A tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery designed for patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their abdomen. These patients struggle with loose or sagging skin after pregnancy or weight loss, a protruding belly caused by separated abdominal muscles and/or stubborn abdominal fat that hasn’t responded to diet and exercise.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, tummy tucks were in the top 5 most popular cosmetic procedures in 2017. Their popularity skyrocketed between 2000 and 2014 and has continued to rise steadily ever since. As techniques and technology have improved, these procedures have become increasingly safer and more effective. A modern tummy tuck performed by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon is a straightforward procedure with just a few weeks of downtime and a scar that is typically easily hidden.

Depending on each patient’s needs, there are several approaches to tummy tucks that vary in procedure and results, including:

  • Mini tummy tuck
  • Full or traditional tummy tuck
  • Extended or circumferential tummy tuck
  • Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck

The mini tummy tuck, for example, is a smaller procedure that focuses only on the lower belly, while the extended tummy tuck (also called a lower body lift or circumferential abdominoplasty) can address excess skin and fat that wraps around the hips. At the Plastic Surgery and Laser Centers of El Paso, our expert surgeons, Dr. Jabor and Dr. Reynolds, will meet with you to help determine which tummy tuck approach will be best for you. They can also help you understand other treatments that might make sense for you, including different body sculpting techniques or other surgeries that you can combine with your tummy tuck. Many of our patients, for example, choose to undergo liposuction or buttock augmentation for a balanced body transformation. Schedule your consultation with us today to learn more about your options for a tummy tuck in El Paso.

The Abdominoplasty Procedure

No matter which type of tummy tuck is right for you, the procedure will consist of a few main steps. First, you will be given general anesthesia to ensure that you are sleeping and comfortable throughout the procedure. Then, your surgeon will make a precise incision according to your technique. In a traditional tummy tuck — the most common type — the incision will extend between your hip bones, approximately where your lower belly meets your pubic area.

 The incision gives your surgeon access to the muscles and tissues of your abdomen. With this access, your surgeon can excise loose skin and fat (and usually stretch marks), tighten the muscle layer and reduce body fat with liposuction. Once the underlying tissues have been smoothed and repositioned, your surgeon sutures your skin back into place along the initial incision to leave you with a flatter belly and sculpted waistline. A typical abdominoplasty can remove several pounds of unwanted skin and stomach fat, and leaves behind a largely unnoticeable scar that can usually be hidden by undergarments or swimsuits and fades significantly over time. The vast majority of tummy tuck patients find that the scar is well worth their overall results — a waist and abdomen they can once again be proud to bare.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

After a short wait in our recovery room, you’ll be released to return home and begin the healing process. Since you’ll be woozy from your anesthesia, you’ll need a trusted friend or family member — preferably someone who will be home with you during your recovery — to pick you up and bring you home. Dr. Jabor and Dr. Reynolds will give you and your designated responsible party a variety of recovery supplies and information, such as:

  • Written instructions, tips and suggestions
  • Extra wound dressings
  • Pain medications or a written prescription
  • Emergency contact phone numbers
  • The date of your first follow-up appointment

It’s also a good idea to prepare your home for your recovery prior to your surgery. Create a relaxing place where you can sleep or rest comfortably; stock up on healthy, easy-to-eat foods; enlist someone to watch over small children or pets and make sure you have someone to help you get around for at least the first few days.

Most of our tummy tuck patients take three to four weeks away from work and most daily responsibilities. You’ll feel swollen and somewhat sore during this period, and it’s best to keep your abdomen at rest as much as possible. Around six weeks after your surgery, you’ll be able to resume light exercise; between two and three months post-op, Dr. Jabor or Dr. Reynolds will likely clear you for all regular activities. It can take up to six months for all residual swelling to reside and for your scar to begin to settle, though you’ll be feeling back to normal and noticing the difference in your appearance well before this.

The Benefits of Tummy Tucks

Tummy tucks can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen, particularly when abdominal liposuction is used during the surgery. After pregnancy, for example, a woman’s body may not return to its former state due to the trauma of childbirth. Sometimes, even exercise and diet will not tighten the skin or the muscle. The same can happen after drastic weight loss, such as when someone loses 100 pounds or more — the stretched skin in the area may remain even after much of the abdominal fat has diminished.

Additionally, there may be other medical benefits associated with abdominoplasty. Several studies have also shown that patients with stress urinary incontinence (SUI), a bladder control problem common in postpartum women, can benefit from tummy tucks as well. These procedures can also help to improve abdominal tone and promote better posture. A tummy tuck surgically tightens the muscles that flatten the abdomen. Weak abdominal muscles often are associated with lordosis, an incorrect curvature of the spine. Abdominoplasty patients often find that their posture has improved significantly because their abdominal muscles can better support their spine. This results in improved posture and, in turn, often relieves certain kinds of back pain.

Tummy Tuck FAQs

Who is a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck?

Patients that have a very small amount of skin excess qualify for this procedure. Unfortunately, most patients need the maximal amount of skin removed for the best improvement.

What happens if a woman has a tummy tuck then gets pregnant?

She should be able to have the child without any fear of harm to herself or her child. However, the overall results of the tummy tuck may be diminished after the pregnancy.

Are tummy tucks only for women?

No, some men are good candidates for tummy tucks. The same procedure and principles apply.

Contact the Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Centers of El Paso

At Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center of El Paso, we go above and beyond in order to provide the best patient care, and our tummy tuck clients are certainly no exception. Our board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Jabor, perform many abdominoplasties each year and always stay up to date on the latest techniques to keep you safe and satisfied. Our entire team is highly experienced and trained to ensure that you have the best possible outcome, from our customer service to our providers. If you are interested in a tummy tuck in El Paso, Texas, contact the Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Centers of El Paso today. We will help you schedule your personalized, one-on-one consultation to get started. Call our West El Paso location at 915-543-5600, or our Eastside office at 915-855-7800.

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