Choosing a cosmetic surgeon is an important decision. Town and Country Plastic Surgeons aims to help you achieve your aesthetic goals with a personalized approach while ensuring excellent results.
Dr. Yarish and Dr. Bartlett are board-certified plastic surgeons known for performing safe and elegant surgeries.
Together, they are the Houston and Lake Jackson tummy tuck specialists with an undying passion for their profession. They have a unique sense of aesthetic balance that leads to natural-looking changes and exceptional tummy tuck results. Tummy tuck patients are also often interested in other procedures that are available at Town and Country Plastic Surgeons.
What Is Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a popular cosmetic surgical procedure for both men and women that removes a large amount of excess, sagging skin from the lower abdominal region. It also reduces the number of stretch marks in the lower abdomen. Our patients are usually those who have lost a significant amount of weight, have excess abdominal skin and fat, or have had multiple pregnancies.
This surgical procedure also tightens the abdominal muscles that have been stretched or separated from pregnancy and involves relocating the belly button. Plastic surgeons often perform liposuction to further sculpt and contour the abdomen and reduce the appearance of love handles.
Types of Tummy Tuck Procedures
Mini Tummy Tuck
A partial or mini tummy tuck is usually performed for men and women who have extra skin and fat isolated below the belly button. This procedure aims to restore the firmness and smoothness of this area with less extensive surgery.
Since a mini tummy tuck procedure targets a narrow portion of the skin on the lower abdomen, it may leave behind a few stretch marks. Your surgeon may perform liposuction as a part of the procedure for removing the extra stubborn fat. They go this extra mile to contour the abdomen and surrounding areas that are hard to reach with the mini tummy tuck procedure.
People who have some loose skin or a little pouch beneath their belly button and those who require only a minimal muscle repair in the region below the belly button are good candidates for a mini tummy tuck procedure.
It is also ideal if the patients don’t plan on any future pregnancies. The best thing about mini tummy tuck is that it is less extensive and aggressive, so the patients recover quickly and may return to work within a shorter time span.
Complete Tummy Tuck
Contrary to a mini tummy tuck, the complete or full tummy tuck procedure addresses the entire abdominal region up to the ribs and removes significantly more skin than a partial tummy tuck. It is an ideal option for people who have had significant weight loss and have excess tissue below and above the belly button.
This traditional tummy tuck procedure is also a top choice for women whose abdominal skin or muscles have been stretched out by multiple pregnancies. A full tummy tuck, in this case, provides a firmer, youthful abdomen with improved shape and contour.
The key is to get this procedure done after reaching your goal weight and if you aren’t planning on future pregnancies. Please note that a full tummy tuck procedure may have a longer recovery time and often leaves a longer scar, but this should be able to be hidden underneath your underwear.
Extended Tummy Tuck
An extended tummy tuck is very similar to a full tummy tuck, however, with this procedure the scars are extended into the flanks. This surgery is for patients with moderate to severe skin excess that extends into the waist. With the extended tummy tuck, the flanks can be better contoured to allow for a more pleasing shape. Liposuction and muscle repair are the same as in a full tummy tuck and in fact, an extended tummy tuck may require additional liposuction of the hips to get the best contour.
Fleur de lis Tummy Tuck
A fleur de lis tummy tuck is a type of tummy tuck for patients with excess skin in the vertical and horizontal dimensions. Many patients who have experienced significant weight loss, either from diet and exercise or weight loss surgery, can have a significant abdominal skin burden.
A traditional tummy tuck or even extended tummy tuck would only address the vertical skin excess. With the excess skin after major weight loss, the horizontal skin excess must be addressed as well or the result will not be sufficient to narrow the waist. This procedure creates a vertical and lower abdominal scar. With good incision care, the scar can fade with time and be hardly noticeable. In this procedure, muscle separation can be addressed. Liposuction of the waist can also be performed.
360 Body Lift
A body lift is a procedure that involves removing excess skin on the abdomen, flanks and back. For people with circumferential skin laxity, this procedure combines a tummy tuck on the front and a posterior body lift on the back. This does create a circumferential scar, however, scar placement is localized within your underwear garments, starting at the gluteal cleft, extending to the lower abdomen. Liposuction and muscle repair can also be performed at the same time. The 360 body lift can smooth the anterior abdomen, narrow the waist and lift the buttocks. It is the ultimate contouring procedure.
Reverse Tummy Tuck
A reverse tummy tuck may be indicated for those individuals with excess skin and soft tissue isolated above the belly button. This procedure requires an incision across your upper abdomen, within the breast folds, to tighten and remove excess upper abdomen tissue.
