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Tummy Tuck in Dallas

Tummy tuck is specifically designed to reverse the effects of pregnancy or large weight loss on the abdomen.  As the abdomen expands with pregnancy or weight gain, the abdominal muscles can stretch and separate, a process called rectus diastasis, and the skin of the midsection can also stretch beyond it’s capacity to rebound. Unfortunately, for many patients, there is no amount of working out at the gym, dietary changes, or skin care routines that will fix these problems. Fortunately, the tummy tuck surgery in Dallas is specifically designed to reverse these changes! Consider undergoing a body contouring procedure to achieve your aesthetic goals.

Tummy Tuck Consultation Guide DFW | Dallas Body Contouring Surgeon

What Happens During a Tummy Tuck Surgery?

A great tummy tuck consists of four things:

  1. Liposuction of any excess fat around the waist.
  2. Repair of the stretched out abdominal muscles (“rectus diastasis”)
  3. Removal of stretched out abdominal skin
  4. Reconstruction or reshaping of the belly button.

The North Texas Plastic Surgery Difference

(Actual Patient)

A truly exceptional tummy tuck result starts with the liposuction.  Our plastic surgeons begin every procedure with an extensive liposuction to start shaping the hourglass before making the incision.  This technique originated in Brazil as “lipoabdominoplasty”, and has been taken to the next level by our plastic surgeons.  In fact, for many patients, the waist contouring with liposuction takes longer than the actual tummy tuck!  The liposuction starts just below the waist and is taken all the way to the armpits.  In most cases, patients will be given the option to have the liposuction proceed all the way around the waist for 360 degree contouring! This liposuction ensures that the end product will be a beautiful hourglass as opposed to a square box!

After performing the liposuction, our plastic surgeons then will seek to place the lowest bikini line incision possible for the skin removal.  The placement of this incision is critical, so that our patients can have the most swimsuit choices.

Tightening the Skin

Next, our plastic surgeons perform a strong tightening of the abdominal musculature to correct the damage from pregnancy and prior weight fluctuations.  It is important to note that our plastic surgeons will perform this muscle repair from the bikini line incision all the way to the breast bone, even in a mini tummy tuck.  This is critical to keep the entire tummy flat after the surgery.

To ensure our patients are as comfortable as possible after their tummy tuck, our plastic surgeons perform a block of all of the abdominal muscles called a TAP block using a long acting local anesthetic placed before closing the incisions.

Finally, our plastic surgeons contour and tailor the tummy skin to remove any excess and reconstruct the belly button to give the best possible waist contour paired with a youthful appearance to the belly button.

At the conclusion of your surgery, our plastic surgeons will place a specialized compression garment or “faja” that we have specially made from Colombia to help reduce swelling and emphasize your new curves.

North Texas Plastic Surgery performs close to 1,000 tummy tucks a year at our fully accredited AAAASF office-based surgical facility in Dallas with an experienced anesthesia, nursing, and surgical tech team that know this procedure inside and out.  They know what to do to not only make your experience comfortable but also to ensure that you get the best possible result!

Will I Be Fully Asleep for My Tummy Tuck?

Yes, you will be fully asleep under general anesthesia for your tummy tuck procedure.  This is not only for your comfort, but also for your safety and to ensure the best possible contour after the surgery.  Because we tighten your abdominal muscles all the way to the breast bone, and because we liposuction your excess fat all the way up to the armpits, it is not safe to perform this under local or spinal anesthesia.

In the case of tucks that are advertised under local anesthesia, the surgeons are unable to perform the extensive liposuction that we perform because the volume of local anesthesia that would be needed would exceed the amount that would produce cardiac side effects.

In the case of tummy tucks performed under spinal anesthesia, the surgeons are unable to tighten the muscles all the way to the breast bone and to liposuction all the way up the to the armpits because it would require anesthetizing the spinal cord at such a high level that the breathing muscles would be paralyzed.

Our anesthesia team specializes in plastic surgery anesthesia and has performed anesthesia for thousands of tummy tucks in Dallas. They will keep you comfortably asleep throughout the procedure and ensure that your wake up is smooth as can be.

Will I have Drains with My Tummy Tuck?

