The abdomen is one of the biggest problem areas on the body. Lifetime events such as pregnancy, age, hormone fluctuations and weight gain/loss can all stretch the skin, tissues and muscles past their ability to “bounce back”. An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that creates a firm, taut, and more youthful looking abdomen. For many women who’ve had children or patients who’ve lost a massive amount of weight, it is the only way to remove the excess skin that is resistant to diet and exercise, and restore balance to your abdominal contour.
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Mark Deuber, is passionate about delivering the highest quality result for his Dallas area and beyond patients. The most over-looked component of this is the recovery. While the tummy tuck has a bad reputation when it comes to downtime, Dr. Deuber not only performs the cutting-edge drainless tummy tuck, but he also uses the same unique surgical technique that he uses in his 24 hour recovery breast augmentation procedures. This combination delivers significantly less bleeding and trauma to the tissues so that you recover faster, reduce your risk of post-operative complications and don’t have to put your life on hold for 2 weeks. In Dr. Deuber’s hands, you’ll be back on your feet and walking the halls of our surgery center the same night as your tummy tuck! It’s truly a game-changer.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a procedure that addresses the abdominal “pooch” that plagues so many women, especially if you’ve had multiple pregnancies. In fact, most mothers falsely assume that their pooch is solely the result of excess fat that must to be dieted away. The problem, however, is more complex. It typically involves:
- Excess, loose skin
- Pockets of extra fat
- Abdominal muscles that have relaxed and separated (diastasis)
No amount of kale salad or crunches is going to eliminate stretched out skin and muscles. With the tummy tuck procedure, Dr. Deuber is able to lift and tighten the skin, tissues and muscles, if necessary, creating the smooth, flat stomach that you desire. It can also help eliminate stretch marks. It does, however, leave a scar. Dr. Deuber takes considerable care to place the incision low on the abdomen where it can easily be hidden in your underwear or bathing suit, but the length of the incision is going to depend entirely on how much excess skin needs to be removed.
Full Tummy Tuck vs. Mini-tummy Tuck
The internet is great. It allows patients to educate themselves about a tummy tuck before ever talking to a plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, the web can also be misleading. When patients read online about a mini-tummy tuck versus a full tummy tuck, they want the mini version which has no incision around the belly button and a shorter scar. The mini-tummy tuck, however, is only appropriate for patients whose excess skin is located solely below the belly button. This pretty much rules out any woman who has had a child and/or gained and lost a significant amount of weight.
A full tummy tuck, on the other hand, involves an incision around the belly button and across the lower abdomen, but it also addresses the entirety of your abdominal region. It is the procedure that gives Dr. Deuber the most control in order to re-contour the look and feel of your abdomen. Furthermore, despite rumors to the contrary, the recovery from a mini-tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck are about the same. Since the internet can not take into consideration your unique anatomy, it is really important to book an in-person tummy tuck consultation with Dr. Deuber in his Dallas office.
Get a Tummy Tuck Consultation with Dr. Deuber
During your meeting, Dr. Deuber will listen closely to what bothers you about your body contour as well as what you hope to achieve with surgery. He will ask about your medical history and prior body contouring procedures, both surgical and non-surgical. Then, he will conduct a thorough physical examination to assess your:
- Skin laxity
- Areas and degree of excess fat
- Muscle separation, if any
While Dr. Deuber will perform a tummy tuck on its own, he may also combine it with liposuction if you have excess pockets of fat in your flanks, hips or back or with breast surgery as part of a Mommy Makeover. His job is to work with you to select the right procedure or procedures for creating your ideal body contour with the least amount of downtime possible.
The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck is any woman who is bothered by an abdominal pooch and who is in:
- Good overall health
- Within 10 lbs. of a maintainable goal weight
The Difference Between Liposuction & Tummy Tuck
Just as patients are confused about the differences between a mini-tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck, many also don’t understand why they can not simply have liposuction to address their abdominal pooch. The issue comes down to loose skin. Liposuction only addresses excess fat. In fact, if you are someone who has loose skin on your abdomen and you have only liposuction, it is going to make your skin even looser, and you will probably not be happy with your results. The only way to lift and tighten skin and muscle that have been stretched past their ability to “bounce back” is to surgically remove the excess with a tummy tuck.
What are the Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery?
The bedrock of Dr. Deuber’s practice philosophy is to create the highest quality patient experience. He understands that time is our most precious commodity which is why part of the Deuber difference is placing a premium on your recovery. His goal is to have you safely back to your normal routine as quickly as possible. Dr. Deuber utilizes the same ground-breaking electro-cautery technique in his tummy tuck procedures that he uses in his 24 hour recovery breast augmentation procedures. It allows him to cut and coagulate simultaneously in order to minimize blood loss and reduce inflammation.
Dr. Deuber couples this with the cutting-edge drainless tummy tuck technique in which he uses tissue glue and progressive tension or quilting sutures to seal the space between the surface and deeper abdominal tissues that are separated during surgery. Eliminating this space keeps fluid from forming in the cavity so that there is no need for a drain. The end result is less post-operative pain and a much speedier recovery.
Tummy Tuck Procedure Overview
Dr. Deuber performs all of his tummy tuck procedures under general anesthesia at Lemmon Avenue Surgery Center, his on-site, state-certified and fully accredited day surgery center in Dallas. After first marking your lower abdomen, he will make an incision from hip to hip. In the full tummy tuck, he will also make an incision around your belly button. He will then elevate the skin off the abdominal wall, pulling it down tight and trimming away the excess. He will use liposuction to remove any extra fat, and if the underlying muscles also need to be addressed, he will suture the two sides back together, creating almost a corset of support. Last, he will close your incision with absorbable sutures and steri-strips which will need to stay in place for about 10 days. The entire tummy tuck procedure takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on the extent of the work that needs to be done.
Tummy Tuck Recovery Process
All tummy tuck patients will spend the night in our surgery center so that our private nurse can get you comfortable with as little pain medication as possible. He or she will have you out of bed, walking the halls and going to the bathroom on your own the night of surgery. The goal is to get you acclimated to these normal activities so that you can quickly get back to your regular routine once you are home.
Dr. Deuber asks his tummy tuck patients to refrain from driving for 5 days following surgery, but he wants you to plan an event each day that gets you out of the house. Tummy tuck patients can make dinner and help with homework the night after surgery, but please avoid cardio for 2 weeks and don’t lift anything above 35 lbs. for 3 weeks. Most importantly, you need to avoid ALL core workouts until Dr. Deuber clears you.
You can expect swelling and bruising after your procedure, but a tummy tuck with Dr. Deuber is not going to have you moaning in bed for 2 weeks. While it may take a few months for you to rock those high-waisted skinny jeans, you will notice an improvement in your abdominal contour almost immediately.