Abdominoplasty in The Woodlands, TX

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What is a Tummy Tuck?

An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a very popular and commonly performed form of cosmetic surgery for people who desire a flatter abdomen. Dr. Rivela, consistently voted “Best Plastic Surgeon” in The Woodlands by Woodlands Online, regularly performs abdominoplasty in The Woodlands and has a great deal of experience.

A tummy tuck flattens the abdomen by the removal of excess skin and fat and the tightening of the muscles that comprise the abdominal wall. This procedure is wonderful for getting rid of excess abdominal skin and repairing muscle laxity which may follow childbirth, prior surgery, or as a result of significant fluctuations in weight.

Your Tummy Tuck Consultation with Dr. Rivela

The success and safety of your abdominoplasty procedure depend very much on your complete candidness during consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle.

Be prepared to discuss:

  • Why you want the surgery, your expectations, and desired outcome
  • The options available in tummy tuck surgery
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries

Dr. Rivela may also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Examine and measure your body, including detailed measurements
  • Take photographs for your medical record
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of body lift surgery and any risks or potential complications

Contact Rivela Plastic Surgery for more information on abdominoplasty and other possible cosmetic enhancements that you are considering and to schedule an in-depth consultation with Dr. Rivela. Let us help you achieve your desired look. Our caring staff is committed to helping you look and feel great.

Your Tummy Tuck Procedure

tummy tuck procedure infographicDr. Rivela performs a full abdominoplasty under a general or heavy anesthetic. The procedure takes 2-4 hours, depending on the individual patient. Typically, an abdominoplasty is performed in the surgery center, and an overnight stay in the surgery center may be required to control pain or due to the extent of the surgery.

Dr. Rivela will make a horizontal incision in the area immediately above the pubic bone, and the length and shape of the incision will be determined by the degree of correction. Excess skin is removed, and lax abdominal muscles are sutured together. The result is a smooth, tighter tummy. Liposuction may also be necessary in order to achieve the desired result. Additionally, a small incision around the navel will allow for re-positioning the belly button.

If you are physically healthy and your weight is stable, you may be considered a good candidate for a tummy tuck, provided your expectations are realistic regarding the outcome of your surgery.

About the Procedure

  • AnesthesiaGeneral
  • Location of operationHospital or surgery center
  • Length of surgery2-4 hours
  • Length of stayOutpatient or can stay overnight if necessary

Your Tummy Tuck Recovery

Discomfort After: May range from moderate to severe. The tighter Dr. Rivela makes your fascia, the greater your discomfort will be. Anticipate 3-14 days of prescription pain medication.

Swelling and Bruising: Any swelling you experience will peak in three days. Most swelling will improve within 2-4 weeks but may take six months to improve completely. As it resolves, it will linger in your lower abdomen above your scar line and may temporarily make this area look unnaturally full. Bruising does not usually occur, however, abdominal numbness should be expected and may last for six months or longer.

Bandages: Dressings are applied to your incision, and you’ll need to wear a removable compression garment that will minimize swelling while supporting your abdomen as you recover for up to nine weeks. The broad elastic band will provide extra comfort and support as you heal. Dr. Rivela may also place a temporary drain tube under the skin to drain any excess fluids that would otherwise collect around your incision.

Work: Typically patients can return to work after about two weeks, however, strenuous activity must be avoided for 4-6 weeks.

Exercise: May be resumed in six weeks.

Driving: Driving may be resumed after you have stopped taking prescription pain medication.

Final Result: Your scars will take approximately 3-12 months to fade and flatten. Your abdomen will immediately look better in most bathing suits than it did prior to surgery, but you may need to choose your swimwear carefully. If your scar is exposed while you are outdoors, you should protect it with sunscreen SPF 15 or higher for at least one year to prevent discoloration. You must also avoid tanning beds. View our blog for more tips on smooth tummy tuck recovery.

Tummy Tuck FAQs

Who is a good candidate for an abdominoplasty?

A good candidate for abdominoplasty is someone who is close to their ideal weight, but who may have loose abdominal skin and/or weakened abdominal muscles either from pregnancy or weight loss.

What factors should be considered when selecting a tummy tuck surgeon?

Experience is the most important factor to consider when selecting a tummy tuck surgeon. Through viewing before and after pictures of the surgeon’s work, you will be able to determine whether you like the results she or he has been able to achieve in the past. Board certification is also very important. Dr. Rivela has performed many abdominoplasty procedures.

