Proper diet and exercise alone do not always result in the flat stomach you seek. Loose skin, excess fat, and lax abdominal muscles can sometimes limit your abdominal appearance no matter how many stomach crunches and sit-ups you do. If you are bothered by the less than sleek appearance of your stomach, a tummy tuck may be a good option for you. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, surgically removes redundant skin and unwanted fat from the abdominal area and may also tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The result is a sleeker profile and a tighter, flatter tummy. The tummy tuck is a very popular surgery that can even improve the appearance of stretch marks.
Before and After Photos
Dallas, Texas double board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Steven J. White, has performed many successful tummy tucks resulting in a flat, firm, and beautiful contour. Undesired excess fat and stretched skin around the belly is very common after a significant weight loss, aging, or after pregnancy. Abdominoplasty offers a great aesthetic solution, often leaving patients very comfortable and pleased after this procedure.
Abdominoplasty offers great benefits to healthy men and women of all ages. It is best suited for those in relatively good shape, but with loose abdominal fat that won’t respond to dieting or exercise. Patients considering a tummy tuck surgery should be at or near their goal weight. Dallas plastic surgeon, Dr. White, believes that this surgery garners the most effective results once all pregnancies have been completed and additional weight gain can be avoided. Men or women bothered by any of the following conditions are often good candidates for a tummy tuck:
- Loose, sagging abdominal skin
- Excess fat in the abdominal area
- A protruding abdomen
- Abdominal muscles weakened by pregnancy or aging
Before and After Photos
Consult with Dr. White
A personal consultation with your surgeon is the first step for any patient considering a tummy tuck. Plastic surgeon Dr. Steven White believes in a careful and thorough patient consultation to assess your physical and emotional health, discuss your aesthetic goals, and address any questions or concerns you may have. This will help Dr. White develop an individual surgical plan.
Issues you should be prepared to discuss during a consultation with Dr. White include:
- Medical conditions, both past and present
- Current medications, including nutritional supplements and herbal remedies
- Previous surgeries
- Weight loss history and goals
During your initial examination, Dr. White will evaluate:
- The quality and elasticity of your abdominal skin
- The status of the underlying abdominal muscles
- The amount of excess fat in the area
- The location of any existing scars
In men and women with limited issues to correct, Dr. White may suggest alternate treatment options, such as liposuction or a mini-tummy tuck. Dallas patients are encouraged to ask Dr. White any questions they might have while exploring all of their cosmetic treatment options before surgery.
Prepping for Surgery
It is important to follow Dr. White’s instructions when preparing for tummy tuck surgery to ensure the best possible results. Those instructions may include:
- Refraining from smoking for several weeks before and after surgery
- Avoiding certain medications
- Arranging for help following surgery, such as a ride home and in-home care for the first 24 hours after you leave the hospital
For your comfort and convenience, Dr. White maintains privileges in several hospitals in greater Dallas/Fort Worth. Abdominoplasty may require a short, one- to two-night hospital stay, though some patients are able to return home the same day.
During surgery, medications will be administered to ensure comfort. General anesthesia is used to allow you to sleep during the procedure. Dr. White uses only doctors (anesthesiologists), not nurses (CRNAs or anesthetists), to administer anesthesia to his Dallas cosmetic surgery patients. He will carefully monitor your physical status throughout the operation and during your recovery.
Abdominoplasty procedures generally use a horizontal incision above the pubic area. When possible, the incision will be kept within average swimsuit lines. The incision length will depend upon the amount of loose skin to be removed. Skin is separated from the abdominal wall all the way up to the ribs. Abdominal skin is drawn down and excess is removed. Using this incision, Dr. White may tighten the abdominal muscles, if needed, by pulling them together and stitching them in place. He will also trim any excess skin from the lower abdomen. Though it is not always possible to remove them all, stretch marks are often removed with the excess skin.
With a complete abdominoplasty, a new opening is cut for the navel. A second incision around the navel is used so the skin can be pulled down and the excess removed. In this instance, the navel will remain intact in the underlying tissue, but will be exposed through a new section of skin. Both incisions are stitched closed. Although the navel’s position remains unchanged, its appearance may be slightly altered and is often improved due to Dr. White’s refined techniques.
Dr. White uses advanced techniques to foster faster recovery in all his Dallas cosmetic surgery patients. Directly after surgery, you’ll be taken to a recovery area. To prevent the accumulation of fluids, small drainage tubes will have been placed beneath the skin. Though you will feel some soreness, it is generally well-controlled with pain medication. Dressings may be applied to your abdomen and covered with tape or an elastic bandage.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
To promote blood circulation, you will be encouraged to get up and move around soon after surgery. Bending and lifting, however, should be avoided at this stage. Sleeping on your back with your knees up may also be recommended for the first few weeks after surgery.
