Stretched out and sagging excess skin in the abdomen can be resistant to a healthy diet and regular exercise, which is why plastic surgery patients choose to use abdominoplasty as a body contouring procedure.
For many patients, diet and exercise alone cannot fulfill their goals of a better body contour. Livingston Plastic Surgery assists patients in attaining their ideal figures with tummy tuck surgery. Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure in which the protruding abdomen and flanks are reduced and contoured for a shapelier appearance.
Ideal Tummy Tuck Candidates
Houston abdominoplasty candidates are men or women who experience weakened abdominal muscles, loss of skin elasticity, excess skin with stretch marks, and stubborn fat in the abdominal region due to:
- Extreme weight loss or weight gain
- Poor lifestyle choices
Although tummy tuck surgery can enhance the patient’s features, it is not a weight loss treatment meant to be a substitute for diet and exercise.
Ideal candidates are in good health and have maintained a proximity to their optimal weight. They are non-smokers who understand the risks and benefits of abdominoplasty. They also have realistic expectations and are willing to follow surgical instructions to prepare for surgery and enhance healing during recovery.
Tummy Tuck Consultation
Your consultation is designed to be informative and an assessment of your health and candidacy for abdominoplasty. You will have the opportunity to meet Dr. Livingston and his professional staff, and learn more about the procedure through his clarifications and answers to your questions.
You will also learn about what you can expect before, during, and after surgery. You will be able to review before and after photos of real patients who have had the same procedure and enjoyed their benefits.
We will also provide a detailed cost analysis so there will not be any surprises after surgery.
The tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia. After anesthesia has taken effect, Dr. Livingston will perform a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen from hipbone to hipbone which follows the bikini line for discretion.
He will tighten the abdominal wall with the use of sutures placed deep within the muscles to reinforce the muscle. Excess skin and fat are removed to attain a flatter and firmer appearance. Should there be excess skin and fat in the upper region of the abdomen, a second incision around the navel will be implemented with liposuction to contour the midsection further.
Patients with minimal loose, sagging skin and stretched abdominal muscles may be better-suited for mini tummy tuck surgery. You and Dr. Livingston will determine which procedure he performs during your consultation.
Tummy Tuck Recovery in Houston
Mild to moderate soreness, bruising, and swelling is normal for the first few days after abdominoplasty. Wearing a compression garment will help resolve the swelling and increase your comfort level. Your range of motion and energy levels will be limited, initially, but will improve over time with increased energy and mobility.
You will be prescribed pain medication for comfort during your recovery. You will need help with daily activities, chores, and child care. Plenty of rest and sleep is necessary, as well as a section of the home where you can lay comfortably with little effort to get up and down. A chaise lounge or recliner is a good place to sleep the first few days.
You will have after surgery visits with Dr. Livingston during recovery. He will advise you on returning to work, resuming exercise, and when you can stop wearing the surgical garment.
Your Tummy Tuck Results
Tummy tuck surgery usually lasts two to five hours and will immediately provide the patient with a smaller and firmer abdominal region.
During the first few days following the procedure, small drainage tubes may be placed under the skin to evacuate excess blood and fluid. A compression garment will be placed around the patient to help lessen swelling and bruising, and promote healing.
Patients may be able to return to work after two weeks and can resume physical activity after six weeks. Scars from the procedure could take as long as one to two years to fade and flatten. Tummy tuck surgery in Houston can provide permanent, long-term results if you maintain a healthy lifestyle afterward.
To learn more about tummy tuck surgery, feel free to browse our Houston abdominoplasty before and after photos to see some of our satisfied patient results. We also feature Dr. Livingston’s videos in the media gallery.
Picking a Tummy Tuck Plastic Surgeon
It is critical you pick a skillful surgeon for your abdominoplasty procedure. Your plastic surgeon should have the right credentials and qualifications. They should be board certified, in good standing with the community and have an impressive surgical track record.
You should be comfortable with the practice as a whole, including the support staff from the receptionist to the surgical assistants. They should be friendly, compassionate, knowledgeable, and professional.
Much can be learned during your consultation, so pay attention and ask questions.