The first step in liposuction is to inject a specialized tumescent fluid into the areas that are to be liposuctioned.  This tumescent fluid helps with pain and helps to clamp down the blood vessels which minimizes blood loss.  The more liposuction that is to be performed, the more fluid needs to be injected.  In addition, the body naturally produces a healing fluid in response to liposuction.  The amount of this fluid will be proportional to the amount of fat removed with liposuction.  In short, the more fat that is liposuctioned, the more fluid that is injected and the more fluid that is produced by the body.

The function of the drains in a tummy tuck is to remove the above combination of fluid.  While drainless procedures are possible, the compromise is the need to limit the amount of liposuction performed.  Our plastic surgeons do not want to limit the long term result, and thus in most cases will use drains so that the maximum amount of fat that can be removed safely will be removed during the procedure.

What is a Mini Tummy Tuck?

A mini tummy tuck involves a shorter scar than a traditional tuck, and is a great option for the very fit mother who has a small amount of excess skin and fat, but has significant separation of the abdominal muscles from pregnancy. Moms seeking mini tummy tucks are often frustrated by the fact that they have lost all of the baby weight but still have a small “baby bump” from this muscle separation.

When choosing to undergo a mini tummy tuck, it is critical that patients understand the amount of muscle tightening that will occur.  For our patients, our plastic surgeons perform muscle tightening all the way from the mons area up to the breast bone so that 100% of the muscle separation is fixed.

Our plastic surgeons also offer liposuction with all of our mini tummy tucks.  This liposuction will proceed as high up from the waist as is necessary to remove any excess fat.  In fact, in many patients, the liposuction proceeds all the way up to the armpits!

What is an Extended Tummy Tuck?

An extended tummy tuck takes the standard incision and wraps it around to the lower back.  This allows our plastic surgeons to not only remove the excess skin centrally, but also the excess skin that is present in the love handles.  This is a great option for patients who have more skin and fat in the love handle region than they like or for patients who have a little bit higher starting weight and thus need more skin removal.

What is a “Circumferential Tummy Tuck” (AKA “Belt Lipectomy” AKA “Around the World Tummy Tuck”)

Patients that have had significant weight gains and losses will have excess skin not only of the abdomen and the sides, but also of the lower back.  The circumferential abdominoplasty allows our plastic surgeons to not only trim this abdominal and side skin but also the lower back skin so that there is 360 degree skin tightening.

Can I Combine BodyTite with My Tummy Tuck?

The skin excision that occurs with a tummy tuck is usually sufficient to prevent any loose skin in the abdominal region after a tummy tuck.  Oftentimes, though, the back has some loose skin that is not enough to warrant a longer incision and scar but is still bothersome to the patient.

This is where BodyTite excels!  BodyTite can heat the skin to 160 degrees from the underside using radiofrequency. The result is a contraction of the associated collagen of the skin and the production of new collagen causing a 35% skin retraction.  For many patients, adding BodyTite to the back with your tummy tuck and liposuction 360 can take your results to the next level!

Can I See What My Results Will Be Before Surgery?

Our plastic surgeons use the 3-dimensional Crisalix imaging system to simulate your tummy tuck and liposuction results prior to the surgery.  This will allow you to see what specific areas will be contoured with the liposuction, and how much skin and fat is planning on being removed.  It will also show you any other areas that you might want to consider contouring at the same time to get the perfect result.

For patients who are traveling a distance to see us, our plastic surgeons can use the Crisalix technology to simulate your results during a Virtual Consultation from the privacy of your own home.

How Do I Know if I Need a Tummy Tuck or Just Liposuction?

This is perhaps the most common question that we are asked in our plastic surgery practice.  In general, if you have a mild to moderate amount of extra fat, have good skin and abdominal muscle tone, you are likely a good candidate for liposuction alone.  On the other hand, if pregnancy or weight gain and loss has left you with a pooch from abdominal muscle separation or significant excess abdominal skin than a tummy tuck combined with your liposuction is probably the best surgery for you.

Who Can Have an Abdominoplasty?

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:

  • In good overall health
  • Physically fit in general
  • At a stable weight

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 the surgery. 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.

Will I Go Home the Same Day?

Our plastic surgeons will consult with you and determine if you can go home the same day as your surgery or if you need to spend the night after your surgery.  This determination will be made based upon your age, medical health, and the amount of fat that our plastic surgeons plan to remove.  In general, the younger, healthier, and skinnier you are prior to your surgery, the more likely you will be able to go home the same day.

