What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a body-contouring procedure designed to smooth and flatten the abdomen. Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes loose and excess skin from your belly. It also tightens and restores the abdominal muscles giving you a smoother, flatter, and firmer abdominal profile than before. The abdominal muscle walls, abdominal profile, and the skin surrounding the area can become loose or weak due to many factors. The more common include:
- Previous surgery
- Weight Loss
Tummy tucks provide the solution; they are among the most requested cosmetic surgical procedures in Houston and abroad for both men and women who are unhappy with the size, shape, and/or firmness of their abdomen. Tummy tucks are permanent procedures but drastic gains and losses in weight following a tummy tuck may disrupt your results. Tummy tucks are optional and are not covered by insurance carriers, patients will be financially responsible for their procedure.
Tummy Tuck Q&A with Dr Nikko
Dr Nikko answers online users questions about tummy tucks.
What is a Tummy Tuck Used For?
A tummy tuck is used to tighten the torn or weak muscles of your abdomen and remove excess skin. Sometimes these issues are caused by weight gains and losses, pregnancy, or genetics. Genetics often play a significant role in determining your body shape and size – some people naturally have difficulty achieving the abdomen they strive for. Not only can this affect your self-esteem but it can also be difficult to function normally due to chafing and irritation.
- Following pregnancy, many women find that a tummy tuck is exactly the right procedure to help them achieve a slimmer and firmer abdominal area. Pregnancy will stretch the skin and abdominal muscles, leaving the muscles weakened and the skin loose.
- For men and women, significant changes in weight can lead to stretched skin and a weakened abdomen. Tummy tucks can be a great solution for removing the skin and firming up the muscles.
Diet and exercise alone might not be enough to gain the desired abdominal profile you’re looking for. In these common situations and many others a tummy tuck may be right for you.
Should I get a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is appropriate when excess fat deposits or skin folds have accumulated around the stomach, lower abdomen, hips, and thighs. Many have found that even after following a proper diet and exercise regimen they are still unable to achieve the results they would like.
A tummy tuck might be right for you if:
- You are self-conscious about your abdominal area.
- Your swimwear and clothing don’t fit the way you would like.
- You have trouble maintaining an exercise program due to stubborn abdominal fat.
- You have reached your fitness goal but are still troubled by loose skin in your abdominal area.
If you find that it is not just fat that you struggle with, but excess skin or weakened abdominal muscles, a tummy tuck might be the procedure you have been looking for. To find out how you might benefit from a tummy tuck, schedule a consultation with Dr. Nikko at his Houston cosmetic surgery center.
What is the Procedure for a Tummy Tuck?
There are three basic techniques used to flatten an extended or protruding abdomen. The proper technique for you will depend largely on your current body shape and size, and most importantly – your personal goals.
- For some patients, liposuction alone can produce a thin abdominal wall without the need for a tummy tuck.
- If your loose, excess skin is below your navel, a mini tummy tuck may be right for you.
- For those suffering from severe laxity of their abdominal muscle or excessive skin, a full tummy tuck may be the best solution.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure:
A tummy tuck is a routine, outpatient procedure that is performed using general anesthesia at the Nikko Cosmetic Surgery Center in Houston, Texas. An incision is made running from hip to hip, hidden well under the panty line, with a non-visible scar around the belly button. Your entire abdominal wall is tightened with permanent sutures, skin is tightened and the excess is removed. Your belly button is reconstructed in its original place. Tummy tuck is often accompanied by liposuction to the surrounding areas like hips, waist, and lower back. This helps to maximize your results and truly achieve the desired silhouette.
What is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
A mini tummy tuck is usually combined with liposuction of the waist, hips, abdomen, and lower-back area. A smaller incision is made in your bikini area – similar to a cesarean incision – and no incision is made around your belly button. Dr. Nikko will remove excess skin and fat through this incision. Permanent sutures will also be placed through this incision, tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall.
What is the Tummy Tuck Recovery Process?
The final result of a tummy tuck will be a slimmer figure and a flatter abdomen. Because these results are so dramatic, tummy tuck procedures require a longer recovery period than most cosmetic procedures.
- A few hours after surgery you will be able to go home.
- Any drains used will be removed within 3-7 days.
- Sutures are generally removed within 6 days to prevent scarring and keloid marks.
- Most swelling will wear off within a week.
- Feelings of grogginess and weakness will wear off between 2-10 days.
- You may resume social and professional activities between 1-3 weeks.
You must refrain from any strenuous activity, heavy lifting, or abdominal exercise until you are cleared to do so by Dr. Nikko. A special abdominal support garment is provided after surgery and must be worn for several weeks. Scarring on the stomach will fade significantly over time by following post-surgery instructions. Dr. Nikko ensures that all patients have medication to control any pain or discomfort following surgery.