Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

A Solution for Excess Skin with Abdominoplasty

Diet and exercise are the primary ways we should be thinking about eliminating unwanted body fat and living a healthy lifestyle. However, sometimes the body retains fatty tissues in spite of our healthy choices. Tummy Tuck procedures are designed to eliminate excess skin and stubborn fat that persist even with diet and exercise. This fat and excess skin can often develop after pregnancy or significant weight loss.

Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a Tummy Tuck, may be an appropriate solution for stubborn and unwanted belly fat. When it seems like no amount of exercise or healthy eating will fix your stomach, it may be time to talk to Dr. Polsen, who consults with his patients on any personal transformation they are considering, and has performed many successful tummy tucks.

To begin the consultation process, contact our Clear Lake Houston Area office online, or call (281) 538-6600.

houston tummy tuck patient before and after

Overview of Abdominoplasty

  • Well suited to remove stubborn and unwanted belly fat that exercise cannot target
  • Fat is removed and tissue is tightened
  • Recovery: Generally a number of weeks

Who is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck

It’s always warm in Texas, so it can feel like bikini season year round–which means it’s always a good time for a tummy tuck. Tummy tuck surgery addresses 3 main issues: excess skin, excess fat, and weakened or stretched muscles. Good tummy tuck candidates are healthy enough for major surgery, and are currently experiencing the following:

  • Excess, sagging skin on the abdomen due to weight loss, pregnancy, or aging
  • Separated abdominal muscles due to pregnancy or weight loss
  • Stretch marks on their abdominal skin they wish to have removed
  • Good candidates will also have realistic expectations about what a tummy tuck can accomplish
  • Good candidates for tummy tuck will also be a relatively stable weight (not planning to gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant)

During your consultation with Dr. Polsen, you will be asked about your relative health and your medical history, including any alcohol or tobacco use. If you are planning on having a tummy tuck performed, it is important that you stop using any tobacco products, including cigarettes.

You will also discuss your desired final outcome and whether or not a liposuction procedure should be performed in conjunction with your tummy tuck. Performing both procedures at once is quite common and can often lead to results that are leaner, slimmer, and more fit looking.

To schedule a consultation and find out if you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck, contact South Shore Plastic Surgery today!

The Tummy Tuck Procedure

Dr. Polsen’s Clear Lake, TX, tummy tuck patients can expect to receive premium care from a board certified plastic surgeon. Patients who are interested in Abdominoplasty typically have difficulty tightening their upper and lower abdomens successfully with diet and exercise. In some cases, the abdominal muscles themselves may be tight and strong, but they are covered in a layer of persistent fatty tissue. In other cases, the muscles themselves have become loose and lax.

Abdominoplasty Incision Types

In order to slim down this area, Dr. Polsen will make incisions, usually just above the groin and sometimes around the belly button. There are many plastic surgery procedures that offer patients a variety of incisions to choose from, depending on the desired results. But tummy tuck surgeons usually rely on one primary incision method—and that’s the incision along the bikini line. This has been shown to be the optimal placement for incisions that allow surgeons to remove and reshape tissue in the tummy area.

A second incision may be necessary to remove further excess skin and tissue. That incision is usually placed around the navel and takes a circular shape. Between the two incisions, surgeons are usually able to remove the desired amount of excess skin and ensure that skin is smooth, natural, and fit-looking.

Slimmer, Fitter Look with Abdominoplasty

Once your profile and slimmer waist are sculpted, Dr. Polsen will remove the necessary excess skin and smooth out the remaining tissue while completing your surgery. Additionally, because of the excess tissue that is removed, surgeons will make a new “belly button” with a well placed incision. This “new” belly button will look quite natural.

Surgeons can also use under-the-skin sutures which to help firm up your abdomen. Typically general anesthesia is required for this major of surgery. The length of your procedure will vary, but most of Dr. Polsen’s Houston Area tummy tuck patients are under for approximately 2 to 4 hours.

Tummy Tuck With Added Liposuction

A tummy tuck is not the same as a liposuction, which simply eliminates fatty tissue. A tummy tuck, rather, eliminates fatty tissue, excess skin, and pulls it all tight for a natural, slim look. There may be scars left, but those scars generally fade over time.

