The abdominoplasty, most often referred to as a tummy tuck, is designed to restore a youthful, taut abdomen by surgically excising unwanted skin and fatty tissue. If necessary, the anterior abdomen wall muscles may be tightened, C-section scars removed, and the groin area reshaped during the procedure, as well. There are several different abdominoplasty techniques, each to which can be tailored to the individual patient, including the mini tummy tuck, the full tummy tuck, and a combination of procedures involving liposuction.
Abdominoplasty can provide excellent results when performed alone. The tummy tuck is often combined with liposuction of the hips, thighs, and knees. When an abdominoplasty is performed with other procedures such as breast augmentation or a mommy makeover, optimal physical rejuvenation can be seen.
The ideal potential patient for an abdominoplasty should be in sound health, with no major medical issues. Both men and women looking to reduce unwanted skin and fat along the abdomen can benefit from the procedure. Particularly those who have seen a dramatic weight loss, or have gone through a pregnancy, can see excellent results from the technique.
Dr. Vitenas’ abdominoplasty procedures are performed at the Houston Surgery Center, his private surgical suites located on the second floor of the Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery building. A tummy tuck will normally take between two and three hours, depending on the level of correction desired. While the abdominoplasty is an outpatient procedure, an extended recovery suite is available for those patients who are looking for added assistance during the first night after a tummy tuck.
Depending on the exact abdominoplasty technique utilized, an incision will run from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area (referred to as a lower traverse incision). From here, excess skin and fat are then removed, and the remaining muscles may be tightened. Once the incisions are closed, a dressing will be applied and temporary drains may be placed to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.
Recovering from an abdominoplasty will take between one and two weeks. Bruising and swelling are common after surgery, and some numbness of the skin may also occur. The drains are removed within five to seven days after surgery. A special support garment should be worn for several weeks after the procedure, to promote proper healing. Initially, patients may experience mild to moderate discomfort, although this can be controlled with medication. Most abdominoplasty patients are comfortable returning to work in five to seven days. However, strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for six weeks.
Q. What is an abdominoplasty procedure?
The abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a surgical technique used to eliminate unsightly skin and fat of the abdomen in order to restore a more youthful shape. During the procedure, C-section scars can be removed, the groin area reshaped, and the anterior abdomen wall muscles tightened. There are a variety of techniques for abdominoplasty including the full tummy tuck, the mini tummy tuck, and a combination of procedures along with liposuction.
Q. Who will make an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck?
Any healthy adult, desiring the improved abdominal appearance, may make a good candidate for a tummy tuck. Abdominoplasty can be particularly helpful in restoring a woman’s abdomen after pregnancy.
Q. What will happen at my abdominoplasty consultation?
At this time, the surgeon will review your medical history and any current medications. He will listen to your surgical goals and desires. Dr. Vitenas will then explain the abdominoplasty options in full, as well as answer any remaining tummy tuck questions. Before and after photos of recent abdominoplasty patients will be shown, helping you to visualize the potential results. Finally, Dr. Vitenas will go over the recovery requirements and the risks involved with the tummy tuck. If the tummy tuck is the right procedure for your situation, a personalized surgical plan will be created. The exact price of the abdominoplasty will be determined, and all of the financing options will be explained.
Q. Where does Dr. Vitenas perform his abdominoplasty procedure?
Dr. Vitenas’ tummy tuck is performed at the Houston Surgery Center, located in the same building as Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery. While the abdominoplasty is performed as an outpatient surgery, an overnight recovery suite is available to anyone who would like extra assistance during the first 23 hours after a tummy tuck.
Q. How much does an abdominoplasty cost at Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery?
Depending on the exact surgical technique utilized, and the extent of correction desired, the average tummy tuck will cost between $11,000 and $13,000. This cost is all-inclusive, consisting of the surgeon’s fee, the Board Certified anesthesiologist, and the surgical suite. If additional procedures are included, such as liposuction or a breast lift, the price of an abdominoplasty will vary. During the consultation appointment, the full cost of your tummy tuck will be established. Contact our office for more pricing details.
Q. Is full anesthesia used during an abdominoplasty surgery?
General anesthesia is used during the tummy tuck procedure.
Q. How will my tummy tuck be performed?
For an abdominoplasty, a lower transverse incision will be placed along the pubic line, running from one hipbone to the other. From here, Dr. Vitenas will remove unwanted skin and fatty tissue, and then tighten the remaining muscles. When the desired results are reached, the sutures and drains will be placed for proper healing.
Q. How long does the abdominoplasty take to perform?
Patients can expect their abdominoplasty procedure to take between two and three hours.
Q. Where are the abdominoplasty incisions located?
A tummy tuck utilizes a lower transverse incision; this is located just above the pubic area between the hipbones.
Q. Does abdominoplasty result in permanent scarring?
Yes, the tummy tuck will create a scar, running along the incision line, which is usually located just above the pubic area between the hipbones. While this is permanent, it will fade somewhat over time, and is normally easily concealed under clothing.
Q. Will my tummy tuck be painful?
Although there is mild to moderate pain for a few days following an abdominoplasty, Dr. Vitenas will provide the appropriate pain medications for a comfortable recovery.
Q. How long can I expect my abdominoplasty recovery to last?
Normally, the tummy tuck recovery can last between one and two weeks.
Q. How can I expect my abdominoplasty recovery to go?
Most patients will see their recovery after a tummy tuck will take from one to two weeks. Initially, bruising, swelling, and numbness will occur along the incision site. Drains applied after surgery are removed in five to seven days. Patients will need to wear a special support garment for several weeks after their abdominoplasty, as well.
Q. When are patients able to return to work or school after an abdominoplasty procedure?
Generally, most Tummy Tuck patients are comfortable enough to return to work or class after one to two weeks post surgery.
Q. When can I return to exercising, after my tummy tuck is performed?
Strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for up to six weeks after surgery.
Q. Does the abdominoplasty carry any risk of complications?
As with all surgical procedures, the tummy tuck has the chance for potential complications to occur. These may include excessive bleeding, permanent numbness, unexpected scarring, infection, or delayed wound healing. However, by choosing an experienced plastic surgeon, like Dr. Vitenas, the chance for complications is dramatically reduced.
Q – Is the cost of abdominoplasty covered by insurance?
While patients should consult with their own insurance carrier, abdominoplasty is generally not covered by insurance.
Q. Do I have the option to finance my tummy tuck?
Yes, Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery offers medical financing through CareCredit. Call our office or speak with your patient coordinator for more information on payment options.