What is a tummy tuck?
Spot reduction in the abdominal area may seem unachievable with diet and exercise alone. Loose skin and pockets of fat surrounding the abdominal region can be frustrating and challenging despite efforts to get rid of it. This is why our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Pierre Chevray, continues to offer tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) procedures to his male and female patients in Houston, TX. You may have loose or sagging skin caused by genetics, aging, or certain life events, like pregnancy or weight fluctuations. A tummy tuck allows Dr. Chevray to excise that unwanted skin and fat from your stubborn abdominal areas. Most patients who undergo a tummy tuck achieve a smoother, flatter, and well-toned abdomen. Although a tummy tuck is an excellent solution for excising excess skin, it is no substitute for a nutritious diet and regular exercise. It is also not a solution for stretchmarks located above the belly button.
Skin excision, muscle tightening, and fat reduction within the abdomen can successfully transform your abdominal area with great results. Contact our Houston, TX plastic surgery practice for your tummy tuck consultation.
"I saw Dr Chevray for breast reconstruction. I highly recommend him. Patrick and Carol are awesome. It was a very scary time for me and they made me feel special. I had a few bumps during recovery but he and his staff were always available to me. I can not express how thankful I am for this wonderful team."- W.B. / Facebook / Jan 31, 2020
"I saw Dr Chevray for breast reconstruction after mastectomy. He is kind, compassionate and very caring. His PA Patrick and nurse Carol are fantastic. They were always available for me at any time during my recovery. Words can not express how thankful I am for this team. I would highly recommend him if you ever need top notch care for reconstructive surgery."- W.B. / Healthgrades / Feb 01, 2020
"Dr Chevray and his staff are the best. I had breast reconstruction after mastectomy. The kindness and compassion he and his entire staff showed to me is phenomenal. I could not be more pleased with how my breasts look now. I highly recommend Dr Chevray. He answers questions directly and compassionately. His surgical skills are top notch I could go on and on about how wonderful he and his staff are."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Jan 31, 2020
"Dr Chevray, Patrick and Carol were all wonderful, sympathetic and caring. All my questions were answered, they gave me plenty of time and I am very pleased with my results."- J.R. / Google / Jan 31, 2020
"Dr Chevray, Patrick and Carol were all wonderful, sympathetic and caring. All my questions were answered, they gave me plenty of time and I am very pleased with my results. After my cancer they were very quick to respond and made sure I understood everything that was happening."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Jan 31, 2020
Who can have a tummy tuck?
If you are frustrated with loose, hanging, wrinkly skin, and excess fat on your abdomen, you should consider a tummy tuck. Dr. Chevray suggests candidates be at a healthy weight before undergoing this surgical treatment. A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss — it focuses on loose skin. A form of liposuction can be implemented during surgery to remove a small amount of fat. If your lower stomach has good skin laxity, but you still are not satisfied with how your tummy looks and feels, you may be a better candidate for just liposuction.
Keep in mind that tummy tuck results are long-lasting but can be negated with future pregnancies or extreme weight fluctuations. Candidates for a tummy tuck are required to have a pre-surgical consultation and physical examination. We also ask that you be a nonsmoker with excess abdominal skin due to significant weight loss or pregnancy and currently at a stable weight.
How is a tummy tuck performed?
Dr. Chevray will have you go through our pre-surgical process, which includes lab work and pre-operative instructions. There may be some medications that you will need to discontinue for a short period before having your tummy tuck. On the day of your tummy tuck surgery, you will need to refrain from eating and drinking. In an outpatient surgical setting, you will be administered an IV sedative or general anesthesia before the procedure. Dr. Chevray will go into surgery with your specified treatment plan, which can include an extended tummy tuck, a traditional tummy tuck, or a mini tummy tuck.
- An extended tummy tuck has the largest incision, which stretches from hip bone to hip bone, but it is effective in excising the most amount of skin on the upper and lower abdominals, plus the hips and some of the thigh areas.
- A traditional tummy tuck has a shorter incision across the abdomen than an extended tummy tuck, but it also captures the excessive skin on the upper and lower abdomen.
- A mini tummy tuck has the smallest incision just above the pubic bone. This is a great procedure for men and women who want to reshape the tummy when not a lot of excess skin is present.
Regardless of how your tummy tuck is performed, all abdominoplasties by Dr. Chevray involve the excision of sagging skin, ab muscle tightening, and fat removal. The stretched-out muscles are sutured tightly before the incision is finally closed. Your incision line will be placed where the scar can be hidden under clothing. You will then be taken to a post-op area to recover.
Your tummy tuck recovery
Following this procedure, you will be released wearing a compression garment to assist with swelling. Walking and standing will be difficult at first so you should rest for a couple of days. Standing becomes less painful once the tightness subsides and the incision heals. You should be able to resume a normal routine somewhere around two weeks. Workouts can begin later, closer to 6 – 8 weeks or when you are given permission by Dr. Chevray. Swelling is normal following a tummy tuck so your final results will not be visible until several weeks after the procedure. Dr. Chevray will give you personalized instructions for at-home care and will schedule a return visit to his office for follow-ups on your progress.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of tummy tuck should I ask for in my consultation?
You will probably get one of the three most common types of tummy tucks: an extended, traditional, or a mini tummy tuck. In your initial consultation, Dr. Chevray will ask about your needs and goals while examining your abdominal skin. Then, he can help you decide the technique that will give you the best results. A full tummy tuck is good if you would like to fix loose skin in both the upper and lower abdomen, whereas a mini tummy tuck is good if you only have concerns below your belly button, like a "pooch." The extended technique can address issues in the abdomen, as well as your hips and upper thighs.
What will my scars look like?
Surgical incisions will vary based on which technique is being used. During all tummy tucks, Dr. Chevray makes the smallest, thinnest incisions possible to limit scarring. He also makes incisions in areas that are less visible (in the pubic region or belly button) so lines may be easily concealed by underwear or a swimsuit. After your surgery, it is important to follow your scar care instructions so your sutures heal flat and eventually blend into your natural skin.
Can I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?
Although you can still get pregnant following a tummy tuck, it will likely affect your results. Dr. Chevray recommends that you be done with planned pregnancies and childbirth before you consider a tummy tuck. If you do become pregnant following your tummy tuck, revisional surgery can be performed to refresh your initial tummy tuck.
Can I get a tummy tuck with another surgery?
Many patients get a second surgery with a tummy tuck to give them more dramatic results. At your initial consultation with Dr. Chevray, talk to him about your concerns. He will make a comprehensive treatment plan to match your aesthetic goals. You may combine a tummy tuck with a thigh lift for a lower body lift or several areas for custom body contouring. If you are trying to improve your body after having children or losing a lot of weight, you might be a good candidate for a body lift after weight loss or a mommy makeover.
For a flattering, well-toned tummy
A variety of factors can lead to a stretched-out stomach that leaves behind loose ab skin. We understand it can be a troubling problem to have — a tummy tuck may be the key to overcome extra skin and fatty deposits around your belly. If you are embarrassed by the loose skin in your abdomen, no matter how minimal or severe, a tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck by Dr. Chevray can allow you to get a tighter tummy. We invite you to call Chevray Plastic Surgery within Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX to learn more.