A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that creates a flatter, more appealing contour to the midsection. With factors such as age, pregnancy, and weight fluctuations, trying to get rid of bulges around the waist can be nearly impossible. With a tummy tuck, this stubborn fat and excess skin are easily trimmed away. In many cases, muscles are also sutured closer together to restore core strength and a slimmer appearance.
At Kronowitz Plastic Surgery, we spend quality time with every patient to ensure we deliver results that align with the detailed vision they have for their body. As an internationally recognized plastic surgeon with over 25 years of experience, Dr. Steven J. Kronowitz maintains a reputation for delivering natural-looking, long-lasting results that patients love. His success has brought him the opportunity to open four locations in Texas. To schedule a consultation, call one of our offices in Kingwood, Houston, Cypress, or The Woodlands at (713)-523-0300 or fill out our online contact form.
- 1 Before and After Photos
- 2 What Causes Abdominal Laxity?
- 3 Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
- 4 Preparation
- 5 Procedure
- 6 Recovery
- 7 Personal Consultation
- 8 Candidates
- 9 Cost of a Tummy Tuck in Houston, Texas
- 10 FAQ
- 11 References
Before and After Photos
What Causes Abdominal Laxity?
Loose skin and fat accumulate for a number of reasons that are often not related to diet or exercise habits. Changes in the circumference of the abdomen due to weight fluctuations and pregnancy can push skin past its limits, leaving bulges of sagging tissue and weakened muscles that can affect a patient’s quality of life. Hormonal changes as we age, genetics, stress, and many other factors are also at play. When most people think of fat, they think of the kind that develops beneath the skin, subcutaneous fat. Tummy tuck procedures are able to remove subcutaneous fat and excess skin – making a visible change in your appearance. A tummy tuck is meant to sculpt and trim off this unwanted tissue, promoting a leaner, healthier figure. Dr. Kronowitz incorporates liposuction into his tummy tuck procedures, and depending on the patients’ needs and preferences, he can perform liposuction on the flanks, pubis, and labia majora in addition to the abdomen. However, keep in mind that this procedure is not a solution for significant weight loss and isn’t typically performed on people with a BMI of 30 or over.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
There are many benefits to a tummy tuck procedure:
- It can remove and tighten loose skin.
- The fat removal may be able to reveal visible core muscles.
- It eliminates the “belly bulge” or “stomach pooch.”
- It can improve your posture and reduce back pain through the strengthening of your abdominal muscles.
- Since the main incision is right above the pubic area, the scar can be hidden with underwear or a bathing suit.
- It may be able to reduce stretch marks and scars from previous surgeries.
- With proper diet and exercise, the results may last a lifetime.
- It may treat incontinence issues. (2)
- It will increase your fashion options and overall body confidence.
Closely following preparation steps will help you attain the quality results you’re looking for. Implementing a diet and exercise plan will allow you to stay close to an ideal weight and help you form good habits to maintain your flat stomach after the procedure. This plan should include limiting your alcohol consumption, since alcohol has been associated with the buildup of more abdominal fat. (3)
If you have physical limitations or a chronic condition that affects your ability to work out, talk with Dr. Kronowitz about how you can incorporate exercise into your life in a safe way. If you are a smoker, you will have to quit approximately 4-6 weeks before your procedure. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes have been known to place more stress on the heart and lungs during surgery. He will also advise you to completely avoid taking certain anti-inflammatories and blood thinners for at least a couple of weeks before and after the procedure. These medications have been known to cause unwanted bleeding, impede healing, and result in more bruising during recovery.
Dr. Kronowitz will provide you with the items you need to recover well, but it won’t harm you to stock up on extra items just in case. Extra gauze pads, certain OTC medications, and ice packs for soreness can be incredibly helpful. Finally, plan ahead for how your day-to-day will look during the first few days after surgery. You may want someone to help you with driving and daily chores. Finally, be sure to have comfortable clothes that are very easy to change into.
