Tummy Tuck Austin

Many patients suffer from excess skin and/or fat to their abdomen, which can be difficult to correct with diet and exercise.  Extreme weight loss/gain, pregnancy, and aging can cause this to occur.  Many of these patients are great candidates for an abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a “tummy tuck” procedure.

During a tummy tuck procedure, excess skin and fat are removed from a protruding abdomen and the abdominal muscles and remaining skin are tightened. In cases where fat deposits exist only in the region below the navel, a partial or “mini” tummy tuck might be a better option.  No matter which procedure you choose, a tummy tuck is an excellent way to flatten your tummy and give you that taut midsection that you desire.  If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to find out if you are a good candidate for an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), please contact us to find out more.


What is a “tummy tuck?”

  • Abdominoplasty (aka “tummy tuck”) is a common cosmetic procedure that involves surgically removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen. This is usually done as an outpatient procedure and requires anesthesia.

Should I lose weight before the procedure?

  • It is generally recommended that you lose as much weight as possible on your own before the procedure. Excessive weight loss after a tummy tuck may alter the cosmetic outcome of the procedure. This can be discussed further at your consultation appointment.

Will having previous abdominal surgery interfere with this procedure?

  • Previous abdominal surgery may interfere with the healing process after tummy tuck surgery. It is important to provide accurate information regarding surgical history at your consultation. These risks can be further explained during your office visit.

How long is this surgery?

  • Although the length of time of surgery is different for every patient, the surgery is typically around 3 hours long. This may be discussed further at your consultation or preoperative appointment.

Where will my incisions be located?

  • There is one long horizontal incision that is located along the lower abdomen. This incision is usually hidden under clothing or bathing suits. There is also a circular incision around your umbilicus (“belly button”). It will take several months for these scars to fully mature. There are products you may use that may improve the appearance of the scars. This will be discussed during one of your follow-up appointments.

What type of dressings will I have?

  • The incisions will be covered with either steri-strips or Dermabond. The steri-strips look like long pieces of tape that are placed over the incisions. These stay on the incision for several days and eventually come off on their own. Steri-strips are not used on patients with skin sensitivity or tape allergy. Over this, there may be pieces of gauze and tape which may be removed 1-2 days after surgery. The areas should remain covered if they continue to drain fluid. Dressings should remain over the umbilicus if it continues to drain.

Will I have drains to take care of?

  • During the surgery, there are two drains that are placed underneath the skin along the abdominal wall. One drain will exit the left side of the abdomen, one drain exits the right side. The surgical staff will explain how to manage these drains while you are recovering at home. The drains are typically removed in the office 1-2 weeks after surgery.

When may I return to work/school after surgery?

  • Most patients are able to return to work/school full time 2-3 weeks after surgery.

When may I return to my regular exercise routine?

  • Most patients are able to return to their pre-surgery exercise routine approximately 6 weeks after surgery. Patients may be able to return to a light, low-impact exercise routine as soon as 3-4 weeks after surgery. It is important to discuss this with your doctor at your follow-up appointment.

Will I need to have sutures (stitches) removed after surgery?

  • There are typically no sutures that need to be removed. All sutures are dissolvable and underneath the skin.  There are drains that will need to be removed at one of your follow-up appointments.

Will I need to wear a compression garment?

  • A compression garment will need to be worn continuously for the first 3 weeks out of surgery. After 3 weeks, the garment will need to be worn most of the time though at that point it would be okay to go without the garment for several hours at a time if cleared by the provider.  After 6 full weeks, the compression garment does not need to be worn.

How long should I expect to have swelling?

  • Although most swelling resolves over the first month after surgery, swelling may persist anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months. Wearing the compression garment as instructed plays a key role in reducing the amount of swelling postoperatively. Bruising from the procedure should be expected though it usually resolves within the first month after surgery.

What prescriptions will I need?

  • After surgery, you will be given a prescription for pain medication. It is important to inform your doctor if you have any allergies or adverse reactions to certain medications.

Breast and Body Center of Austin


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