Though everyone heals at a different pace, your recovery will roughly follow this general time line:
Within the first 7 – 10 days:
- Swelling and bruising will reach their peak
- Drainage tubes will be removed
- Stitches may be removed
After several weeks:
- Activity and exercise will gradually increase
- Non-strenuous work will resume
- Bruising and swelling will continue to subside
- Your results will begin to emerge
After a few months:
- Your final results will begin to appear
- Tightness will disappear
- Sensation may slowly improve
- Your incision line may begin to fade
After surgery, the patient has a flatter, trimmer abdomen. Scars are permanent, but will fade with time.
What to Expecting
Soon after surgery, you may begin to notice an improvement to your abdominal shape. As you heal and your swelling subsides, your firmer, sleeker contour will begin to emerge. Many Dallas tummy tuck patients report a boost in their confidence and a heightened body image after surgery. Though your tummy tuck scarring is permanent, it is generally easy to conceal beneath undergarments and will fade significantly over time.
Generally, you can expect long-lasting results from your abdominoplasty procedure. If you maintain a fairly steady weight, you can expect to keep your new contour for many years. Gravity, aging, and weight fluctuations may loosen the abdominal skin somewhat. If any of these occur, additional surgical treatment can be used to restore your sleek contour.
Dr. White believes in the importance of follow-up visits, to answer any questions you may have and monitor your healing process. Rather than delegating all of these visits to a nurse, he enjoys seeing his patients as they heal over time. Your first post-operative visit will be scheduled after the initial healing period, during the first few days after surgery. In the following months, Dr. White may ask you to return for periodic check-ups. Keeping these appointments is important to allow him to assess your long-term results and address any questions or concerns you may have.
A full, traditional tummy tuck is not needed for all patients. Some patients will achieve the results they seek with a limited or “mini” abdominoplasty. Liposuction alone may also meet the needs of some. During a consultation for abdominoplasty, Dallas plastic surgeon, Dr. White, will explain these options and evaluate whether they are viable options for you.
The “mini” abdominoplasty procedure is used to correct issues in the lower abdomen only. It entails less scarring than a full tummy tuck, but will not address loose skin above the navel.
Liposuction alone is the option viable only for those with good skin elasticity and muscle tone. Though liposuction can remove abdominal fat, it cannot smooth loose skin or tighten abdominal muscles. It is, however, a popular option for women who are planning future pregnancies.
Because pregnancy and weight fluctuations can mar your tummy tuck results after surgery, many women postpone their procedures until they plan to have no more children and their weight is stable. Abdominal scars from previous surgeries can limit your abdominoplasty result. Though in some cases, such as with many Cesarean section scars, the new incisions can be made below the existing scar which can then be removed at the time of your tummy tuck for an enhanced look.
Though thousands of men and women undergo tummy tuck surgery each year and experience no major complications, the procedure does carry some degree of risk. It is important you be well informed of these risks when considering a tummy tuck. Dallas cosmetic surgeon, Dr. White, sees the discussion of potential risks and complications as one of the most important aspects of patient consultation. During your consultation, he will discuss these potential complications with you, listen to your safety questions, and offer instructions on how to minimize your risk.
The Right Surgeon
Dr. White believes choosing a qualified surgeon to perform a successful tummy tuck is one of the most important factors. Though it’s hard to believe, not all physicians who perform cosmetic surgery have had formal surgical training. It’s important to research the credentials of all surgeons you consider for your procedure. Dr. White is fully trained in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery, as well as Otolaryngology (head and neck surgery). He invites potential patients to fully explore his training, background, and experience during a personal consultation.
Find out if your doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Surgeons with this certification have completed a minimum of 5 years of surgical training following medical school, including a plastic surgery residency program. During this intensive program, surgeons learn to perform surgical procedures for the entire body and face. At the same time, they develop their technical skills and aesthetic judgment. After training, a surgeon must pass comprehensive oral and written exams before being granted certification.
Both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery require their members to be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Plastic surgeons with this certification have completed approved training and examinations in plastic surgery, including both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.
Dallas, TX plastic surgeon, Dr. White, is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, as well as the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. He is one of the few plastic surgeons in the United States certified by both of these boards.
It is also very important to find out if your surgeon has operating privileges in an accredited hospital for the procedure you are considering, even if you are planning to undergo surgery in your doctor’s office or at a surgery center. Before granting privileges, hospital review committees evaluate a surgeon’s training and competency for specific procedures. Dr. White is proud to maintain surgical privileges at several hospitals in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Attain a Flat Tummy!
Though extensive tummy tuck information is provided on this website, the best way to get answers to specific questions about your needs is to schedule a personal consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. For individuals in the Dallas area considering an abdominoplasty, Dallas plastic surgeon, Dr. White, is ABPS certified and will gladly address any questions and concerns you may have during a consultation. If you have loose and sagging skin in your abdominal region and are ready to attain a flat tummy, please call our plastic surgery office today and schedule a consultation with the acclaimed Dr. White today.