Are there different types of abdominoplasty procedures?

Yes. There are different types of abdominoplasty procedures for different patient’s needs. All of the procedures involve the removal of excess skin and the tightening of abdominal muscles. A traditional tummy tuck addresses imperfections in the entire abdominal area both above and below the navel.nnIf a mini-tummy tuck is performed, the surgeon only works on improving the area underneath the navel. An extended tummy tuck will improve the appearance of love handles on either side of the hips, in addition to the abdominal area. A circumferential abdominoplasty is usually performed when a massive amount of weight loss has taken place, leaving an apron of loose skin around the entire body. This procedure may also be referred to as a lower body lift.nnAdditionally, some patients elect to undergo additional procedures, such as liposuction or breast augmentation, at the same time as their tummy tuck procedure.

What does a tummy tuck usually cost?

Typically, a tummy tuck will cost anywhere between $8,000 and $10,000. A precise estimate of your abdominoplasty cost can only be obtained during a one-on-one patient consultation with your surgeon. Many variables influence the price, and there may be several additional costs not calculated in the initial fee.

Can I finance the cost of an abdominoplasty?

It is entirely possible that financing will cover the price of a tummy tuck, but you will need a thorough knowledge of your financing options, your rights as a borrower, and the surgical and post-surgical costs of the abdominoplasty procedure. The caring and knowledgeable staff at Rivela Plastic Surgery will explain your financing options.

How do I prepare for a tummy tuck?

At your patient consultation, tell Dr. Rivela about all medications and herbal supplements that you are taking. You may have to either decrease or discontinue your dosage of some medications two weeks prior to surgery, and Dr. Rivela will be able to tell you which medications increase your risk for complications. You will have to quit smoking two weeks before the surgery and remain a non-smoker for two weeks following surgery. Exercise, eat a balanced diet, and get plenty of rest in the weeks leading up to surgery. Follow any instructions your surgeon gives you to the letter.nnAnother part of preparing for abdominoplasty surgery is looking over tummy tuck before and after photos, which will give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of results. Having realistic expectations is vital.

What happens during the tummy tuck procedure?

During the surgery, your surgeon will make one or more incisions. Likely, the incisions will extend from hip to hip and around the navel. Your surgeon will remove excess skin and tighten the abdominal muscles. Sometimes a small amount of liposuction is used to remove small pockets of fat. The incisions are closed using surgical stitches and, if necessary, the navel is reattached.

What is the abdominoplasty recovery period like?

The tummy tuck recovery will be marked by gentle movement, temporary pain and some discomfort. You will have abdominal stitches and be fitted with a tummy tuck drain to draw fluid away from the wound. It will be at least 1-2 weeks before the drains are removed. You should be able to return to work in 2-3 weeks. The stitches will be removed in stages over the course of two weeks. Light walking and other very gentle exercise will help with the swelling and prevent the formation of blood clots in the legs.

Are there risks associated with tummy tuck surgery?

Abdominoplasty is considered to be a safe procedure. If you take proper care in preparation and follow your surgeon’s instruction regarding post-operative care, the risks are minimal. There is the risk that you will develop an infection, blood clots, or that there will be complications to the healing process. If complications occur, they can usually be treated, but may result in more prominent scarring after surgery.

Are there side effects to abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty is a major surgery which does involve side effects. After undergoing a tummy tuck, you will experience some pain and swelling. Dr. Rivela will prescribe medication and instruct you on how you can lessen your discomfort.

What are the benefits of tummy tuck surgery?

An Abdominoplasty can most definitely improve your appearance and level of self-esteem. It can also be performed for health reasons if loose skin and weakened abdominal muscles have become a medical issue, as is sometimes the case after massive weight loss.

Does a male tummy tuck differ from a female tummy tuck?

Yes. Since abdominoplasty is a form of body contouring, a male tummy tuck differs from a female tummy tuck in that Dr. Rivela is trying to achieve a very different body aesthetic.

Will I be able to maintain my figure after undergoing abdominoplasty surgery?

It is essential that you exercise routinely and follow a balanced diet in order to maintain the improved figure that accompanies abdominoplasty surgery. With proper maintenance, you will be able to retain the results of your tummy tuck for many years following surgery.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you’re considering abdominoplasty in The Woodlands, there’s no better option than board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lucian Rivela. Contact Rivela Plastic Surgery today and schedule a consultation, where you will be able to discuss your goals in further detail.

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