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Tummy Tuck Plano

Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a very popular procedure among women and also for some men. A tummy tuck is a procedure that can rejuvenate or restore the youthful, sculptured appearance of the abdomen. Patients who are candidates for this procedure are those who have postpartum changes of their abdomen or who have experienced changes in their abdomen after weight loss. The anatomical changes that take place after these experiences are stretched out, loose skin, striae or stretch marks, and diastasis or spreading out of the abdominal muscles. These changes are not amenable to improvement with diet and exercise alone.

Often patients will come to us desiring liposuction of their abdomens when a better procedure for them is abdominoplasties. Unfortunately, the liposuction procedure can not address the loose, sagging skin often seen after pregnancy. In fact, liposuction can often times make this condition even worse. Furthermore, liposuction can certainly not address stretch marks or the anatomical changes to the abdominal musculature.

Technique

Abdominoplasty involves an incision made low on the abdomen that can generally be hidden underneath a patient’s underwear or bathing suit. The abdominal tissue is dissected off the underlying musculature and the musculature is tightened with sutures to its normal anatomical state. The excess skin and fat is then excised from the lower portion of the abdomen as it is pulled down in a window shade type fashion. In doing this, a majority of striae or stretch marks can also be removed. Unfortunately the only treatment for stretch marks at this time is excision as is performed in an abdominoplasty procedure.

Liposuction can be an adjunct to abdominoplasty. The surgeon must be selective in the areas to be liposuctioned otherwise the blood supply to the abdominal skin can be compromised. The “love handle area” can be safely suctioned at the time of an abdominoplasty. The abdominal wall itself should generally not be liposuctioned at the time of an abdominoplasty because of potential problems with blood supply to the remaining abdominal skin. For the patients that still have areas of fatty tissue that cannot be lost through diet or exercise after an abdominoplasty, this area can be suctioned safely six months to a year after the procedure.

Complications

Risks involved with an abdominoplasty include the development of what is called a seroma. A seroma is a collection of fluid that forms under the abdominal wall in response to the trauma related to the procedure. Generally drains are placed under the abdominal wall to help prevent this complication. If it does occur the patient usually will require aspiration or drainage of this fluid in the office. Other complications include loss of abdominal skin or loss of the navel. In performing abdominoplasty portions of the blood supply to both of these structures is interrupted and if the surgeon is not knowledgeable of the blood supply to these areas there can sometimes be losses of tissue in these areas.

After Surgery

The recovery from an abdominoplasty is somewhat extended when compared to other aesthetic procedures. A patient can generally return to work within one to two weeks. They are required however to not perform any heavy lifting greater than ten pounds for six weeks after the procedure. Patients wear a compressive garment for six weeks after the procedure as well. We generally recommend that the patient have medical massage to the operated area at least three times after the procedure. We have found that this can make a big difference in postoperative swelling and pain. This can be performed in our office by our medical masseuse. It is usually six to eight weeks before a patient can get a full appreciation of the result of their abdominoplasty.

Contact Us

Overall abdominoplasty is a very safe and effective procedure. Patients are generally extremely pleased with their results after an abdominoplasty and it can be a very motivating factor in future weight loss and exercise endeavors. Dr. Perry would be glad to discuss this procedure further with you in his office in Plano, Texas. Contact us today.

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