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Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck in Houston, TX

Houston tummy tuck surgeon, Dr. Christopher 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). Livingston Plastic Surgery has been a consistent source of innovation, evidence-based surgical procedures, and the standard of care for plastic surgery since 2003.

Stretched out and sagging skin in the abdomen can be resistant to diet and exercise, which is why some patients choose to undergo tummy tuck surgery. Commonly referred to as “abdominoplasty,” tummy tuck surgery is a procedure that reduces protruding abdomen and flanks for a shapelier appearance.

Request a consultation today to learn more about Houston tummy tuck surgery or to discuss your different options. 

Dr. Livingston

Christopher Livingston, MD

“The most important part of plastic surgery is achieving a youthful, refreshed look, with minimal downtime.”

Board-Certified Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon

Chris Livingston, MD

I believe that every design is personal. The connection we have with clients determines how the projects will look at the end of the design process. We must understand the clients and bond with them, be a part of their dream. Their dream is our dream.


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:

  • Age
  • Childbirth
  • Heredity
  • Extreme weight loss or weight gain
  • Poor lifestyle choices

Although 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 treatment. They also have realistic expectations and are willing to follow surgical instructions to prepare for surgery and enhance healing during recovery.

Dr. Livingston is an amazing surgeon, with a phenomenal bedside manner, and office staff you’ll fall in love with.

– Meredith (Google Reviews)


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.


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 body contouring, facial rejuvenation, and breast surgery.

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

Patients turn to Dr. Livingston for his excellent operative skills with state-of-the-art techniques, all in a calm, non-pressuring environment. He also performs breast augmentationbreast lift surgery, and breast reduction surgery to help patients achieve their desired breast contour.

Tummy Tuck Procedural Steps

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.

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Complete Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline in Houston

The First Day After Surgery

With your procedure behind you, recuperation officially begins. Initially, you’ll experience some swelling and soreness in your abdomen—and you may feel a bit sluggish. This grogginess is completely natural and is to be expected after your surgery. It’s essential to get up and walk around the house for at least a few minutes every hour or so, promoting circulation and reducing your risk of forming blood clots.

During this time, take special care to properly empty and maintain any surgical drains. Also, for the first week, you should keep a low sodium diet to reduce swelling.

Dr. Livingston will send you home with a compression garment to aid healing and provide comfort and support while minimizing post-surgical swelling. From this point on, throughout the rest of your first month of healing, it’s important to wear it as frequently as Dr. Livingston recommends.

Days 3-4

By this point, you should be feeling considerable improvement. If recovery is going well, Dr. Livingston may approve a sponge bath. This will both leave you feeling fantastic and refreshed. If you had liposuction in combination with your abdominoplasty, there might be certain areas you need to keep dry—Dr. Livingston will inform you if this is the case.

Any tummy aches at this point are usually due to your medication—as pain medicine can cause constipation. If you haven’t had a bowel movement by this point, consider taking some probiotics or eating whole-fat yogurt. Dr. Livingston can guide you towards safe laxatives if constipation persists.

As your mobility increases, you may notice some back strain when standing. This is totally normal. Even with a newly tightened abdomen, you’ll want to try your best to walk as upright as possible. It will be difficult, but the sooner you can get upright, the sooner your back muscle strain will go away. Don’t push it too far, and be patient with your body as it heals.

Around One Week Post-Op

At this point, you’ll have a post-op appointment to check on your incisions and ensure everything is healing correctly. If you’ve had surgical drains, these will be removed at this time. Be sure to continue a low sodium diet full of healthy foods and drink plenty of fluids to help your bowel movements, overall healing, and mood.

Listen to your body and don’t overdo any physical activities—continue to keep moving, but take it easy. You’ll likely be feeling well enough to start cooking small meals for yourself and maybe begin doing some work at your desk.

2 Weeks Post-Op

You’ll have another follow-up with Dr. Livingston. Each day your mobility will improve, and you should be ready to return to your regular diet (though it’s never a bad thing to keep your sodium intake down).

Get out of the house if you can and enjoy some socialization and fresh air to lift your spirits and aid your physical healing. However, you’ll still need to avoid any strenuous activity or lifting anything more substantial than 10 pounds.

One Month Out

We’ll schedule another check-up, and at this point, most patients can begin scar healing protocol to help their scars fade and flatten over time. Also, you’ll likely be able to return to regular underwear now, but be sure to talk to Dr. Livingston before you stop wearing your compression garment.

6 Weeks After Surgery and Beyond

From here on out, you can return to your full range of regular activity: swimming, running, yoga—you name it. Now is the perfect time to begin your new routine and maintain regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Start out slow, though, and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Whenever tightness happens (which is completely normal), tone down the intensity. Over time, this sensation will fade.

Around two to three months following surgery, you should see the full results of your tummy tuck.

Wjat a Tummy Tuck Can Do For You infographic Livingston Plastic Surgery


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. Patients can enjoy long-term results if they maintain a healthy lifestyle afterward.


It is critical you pick a skillful surgeon for your 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.

If you are interested in abdominoplasty in Houston with Dr. Livingston, please fill out our online contact form to schedule an initial consultation. You may also contact us by calling (281) 501-1812.

Livingston Plastic Surgery: TUMMY TUCK FAQS

Our patients usually ask questions about the surgery, so we thought we would share the most frequently asked with associated answers.

