Tummy Tuck Surgery: What to Expect during Your Treatment
Patients who have sagging or loose skin around their midsection can benefit from tummy tuck surgery at our Victoria, TX, practice. Also known as abdominoplasty, this procedure delivers a firmer, more contoured figure when diet and exercise have failed to tone muscle or eliminate stubborn pockets of fat. During the procedure, Dr. Brian F. Burns will create incisions from hip to hip in order to expose the abdominal wall. After the skin is removed and the muscles are tightened, he will close the incisions and prepare you for recovery.
Knowing what to expect before, during, and after tummy tuck surgery can help patients enjoy a less stressful, more comfortable experience.
Tummy Tuck Treatment Process
Knowing what to expect before, during, and after treatment can help patients enjoy a less stressful, more comfortable experience. Men and women undergoing a tummy tuck at South Texas Plastic Surgery can expect these steps during the tummy tuck procedure:
- Anesthesia: For optimal results, most surgeons prefer to perform tummy tuck surgery while the abdominal muscles are completely relaxed. For this reason, we typically recommend general anesthesia, although the procedure can be completed under local anesthesia as well. Patients under general anesthesia sleep through the procedure and are completely unaware of their surroundings until the treatment is complete.
- Incisions: Dr. Burns will create a single incision from one side of the hip to the other. He will use strategic placement to minimize scarring, allowing patients to conceal their surgical scars underneath swimwear, clothing, and underwear.
- Navel reattachment and sculpting: In most cases, the navel will need to be repositioned during a tummy tuck procedure. This will give the abdomen a more natural-looking appearance. To complete this step, Dr. Burns makes a vertical incision across the midsection of the abdomen. Your existing navel will then either be relocated or a new artificial one will be created. Dr. Burns is highly trained in this area and can achieve incredibly natural-looking outcomes with his artistic approach.
- Tightening the muscles: During abdominoplasty, the doctor has the opportunity to tighten the stomach muscles for a more sculpted appearance. To perform this step, Dr. Burns separates the skin from the abdominal walls before pulling the muscles together. Using surgical sutures, the muscles are secured in place.
- Skin removal: Once the abdominal muscles have been tightened, the skin is stretched downward and excess tissue is removed. In some cases, liposuction may also be utilized to remove stubborn fat cells.
- Eliminating stretch marks: One advantage of tummy tuck surgery is that stretch marks can be reduced or altogether eliminated. While stretch marks above the navel will diminish in appearance as the skin is pulled taut, those below the navel will be removed along with the excess skin.
- Closing the incisions: When your tummy tuck surgery is complete, the incisions are closed with stitches and surgical drains are placed. These drains help reduce fluid buildup and inflammation while accelerating the healing process. Typically, the surgical drains can be removed in about seven days.
From start to finish, tummy tuck surgery typically takes several hours. A mini tummy tuck takes approximately 90 minutes to complete, while a full abdominoplasty takes two to five hours.
Healing and Recovery
Like all surgical procedures, patients can expect some degree of pain or discomfort following their tummy tuck. However, side effects of the procedure can be managed by closely following the post-operative guidelines provided by Dr. Burns.
Learn More about Tummy Tuck Surgery
To find out if a tummy tuck is right for you, schedule a consultation at South Texas Plastic Surgery. You can contact us online anytime or call our office at (361) 576-1975.