This smoothes and recontours the upper abdomen area. Liposuction may also be combined for additional contouring. This is not a common procedure but may benefit those who have isolated upper abdomen skin after weight loss or who have residual or recurrent soft tissue after a complete tummy tuck.
How the Tummy Tuck Procedure Works
Tummy tuck surgery is performed to get rid of excess abdominal fat and skin and restore any damaged or separated muscles. It results in a smoother, flatter, tighter, and more defined abdomen. It may take two to four hours to perform, depending on the patients’ individual needs and treatment plan.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Liposuction is usually performed first to contour the waist and hips. The surgeon then makes well-placed incisions either in the lower or upper abdomen and around the belly button, if indicated. The procedure separates the abdominal tissue from the abdominal muscles. The surgeon then sutures the separated abdominal muscles back together in the midline. This ensures that the abdomen looks firmer and tighter and the waist is narrowed. This can also help improve lower back pain and urinary incontinence. The next step is to remove the excess skin. The surgeon then attaches the navel to a place where it gives a natural-looking shape. Finally, they close the incisions and apply a sterile dressing over the treated area.
The Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery
The abdominoplasty procedure offers not only cosmetic but also medical benefits to patients. The following are the top benefits of tummy tuck surgery.
Gives a Flatter, Smoother Abdomen
The biggest benefit of a tummy tuck procedure is that it removes excess skin and fat to give a flatter, firmer and smoother abdomen. It narrows the waistline, removes excess loose skin, and gets rid of the bulges. Moreover, the tightening of the muscles ensures leaner, natural results.
Removes Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are a common byproduct of pregnancy and weight gain. The white lines not only look unattractive but also shatter the confidence of people. Since the tummy tuck procedure efficiently gets rid of loose, hanging skin, it also results in the removal of stretch marks in the lower abdominal region. As opposed to several other treatment options, this surgery offers permanent removal of these unsightly lines, reviving the patients’ confidence.
Eliminates the Risk of Skin Problems
The skin laxity resulting from pregnancy or significant weight loss may lead to several skin problems, including infections, irritation, and rashes that can be painful, discomforting, and difficult to treat. In addition to contouring the abdomen, tummy tuck surgery will remove loose skin to reduce your chances of developing any of these skin problems.
More often than not, poor posture is the main culprit behind an expanding abdominal area. To compensate for weak and separated abdominal muscles, additional strain is placed on the lower back. By tightening the abdominal muscles, tummy tuck surgery can improve posture and reduce pain in the lower back area.
Reduces Stress Urinary Incontinence
Some women end up developing Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) after giving birth. This condition is characterized by a bladder control problem that results in urine leakage with coughing, sneezing, exercising, or even laughing. While this condition has a separate treatment plan, the tummy tuck procedure has been shown to improve urinary incontinence symptoms. During the surgery, the surgeon creates a slight bladder obstruction by tightening the abdominal muscles near the pelvic region, which reduces incontinence.
Corrects Ventral Hernia
An umbilical hernia occurs when there is a separation of the abdominal muscles beneath or within the belly button. It can happen as a result of pregnancy or rapid weight fluctuations. It causes the belly button to appear wider and as an “outie” as compared to an “innie.” During a tummy tuck , the umbilical hernia can be repaired. This will restore the belly button to an “innie” and minimize the chance of recurrence. Combining umbilical hernia repair and abdominoplasty is an ideal option to speed up recovery time and minimize excess medical expenses.
Helps in Weight Loss Management
A tummy tuck surgery can make it easy for patients to maintain and manage weight loss. The procedure is also known to improve the exercise tolerance of patients. This is achieved by removing excess skin and strengthening abdominal muscles. Besides, a well-defined waist boosts confidence and motivates the patients to exercise regularly and follow their weight loss regimen religiously.
Everyone wishes they could have a thin, flat tummy, but sometimes, even regular diet and exercise are not quite enough to shake stubborn fat. The tummy tuck procedure offers a simple way to lose the flab and get that sculpted, athletic abdomen. Learn more about tummy tucks from Town and Country Plastic Surgeons.
What Is the Cost of Tummy Tuck Surgery?
The cost of the surgery depends on the following factors:
The Extent of Surgery Required
The extent of surgery is determined by the degree of excess skin and fat in your midsection. The higher the excess, the more extensive your procedure may be to get you the desired results. Depending on your specific needs, you may require a full tummy tuck or an extended tummy tuck. Typically, the more extensive the operation is, the more you’ll have to pay for it.
