Dallas Plastic Surgeon Dr. David Azouz discusses Tummy Tucks: Frequently Asked Questions, Definition, Surgery Recovery, Cost and More!
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A Tummy Tuck is also known as abdominoplasty and is a procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to remove excess skin, fat, and repair weakened muscles in the abdomen to create a slimmer profile. This is a very popular procedure for women who have undergone childbirth to help bring them back to their pre-baby bodies.
Patients who have diastasis recti, where the muscles in the abdomen are spread apart, can benefit from this surgery. Men and women with hernias are also candidates for repair via a Tummy Tuck approach. Patients with significant weight loss can benefit in their workouts, with intimacy, and with their general comfort by removing the excess skin.
What is diastasis recti?
A diastasis of the rectus abdominus muscles refers to the laxity or weakening of the major muscles in the abdomen. These muscles separate and cause a protuberant or “bulging” abdomen. Some patients feel that their abdomen ”looks pregnant” because of the weakening of their rectus diastasis.
Does Dr. Azouz do a lot of Tummy Tucks?
YES! The Tummy Tuck is one of the most popular procedures performed by Dr. Azouz. Patients who are looking for a Tummy Tuck procedure usually have many questions about the procedure. Dr. Azouz takes ample time during the consultation appointment to answer all of the questions that his patients have. Dr. Azouz combines his drain-less Tummy Tucks with liposuctions and an ultra-low incision line. Patients can often conceal their incisions in even the most skimpy undergarments or bikinis after their Tummy Tuck because of the low incision. Dr. Azouz also performs mons liposuction which is critical to avoiding a bulge after a Tummy Tuck.
Can I have a monsplasty at the same time as my Tummy Tuck?
Yes! Dr. Azouz routinely performs monsplasty/liposuction in men and women during a Tummy Tuck.
Which Tummy Tuck Procedure is Right for Me?
There are a few different modalities of the Tummy Tuck surgery. These are the full abdominoplasty, mini-abdominoplasty, and no-drain abdominoplasty. Different modalities will work for different patients based on their specific needs.
- Full Abdominoplasty
- The full Tummy Tuck involves a horizontal incision below the lower abdomen and an incision around the navel. This procedure removes excess skin while also repairing the muscles and pulling them to a tighter position. This is commonly used for patients who have issues from pregnancy or major weight fluctuations such as patients who have had Bariatric Surgery (Post Bariatric).
- Mini Abdominoplasty
- With the mini Tummy Tuck, only one incision smaller incision along the lower abdomen is needed. It pulls the skin to a tighter position. It is best used for minor cases of laxity. The best candidates for this procedure have most of their laxity below the navel.
- No-Drain Abdominoplasty
- Dr. David Azouz has been performing no drain Tummy Tucks for over 25 years. This technique is to reduce the amount of fluid that is built-up after surgery, by closing off the space where fluid would accumulate. No drain (drainless) surgery avoids painful drains, avoids excess scarring and does not require the frequent monitoring and emptying of fluid.
During the consultation appointment, Dr. Azouz will examine your abdominal skin and muscle laxity, go over your medical history, and learn about your goals and concerns to recommend the best method of Tummy Tuck for you.
Frequently Asked Tummy Tuck Questions
- What is the Tummy Tuck Recovery Like?
- Recovery is different for each patient. Dr. Azouz will provide specific aftercare instructions that should be followed closely for optimal healing. Dr. Azouz utilizes multiple techniques that minimize pain with a Tummy Tuck. This includes the method of anesthesia, local nerve blocks, no drain approach, cold therapy, and more. Swelling and bruising is normal but should subside within weeks after surgery. Dr. Azouz has patients avoid steam rooms and saunas for three months after surgery so as to swell. Most people are free to return to their normal routine within one to two weeks. Heavy activity such as scuba diving, horseback riding, basketball, hockey, as well as heavy lifting is out for six weeks.
- Can a Tummy Tuck Be Combined with Other Procedures?
- The Tummy Tuck is often combined with other surgeries for a more comprehensive approach to addressing patient concerns. Dr. Azouz routinely uses liposuction with a Tummy Tuck to remove fatty tissue in and around the abdomen. Also, a Tummy Tuck is one of the main procedures done in a mommy makeover. A mommy makeover is a comprehensive surgery that uses procedures that address the abdomen, breasts, and fatty tissue on the body. Patients will often have a breast lift, breast augmentation or labiaplasty concurrently with their Tummy Tuck.
- Do I need to lose weight before a Tummy Tuck?
- Often Dr. Azouz does not necessarily recommend losing weight prior to a Tummy Tuck. A Tummy Tuck can be a great way to improve exercise and diet. Dr. Azouz does recommend quitting smoking prior to a Tummy Tuck.
- Does Dr. Azouz perform liposuction with a Tummy Tuck?
- Dr. Azouz routinely performs liposuction in multiple locations during a Tummy Tuck. Liposuction helps to sculpt the body and provide an improved figure. Dr. Azouz also performs liposuction of the lateral chest wall to remove “bra fat” with a mommy makeover.
