With an estimated 800,000 performed each year, the tummy tuck is a consistently popular cosmetic surgery. It’s one of the most requested procedures because it tackles one of the most common trouble spots: the abdomen.
A tummy tuck - or abdominoplasty - slims your stomach by removing excess skin, fat, and other tissue. It’s a customizable procedure to hone your curves and boost your confidence, so it’s easy to see why so many people are curious about it.
Walter D. Gracia, MD, PA is a premier plastic surgeon in Fort Worth, Texas. He specializes in abdominoplasty, offering personalized consultations to help you decide if it’s a good option for you.
Whether you’re scheduled for a tummy tuck or you’re wondering what the procedure entails, read on to find out what you can expect.
Preparing for a tummy tuck
Are you bothered by extra fat or sagging skin around your stomach? Whether you’ve had a baby or you’ve recently lost a lot of weight, extra pudge is a common concern.
A tummy tuck is a type of cosmetic surgery to remove that extra fat and tissue and give you a flatter, smoother stomach. It’s considered major surgery, so it’s important to understand what to expect.
Dr. Gracia specializes in tummy tuck consultations. He generally recommends the procedure for people who are at or near their ideal weight, but who are unhappy with the look of their abdomen.
You could be a candidate if you’re generally healthy and you have realistic expectations for the procedure. Abdominoplasty isn’t a weight-loss method, but it could be a good solution to that sagging skin and tissue that just won’t disappear with a healthy diet and exercise.
What happens during a tummy tuck
Our team gives you instructions for the day of your surgery, including where to go and when to arrive. When you get here, we help you settle in and then administer general anesthesia or intravenous sedation to keep you comfortable.
Dr. Gracia begins your tummy tuck by making a horizontal incision just above your pubic hairline. He lifts the skin of your abdomen to access the muscle and fat beneath. If you have excess skin around your upper abdomen, you may need an additional incision around your belly button.
During the procedure, Dr. Gracia carefully repairs damaged muscle and removes excess tissue. He pulls the skin from your upper abdomen down and trims any extra away before smoothing the skin and closing your incision with stitches.
Every patient’s needs are different, and Dr. Gracia customizes your procedure for your body. Abdominoplasty may take between one and five hours. Once your procedure is complete, you’re moved to a recovery room.
Recovering after a tummy tuck
Dr. Gracia performs some abdominoplasty procedures on an outpatient basis, while some patients may need to stay in the hospital overnight. Bring a friend or family member with you to drive you home.
Your abdomen will be bandaged with a compression garment to promote healing. Before you go home, our team gives you instructions that include caring for your incision, bandages, and fluid drains.
Plan to have someone stay with you for the first day or two after your tummy tuck. You can walk soon after surgery, but you’ll need to take a break from other responsibilities for a while.
Avoid driving for about two weeks and any strenuous activities for four to six weeks. You may need to take some time off work, so plan accordingly.
As you heal, you’ll have follow-up appointments with Dr. Gracia and our team. We monitor your recovery and let you know when you can safely reintroduce your regular activities.
Are you curious what a tummy tuck could do for you? Schedule an abdominoplasty consultation with Dr. Gracia. Contact our office online or call 817-336-9450 today.