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Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty

Are you on a mission for a flat tummy?

If you are unhappy with the shape of your body after pregnancy or weight loss, we understand your concerns. We see people everyday that have experienced great success in shedding the baby weight after pregnancy or trimmed their body through diet, exercise or weight-loss procedures, such as gastric bypass and lap-band. Often times, however, these patients remain frustrated by loose, crepey, sagging skin, stretch marks and stubborn pockets of fat.

A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is the best option if you have excess skin above and below the belly button, along with muscle laxity. Your stretched abdominal wall will be tightened with internal sutures, while simultaneously removing excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. All of the stretch marks below your belly button will be removed along with any scars from a prior C-section or appendectomy. SAFELipo® is often added to recontour the lateral abdomen or hip area.

One of the most exciting innovations for tummy tuck patients is a revolutionary new product called TissuGlu, which allows for drain-free abdominoplasty. Yes, you read it correctly, a tummy tuck without a drain! Always innovating, Restora Austin is the first and only practice in Austin to be TissuGlu certified, as our surgeons have performed more cases with TissuGlu than any other practice in Central Texas. Click here to learn more about TissuGlu and to see if you are candidate for a drain-free abdominoplasty.

Tummy Tuck Q&A

What do I need to do to prepare for my tummy tuck?

To optimize your recovery, you will need to:

  • have blood work done
  • have an EKG if you are over 50
  • get medical clearance if you have health issues, like diabetes or heart disease
  • stop smoking
  • avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding

How long will my results last?

As long as you maintain a stable weight and a healthy lifestyle, your result will last for many years. A tummy doesn’t eventually succumb to gravity like the face and breasts.

What can I do to maintain my result?

  • Commit to a healthy lifestyle of eating well, along with an exercise plan after you have fully healed
  • Maintain a stable weight
  • Avoid future pregnancies

When can I get back to the gym?

If you feel up to it, you may start some light cardio at 3 weeks. At 6 weeks, you will be fully healed and can resume your normal exercise routine and even do crunches and ab work.

How long will I need to take off of work?

Most patients are ready to go back to work after 2 weeks. If your job is very physically demanding, you may need to take more time off or request light duty.

What are the risks of a tummy tuck?

Your safety is our number one priority, so everything is done to minimize risks of surgery. Complications include bleeding, infection, poor healing, unfavorable scarring, skin loss, skin numbness, fluid accumulation (seroma), and/or DVT (Deep Venous Thrombosis).

What will my tummy tuck scar look like?

All women are very concerned about what their scar will look like. Our surgeons are very sensitive to this concern, and they will do everything they can – before, during and after surgery – to optimize the appearance of your tummy tuck scar. Your scar will be located very low, in the pubic hair, because we want you to be able to wear a bikini. Many are surprised to learn that the Restora Austin tummy tuck scar is located below their C-section scar. Before your procedure, we recommend laser hair removal (LHR) in the area where the scar will be located to minimize ingrown hairs and irritation to the scar while it is healing. We can treat just the area of scar placement or you can do your entire bikini area. It’s totally up to you. Depending on how far out your surgery is scheduled will determine how many LHR treatments you can have before your tummy tuck. The remaining treatments will be done on a monthly schedule after surgery. We will then recommend scar care for the first 3 months following your surgery. Our recommendations will be based on your skin type, your scar history, and other factors, like tension.

Although technically you will be “healed” at 6 weeks, your scar will continue to remodel and mature for an entire year after surgery. The first 3 months are critical because this is when the scar is the most active and immature, and it’s when we can have the most impact on its final appearance. We also perform Pro-Fractional laser scar treatments if the scar is thick or raised and/or BBL treatments if the scar has persistent redness. Recent studies show that early laser scar treatments, at 1-2 weeks after surgery, may be beneficial in optimizing their appearance, and Dr. Gordon is working on protocols for this now. Her protocols are based on trying to modulate or guide the incision into healing with the least visible scar possible, instead of just treating the scar at 1 year once it’s fully healed. Dr. Gordon’s passion and her research in scarless wound healing means that patients at Restora Austin will always receive cutting-edge scar treatment and care.

Will I be bruised and swollen? How long does that last?

Swelling will subside a few weeks after surgery. Bruising can occur in areas of liposuction and will resolve in 7-10 days.

Why is a tummy tuck not as painful as a C-section?

There is less pain because a tummy tuck is limited to the area in front of your rectus muscles. The muscles are tightened, but they are not divided or stretched like they are in a C-section.

Will I still need to take narcotics after my tummy tuck?

You will be given a prescription for narcotic pain medication and a muscle relaxer.

The goal of the Exparel® is to minimize your need for narcotics. While effective, narcotics can have significant side-effects, such as nausea in up to 50% of patients, drowsiness, constipation, and itching. The Exparel® will reduce your pain at its source, and decrease your need for oral pain medication.

What is Exparel®?

