Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty – Tummy Tuck Surgery – Austin, TX

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Overview

We see many patients at Breast and Body Center of Austin who suffer from excess skin and/or fat on their abdomen, which can be difficult to correct with diet and exercise. Extreme weight loss or gain, pregnancy, and aging can cause this to occur. Many of these patients are great candidates for an abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a "tummy tuck" procedure. Our board-certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Ned Snyder performs tummy tuck surgeries for men and women with excessive skin or a protruding abdomen. You’ll need to keep in mind, however, that each patient presents with their own set of goals and concerns. No two patients are alike and likewise, no two results will be either.

During a tummy tuck procedure, excess skin and fat are removed from the abdomen and the abdominal muscles and remaining skin are tightened. In cases where fat deposits exist only in the region below the navel, a partial or "mini" tummy tuck might be a better option. No matter which procedure you choose during your consultation with Dr. Snyder, a tummy tuck is an excellent way to flatten your tummy and give you that taut midsection that you desire. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to find out if you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck, please contact us at our Round Rock or Austin location to find out more.

Previous Abdominal Surgeries

Previous abdominal surgery may interfere with the healing process after tummy tuck surgery. It is important to provide accurate information regarding surgical history at your consultation. These risks can be further explained during your office visit.

Surgical Technique

Abdominoplasty is a common cosmetic procedure that involves surgically removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen. This is usually done as an outpatient procedure and requires anesthesia. Although the length of time of surgery is different for every patient, the surgery is typically around 3 hours long.

Full Tummy Tuck

In patients who undergo a full tummy tuck, the incision is made from hip to hip just over the pubic area. This results in a scar line that is horizontal and can be hidden when wearing undergarments. It is commonly performed on women with significant skin folds after multiple pregnancies. This technique allows the surgeon access to a large portion of the abdomen while repositioning the belly button so that its placement appears natural. Liposuction is performed to remove excess fat preceding the skin tightening portion. The internal abdominal muscles are secured for a firm, toned appearance.

The circular incision around your belly button will take several months for the scars to fully mature. There are products you may use that may improve the appearance of the scars. This will be discussed during one of your follow-up appointments. The incisions will be covered with either steri-strips or Dermabond. The steri-strips look like long pieces of tape that are placed over the incisions. These stay on the incision for several days and eventually come off on their own. Steri-strips are not used on patients with skin sensitivity or tape allergy. Over this, there may be pieces of gauze and tape which may be removed 1 – 2 days after surgery. The areas should remain covered if they continue to drain fluid. Dressings should remain over the umbilicus if it continues to drain.

During the surgery, there are 2 drains that are placed underneath the skin along the abdominal wall. One drain will exit the left side of the abdomen, and one drain exits the right side. The surgical staff will explain how to manage these drains while you are recovering at home. The drains are typically removed in the office 1 – 2 weeks after surgery.

Mini Tummy Tuck

An alternative to the traditional technique is the mini tummy tuck, which is also known as a "Brazilian tummy tuck." The difference is that ideally, the patients that undergo this procedure are already in relatively good shape with a healthy skin tone, but still have loose skin on the lower abdomen. Unlike the full tummy tuck, the belly button is unaffected and the incision is smaller. Liposuction is used (if needed) to remove excess fat, and the loose skin is removed and pulled tight. 

Extended Tummy Tuck

In cases when major skin tightening and body contouring is needed, an extended tummy tuck is recommended. This is a necessary technique for patients who have undergone a significant weight loss. It was developed after some patients noted that even after a full tummy tuck, the parts surrounding the abdomen still showed excessive folds of skin. The incision may extend around the navel, flank, and lower back depending where skin tightening is necessary. Liposuction is still used and excess skin is trimmed then tightened. Similar to a full tummy tuck, the belly button is repositioned.

During/After Surgery

As with any other surgery, abdominoplasty comes with risks so it’s best to discuss any health conditions you have prior to surgery. After surgery, pain medications are provided. A compression garment will need to be worn continuously for the first 3 weeks out of surgery. After 3 weeks, the garment will need to be worn most of the time though at that point it would be okay to go without the garment for several hours at a time if cleared. After 6 full weeks, the compression garment does not need to be worn. You will need to rest up to 48 hours. From then, it is recommended that patients make a concerted effort to move around to help blood circulation and reduce the risks of blood clot complications. Recovery may take up to 6 weeks.

There are typically no sutures that need to be removed as all sutures are dissolvable and underneath the skin. You will have drains that will need to be removed at one of your follow-up appointments. Patients may be able to return to a light, low-impact exercise routine as soon as 3 – 4 weeks after surgery. It is important to discuss this with your doctor at your follow-up appointment. Although most swelling resolves over the first month after surgery, swelling may persist anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months. Wearing the compression garment as instructed plays a key role in reducing the amount of swelling postoperatively. Bruising from the procedure should be expected though it usually resolves within the first month after surgery.

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Average Cost  
$6,500 - $10,000
Recovery Time  
2 – 3 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
1.5 – 3 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
7 Days
Procedure Recovery Location  
Outpatient
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Tummy Tuck FAQs

Lipo or Abdominoplasty?

Tummy tucks are reserved for patients who have stretched, loose skin in the lower abdomen as a result of pregnancy or obesity.  Liposuction, on the other hand, is for those who want to remove excess fat in the abdomen but still have a healthy skin tone. During the initial consultation, we will provide a thorough assessment and determine if liposuction alone is all that is needed, or if a tummy tuck will provide the best results. 

Combining Procedures?

Normally, abdominoplasty is performed to improve loose skin and excess fat around the abdomen area. However, sometimes other cosmetic procedures, such as breast augmentation or a breast lift are done to further improve the overall look and feel of the body. When this combination type surgery exists, it is known as a mommy makeover. It is very popular among women after pregnancy who wish to get their pre-pregnancy body and shape back to normal.

How Bad Are The Scars?

Unfortunately, with a tummy tuck surgery, scars are unavoidable. However, extra measures are taken to make sure that scarring is minimal. The incision line is placed in areas that can be concealed by undergarments. Previous C-section scars will be incised in the same spot for the tummy tuck. During the healing process, we will provide a postoperative protocol that includes scar treatment to help assist the scars in becoming less visible.  

Pregnancy After Tummy Tuck?

It is our recommendation that women who decide to have more children delay a tummy tuck procedure. The stretching of the skin as a result of another pregnancy can reduce the positive outome of this procedure.

Should I lose weight before?

It is generally recommended that you lose as much weight as possible on your own before the procedure. Excessive weight loss after a tummy tuck may alter the cosmetic outcome of the procedure. This can be discussed further at your consultation appointment.

When may I return exercising?

Most patients are able to return to their pre-surgery exercise routine approximately 6 weeks after surgery. Patients may be able to return to a light, low-impact exercise routine as soon as 3-4 weeks after surgery. It is important to discuss this with your doctor at your follow-up appointment.

Where will my incisions be?

There is one long horizontal incision that is located along the lower abdomen. This incision is usually hidden under clothing or bathing suits. There is also a circular incision around your umbilicus (“belly button”). It will take several months for these scars to fully mature. There are products you may use that may improve the appearance of the scars. This will be discussed during one of your follow-up appointments.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.