may have.
Issues you should be prepared to discuss during consultation with Harley Body Clinic Doctors include:
- Medical conditions, both past and present
- Current medications, including nutritional supplements and herbal remedies
- Previous surgeries
- Weight loss history and goals
During your initial examination, Harley Body Clinic Doctors will evaluate:
- The quality and elasticity of your abdominal skin
- The status of the underlying abdominal muscles
- The amount of excess fat in the area
- The location of any existing scars
In men and women with limited issues to correct, Harley Body Clinic Doctors may suggest alternate treatment options, such as liposuction or a mini-tummy tuck.
What does abdominoplasty entail?
Abdominoplasty procedures generally use a horizontal incision above the pubic area. When possible, the incision will be kept within average swimsuit lines. The incision length will depend upon the amount of loose skin to be removed.
Skin is separated from the abdominal wall all
the way up to the ribs.
Using this incision, Harley Body Clinic Doctors may tighten the abdominal muscles if needed, by pulling them together and stitching them in place. He will also trim any excess skin from the lower abdomen. Though it is not always possible to remove them all, stretch marks are often removed with the excess skin. A second incision around the navel is used so the skin can be pulled down and the excess removed. In this instance, the navel will remain intact in the underlying tissue, but will be exposed through a new section of skin. Although the navel’s position remains unchanged, its appearance may be slightly altered and is often improved due to Harley Body Clinic Doctors’s refined techniques.
Are there other options?
A full, traditional tummy tuck is not needed for all patients. Some patients will achieve the results they seek with a limited or “mini” abdominoplasty. Liposuction alone may also meet the needs of some. During consultation for abdominoplasty, Harley Body Clinic Doctors will explain these options to you and evaluate whether they are viable options for you.
The “mini” abdominoplasty – This procedure is used to correct issues in the lower abdomen only. It entails less scarring than a full tummy tuck, but will not address loose skin above the navel.
Liposuction alone – This option is viable only in those with good skin elasticity and muscle tone. Though Liposuction can remove abdominal fat, it cannot smooth loose skin or tighten abdominal muscle. It is, however, a popular option for women who are planning future pregnancies.
The surgeon draws underlying muscle and
tissue together and stitches them, thereby
narrowing the waistline and
strengthening the abdominal wall.
Are there safety concerns associated with a tummy tuck?
Though thousands women undergo tummy tuck surgery each year and experience no major complications, the procedure does carry some degree risk. It is important you be well informed of these risks when considering tummy tuck. Harley Body Clinic Doctors sees the discussion of potential risks and complications as one of the most important aspects of patient consultation. During your consultation, he will discuss these potential complications with you, listen to your safety questions, and offer instructions on how to minimize your risk.
How should I prepare for my abdominoplasty?
It is important to follow Harley Body Clinic Doctors’s instructions when preparing for tummy tuck surgery to ensure the best possible results. Those instructions may include:
- Refraining from smoking for several weeks before and after surgery
- Avoiding certain medications
- Arranging for help following surgery, such as a ride home and in-home care for the first 24 hours after you leave the hospital
What will happen the day of my surgery?
For your comfort and convenience, Harley Body Clinic Doctors maintains privileges in several hospitals in greater Dallas/Fort Worth. Abdominoplasty may require a short, one to two night hospital stay, though some patients are able to return home the same day.
During surgery, medications will be administered to ensure comfort. General anesthesia is used to allow you to sleep during the procedure. Harley Body Clinic Doctors uses only doctors (anesthesiologists)-not nurses (CRNA’s or anesthetists)-to administer anesthesia to their patients. We will carefully monitor your physical status throughout the operation and during your recovery.
Abdominal skin is drawn down and excess
is removed. With complete abdominoplasty,
a new opening is cut for the navel. Both
incisions are stitched closed.
What should I expect during my recovery?
Harley Body Clinic Doctors uses advanced techniques to foster faster recovery in all patients. Directly after surgery, you’ll be taken to a recovery area. To prevent the accumulation of fluids, small drainage tubes will have been placed beneath the skin. Though you will feel some soreness, it is generally well-controlled with pain medication. Dressings may be applied to your abdomen and covered with tape or an elastic bandage.
To promote blood circulation, you will be encouraged to get up and move around soon after surgery. Bending and lifting, however, should be avoided at this stage. Sleeping on your back with your knees up may also be recommended for the first few weeks after surgery.
Though everyone heals at a different pace, your recovery will roughly follow this general time line:
Within the first 7-10 days
- Swelling and bruising will reach their peak
- Drainage tubes will be removed
- Stitches may be removed
After several weeks
- Activity and exercise will gradually increase
- Non-strenuous work will resume
- Bruising and swelling will continue to subside
- Your results will begin to emerge
After a few months?
- Your final results will begin to appear
- Tightness will disappear
- Sensation may slowly improve
- Your incision line may begin to fade
After6 surgery, the patient has a flatter,
trimmer abdomen. Scars are
permanent, but will fade with time.
When will I see my results and how long will they last?
Soon after surgery, you may begin to notice an improvement to your abdominal shape. As you heal and your swelling subsides, your firmer, sleeker contour will begin to emerge. Many patients report a boost in their confidence and a heightened body image after surgery. Though your tummy tuck scarring is permanent, it is generally easy to conceal beneath undergarments and will fade significantly over time.
Generally, you can expect long-lasting results from your abdominoplasty procedure. If you maintain a fairly steady weight, you can expect to keep your new contour for many years. Gravity, aging, and weight fluctuation may loosen the abdominal skin somewhat. If this occurs, additional surgical treatment can be used to restore your sleek contour.
How long will I continue to see my plastic surgeon?
Harley Body Clinic Doctors believes in the importance of follow-up visits, to answer any questions you may have and monitor your healing process. Rather than delegating all of these visits to a nurse, he enjoys seeing his patients as they heal over time. Your first post-operative visit will be scheduled after the initial healing period, during the first few days after surgery. In the following months, Harley Body Clinic Doctors may ask you to return for periodic checkups. Keeping these appointments is important to allow him to assess your long-term results and address any questions or concerns you may have.
Choosing a plastic surgeon
When considering undergoing abdominoplasty, Harley Body Clinic Doctors believes choosing a qualified surgeon to perform it is one of the most important factors. Though it’s hard to believe, not all physicians who perform cosmetic surgery have had formal surgical training. It’s important to research the credentials of all surgeons you consider for your procedure. Harley Body Clinic Doctors is fully trained in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery as well as Otolaryngology (head and neck surgery). We invites potential patients to fully explore their training, experience during a personal consultation.
Ask about the surgeon’s hospital privileges
It is very important to find out if your surgeon has operating privileges in an accredited hospital for the procedure you are considering, even if you are planning to undergo surgery in your doctor’s office or at a surgery center. Before granting privileges, hospital review committees evaluate a surgeon’s training and competency for specific procedures.