That said, some patients elect to have liposuction performed simultaneously with this procedure. Other patients might consider a thigh lift or lower body lift to produce overall smoother skin and a body-wide youthful look.

Tummy Tuck Recovery and Results

Most of Dr. Polsen’s Clear Lake Houston Area patients will have drainage tubes inserted for excess fluid and should follow the post-operative care instructions closely to ensure a successful recovery. Drainage tubes are easy to properly use after receiving your care instructions and help reduce swelling. Most patients are also directed to avoid some over the counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, Aleve, and aspirin, as these can contribute to excess bleeding and swelling. Additionally, a pressure garment may need to be worn for at least two weeks after surgery, in order to ensure subcutaneous sutures adhere to their new structures—and you retain your desired shape after surgery.

Because there is so much to keep track of with a surgical recovery such as this one, Dr. Polsen will give you personalized recovery instructions, helping you through the process. It’s important, before surgery begins, to ensure you are able to follow those instructions and avoid vices, such as smoking or nicotine, which may hamper the recovery process and damage your final results.

While every tummy tuck recovery will be unique to the individual who underwent surgery, the following general timelines for recovery can be used as a quick guide for what to expect when recovering from tummy tuck:

  • Days 1-2: The first couple of days of recovery might be the most challenging, depending on your pain management situation (tummy tuck procedures usually come with several pain management options). You will likely experience swelling and bruising in the belly area. In fact, it’s usually recommended that patients purchase cotton underwear that is several sizes too large in order to stay comfortable during the first couple weeks of recovery.
  • Week 1-2: Patients can usually return to work (as long as it’s light duty) after the second week of recovery. Swelling and bruising should begin to recede at this point. Patients should be able to stand up straight after two weeks of recovery. Additionally, patients might be able to start driving by this point as well (though it is important to check with your surgeon before ratcheting up your activity level). Most patients will usually need to take two weeks off of work, at least, after their procedure.
  • Months 1-2: Most patients can begin returning to light exercise after the fourth week of recovery. After six weeks of recovery, your tummy should start feeling more normal and natural—in other words, it should start feeling more like “yours.” Swelling and bruising should be significantly diminished. In fact, after two full months of recovery, the majority of patients are able to resume most normal activities.
  • Month 6 – 12: After the sixth month of recovery, your incision lines should begin fading nicely. All patients achieve a different level of “final” recovery, but you should have a strong idea of where that is after the sixth month after surgery.

What Do Tummy Tuck Results Look Like?

Simply put, tummy tuck surgery can generate fantastic results that are impossible to achieve naturally. Your body is not well equipped to eliminate or diminish excess skin. In many cases, once that skin is there, it’s there for good—unless you get a tummy tuck.

Patients who have undergone a tummy tuck often note the following benefits:

  • A smoother, slimmer looking tummy
  • A tummy that looks more youthful
  • A tummy that is more comfortable when exercising or when doing vigorous activities
  • Stronger abdominal muscles
  • A significant increase in confidence and self esteem
  • Significantly more comfort in one’s body (and, therefore, expanded wardrobe options)

The benefits of tummy tuck procedure are, as always, unique to every patient that Dr. Polsen sees. There are mothers who feel as though they’ve gotten their body back for the first time in years. And there are other patients who finally feel fit after a long weight loss and conditioning journey.

Whatever the reason, if you’re thinking about getting a tummy tuck performed, contact South Shore Plastic Surgery, just south of Houston, to schedule a confidential consultation. Dr. Polsen will be able to tell you the source of your excess skin and the best way to eliminate or diminish it (sometimes, for example, your tummy tuck will need to be combined with a liposuction procedure).

In other words, if you want a flatter, leaner, more athletic-looking abdomen and excess skin is getting in the way, a tummy tuck might be an excellent choice for you. And if you’re looking for a tummy tuck in the Houston area, Dr. Polsen is an experienced and highly qualified, board certified plastic surgeon. He can help you get the slimmed down, fit look you’re after.

Contact South Shore Plastic Surgery to schedule a confidential consultation to get your transformation started!