There are three variations of the procedure: the full tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, and the extended tummy tuck. Each is performed slightly differently and addresses different aesthetic issues:
Full Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed with general anesthesia. Once you are completely numbed and asleep, Dr. Kronowtiz will make a short incision right above the pubic line. The incision is positioned low so that it can be easily concealed with clothing. Most patients do not require an incision around the belly button, but it may be needed in patients with significantly loose skin. Dr. Kronowitz can remove fat using liposuction to sculpt with precision. For patients with separated abdominal muscles, a condition called diastasis recti, he will tighten the core muscles to maximize their strength. Once the remaining skin is redraped and the incision is closed, sutures will remain in place for two weeks before they are removed.
Extended Tummy Tuck
With an extended tummy tuck, the short incision is extended to include the sides of your midsection, the flanks. With this procedure, Dr. Kronowitz can remove fat from the flanks and hips to form a more contoured waist.
Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation. It follows the same steps as the full tummy tuck, except that the mini requires an even smaller incision and targets only the lower abdomen. It requires less downtime and the recovery process is easier than a full tummy tuck.
Dr. Kronowitz will wrap your lower abdomen in a compression garment that will protect the healing incision and help reduce bruising and swelling by promoting blood circulation. You will have to wear this compression garment for 2 to 8 weeks 24/7 with the exception of showers. Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may need an incision drain to allow fluid to exit and further reduce swelling; these are removed after just a few days.
Since it is an outpatient procedure, you will need someone to drive you home. You will be sore and will need assistance for the first day to help with all household chores, dressing, and getting up. This discomfort will progressively lessen and can be alleviated with prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication. Most patients return to work and their day-to-day activities after two weeks, but strenuous exercise and lifting or carrying anything over 10 pounds are restricted for at least six weeks.
During your personal consultation, Dr. Kronowitz will look over your medical history and the medications you currently take. He will intently listen to your aesthetic goals and concerns and offer various other options and recommendations. You can learn more about the other procedures he offers on his blog.
For a tummy tuck procedure, he will specifically discuss different incision options and lengths to optimize your desired results. Dr. Kronowitz prides himself in delivering the safest and most comfortable experience possible to all of his patients. As the writer of three plastic surgery books and a contributor to more than 100 research publications, Dr. Kronowitz’ utilizes the best of his knowledge to ensure all patients have a smooth preparation, procedure, and recovery process. To get started with a consultation, call one of his locations in Cypress, Kingwood, The Woodlands, or Houston, TX at (713) 523-0300 or fill out our online form.
Tummy tuck surgery restores a firmer and flatter abdominal contour. This procedure is ideal for women who have loose skin and fat due to pregnancy, those who have experienced massive weight loss, or those who have been unable to achieve a flat stomach through proper diet and exercise. Ideal candidates for tummy tuck surgery do not smoke, are in good health, have tried to achieve a toned abdomen naturally, and have realistic expectations for their results. This procedure is not intended to be a weight loss procedure, so prospective patients should be somewhat close to their ideal weight.
Cost of a Tummy Tuck in Houston, Texas
The cost of your tummy tuck will depend on the type you get and the extent of tissue removal required. During your consultation, Dr. Kronowitz will determine a treatment plan, and you will be given a detailed estimate for your procedure.
How long do the results of a tummy tuck last?
The results of a tummy tuck can last a lifetime if you follow a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Do tummy tucks leave scars?
Tummy tucks can leave scars, but certain scar creams and gels, silicone scar treatments, and Vitamin E have all been proven to be effective at reducing their appearance. In addition, you should keep your blood sugar at a healthy level, avoid corticosteroids, and wear your compression garment as prescribed. The scar created is just above the pubic area, so it won’t be noticeable in a bathing suit.
How long is a tummy tuck procedure?
A tummy tuck takes 1 to 3 hours.
- Saariniemi KMM, Salmi AM, Peltoniemi HH, Helle MH, Charpentier P, Kuokkanen HOM. Abdominoplasty Improves Quality of Life, Psychological Distress, and Eating Disorder Symptoms: A Prospective Study. Plastic Surgery International. 2014;2014:197232. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/197232
- Carruthers KH, Kocak E, Hulsen JH, McMahan JD. Improvement in stress urinary incontinence after abdominoplasty. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2014;34(7):1091-1098. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1090820X14544023
- Schröder H, Morales-Molina JA, Bermejo S, et al. Relationship of abdominal obesity with alcohol consumption at population scale. Eur J Nutr. 2007;46(7):369-376. doi:10.1007/s00394-007-0674-7