Abdominoplasty Fort Worth & Southlake
Abdominoplasty Information and FAQs as provided by board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Heistein
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a major surgical procedure that tightens the skin and underlying fascia (the layer covering the muscles) of the belly. Usually the excess skin and loose tissue is eliminated, often along with stretch marks and previous scars from other surgeries. Frequently after childbirth or weight loss, the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominus) are separated. If this is the case, sutures are used to repair the separation, creating a sort of internal corset. The incisions are usually placed below the bikini line from hip to hip, and also around the belly button. Typically, all of the skin between the top of your belly button down to your pubic area is removed. Many women find that even with rigorous diet and exercise, they cannot get rid of the extra skin and often the protrusion of the stomach after having children or losing weight. Depending on your body shape, you may also require liposuction to achieve the optimum results. Either way, the results are dramatic!
– What is a Mini Tummy Tuck?
This procedure is very similar to the full tummy tuck, but only the lower part of the abdomen is tightened. The bikini line scar is usually slightly shorter, and there is no scar around the belly button. Normally, in a full tummy-tuck, all of the skin from just above the belly button to the groin hairline is removed. In mini-tummy-tuck, about half of that skin is removed. This is perfect for those who have a small amount of excess skin.
– Can a tummy tuck be used as a substitute for exercise and weight loss?
No, a tummy tuck is not a good substitute for weight loss and exercise. A tummy tuck should be performed when a patient is at or near his/her ideal weight, but is having difficulty getting a firm, flat abdomen even after trying exercise. Often, patients seek tummy tucks after losing weight. After working hard to lose weight, it can be disheartening to find yourself left with loose sagging skin around the abdomen. A tummy tuck can give you the firm flat abdomen that you have been working toward.
– Are tummy tucks just for women who have had children?
Abdominoplasty is performed on patients from many walks of life. Both men and women, who have gained and lost significant amounts of weight may seek abdominoplasty to help get rid of excess skin and tissue around the abdomen. Sometimes extra abdominal skin and fat is hereditary or due to a congenital disorder. After a tummy tuck, patients find that they feel better about how they look in bathing suits as well as everyday clothing.
– How long will it take me to recover after a tummy tuck?
Recovery from a tummy tuck is generally two to three weeks. However, no two patients are alike and each patient should consult with their plastic surgeon to find out what type of recovery to expect after their tummy tuck.
– Will I have a scar from my tummy tuck?
The length, severity and location of the scar depend on the amount and location of fat and skin which is removed. In many cases scars are not noticeable. Dr. Heistein is often able to camouflage the scar by locating the incision just at or above the pubic hair line. For most patients, tummy tuck scars are hidden by most clothing and swimsuits. Abdominoplasty may also improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located below the navel.
– Can I get the results of a tummy tuck by dieting and exercising?
Some people are able to. However, most women find that after multiple pregnancies they are unable to achieve the results that they want through diet and exercise. This is due to the stretching and weakening of the abdominal muscles. A tummy tuck will also remove excess skin around the abdomen resulting in a flatter, smoother abdomen.
– Is a tummy tuck the same as a “Mommy Makeover”?
The term “mommy makeover” is a popular term used to refer to a combination of surgical procedures, usually performed in one visit, on a woman who has had children and is looking to regain her pre-baby body. A tummy tuck is often one of these procedures. Although many women find that they have problem areas in common after having children, plastic surgery should not be a “one size fits all” endeavor. Instead, you should consult with your doctor to plan a course of action which fits your needs and lifestyle.
– Are the results of a tummy tuck permanent?
Tummy tuck results are permanent in some patients. The patients who see the best long-term results from abdominoplasty (as well as other cosmetic surgeries) are those who maintain a stable weight, refrain from smoking and are in good overall health.
– Is it safe to have a tummy tuck during the same visit that I am having another cosmetic procedure or plastic surgery?