What Can I Do to Ensure a Smooth Recovery?

To ensure that you have safe recovery from your tummy tuck surgery, it is critical that patients do three things:

  1. Our plastic surgeons recommend that patients walk a minimum of 5 minutes every hour after their surgery while they are awake. This helps promote circulation in the legs which is critical to preventing blood clots that start there and can travel to the heart and lungs with disastrous results.
  2. Patients need to drink plenty of fluids the first few days after their tummy tuck, especially fluids that contain electrolytes such as low sugar Gatorade or pedialyte. In general fluid intake should be sufficient to produce a clear color to the urine.  If your urine is a very dark color, you should notify your surgeon immediately.
  3. Our plastic surgeons recommend that an incentive spirometer is used to help expand the lungs post surgery. The incentive spirometer helps open up the tiny air sacs at the bottom of the lungs that can otherwise collapse in response to shallow breathing from pain.  Opening these tiny air sacs (alveoli) at the bottom of the lungs helps prevent pneumonia.

What Can Patients do to Decrease the Swelling after Tummy Tuck?

There are two big things that patients can do to decrease swelling after their procedure:

  1. Our plastic surgeons recommend that patients wear a compression garment, or “faja”, 24/7 for the first three weeks after their tummy tuck procedure and 12 hours a day for an additional 3 weeks after that. Patients can certainly wear their garments or fajas more than that if they choose.  Our plastic surgeons will place you in a compression garment with padding at the conclusion of your tummy tuck procedure.
  2. Lymphatic massage (AKA Manual Lymphatic Drainage) is a specialized massage technique that pushes lymph (the fluid that causes swelling) back to the lymph nodes and lymphatic drainage channels so that this fluid can return to the heart and swelling can be reduced. Regular lymphatic massage after your tummy tuck procedure will significantly speed you to your final result.

How Long is the Recovery?

Most patients should plan to have help around the house and to be out from work for 10-14 days.  Light cardiovascular exercise can typically be resumed approximately 3 weeks post surgery.  Weight lifting, yoga, and pilates can start 6 weeks after your tummy tuck surgery.

There are three levels of scar treatments that can be performed to ensure the best scars possible after a tummy tuck:

  1. Topical treatments of the scar with silicone based products such as Biocorneum are recommended beginning two to three weeks post surgery and continuing twice daily for 6 months to 1 year post-op. Silicone has been shown in plastic surgery research to be by far the best thing a patient can apply at home to a scar to help minimize it’s appearance.
  2. For patients who are prone to keloid scars or who are at high risk for keloid scars, our plastic surgeons recommend injection of the scars early with either 5-FU or kenalog. Both medications decrease the proliferation of scar tissue, which helps lead to a smooth thin result.
  3. Laser Therapy can also begin early after a tuck to both help thin and also lighten the scar. The type of laser energy used will depend upon the unique pigment makeup of your skin to ensure maximum treatment results and to minimize any damage to the surrounding skin.

What are the Risks of Undergoing a Tummy Tuck in Dallas?

There are medical and cosmetic risks to consider when deciding if a tummy tuck in Dallas is right for you.  Medical risks include but are not limited to the risks inherent to all surgeries such as infection, bleeding, scarring, heart or lung reactions to the anesthesia, blood clots which can travel to the heart and lungs, pneumonia, and fluid overload.  To minimize the medical risks, it is recommended that you are as close to your ideal body weight as you can be prior to the surgery, and that you are in the best overall health that you can be.  For many patients who are older or who have certain chronic conditions, our plastic surgeons will ask that a primary care provider and/or a medical sub specialist work with you prior to your surgery to ensure that you are as physically fit as you need to be for surgery.

Cosmetic risks include but are not limited to prominent scarring, removal of too much or too little skin or fat, and fluid build up under the skin. To minimize these risks, our plastic surgeons recommend that you are as close to your ideal body weight as you can be prior to the surgery, that you wear compression garments or fajas post surgery, and that you are aggressive treating your scars with topical silicone such as Biocorneum, and that you consider laser and/or injectable treatments to your scars.

Check out these tummy tuck before and after images to see some of our prior work.

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