The Surgeon’s Expertise
A highly qualified and trained surgeon who has years of experience in tummy tuck surgery will demand a higher fee than one who doesn’t have a good reputation. Patients are usually willing to pay more for a surgeon who they can trust to achieve the desired results.
Diagnostic and Lab Tests Fee
Before the operation, your surgeon may ask you to undergo certain tests to ensure you’re fit, including a blood test, EKG, and a pregnancy test. You should consider the cost of these tests to get a realistic idea of a tummy tuck’s total cost.
Operating Room and Anesthesia Expenses
A tummy tuck is usually done under general anesthesia. Hence, you should consider the anesthesia team’s fee as well. Apart from this, you’ll have to pay the operating room expenses. You may go to a hospital, a certified surgical clinic, or a private surgical facility. Each one will have different costs.
After your operation, most all of your post-op costs are covered by your surgeon. This includes early compression garments, scar gel and supplies. There are some additional costs that you should be aware of and plan for up front. Lymphatic massage is an important aspect of your post tummy tuck care. This service is typically outsourced to an experienced and licensed lymphatic massage therapist. We have referrals so you can ensure you are in the best hands, but it is important to consider this service when budgeting for your procedure.
Am I the Right Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?
To be an ideal candidate for this procedure, you must have a stable weight. It works best for patients who want to get rid of excess fat and skin that can’t be removed by exercising and eating a healthy diet alone.
If you can relate to any of the following situations, you may be an ideal candidate for abdominoplasty.
- You’re not happy with how your abdominal region looks
- You want to remove stubborn fat and excess skin around your belly
- You have weak or separated abdominal muscles that need to be tightened
- You are not pregnant and aren’t planning a future pregnancy
You should stop smoking or using any products containing nicotine at least four weeks before your surgery. You should ensure that you have help for at least a week after surgery to care for you during your recovery period. You should also be willing to follow a healthy diet and exercise routine after the surgery to maintain your results. Lastly, you must have realistic expectations from the procedure.
You may consult with our doctors to discuss your reasons for opting for a tummy tuck procedure and convey your specific goals, needs, and expectations for the procedure. Your surgeon will want to make sure that you are physically fit and healthy as well as emotionally stable before approving you as a candidate.
Who Is NOT an Ideal Candidate?
You must understand that tummy tuck is NOT a type of weight loss surgery. You shouldn’t opt for the procedure just because you want to lose weight and get thin. Anyone who wants to lose weight or is pregnant or wants to be pregnant in the future is NOT an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck.
You must understand that significant weight loss or gain after the surgical procedure may affect its results. Having a pregnancy after undergoing surgery will cause the abdominal muscles to stretch back in the previous position.
Watch videos to learn more about this procedure
Are There Any Risks of Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Dr. Yarish and Dr. Bartlett strive to educate all patients on the potential risks and complications of tummy tuck surgery to ensure maximum satisfaction and realistic expectations from the procedure.
The following are the potential risks involved in tummy tuck surgery.
Surgical and Anesthetic Complications
Every surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia tends to carry some risks, and a tummy tuck is no exception. General risks include nausea, vomiting, blood clot formation, blood loss, skin infection, and anesthetic problems. Our doctors will discuss all possible complications with you before the surgery and will utilize state-of-the-art tools and the latest technology to minimize the risk.
Bruising, Bleeding and Hematomas
All patients must expect to experience minor bruising and bleeding after the surgical procedure. However, there may be excessive bleeding in some cases. If this happens during your procedure, your surgeon will take care of this immediately while you are asleep. Rarely, it happens after surgery and will need to be evacuated. In some cases it will need to be managed in the operating room. This is called a hematoma. Overall, the symptoms relieve with time and are highly unlikely to negatively affect the surgery results.
A seroma refers to a fluid pocket that forms under the skin after a tummy tuck procedure. This is usually seen under or around the incisions. Your surgeon will place drains in your abdomen to eliminate excess fluid buildup to prevent this condition. If the surgeon places drains, they will give proper instructions on how to take care of them during the recovery time.
Minor skin infections are not uncommon after tummy tuck surgery. If they occur in your case, you must not take them lightly. Generally, if patients experience minor wound infections, it can easily be treated with a short antibiotic course. However, if the infection is severe and starts spreading to other areas of your body, urgent treatment will be necessary.
Skin, Tissue or Fat Necrosis
Tummy tuck surgery can sometimes disrupt the blood supply to certain areas of your body, resulting in a loss of blood flow to the skin, fat, and tissues in and/or around the abdomen. A serious disruption may result in necrosis, which is the loss and death of tissues, fat, or skin.
