Get a Flatter Belly with a Tummy Tuck in San Antonio
Diet and exercise can go a long way toward improving a flabby belly, but for those who have excess skin or damaged or weak underlying muscles, even the most rigorous regimens won’t be able to provide a slim waist and flat, trim tummy. That’s when tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) can help. Tummy tuck surgery is actually “three surgeries in one,” using special surgical techniques to excise or remove excess skin, liposuction and excision to get rid of flabby fat, and “muscle plication” to tighten and tone the underlying muscles in the belly area, creating firmer contours and eliminating stretch marks so you feel more confident about the way you look. Here’s what you should know about having a tummy tuck in San Antonio.
What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction alone?
Aside from the surgical techniques used, the primary difference between having a tummy tuck procedure and having only liposuction is that liposuction is focused solely on getting rid of excess fat in the belly area, and it does nothing to address loose skin or the weak muscles that cause the belly to become flabby and saggy over time, nor does it eliminate stretch marks. In many patients, having liposuction alone can actually make a flabby belly worse by removing some of the volume below the skin, making skin even looser. Tummy tuck surgery firms up weak muscles and gets rid of excess skin and stretch marks so you look and feel firmer and trimmer. Often, tummy tuck procedures incorporate liposuction to remove a limited amount of fat, usually around the lower belly area. It’s important to understand that tummy tuck surgery is not weight loss surgery – it’s one of several surgeries (known collectively as body contouring procedures) designed to improve the shape and contours of the body.
What should I do to prepare for a tummy tuck in San Antonio?
Prior to your surgery, Dr. Baumholtz will perform a physical exam to evaluate your abdomen and to discuss your concerns and your expectations for the surgery. If you’re overweight, Dr. Baumholtz may recommend diet and exercise first to get rid of excess fatty tissue or he may advise liposuction in combination with tummy tuck in order for you to achieve optimal results. When surgery is recommended, you may need to stop taking certain supplements like fish oil or medications like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for a week or two before your procedure. You will also need to stop smoking for about four weeks before surgery and four weeks after your procedure to promote optimal healing. During your consultation appointment, be ready to provide a complete medical history and tell Dr. Baumholtz about any medications or supplements you take.
Full Tummy Tuck vs. Mini Tummy Tuck
During your consultation and evaluation, Dr. Baumholtz will determine if a full abdominoplasty or “mini” abdominoplasty is a better option for your needs and goals. In a full abdominoplasty, a longer incision is made in the lower belly from one hip to the other, and a second incision is made around the navel. A mini tummy tuck uses a smaller incision in the lower abdomen, and it’s reserved for people in good shape who have just a very little “puffiness” below the navel. Most people will have a full abdominoplasty that addresses issues throughout the belly region.
What happens during a tummy tuck procedure?
Tummy tuck surgery in San Antonio typically is performed at a hospital or surgical center under general anesthesia. When you arrive at the facility, your vital signs will be taken and you’ll meet with Dr. Baumholtz to review the surgical procedure once more and to discuss what you should expect immediately following your surgery and during recovery. Then, he’ll mark your belly with a surgical marker while you’re standing up to denote the incision sites and the areas to be treated with liposuction. You will then receive medications through an IV to help you relax and stay comfortable.
Once you’re in the operating room, Dr. Baumholtz will begin the procedure with liposuction. This helps lift the tissues and removes excess fat. During liposuction, a special solution will be injected into the belly area to reduce bleeding. Once that part is completed, the incisions are made low across your belly – much lower than most C-sections. This location will make it easier to hide any resulting scar beneath your underwear or bathing suit. The size of the incision will depend on whether you’re having a full abdominoplasty or a mini tummy tuck. Depending on your anatomy and the goals of your procedure, a second incision may be made around the navel. Next, he’ll repair the underlying muscles, suturing areas that have become separated and lax. Liposuction can also be performed at this point to suction away underlying fatty tissue that hasn’t responded to diet and exercise. During liposuction, a special solution will be injected into the belly area to reduce bleeding. Finally, excess skin will be trimmed away and the remaining skin will be repositioned over the abdomen. Depending on the amount of skin that’s removed, Dr. Baumholtz also may need to create a new “opening” for your navel. Then the incisions will be closed with sutures and internal staples. Once the surgery is complete – one or more drains (clear plastic tubes) will be inserted to help decrease fluid buildup that can cause increased pressure against the incision.
