Double Board-Certified Abdominoplasty Surgeon in Dallas
If you find it challenging to achieve a flat stomach and tight abs, you’re not alone. Even when you eat a healthy diet, workout all the time and do countless hours of crunches, it’s common for these efforts to fall short of your desired outcome. Often, factors such as genetics, aging, prior pregnancies and weight fluctuations limit the effectiveness of your efforts. If you feel like your workouts are starting to reach a point of diminishing margin of returns, a tummy tuck can help you deliver the toned, flat stomach you desire. Call (214) 363-1073 today if you are interested in learning about tummy tuck surgery, or if you wish to consult Dr. Zachary Farris regarding the procedure!
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, is one of the most popular body contouring procedures performed at Farris Plastic Surgery. Dr. Farris will remove excess fat and skin while tightening loose abdominal muscles in order to help you restore a more fit appearance in your stomach region. Many of our patients comment that their tummy tuck provides increased self-confidence that translates into every aspect of their life.
You can learn more about your tummy tuck options and receive individualized treatment recommendations by speaking with Dr. Zachary Farris in person. Please call (214) 363-1073 today to schedule a consultation. We serve patients in the Dallas, Texas area.
Common Reasons for a Tummy Tuck
As part of the aging process, it’s common for your metabolism to slow down. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult to burn off fat in certain areas of the body, including the abdominal region. This, combined with weakened muscle tissue and a loss of skin elasticity, often causes your midsection to expand with age. In many instances, diet and exercise can only do so much to combat these effects of aging, and a tummy tuck may be your best option to put the finishing touches on your workout efforts.
The following factors may also combine with the aging process to make it challenging for you to achieve a toned, flat stomach:
- Weight loss – Significant weight loss often results in stretched abdominal muscles and loose, hanging skin in your midsection. As a result, you may be unable to achieve a fit stomach in spite of all the hard work you put in to lose the excess weight.
- Pregnancy – Your abdominal muscles become stretched and often separate during pregnancy. It’s also common to experience stretch marks following childbirth. As a result, it can become challenging to regain a tight midsection after having children.
- Genetics – Your genetics play a major role in your body type. Some people are simply predisposed to store fat in their midsection, and even the most rigorous workout regimen is often unable to override your genetic makeup.
If you are experiencing any of these issues, a tummy tuck can provide the most effective option to help you achieve your desired abdominal appearance.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
You can experience a variety of benefits from your tummy tuck, including:
- A more toned and contoured stomach region
- A more balanced and proportional figure
- Tighter abdominal muscles
- Elimination of loose, hanging skin that commonly results from weight loss or pregnancy
- Improved appearance of stretch marks
There are also several psychological benefits associated with a tummy tuck. It’s common to experience a boost in self-confidence and an improved self-image after your procedure. You may also find that you have a new-found motivation to live a healthy lifestyle in order to make sure your beautiful results last for many years to come.
Ideal Tummy Tuck Candidates
In general, good candidates for a tummy tuck:
- Are in good overall health
- Have realistic expectations for the outcome of their procedure
- Have loose or stretched abdominal muscles that would benefit from tightening
- Have excess fat and/or skin in the abdominal area
- Are able to maintain a stable, healthy body weight
- Are active and physically fit
If you are planning on having children in the future, you should discuss these plans with Dr. Farris during your consultation. While future pregnancies won’t prevent you from undergoing a tummy tuck, it is generally best to wait until you are finished with this phase of your life since pregnancy and childbirth can undo many of the results achieved by your procedure.
If you’re a smoker, you will need to quit prior to surgery and throughout the recovery period. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which constricts small blood vessels and diminishes the blood supply to tissue. If nicotine is in your system, it would increase the risks of developing an infection or other complications. Dr. Farris recommends that you stop smoking about 2-3 months before surgery. The longer nicotine is out of your system, the better your chances are to heal without complications.
Abdominoplasty after Pregnancy or Weight Loss
A tummy tuck is highly effective at addressing many of the changes to your abdominal region commonly caused by pregnancy and childbirth. By tightening loose or stretched muscles and removing excess skin and fat, you are more easily able to regain the toned stomach you enjoyed prior to having children. For this reason, Dr. Farris often includes a tummy tuck as part of a mommy makeover.
Similarly, a tummy tuck is a great way to put the finishing touches on your weight loss efforts. After massive weight loss, you may be left with loose, hanging skin in the abdominal region. A tummy tuck can help eliminate this excess skin in order to provide you with the toned appearance you’ve worked so hard to achieve. As a result, Dr. Farris often recommends abdominoplasty as part of post-bariatric body contouring surgery.
Your Tummy Tuck Procedure
Your tummy tuck will be performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Depending on the specifics of your procedure and whether you undergo a full or mini tummy tuck, it may take anywhere between 2-3 hours to complete the surgery.
