Many women are unhappy with their midsection due to loose skin, lax muscles, and fat deposits resulting in a pooching abdomen and poor waist definition. For some patients, these problems are inherited; while others can develop these concerns after weight loss and pregnancy. Diet and exercise can be helpful for losing weight and diminishing fat deposits, but will not correct wrinkled, excess skin, stretch marks, and loose abdominal muscles. Additionally, many patients complain of localized fat deposits on their waist, hips, and thighs that are resistant to diet and exercise, no matter how dedicated the patient may be.
If you are ready to learn more about how a tummy tuck can improve your look, request a consultation online with Dr. Steele or call our office at 817-731-5330. We serve patients in Fort Worth, TX and surrounding communities and we welcome patients who wish to travel from outside the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Benefits of a
Most patients who see Dr. Steele for a tummy tuck have had several pregnancies. As a result, they are left with stretch marks and loose skin. A tummy tuck is frequently combined with a breast augmentation as part of a mommy makeover. Additionally, patients who have had significant weight loss and many male patients will benefit from a tummy tuck as well. An abdominoplasty provides a variety of benefits including:
- Removing excess, stretched-out skin
- Flattening a bulging abdomen
- Contouring the waistline to provide an hourglass figure
- Repairing the abdominal muscles that have been stretched out from pregnancy and weight gain
An abdominoplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. There are 3 main components of a tummy tuck: tightening of the abdominal muscles, removal of excess skin, and removal of excess fat around the waist and hip area. In almost all cases, Dr. Steele will combine liposuction for optimal contouring of the waist/hip region to obtain an hourglass figure. Dr. Steele designs his tummy tuck incisions so that they are very low, allowing the incision to be covered by a variety of bathing suits and low-cut jeans. During a full tummy tuck, skin is removed from the upper and lower abdomen, the muscles are tightened, and the belly button is brought out with a second incision around the navel. In some patients with only a small amount of loose skin, a mini tummy tuck may be performed with a short incision just above the pubic area without the need to cut around the belly button.
Drain tubes are placed to minimize the risk of a fluid pocket and dissolvable sutures are placed and covered with tissue glue and sterile tapes. The patient is placed into a compression binder with foam pads and then switched to a compression garment (girdle) after a few days. You will be given antibiotics, pain pills, anti-nausea pills, muscle relaxants, and for some patients, blood thinning shots to cut down on the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Most patients can go home the same day, but in some cases an overnight stay may be required. Patients can generally return to work in 1-2 weeks. The abdomen will be quite tight for the first 1-2 weeks and the patient will generally be bent at the waist for 7-10 days. It is important to walk early to minimize the risk of blood clots. Cardio activity can be resumed at 4 weeks, with increased lifting activity (>10-15 pounds) at 6 weeks. Dr. Steele advises the patient to avoid vigorous core workouts (planks, crunches, etc.) for at least 2 months. Dr. Steele will provide optimal scar care instructions to give you the finest scar possible.
What's the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?
- Removes some fat from the midsection
- Removes excess, loose/stretched-out skin
- Tightens the abdominal muscles which helps flatten the abdomen when viewed from the side and helps narrow the waist when viewed from the front.
- Redistributes the skin from the upper abdomen to the lower abdomen. This tightens the skin and helps thin the fat layer of the abdomen as well.
A tummy tuck will reverse the changes of pregnancy and weight loss, while liposuction is useful for removing fat from isolated areas. In order to get a good result with liposuction, the patient should be close to an ideal weight and have good skin tone. If liposuction is performed in an area without good skin tone (lots of stretch marks), the patient will very likely be left with loose skin that does not contract or shrink down.
What are the different types of tummy tucks?
A tummy tuck with a shorter incision to remove an isolated, small amount of loose skin in the lower abdomen. The abdominal muscles may or may not be repaired in a mini-abdominoplasty.
Umbilical Float Abdominoplasty:
In this procedure the belly button is left attached to the upper abdominal skin and moved inferiorly. The muscles are typically tightened. This procedure is reserved for patients with good skin quality who desire a very low incision/scar or those patients who have a very high belly button that may result in undesired scars from the previous belly button location.
A tummy tuck with an incision that runs from hip to hip with muscle repair.
Also known as a Body Lift, Belt Lipectomy, Around the World Tummy Tuck, etc. The incision goes all the way around the trunk. This type of procedure provides a buttock and lateral thigh lift and is typically reserved for massive weight loss patients.