Most patients can return home the same day as their surgery, but in some cases, an overnight stay may be recommended. No matter when you’re discharged, you will need to have someone drive you home. If you have same-day surgery, you’ll also need to have someone stay with you for the first night following your surgery.
What will my recovery be like?
Immediately after surgery, you’ll be moved to a recovery area for observation and monitoring. Your belly will be covered by a surgical dressing and a special compression bandage or garment to promote healing and reduce swelling and discomfort in the area. Your belly will be sore, and you’ll be given pain medications to help keep you comfortable.
Following surgery, you should expect to rest for several days, and for about two to three weeks, you should plan to have someone help you around the house to avoid placing strain on your muscles. Most people return to work at about two weeks after their surgery, and although you’ll be encouraged to walk every day to reduce the risk of clots, you’ll need to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for several months. You may also be bent over at this point as the tissues in your belly heal and recover. Stitches and drains will be removed within the first one to three weeks, and most of your discomfort will resolve within a couple of weeks. Swelling can persist for a month or more, and it’s very important to wear your compression garment as directed to help swelling subside more quickly. From three to six weeks after your surgery, you’ll increase your aerobic activity and you’ll begin to stand straighter. You can expect to return to full activity within about three months in most cases; until then, you won’t be allowed to lift more than 10 to 15 pounds.
When will I see my results?
Most men and women begin to see the results of their procedure once swelling begins to subside, with final results visible once all swelling has resolved. The results of a tummy tuck surgery are long-lasting, and while the skin in the belly area may sag a bit as you get older, the impact will be very small. Significant weight gain or future pregnancy can cause the belly skin to stretch again, so it’s important to maintain a healthy weight and to plan your surgery for after you’re done having children.
Am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
Having a tummy tuck in San Antonio can be a good choice for men and women who are in good general health and have excess skin or flabby muscles in the belly area, especially those who have lost a considerable amount of weight or who have had multiple pregnancies. Ideally, optimal tummy tuck candidates will have a stable weight and will be relatively slim or in good shape overall, and women will be finished having children. If you plan on having children in the future, the muscles that are repaired during tummy tuck surgery may separate again, so it’s generally better to wait to have your surgery until after you’re done having kids.
When performed by a skilled plastic surgeon, a tummy tuck can significantly improve your self-confidence, especially when wearing clothing that emphasizes your torso, belly and waist. In some cases, you may want to add additional procedures like liposuction, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation, or body contouring to further enhance your results. Dr. Baumholtz Can discuss these options with you during your consultation.
What is the cost of a tummy tuck in San Antonio?
Prices associated with tummy tuck procedures can vary based on whether you’re having a full abdominoplasty or a mini tummy tuck, if liposuction is being used, and other factors. The costs of your procedure can be determined following your evaluation. If you’re considering a tummy tuck in San Antonio, it’s important to know that the procedure is considered cosmetic, and that means it’s not covered by medical insurance plans. Our office staff will work with you to help you identify financing and payment plans that can make the cost of your procedure affordable for your budget.
I had a previous tummy tuck, but I’m unhappy with the results; can it be corrected?
Yes, Dr. Baumholtz frequently helps patients who are dissatisfied with the results of a prior tummy tuck surgery, performing a revision abdominoplasty to correct large or unsightly scars, unevenness or other issues. Patients interested in revision surgery should bring all their paperwork and reports from their prior surgery to their consultation appointment for Dr. Baumholtz to review. It’s also important to be close to your ideal weight prior to a revision tummy tuck procedure. Depending on your medical history, you may need to have a medical clearance before the surgery as well.
In some cases minor revisions can be performed safely and comfortably in an office setting but many require a return to the operating room. During the consultation, the best setting for your revision will be discussed.
Learn more about having a tummy tuck in San Antonio.
If you’re tired of dealing with a loose, flabby belly and diet and exercise just aren’t working, a tummy tuck with or without liposuction could be a good solution. As a leading board-certified plastic surgeon in San Antonio, Dr. Baumholtz has extensive experience helping men and women decide if abdominoplasty can help them achieve their aesthetic goals. To learn more about tummy tuck surgery and whether it’s the best option for your needs, call Baumholtz Plastic Surgery at 210-920-2390 and schedule a consultation and evaluation today.