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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Houston, TX

Some people are self-conscious about their stomach fat. Some people need to reduce stomach fat for medicinal reasons.

Fellow of the American College of Surgeons American Society of Plastic Surgeons American Board of Plastic Surgery American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Association of American Physicians and Surgeons Texas Surgical Society Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons

What is a Tummy Tuck?

Houston Tummy tuck surgery, also known as Abdominoplasty, can help correct the appearance of a “potbelly”, There are all sorts of reasons people want Abdominoplasty- the eponymously renamed “Tummy Tuck” for its reshaping of the abdomen- but there's rarely a bad reason. In short, a Tummy Tuck removes fat from the abdomen of the patient, leaving them a happier and healthier version of themselves. If the abdominal muscles in your stomach are stretched or weakened, even the best diet and exercise might not be enough to get the shape you want.

Candidates for a Houston Tummy Tuck can say goodbye to the belly and love handles that their exercise regimen hasn't corrected. The Tummy Tucks history has been a procedure practiced since the 19th century. Going back to the early 1800s, surgeons were using the excess skin to cover up open wounds in patients. If you are in overall good health and physical shape aside from that stubborn excess belly fat or weak abdominal muscles, you may be a good candidate for Abdominoplasty or Liposuction. Depending on the amount of skin and fat to be reduced, Dr. Schusterman can perform one or both surgeries simultaneously in his Houston, TX, office.

What Are the Different Types of Tummy Tucks?

Despite the common conception of Abdominoplasty being a relatively universal procedure, all medical treatments are in some way tailored to their patient, and even within the generalization of any given single treatment, there are three varieties of the procedure.

We offer both Liposuction and Tummy Tuck procedures, but they aren't the same surgery. Liposuction focuses on only removing fat cells from below the skin's surface. This means the surgery is less invasive and requires less recovery time. The benefit of a Tummy Tuck, however, goes further to not only remove fat but also to tuck sagging skin in the abdominal area for a tighter, leaner result.

  • Extended Tummy Tuck For those who want to get the most amount of fat removed from your abdomen, the best option is the extended Tummy Tuck- a form of Abdominoplasty which removes fat not just from the front of the abdomen, but also the flank and upper torso.
  • Full Tummy Tuck A full Tummy Tuck is one of the most effective of the Abdominoplasty procedures. The incision is made from one hip bone to another. Then, the surgeon sculpts the interior of the body as needed in order to complete the treatment.
  • Mini Tummy Tuck If you still want some of that fat removed, but feel uncomfortable with the extensiveness of the full Abdominoplasty surgery, then a Mini Tummy Tuck is always an option. Less intrusive than a full Tummy Tuck, the Mini Tummy Tuck alternative makes a small, unobtrusive incision just above the mons pubis, and removes fat as necessary from there.

Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck

Liposuction is an alternative to a Tummy Tuck which many prefer for the smaller scars and incisions which need to be made.

This is a large benefit of Liposuction- on the other hand, however, Liposuction is highly localized, and can't remove quite the same amount of fat that Abdominoplasty can. Additionally, Liposuction can't sculpt fat quite as effectively as a Tummy Tuck can.

Choosing Between a Mini Tummy Tuck or Regular Tummy Tuck

The main difference between a Mini Tummy Tuck or regular Tummy Tuck is the amount of skin removed.

In a Mini Tummy Tuck, only the lower skin is addressed, so the Mini Tummy Tuck only stretched the lower part of the abdomen, and usually, the muscle weakness is not addressed. In a regular Tummy Tuck, the entire abdominal skin is lifted up and pulled tight, also allowing for tightening of the abdominal wall. Personal preference and health needs will help you determine which is best for you.

What Are the Benefits of Mommy Makeover Surgery?

The surgery is a highly beneficial treatment, cosmetically, and often medically. Chiefly, of course, the treatment is used for the aesthetic assets which it provides. It can remove scars from a C-Section, decrease stretch marks, and tighten the entirety of the abdominal wall.

  • Decrease Stretch Marks: Many people suffer from stretch marks- thin purple or red lines that appear around the abdomen after exceptional weight gain, or pregnancy. While these lines are permanent- they can never be truly removed- they can be considerably reduced via an Abdominoplasty procedure.
  • Increased Confidence: Recent studies done by the American Association for the Advancement of Science have proven that self-image is directly associated with a rise in self-confidence. This boost in self-esteem can lead to a lot of improvements in day to day life, like career advancement, and a boost in personal relationships.
  • Remove C-Section Scars: A C-section can be a harrowing process for a mother mentally, but it can have an even more intensive effect physically. It always leaves a large cross-shaped scar in the abdomen, large and ugly across a new mother's stomach. This can be removed completely via the Tummy Tuck.
  • Remove Sagging Skin: Removing sagging skin is one of the primary reasons people seek out the treatment in the first place. Because the skin is firmed up by the procedure, it's often used to remove sagging skin that hangs loosely off the body.
  • Repair Separated Abdominal Muscles: It is common for ab muscles to become stretched or separated due to pregnancy or substantial weight gain, among other reasons. This condition is known as diastasis recti. It can even cause incontinence and lower back pain in some patients.
    Abdominoplasty is so named because the first and primary reason for its employment is to tighten the abdominal wall - the barrier of muscle and tissue which keeps the stomach and abdomen toned. Tightening this with the Tummy Tuck procedure is the reason many people seek to get a Tummy Tuck treatment. If you are struggling with a belly bulge or weak abdominals after pregnancy or major weight loss, Dr. Schusterman will evaluate the ab muscles during the procedure and securely repair them if needed. 
  • Repair Certain Types of Hernia: Some types of hernias can be repaired during the tummy tuck operation. A tummy tuck provides easy access to the abdominal cavity so that hernia repair is possible. In particular, umbilical hernias are routinely repaired during tummy tuck surgery for patients that require it. 
    A tummy tuck with hernia repair is not uncommon, as both pregnancy and previous weight gain may weaken the abdominal muscles, ultimately leading to a hernia. A tummy tuck cannot treat all types of hernia, however. For example, an incisional hernia that is located very high on the abdomen would be difficult to fix during modern abdominoplasty. Therefore, some types of hernia may require a specialist hernia surgeon and a separate surgery altogether.