If only a small amount of tissue has been affected, your body may repair the damage itself in a few weeks. Otherwise, further minor surgery may be required to get rid of the dead tissue. Please note that smoking and the use of nicotine products increases the risk of necrosis. Therefore, it is strictly recommended to abandon these habits at least four weeks before the operation.
A tummy tuck surgery will disrupt the nerve supply in the abdominal region to some extent. As a result, sensation to your lower abdomen will be affected. This will improve with time. It is not uncommon to have permanent numbness in a small area around your incision.
In rare occurrences, numbness and tingling may also happen in your thigh region related to nerve entrapment. These changes are usually temporary and go away on their own within a few months after the surgery. In rare cases, however, they may become permanent.
Scarring is the most common and expected outcome of a procedure, and Houston & Lake Jackson tummy tuck patients often want to know where their scar will be and how it will look.
Your surgeon will try to create incisions in areas where the scars are likely to be less visible, such as within your underwear line. Your surgeon will provide scar cream for the first few weeks after surgery.
Some patients may experience severe scarring and get keloid or hypertrophic scars. You can expect your surgeon to give you specific advice on how you can reduce the scars’ appearance, such as steroid injections or silicone sheeting.
Dissatisfaction from the Aesthetic Results
You must understand that individual results vary when it comes to tummy tuck surgery. The surgery, as well as the healing process, is different for everyone, and results are not guaranteed. Hence, the risk of dissatisfaction from a tummy tuck remains. The only way to minimize this risk is by choosing a highly skilled and experienced plastic surgeon who fully understands your condition and expectations.
What is the Recovery of Tummy Tuck Surgery Like?
Dr. Yarish and Dr. Bartlett will explain what to expect after a tummy tuck surgery in terms of recovery time and aftercare. Most tummy tuck patients go home the day of surgery. Others wish to stay with additional nursing assistance.
You will be seen the day after surgery and at regular intervals to remove drains and evaluate your progress and healing. Please note that driving may not be safe during a period of the first five days to two weeks, so you’ll have to arrange for someone to drive you to and from the home and the office after the surgery. To best maintain your results our Houston and Lake Jackson surgeons recommend the following:
You must follow your surgeon’s exact instructions during the healing process to speed up the recovery time. They will tell you how to take care of any drains that are still placed in your abdomen. It is recommended to start ambulating after the surgery to prevent blood clots from developing. You will also need to keep your hips flexed and avoid straightening your torso in the initial post-surgery days. This will make sure that no extra strain is placed on the incision.
Bathing and Showering
As far as bathing and showering are concerned, your surgeon will give you specific advice to ensure optimal health and wellbeing. Typically, you are given a shower the day after your procedure in the office. After your shower, just make sure that you use a clean towel or a hairdryer to dry the incision lines. Apart from this, you should avoid taking baths for at least four weeks after the surgery. It is helpful to purchase a shower seat to make showering easier in the early postoperative period.
Taking Care of the Scar
Your surgeon may tell you a few tips for an effective scar care routine. These may include:
- Start massaging the scar regularly after the incisions have healed and the scabs have disappeared
- Use silicone sheets, creams, or gels on the scar for six months to one year after it has fully healed
- Avoid exposing the scar to the sun and use a high-factor sunscreen to protect the damaged skin and prevent skin color differences
Returning to Work and Engaging in Daily Activities
It is recommended to avoid strenuous activities during the first two to four weeks after surgery. If your job involves desk work, you should wait for at least a couple of weeks before returning to work. On the other hand, if it involves a lot of physical activity, you should take three to four weeks off work. Additionally, you should consult with your surgeon regarding the resuming of exercise and sports-related activity.
Why Choose Town and Country Plastic Surgeons
Dr. Yarish and Dr. Bartlett are acclaimed and exceptionally trained board certified plastic surgeons offering the best results for tummy tucks. Dr. Yarish attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin and received general surgery residency training from the University of Oregon and plastic surgery residency training from Houston Medical Center.
Dr. Bartlett graduated from the prestigious Baylor College of Medicine and Texas A&M, where she finished #1 in her class at Texas A&M College of Medicine.
Our doctors offer a one-of-a-kind surgical facility designed while keeping the needs, comfort, and satisfaction of patients in mind. Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan at the facility based on their unique cosmetic needs and health requirements.
You can always trust us for the surgical procedure of tummy tucks in Houston and Lake Jackson. Dr. Yarish and Dr. Bartlett, along with their team, take the time to understand the patients’ specific concerns and answer their queries before the operation to establish the highest standard of patient care and satisfaction.