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The midsection can experience profound changes over time, as stretched abdominal muscles, skin laxity and the formation of isolated fat pocket take their toll. These fluctuations may impact the way your clothing fits, your body profile and your confidence in your appearance. In cases where cutting calories and crunches don’t have the desired effect, a surgical enhancement may produce the outcome you want with long-lasting improvement.

One of the best procedures to effect a youthful change to the body is a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. A tummy tuck in Austin involves the surgical excision of skin and fatty deposits from the abdomen, along with the tightening of abdominal muscles. Sometimes liposuction is added to enhance the sculpted effect and give a “washboard” or “six-pack” appearance to the abdomen. Dr. Sharma has extensive experience in this body contouring procedure and will tailor your surgery to your precise needs and expectations.

Tummy Tuck Candidates

Weight fluctuations, changes brought about by pregnancy and resistant fat deposits that do not respond to exercise lead many Austin men and women to seek the abdominal contouring offered with a tummy tuck. In the case of post-pregnancy patients, the procedure is helpful in remedying the vertical separation of abdominal muscles known as diastasis. The optimal patients for a tummy tuck are both women and men in good health, non-smokers and have achieved a stable weight. A tummy tuck is not designed for significant weight loss, and it is best to be within a reasonable BMI (body mass index) to ensure this procedure is safe and meets the expectations of the patient.

A tummy tuck may help you address the following concerns:

  • Loose skin left behind from pregnancy or significant weight fluctuations
  • Isolated fat deposits that won’t respond to exercise or diet efforts
  • Abdominal muscles that stretched after weight gain or pregnancy
  • Stretch marks that have formed between the navel and panty line
  • Uncomfortable clothing due to excess weight and skin in the midsection
  • Lack of confidence in your appearance due to abdominal bulges

It is best to wait to undergo a tummy tuck until after you are finished having children since subsequent pregnancies could significantly impact your positive results. Dr. Sharma will evaluate you and listen to your concerns and aesthetic goals to determine whether abdominoplasty is the best option for you.

Options in Tummy Tuck Surgery

Dr. Sharma does not perform any two tummy tucks in precisely the same way since goals and needs will vary somewhat with every patient. Tummy tucks come in two basic types and customization can be added to each:

Mini Abdominoplasty

Mini-abdominoplasties are performed for lower abdominal laxity that occurs with stretching this area of the abdomen. The looseness is tightened with internal sutures and utilizes a smaller incision with a minimal amount of skin resection. This type of surgery can often be performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia with IV sedation. Liposculpture can be added during this procedure to enhance the appearance of the upper and outer abdomen.

Full Abdominoplasty

During a full or traditional abdominoplasty, the focus in on both the upper and lower abdominal areas. While the incision is more extended, stretching from hipbone to hipbone, it is carefully concealed with the panty line and allows for greater access to tissue, muscles and skin that require correction to achieve the desired outcome. Muscles can be tightened during a full tummy tuck to create a better result overall. The navel can also be repositioned during this procedure to create a natural, proportionate appearance.

How does it work?

Dr. Sharma may recommend performing your tummy tuck under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation, depending on whether you are having a full or mini tuck procedure. Mini tummy tucks are done on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home the same day as your surgery. Full tummy tucks can be performed safely on an outpatient basis as well, but require an overnight stay if combined with multiple procedures that you can be monitored and cared for during the early hours of your recovery process.

The incision will be placed low on the abdomen so that it will be hidden inside undergarments or a bathing suit. The extent of the incision will vary depending on how much correction is needed. Dr. Sharma will remove excess tissue and fat, tightening the abdominal muscles at the same time if necessary. Loose skin will be excised before the incision is closed to create a smoother, flatter midsection. If the navel needs to be repositioned, it will also be done during the procedure. Liposuction can also be added at this time to produce additional sculpting and contouring. Abdominoplasty may take anywhere from two to four hours to complete.

Understanding the Recovery Process

After your tummy tuck, you are likely to be sore and swollen. You may also have tubes inserted into your incision to prevent fluid from building up in the surgical site. Dr. Sharma will place a compression garment over the area to help control swelling and promote healing. He will also give you a prescription for pain medication to keep you comfortable and an antibiotic to lower your risk for postoperative infection.

Patients can usually return to light activities within two weeks after a tummy tuck. Strenuous exercise will need to wait much longer – six to eight weeks – to provide ample time for the midsection to heal fully. Incision care is critical after abdominoplasty to minimize the appearance of the scar. Dr. Sharma will provide you with full instructions on how to tend to your incision during the first few days and weeks to ensure the best possible outcome. Keep in mind it may take up to one full year for your incision to heal and fade.

What does it do?

A tummy tuck is a surgery that offers dramatic and long-lasting results for the right patient. The ability to trim away loose skin and eliminate stubborn fat can make a profound difference in the overall body contour. If you would like to learn more about abdominoplasty, now is the time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sharma at his Austin office at Plastic Surgery Austin at 512-324-2765.

HELP IS AVAILABLE

Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Sanjay K. Sharma, M.D., F.A.C.S.