Book Your Tummy Tuck Consultation

During your consultation for a Tummy Tuck or Liposuction, Dr. Schusterman will perform an evaluation and determine whether this procedure can help you achieve your body goals, or if Liposuction or a combination surgery would be best for you.

To schedule your individual Abdominoplasty consultation with experienced Tummy Tuck surgeons in Houston, contact our plastic surgery center at (713) 794-0368 or email us today. Our consultation fee is $100. The consultation is about an hour in length and is typically scheduled on a Wednesday; however, we will do our best to meet your scheduling needs.

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TUMMY TUCK FAQ

A lot of people have questions about their imminent surgeries- these are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Because a tummy tuck addresses loose skin as well as fat, this procedure is usually a good option for patients either after childbirth or have lost a great deal of weight, or both, when skin naturally loses some elasticity and the ability to tighten and firm up. Women who have had multiple children also choose a Tummy Tuck to regain a pre-baby figure. Our cosmetic surgeon can help you understand your options based on your personal health history.

Naturally, as with any medical treatment, there are plenty of people who don't, for some reason or another, fit well as a candidate for Abdominoplasty. The truth is, some people can't receive the treatment- either because of genetics or medical complications. Make sure you fulfill the requirements of the ideal candidate before you consider receiving the Tummy Tuck treatment.

Pregnancy

Anybody who is pregnant or has recently been pregnant should not consider the procedure as viable. Obviously, a treatment to tighten the abdomen is completely out of the question when with-child and a patient should wait 6 months after having a baby before even considering the process. A Postpartum condition abdomen should give itself time to recover naturally before the new mother tried Abdominoplasty.

However, tummy tucks are an excellent solution for new mothers after they have reached the first 6 months to one year after giving birth. Since pregnancy stretches the abdominal skin, and the skin does not always retract to its original position, tummy tuck surgery may be needed to remove loose skin. Mommy makeovers are quite popular, as is the mini tummy tuck to remove c-section scars. 

With that said, it is best to wait until you are done having children to undergo tummy tuck surgery. It is medically safe to get pregnant again after having a tummy tuck, but pregnancy would just loosen the skin again.

Significant Weight Loss

Any “weight loss” cosmetic surgery is ultimately not a method of actually losing weight. These surgeries would more accurately be described as “Body Sculpting” procedures. If you're trying to lose any significant amount of weight- anything more than 10-11 pounds your only real option is hard dieting and exercise.

Genetic Factors

There are some genetic factors that can rule out a candidate for plastic surgery as well. The elasticity of the skin, and similar bodily facets- if you're unsure about whether or not you fail to fulfill the necessary genetic requirements, speak to your physician.

The exact price for your Tummy Tuck will depend on your individual consultation. The average cost of surgery may range anywhere from $6,000 to $12,000.

Before undergoing any type of surgery, whether cosmetic or medically necessary, it's important to consult with your physician to understand the exact cost, risks, and potential benefits. Dr. Schusterman meets with each patient to discuss their expectations for the procedure as well as any special pre- or post-operative instructions.

Since Tummy Tucks are considered a form of “Cosmetic Surgery”, very few if any major health insurance providers will cover it. However, there are certain conditions, like if it's medically necessary that some will. Bear in mind that insurance fraud is a federal offense and that faking a medical complication to qualify for insurance coverage is a highly illegal and unethical act.

Fortunately for those who can't afford the procedure out of pocket, not all is lost. There are payment plans offered by almost all plastic surgeons in order to compensate for the high prices that they must maintain.

During your consultation, Dr. Schusterman will assess your needs, review the procedure with you in length, and answer any questions you may have. After your consultation, we will review the financial quote based on your examination and discuss financing options through CareCredit, United Medical Credit.