Why Houston Tummy Tuck Surgeon Dr. Livingston
Houston plastic surgeon, Christopher K. Livingston, M.D., F.A.C.S., P.A. performs abdominoplasty surgery at Livingston Plastic Surgery in the Houston Texas Medical Center. He often attracts patients throughout Texas from neighboring southeastern communities like The Woodlands, Pearland, and Sugar Land for abdominoplasty, as well as other procedures in body contouring, facial rejuvenation, and breast surgery.
Our Houston abdominoplasty surgeon, Dr. Livingston, is highly experienced and has impressive credentials. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), as well as a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Also, our physician is the Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston – the Division of Plastic Surgery and the Department of Otolaryngology, as well as a plastic surgery consultant for cosmetic procedures on WebMD.com.
Sugar Land, Houston, and The Woodlands abdominoplasty patients turn to Dr. Livingston due to his excellent operative skills with state-of-the-art techniques, all in a calm, non-pressuring environment. He also performs breast augmentation, breast lift surgery, and breast reduction surgery to help patients achieve their desired breast contour.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
Our abdominoplasty patients usually ask questions about the surgery, so we thought we would share the most frequently asked with associated answers.
How Do I know if I need a abdominoplasty or liposuction?
Dr. Livingston will recommend either liposuction or a tummy tuck depending on a physical assessment of your abdomen and a discussion about your goals and needs. If your abdominal muscles have separated or are weak, an abdominoplasty is more appropriate and offers better results. If the skin does not have good integrity and is stretched, an abdominoplasty is the better procedure because it will allow for muscle, fat, and skin improvement.
Can abdominoplasty help with weight loss?
No, a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. Dr. Livingston encourages tummy tuck candidates to have a stable weight that is close to their optimal weight.
How long do abdominoplasty results last?
If you maintained a healthy lifestyle with a sensible diet and consistent exercise, abdominoplasty results should last indefinitely. With that being said, a tummy tuck will not stop the aging process, but the results attained should remain.
Can I lose weight from abdominoplasty?
While abdominoplasty can help you achieve a tighter abdomen, it is not an appropriate procedure as a weight loss treatment. Abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure designed to repair separated or weakened abdominal muscles. For weight loss, you should use a diet and exercise regimen or bariatric surgery instead of abdominoplasty.
Are children possible after abdominoplasty?
You can have children after a tummy tuck, but it’s not recommended. Substantial weight gain or loss can reverse the effects of tummy tuck surgery by damaging the muscles and stretching out the abdominal skin. Dr. Livingston recommends patients being done having children before seeking a tummy tuck.
How soon can I return to work after a tummy tuck?
Recovery time varies from patient to patient. Those with jobs that require little physical activity may return to work after one week. More physically demanding jobs require a longer time for recovery. Dr. Livingston will be involved in your recovery and decide when you are able to return to work.
When can I resume my exercise routine after abdominoplasty?
During the first days of tummy tuck recovery, you will need as much rest as possible and no vigorous activity. Three to four weeks after surgery should be enough time to resume your normal exercise routine, but do not start until Dr. Livingston approves.
What are the risks and side effects of abdominoplasty?
Like all surgical procedures, a tummy tuck carries some risk. Potential complications include excessive scarring, poor wound healing, prolonged numbness, bleeding, and infection. Dr. Livingston will discuss all risks and methodologies to minimize them during the consultation.
Can an abdominoplasty remove stretch marks?
Some stretch marks may be removed with excess skin during a tummy tuck procedure. The remaining stretch marks may become less obvious as the skin tightens.
When are abdominoplasty results noticeable?
You will notice a significant improvement in your mid-section immediately after your abdominoplasty procedure. Your results will continue to improve as the swelling subsides and the body continues to heal. Final results may take up to a year.
At what age is abdominoplasty usually performed?
There is no normal age or time in one’s life to have an abdominoplasty, but women usually have it after childbearing is over or a substantial amount of weight loss.
What other procedures are done with abdominoplasty?
Breast enhancement, such as breast lift or breast augmentation, is often done with the tummy tuck, typically as a mommy makeover procedure. Liposuction of other areas, such as the thighs, is another common procedure done with the abdominoplasty.