- Can my belly button be saved with a Tummy Tuck?
- Dr. Azouz is able to create a more aesthetic umbilicus (belly button) during a Tummy Tuck. Dr. Azouz saves the belly button skin and “moves” the belly button to a more aesthetic location with better position. Dr. Azouz has been able to save many belly buttons that other surgeons had deemed not salvageable.
- Does Dr. Azouz perform a drain-less Tummy Tuck?
- Yes! Dr. Azouz routinely performs a drain-less Tummy Tuck and has been doing so for over 25 years. Most patients in his practice undergo a drain-less operation.
- Can my Gallbladder or Uterus be removed at the same time as a Tummy Tuck?
- Yes. Dr. Azouz is able to coordinate with OBGYN (gynecologists) and general surgeons to perform intrabdominal surgery concurrently with various cosmetic plastic surgery operations. This includes liposuction, breast augmentation, breast lift, Tummy Tuck and monsplasty at the same time as another surgery. This allows for one anesthetic and one recovery.
- Is a Tummy Tuck painful?
- Dr. Azouz performs a variety of techniques to minimize pain with a Tummy Tuck. These include local and regional nerve blocks, compression, cold therapy and more. Many patients report minimal pain with their tummy tuck.
- Do the results of a Tummy Tuck last?
- The results of a Tummy Tuck do last. This is especially true if a patient remains at approximately the same weight. Many patients have gained significant weight after a Tummy Tuck but still report that they have a flat abdomen which was better than before.
- What if I get pregnant after a Tummy Tuck?
- Patients can still get pregnant after a Tummy Tuck. Dr. Azouz recommends that patients not plan a Tummy Tuck if they think they are getting pregnant within a year of surgery. Dr. Azouz has seen skin retraction in patients who have gotten pregnant years after their Tummy Tuck. These patients still reverted to their post-Tummy Tuck bodies.
- Does a Tummy Tuck remove stretch marks?
- Yes, a Tummy Tuck removes stretch marks within the skin excision of a Tummy Tuck. A Tummy Tuck is an excellent way to remove stretch marks from the lower abdomen.
- Where are the scars located in a Tummy Tuck?
- A Tummy Tuck usually involves a scar hidden within the underwear line and a scar around the belly button. The belly button is a scar from the loss of the umbilical cord at birth. This means that belly button scars are usually camouflaged once they fade.
- When will I see the results of a Tummy Tuck?
- Tummy tuck results will be seen once the bruising and swelling subsides. Patients usually see significant improvement in their abdomen within six weeks after surgery. Patients report that their abdomen will continue to look better over time. Some patients report maximal improvement within one year after surgery while others sometimes report that they look even better at 18 months after surgery.
- What should I eat after my Tummy Tuck?
- Dr. Azouz will review nutrition with his patients after surgery. There are a variety of wound healing products available to improve healing after surgery. Silicone gel and silicone gel sheeting can be helpful to help scars fade faster. Some patients report that dietary supplements can also speed up wound healing.
- What is the best age for a Tummy Tuck?
- Dr. Azouz performs Tummy Tucks in patients of varied ages. In general the younger the better. Some patients who are healthy can have Tummy Tucks into their sixties. Dr. Azouz has also performed Tummy Tucks in patients who are in their 20s and this usually involves post-bariatric patients. Generally, patients will undergo Tummy Tucks in their 30s to 50s.
- Do men have Tummy Tucks?
- Yes! Men have Tummy Tucks as well. Dr. Azouz performs drain-less Tummy Tuck in men as well. Men can benefit from diastasis repair, hernia repair, and similarly benefit from the removal of excess skin. Dr. Azouz routinely performs liposuction and removal of gynecomastia surgery concurrently with a male tummy tuck.
- Can I go home the same day as my Tummy Tuck?
- Dr. Azouz routinely sends patients home the same day as they have their surgery. Through history and physical examination, Dr. Azouz will determine if you are a candidate for a same day Tummy Tuck. Dr. Azouz utilizes many techniques to permit the recovery process to be as comfortable as possible. Dr. Azouz strives to afford patients the best tummy tuck by using additional methods of minimizing pain, nausea, and discomfort.
- Can my hernia be repaired with a Tummy Tuck?
- Many patients elect to have their hernia repaired through a tummy tuck incision. In many cases, Dr. Azouz is able to repair both a rectus diastasis and even large hernias without the use of mesh.
- What is the Cost of a Tummy Tuck?
- The cost of a Tummy Tuck surgery is dependent on many factors. Each patient gets a different surgery depending on their specific needs, so each cost if different. Dr. Azouz provides each patient with an individual cost, this will be discussed during the consultation appointment.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are considering a Tummy Tuck procedure, then talk to Dr. David Azouz, a board-certified plastic surgeon, who uses advanced techniques to give his patients effective, quality care. To make an appointment at his Dallas office, call us at (972) 702-8888 or fill out an online form.
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