Dr. Farris will make an incision from hip to hip (for a full tummy tuck) in addition to an incision that releases your belly button. The skin and fat layer is then lifted off the underlying abdominal wall, up to the level of the ribs. Any loose or stretched abdominal muscles will be tightened, and excess skin and fat will be removed. The incision is closed using sutures.
During your procedure, stretchmarks located below the level of the belly button will be eliminated. The stretch marks that are located higher up are improved, but often not entirely eliminated.
Full vs. Mini Tummy Tuck
Dr. Farris performs two different tummy tuck techniques:
- Full tummy tuck
- Mini tummy tuck
The full tummy tuck will address issues with the entire abdominal area. A longer incision is required, resulting in a longer recovery and a larger scar. However, you will achieve more dramatic results with this option.
A mini tummy tuck only addresses the region underneath the belly button. It is an excellent option when there are minimal amounts of excess skin and fat that need to be removed. There will be a smaller incision, smaller scar and shorter recovery time. However, your results won’t be as dramatic as what can be accomplished with a full tummy tuck.
Dr. Farris often recommends a mini tummy tuck in situations where:
- There is a minimal amount of loose, sagging skin
- Abdominal muscles don’t require tightening
- There is a minimal amount of excess fat, and it is primarily located below the belly button
- You can achieve your desired results without treating the entire abdominal region
Liposuction with a Tummy Tuck
As part of the tummy tuck, Dr. Farris will typically perform liposuction as well. The liposuction is performed first and helps to eliminate stubborn subcutaneous pockets of fat at the abdomen, flanks and near the hips. This will result in thinning of the skin layer and will trim the waist line. Liposuction combined with a tummy tuck will also improve the shape and contour of the trunk, giving a more hour-glass figure. For men, it will provide a more muscular shape.
Drainless Tummy Tuck – Progressive Tension Suture Technique (PTS)
Traditional tummy tuck techniques require placement of drains because they are needed to drain the fluid that accumulates after wide undermining between the skin/fat layer and the underlying abdominal wall. This tummy tuck undermining, that is required to free up all the loose belly skin, creates a large open space that typically accumulates with body fluid from all the cut raw surface. Drains are placed to collect this fluid, preventing seroma (fluid collection) formation.
Using a newer method called the progressive tension suture (PTS) technique, Dr. Farris can perform the tummy tuck without the need for drains. With this technique, multiple quilting stitches are placed between the undersurface of the skin/fat layer and the underlying abdominal wall, obliterating the large open space and eliminating the need for drains. Patients can now avoid any discomfort associated with drains and do not have to worry about managing them.
Drainless Tummy Tuck Benefits:
- Avoid drain associated pain and maintenance
- PTS technique improves contour of the abdomen
- PTS technique reduces tension on lower incision, improves scarring
- Reduces risk of infection associated with prolonged drain use
- Easier recovery, fewer follow up visits
Procedures that can be combined with at Tummy Tuck
Recovery after a Tummy Tuck
Dr. Farris and his team will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions. It’s crucial that you follow these carefully to ensure proper healing and the best possible results.
You should plan on having someone drive you home after surgery due to the lingering effects of the anesthesia. It’s also a good idea to make sure someone is home to assist you for the remainder of the day.
You’ll experience some mild bruising and swelling which will gradually subside as you heal. Dr. Farris will prescribe medication to help you manage any discomfort you experience. We recommend only taking this medication when you have pain.
Specific instructions on activity and positioning will be provided. You will be given a compression garment to wear for the first few weeks. For the first week, you should walk slightly hunched forward (bent at the hips). Sleep with your hips bent and your head elevated with several pillows. Recliners work great. Stitches are placed underneath the skin during surgery so there is nothing to remove in the office.
Avoid prolonged exposure of the scars to sunlight for 4-6 months and use sunscreen as necessary. You may use vitamin E cream and scar products beginning 3 weeks after surgery to optimize healing of your scars. Scars change in appearance and improve over time up to 12 months.
Exercise after a Tummy Tuck
Begin light walking as soon as you feel up to it in order to facilitate blood flow and prevent the formation of blood clots. You may resume most light activities after 1 week and you should generally be able to return to work after 1-2 weeks, especially if your job doesn’t involve any strenuous activity or heavy lifting.
Exercise activity can usually be resumed after 6-8 weeks. It is imperative that you avoid any strenuous activity including heavy lifting, straining, or climbing of multiple stairs immediately after surgery as this may increase your risk for bleeding.
Your Tummy Tuck Results
Preliminary results will begin to appear as bruising and swelling subsides. However, it may take several months before you see your final results. It’s crucial that you live a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise in order to maintain your results for years to come.