Exparel logo

Exparel® is one of the great advancements for tummy tuck recovery, and it has replaced the pain pump. Exparel® is a slow release local anesthetic that will be injected under your fascia, or the connective tissue around your abdominal muscles, at the time of your muscle repair. One single injection provides pain reduction for up to 5 days. For many patients, the first 3 days after a tummy tuck are the most uncomfortable. The Exparel® lasts long enough to allow you to “turn the corner” and start feeling better before the medication wears off. Clinical studies confirm that patients have lower pain scores and less narcotic usage. A secondary benefit is that you will be active sooner, which will hasten your recovery process.

EXPAREL diagram

What can I expect after surgery?

Most patients report mild discomfort after their tummy tuck, and almost all say that their C-section recovery was harder. We use Exparel® to minimize post-operative discomfort, along with muscle relaxants and narcotic pain medication.

Is a tummy tuck an outpatient procedure?

Yes, you will be able to go home the same day. If you have a Tummy Tuck 360™ or if you have additional procedures, you will spend one night in our overnight suite at INSPIRE Surgery Centre. An RN who specializes in post-operative care will stay with you.

Where will my surgery be performed?

Your tummy tuck will be performed at INSPIRE, our fully accredited, AAAASF, surgery center. A board-certified anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia.

Who’s a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck?

Only a small percentage of patients are candidates for a mini tummy tuck because pregnancy typically affects all aspects of the abdomen; the skin, the muscle and the fat. If someone has no muscle laxity or stretch marks, but has excess skin limited to below the belly button, a mini-abdominoplasty or tummy tuck can be a nice option. In a mini tummy tuck, the muscle is not tightened and there is no incision around the belly button. The horizontal scar is also shorter. SAFELipo® can be added to further re-contour the area.

How do I know if my muscle needs to be repaired?

During pregnancy, as the mid-section gets bigger and bigger, the connective tissue or fascia between the paired vertical rectus muscles get stretched. This is called rectus diastasis. Many times, especially after multiple pregnancies, the stretched tissue doesn’t return to its pre-pregnancy state, resulting in a bloated or barrel shaped abdomen. In order for the abdominal wall to be tight again, surgical repair of the stretched tissue is performed to bring the muscles back together in the midline.

Do most patients have a standard tummy tuck or a Tummy Tuck 360™?

Because Dr. Gordon and Dr. Reid are the only surgeons in Austin who perform the Tummy Tuck 360™, many patients aren’t aware of this new revolutionary technique. When patients desire a transformation, not only in the abdominal area, but also along the entire circumferential trunk, from the bra roll to the top of the buttocks, a Tummy Tuck 360 is the best option. The results of the Tummy Tuck 360™ speak for themselves, and with such dramatic results, the Tummy Tuck 360 has quickly become one of Restora Austin’s most requested procedures.

What’s the difference between a standard tummy tuck and a Tummy Tuck 360™?

Early in their practice, Dr. Gordon and Dr. Reid regularly performed standard tummy tucks, but they found that while the patients were thrilled with their “flat” stomachs and their overall appearance from the front, they lacked any visible change in the back. The traditional tummy tuck technique wasn’t able to provide their goal of delivering a “Before Baby Body” result. As we all know, pregnancy and/or weight fluctuations don’t only cause changes in our appearance from the front, they cause changes along our sides and our back. People tend to get bigger or thicker all around. Our surgeons sought a better technique to deliver a better result. They traveled to train with the creator and inventor of SAFELipo®, Dr. Simeon Wall, Jr.. From this experience, they developed and coined the term Tummy Tuck 360™, which safely combines liposuction using SAFELipo® techniques with their tummy tuck procedure. This is the best option for patients who desire an all-around body contouring solution.

How is the Restora Austin tummy tuck performed?

  • Step 1 – Anesthesia by a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist
  • Step 2 – The Incisions
    • An incision is made in the pubic area that extends from hip bone to hip bone. A second incision is made around the belly button. If you have a C-section scar it will be removed during your tummy tuck. Our goal is for you to wear a bikini, so your tummy tuck incision will be placed lower than your C-section scar.
  • Step 3 – The Muscle Repair
    • The muscles are tightened with internal sutures
  • Step 4 – The Excess Tissue is Removed
    • Excess skin and fat between the belly button and the pubic area is removed. To further tighten the abdomen, the skin of the upper abdomen is stretched downward.
  • Step 5 – The Belly Button Is Repositioned and the Incisions Are Closed
    • SAFELipo® is sometimes incorporated to remove stubborn fat and achieve a smoother contour

Please click on the procedures below for more detailed information:

Our Videos

Restora Austin is largely based on word of mouth referrals from happy patients. Although we are one of the busiest plastic surgery practices in Austin, we will always remain a boutique practice, where quality time spent with patients and building long-term relationships are our top priorities. Watch these patient testimonial videos to learn what you can expect when you visit our practice.

Testimonials

Kelly

My name is Kelly and Dr. Ashley Gordon did my procedures.

I went to many other doctors, did extensive research, did a lot of consultations… I just never had that feeling that everything was a complete package. So I was researching on the internet and I went from the Houston market to the Austin market, and Restora came up. It did not matter if there was one review, or 120 reviews, it was always five stars.

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