All bodies change over time, but some changes are more drastic than others. If you lose a large amount of weight or have a child, your abdominal area experiences some big changes. A common result of these changes is excess skin in your midsection, which can lead to poor body-image and lower self-esteem.
The tummy tuck procedure offered by Dr. Obaid and Dr. Ver Halen at North Texas Plastic Surgery removes this excess tissue and tightens your abdominal muscles, improving your figure and helping to restore your confidence.
Although skin is highly elastic, it can only take so much stretching before the effects become permanent. For someone who has been pregnant or lost a large amount of weight, one of the after-effects is often excess skin and residual fat around the midsection. This occurs because the skin stretches to accommodate excess fat or a growing baby. Unfortunately, after birth or weight loss, the stretched skin remains. Another related issue is that pregnancy often causes the abdominal muscles to stretch too, which further contributes to the appearance of a sagging or expanding waistline.
Stretched skin and muscles can’t be dieted away or tightened with exercise. The only way to remove the excess tissue is with a tummy tuck, a procedure that removes the tissue to create a smoother, flatter, trimmer waistline.
While a tummy tuck can improve the appearance of your body after you lose weight, this procedure isn’t a substitute for weight loss. If you’re carrying excess weight in your midsection, a tummy tuck may not give you the results you desire. It may be more effective to lose excess weight first.
This procedure is a good option for anyone who wants to remove excess skin and small fat deposits left behind after childbirth or weight loss. This includes people who have lost weight after having weight-loss surgery, as well as people who have lost weight primarily through exercise or dieting. The ideal candidate is:
If you still have a lot of weight you want to lose, or are planning to have more children in the future, it may be wiser to put off having a tummy tuck. This is because losing more weight or having more children will further change your body, and that may undo some or all of the effects of the tummy tuck procedure.
The nature of your tummy tuck surgery depends on the body you have now and your goals for your body in the future. All tummy tucks at least involve removal of excess skin around the midsection. All tummy tucks leave scars, although they do fade and are positioned carefully to make them easier to hide.
Standard tummy tuck: When performing a standard tummy tuck, Dr. Obaid will do three things:
Doing these things sculpts, firms, and smooths the waistline. This is ideal for people who have excess skin after weight loss, giving birth, or simply as a result of the bodily changes that come with age.
Standard tummy tucks require making a lengthy incision just above your pubic region. While the incision is placed so that it can be hidden by undergarments or a bikini, there will be lasting scarring.
Mini tummy tuck: Similar to a standard tummy tuck, this procedure removes excess fat and loose skin from your lower abdomen, beneath the belly button. The muscles may be tightened or not, depending a patient’s needs. Since smaller amounts of tissue are removed in a mini tummy tuck, the incisions made are smaller too, and these are easily hidden by undergarments.
“Around the world” tummy tuck: This procedure is similar to a standard tummy tuck, but rather than focusing solely on the skin of the abdominal area, your surgeon also removes excess skin on the sides of the abdomen and on the lower back.
This kind of tummy tuck is also known as a 360-degree, extended abdominoplasty, or belt lipectomy. Dr. Obaid and Dr. Ver Halen often perform this procedure on people who have lost large amounts of weight.
As this procedure involves removing skin from your back and sides as well as from your front abdominal area, incisions are longer, and scarring is more extensive.
Dallas and Ft. Worth patients first have an initial one-on-one consultation with either Dr. Jon Ver Halen or Dr. Sacha Obaid in their Southlake or Plano offices. You’ll discuss with your surgeon what your desires are for your body, and he will examine your abdominal area to determine your surgical needs; for example, whether you’ll benefit most from a standard or a mini tummy tuck.
A helpful tool at this consultation is the Crisalix computer-aided system. Crisalix enables you to see how your body will look after a tummy tuck. To simulate your results, your surgeon will take three photos of you and use them to computer-generate a 3D image of your body. This image serves as a template to show how surgery will change your body and improve your silhouette.
Your surgeon will also discuss with you the procedure, the recovery period, and all costs, and you’ll be able to ask any questions you have.
To get ready for your surgery and minimize risks, you may be asked to stop taking certain medications. If you’re a smoker, you’ll be asked to stop smoking for one month beforehand. Following these instructions will help ensure that your surgery is completed safely and that your recovery is straightforward.
On the day of your surgery, you’ll meet with your surgeon one more time to discuss any last-minute concerns, and you’ll go over the procedure and recovery period.
This cosmetic procedure can be carried out under a local or general anesthetic. A local anesthetic will be combined with sedation to help you stay calm and relaxed during the surgery. A tummy tuck usually takes several hours to complete; the exact time required depends on how much tissue must be removed and whether the procedure includes liposuction or muscle tightening.
After your surgery is over, you may be required to stay overnight at the North Texas Plastic Surgery center to make sure your initial recovery proceeds smoothly. The next day you’ll be able to go home, and while you might experience some discomfort or pain for a few days, you’ll be back to your usual routine quickly.
One week after your surgery, you’ll meet with your surgeon for a checkup to ensure that your recovery is moving ahead normally. At this appointment, your bandages will be removed, and you’ll have your first chance to see how your body looks. While there will still be plenty of swelling at this stage, the changes to your body should be easy to spot.
Recovering from a tummy tuck can take several weeks or months, especially if your procedure involves tightening the abdominal muscles. During this time, you’ll be advised to wear a compression garment to help reduce swelling and to provide support and protection for your abdominal area as it heals.
Additionally, it’s important to limit some kinds of physical activity in the first few months after the procedure. In particular, activities that involve the core muscles, including light and heavy lifting, as well as exercises, should be avoided.
Complete healing after a tummy tuck takes time. While you’ll find that most swelling is gone fairly quickly, it can take a year or more for your body to completely heal and for scarring to fade significantly.
Dr. Obaid and Dr. Ver Halen of North Texas Plastic Surgery are skilled cosmetic surgeons who love to help patients look and feel their best. With a commitment to using advanced equipment and surgical techniques, they ensure that each tummy tuck patient gets the best results possible.
Are you dissatisfied with your midsection after childbirth or weight changes? A tummy tuck may be able to give you the sleek, slim waistline you want and deserve. If you’re in Dallas/Ft. Worth and are ready to see how a tummy tuck can change your body, call us today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Obaid or Dr. Ver Halen in their Southlake or Plano, TX office.
Full – After pregnancies or significant weight gain or loss, excess fat and loose skin can collect in the abdomen. Fortunately, a full tummy tuck removes that unwanted fat and skin, in addition to tightening muscles in the abdominal wall to sculpt your tummy into that firm, flat form you’ve wanted.
Mini – If you’re unhappy with the shape of your lower abdomen due to excess fat and/or loose skin, a mini tummy tuck is a great option. With small incisions made where they can be hidden by undergarments, your muscles will be sutured and excess fat and skin removed, resulting in a flatter abdomen and a smaller waistline.