Prior to surgery, we recommend patients lead a healthy lifestyle with frequent exercise and a balance diet.

The tummy tuck surgery is outpatient procedure, usually starting at 7:30 am.  You will leave hospital around 5 pm.

4-6 hours depending on the additional procedures.

Dr. Livingston will recommend either treatment 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, or if the skin is stretched, an abdominoplasty is more appropriate and offers better results for muscle, fat, and skin improvement.

No, a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. Dr. Livingston encourages candidates to have a stable weight that is close to their optimal weight.

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.

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.

It depends on your schedule but usually 2-4 weeks.

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 provided with your surgery.

This depends on your exam and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with frequent exercise and core work.

Yes, I use a chevron technique to prevent a “bulls eye” belly button.

Abdominoplasty is designed to tighten and add support to the abdominal wall. Dr. Livingston places permanent sutures to reconnect the facia and repair the diastasis recti to achieve a flatter, firmer tummy contour. This surgery often resolves secondary issues like incontinence and back pain.

Although some surgeons offer laparoscopic surgery to repair only the diastasis recti, Dr. Livingston recommends a full tummy tuck because:

  • Most patients with diastasis recti also have excess skin, which is removed with a tummy tuck
  • Closing diastasis rectus decreases the abdominal circumference, which can increase the amount of loose skin. A tummy tuck will not only repair the muscle but remove the excess skin.
  • Board-certified plastic surgeons are trained and qualified to consider the aesthetic benefits as well as reconstructive improvement. These results include reshaping the belly button for a natural belly contour. Also, a careful incision placement to ensure a discreet scar easy to conceal.

Scarring is a common and understandable concern for Dr. Livingston’s tummy tuck patients. Many patients aren’t sure what to expect or worry that there will be a noticeable scar along their stomachs. While all surgical incisions heal with scars, tummy tuck scarring is easy to conceal in your body’s natural contours or beneath a swimsuit or underwear.

As a point of reference, you can bring your favorite bikini bottoms or underwear to your consultation with Dr. Livingston, and he can draw out his planned incision placement on your lower abdomen. This visual reference allows you to customize your tummy tuck and decide if you are comfortable with the incision locations.

Another thing to consider about your tummy tuck scars is that they will eventually fade to match your skin tone with time and proper care. Following all of Dr. Livingston’s recovery and aftercare advice will help minimize your scars even faster.

The best way to prolong your tummy tuck results is by leading an active, healthy lifestyle. Stay within your target weight by eating a balanced, nutrient-dense diet packed with proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fiber. You should also stick to a consistent fitness routine that includes a combination of cardio, weightlifting, and resistance exercises. Don’t forget moves that target your abdominal muscles, like crunches and planks.

If you are planning to become pregnant, please wait until you have finished adding to your family to consider tummy tuck surgery. Pregnancy can reverse the tightening and corrective outcomes of abdominoplasty.

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.

If you maintained a healthy lifestyle with a sensible diet and consistent exercise, results should last indefinitely. A tummy tuck will not stop the aging process, but the results attained should remain.

You can have children after a tummy tuck, but it’s not recommended. Substantial weight gain or loss can reverse the effects of surgery by damaging the muscles and stretching out the abdominal skin. Dr. Livingston recommends patients being done having children before seeking cosmetic surgery.

I recommended waiting at least 2 weeks.

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.

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.

This is normal and usually resolves within several weeks with compression garments.

That is normal swelling and tightness after surgery. 

Usually 2 drains will remain for 2 weeks.

All sutures are beneath the skin and dissolvable.

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.

Candidates for a tummy tuck should have loose skin, stubborn fat, weakened abdominal muscles, or other cosmetic and functional concerns in their abdominal region. Typically, people seek this procedure after losing a dramatic amount of weight or being pregnant.

The best candidates have realistic expectations for their results and are willing to follow all instructions given to help them recover. Your heart and lungs should also be in good health, as you will be under general anesthesia during surgery. We expect you to be free of illnesses or conditions that could interfere with your body’s ability to heal.

For most patients, it can take about three months to see their full results, depending on the technique Dr. Livingston used to perform your tummy tuck, the extent of your skin laxity, and your general health.

In the first month after your tummy tuck, your body will be swollen from the procedure, which can hide the results. As this swelling goes away and you resume light exercise, you’ll start to see the final shape and figure of your tummy tuck come into focus.

If you adhere to Dr. Livingston’s post-operative instructions, you will most likely be bikini-ready by the two-month mark after your surgery. Swelling will have mostly dissipated, bruising will be gone, and you’ll be ready to show off your natural-looking, well-proportioned tummy tuck results.

Bruising and swelling after tummy tuck surgery can take some time to subside. Below are a few helpful tummy tuck recovery tips you can include in your routine:

  • Take time to rest in the first few weeks after your procedure. Too much movement can induce inflammation.
  • Eat a nutrient-dense diet that is high in protein, vitamins, and fiber. Choosing foods that are higher in vitamins C and A can boost your immune system and fight off illnesses while your body works hard to heal.
  • Focus on your hydration by drinking plenty of water to release excess toxins and prevent your body from retaining water. You should also limit caffeinated beverages and aim to consume at least two or three liters of water a day to help with swelling and improve your energy levels.
  • Move around in small increments by walking around your house or yard a few times throughout the day. Short walks will help promote blood circulation in your body and help you avoid blood clots.
  • Wear your compression garment to help reduce swelling around your midsection.