In most cases, yes. For many patients it is much more convenient have multiple procedures performed at one time. However, not all patients are good candidates for combined plastic surgeries. It depends on your health, the length and difficulty of the surgery, and other factors. Dr. Heistein evaluates each patient on an individual basis. If you are interested in multiple plastic surgery procedures, please be sure to talk Dr. Heistein about this during your consultation.
– I am having surgery with my OB/GYN. Can I have a tummy tuck at the same time?
I AM HAVING SURGERY WITH MY OB/GYN. CAN I HAVE A TUMMY TUCK AT THE SAME TIME?
Dr. Heistein can perform your tummy tuck at the same time as you are having many other surgeries. There are some surgeries however where adding a tummy tuck may increase the risk of the surgery too much. When you meet with Dr. Heistein for your consultation, he will discuss what other surgery you would like to combine the tummy tuck with. If it can be done safely, he will do it.
– Will I need to quit smoking before I have a tummy tuck?
You will be required to quit smoking before your abdominoplasty. Smokers should also stop smoking for at least 2 weeks AFTER tummy tuck surgery to reduce post operative complications caused by smoking. This includes use of nicotine in any form (tobacco, nicotine patches or gum.) Skin loss is 8 to 10 times more likely in smokers. Smoking may cause poor or delayed healing – even death of skin (gangrene) in addition to lung complications and bleeding.
– What are the risks involved with having a tummy tuck?
Every surgery comes with its own specific risks and outcomes. These may involve swelling or wound healing issues. It is the surgeon’s responsibility to design a safe, low risk, highly effective surgery for you. It is the patient’s responsibility to follow the post-operative instructions, avoid smoking and limit vigorous activities immediately after surgery. Dr. Heistein will discuss all of the common risks associated with a tummy tuck at the time of your consultation.
– I am in my late 50’s. Am I too old to have a tummy tuck?
Patient health and fitness are important, not age. However, a thorough consultation with a plastic surgeon is the best way to determine if you are a good candidate for abdominoplasty.
– Will I be able to exercise after abdominoplasty surgeries?
Definitely! After you heal, you will be able to exercise as much as you like.
– Does Dr. Heistein perform many abdominoplasty surgeries?
Dr. Heistein performs a large number of abdomnoplasties each year, and is experienced and skilled in the latest abdominoplasty techniques. Many other plastic surgeons only perform a few abdominoplasty procedures each year. Because of this, they lack the vital experience an expert surgeon needs to provide optimal results.
– Do you have hospital privileges and, if so, with which hospitals?
This is important because a surgeon who does not have privileges at a hospital (that is, the right to use the hospital’s facilities) may not be adequately trained. A hospital will always thoroughly check the credentials of a surgeon. Sometimes, when a surgeon operates in his or her own facility, there is no guarantee that the surgeon is adequately trained.
If you have considered abdominoplasty, you can rest assured that Dr. Heistein has been credentialed by and has privileges at most of the major hospitals in and around Fort Worth and Southlake, Texas.
– Do you have before and after photos available for viewing?
Photos from before and after abdominoplasty procedures will allow you to assess a surgeon’s work and determine what look you would like to achieve for yourself. However, there are two considerations that are important above all others: you must be comfortable with your surgeon and your surgeon must listen to your needs. Making sure that these occur will help to ensure that you get exactly the results you want!
– I do not live in the Fort Worth or Southlake areas. Can Dr. Heistein still perform my abdominoplasty?
Dr. Heistein has many patients who travel from outside the Fort Worth or Southlake areas to have abdominoplasty surgery as well as other plastic surgery procedures. Because of this we have several options available to meet your individual needs. Feel free to ask about this at your consultation.
– How can I find out more about abdominoplasty?
The best source of information is a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. To schedule an appointment for a consultation, contact our office at 817-820-0000.
Our offices are located in Fort Worth and Southlake, Texas. In addition to abdominoplasty, Dr. Heistein provides breast augmentation, breast lifts, liposuction, facelifts, and more.