There are certain steps you must take before undergoing safe and effective Tummy Tuck surgery. Our team will give you specific instructions during your consultation to ensure you're confident and ready on the day of your procedure, but overall, our general advice includes:

  • No smoking for at least two weeks prior to the surgery and ideally, for two weeks after surgery to speed up the healing process.
  • Avoid excessive exposure to the sun.
  • Eat well and avoid dieting in the weeks leading up to the surgery.
  • Stay healthy to avoid a surgery delay due to illness, like a cold or flu.
  • Maintain a light exercise routine as approved by your primary care doctor. Good muscle tone speeds up recovery time.
  • Plan for a friend or family member to drive you home after surgery.

Occupation being such an important part of being a functioning adult, it's normal to worry about the time frame for when you'll be able to return to work. Generally speaking, you can return to work about 4-6 weeks after

You may be worried about not being able to eat solid foods after your treatment. Fortunately, eating normal foods can occur as soon as 12 hours after the procedure, though eating foods that can be difficult to digest, like spicy foods or foods with high fiber is inadvisable for a few days.

Staying in shape is crucial, so working out is as well. That's why you need to be able to exercise regularly. However, doing so soon after your treatment can be dangerous. You can return to light exercises about a month and a half after the procedure, and heavy-duty exercises 3-4 months afterward.

If you gain weight after an Abdominoplasty procedure, then you must get rid of it applying the normal methods- dieting and exercise. Receiving a Tummy Tuck does not make you immune to becoming fat, and it functions in the same way that it always has.

Typically, navel repositioning is required during a full tummy tuck or extended tummy tuck. While older forms of tummy tucks used crude methods that removed the belly button entirely, today’s modern abdominoplasty techniques involve recreating the belly button so that patients have a beautiful, natural-looking result.

Dr. Schusterman will carefully reposition and reconstruct the navel so that it has a natural appearance. Hidden sutures inside the navel folds will reduce visible scarring, giving patients a desirable result. The belly button should not look “too round”, as belly buttons usually have a more oval shape. Carefully recreating the navel will help you avoid the need for a belly button revision after tummy tuck surgery.

Tummy tuck surgery usually takes two to five hours in a hospital or outpatient surgical facility. Most patients are given general anesthesia, although some receive intravenous sedation. During the Tummy Tuck surgery itself, the surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall, tightens the abdominal muscles by pulling them closer together, and then sutures them into this new position. The skin is stretched down and additional skin may be removed.

The procedure generally takes six hours or less. The extent of surgery varies a great deal from patient to patient, with some patients needing extensive skin removal (such as during an extended tummy tuck), while new mothers may simply need to remove the flap of skin that is left on the lower abdomen after a c-section birth with a mini tummy tuck.

Patients should expect to experience pain and substantial swelling for the first several days following surgery, which can be alleviated with prescribed medication from our team. Some patients return home the day of surgery, while others may require an overnight hospital stay.

Patients find the first day of surgery quite manageable as there has been local anesthetic administered during surgery that helps ease the pain for up to the first 24 hours. The worst of the pain tends to peak on Days 2-3 after surgery. Then, it begins to gradually subside.

It's important to begin walking as soon as possible after surgery to help encourage healing, and we may also recommend light exercise. While walking may feel uncomfortable at first, it is important to reduce the risk of blood clots, a life-threatening complication that is possible after any surgery. You will be walking bent over at first and may increase walking each day. By Day 10 after the procedure, many patients can begin walking upright.

After your Abdominoplasty, most patients require at least five to seven days off work before returning to office work and other sedentary jobs. Physically demanding jobs such as warehouse work will require more time off work. Many patients use vacation time and personal days to facilitate healing.

You may also request to work from home, however, it is best to give yourself several weeks to rest and recuperate without being distracted by work. Dr. Schusterman suggests waiting at least six weeks in total before resuming vigorous exercise, heavy lifting, or other strenuous activities.

Due to post-operative swelling in the abdomen, results may not be visible for several weeks after the procedure. Compression garments may be recommended to reduce swelling and improve skin retraction for the first few weeks. Once healed, unless the patient undergoes a pregnancy or considerable weight gain, your tummy tuck results will be significant and long term.

Because the procedure is a form of surgery and does necessitate an incision of some form, then a certain level of scarring is not only likely but inevitable. That said, a good surgeon can reduce the scarring to a minimum, and there are methods one can employ to keep it relatively unnoticeable. Scarring, while permanent, will fade over time. 

Tummy tuck scar fading can take 1-2 years. It takes time for scar lightening to occur. Younger patients tend to have scars fade more slowly than older patients. This may be due to the fact that younger patients have better immune responses and circulation than older patients. Therefore, wound healing is a more active process that keeps the scar looking red longer. Eventually, the scars will fade and blend in better with the surrounding skin. 

Dr. Schusterman is a board-certified Houston tummy tuck surgeon that specializes in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Having performed many abdominoplasty procedures, he minimizes scars by placing them so that they are hidden below the bikini line when possible. 

While the scar is carefully placed to produce the finest scar possible, it is not always possible to predict how each patient’s skin responds to scarring. Darker complexions are more prone to keloid scars, for example. Scar revision and laser scar treatments can be used to improve or speed scar healing. However, most patients heal quite well on their own with little patience.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment with the renowned plastic surgeon and breast & body specialist Dr. Mark Schusterman. Take your first steps to a more beautiful you.

1200 Binz St Suite 1198, Houston, TX 77004