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At UT Southwestern Medical Center, our surgeons have expertly performed thousands of tummy tucks, also known as abdominoplasty surgeries.
Many patients we see want a flatter, firmer abdomen for a variety of reasons, such as to counter the effects of natural aging, changes to the body after pregnancy, and excessive skin after weight loss. In addition to surgery, we discuss healthy eating and exercise, both of which are crucial to preserving the results and maintaining health for a lifetime.
Improving the Contour of the Abdomen
With an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, our board-certified plastic surgeons can improve the contour of the abdomen by removing fat and skin and tightening the abdominal muscles. Our team is nationally and internationally recognized for delivering outstanding clinical care and conducting groundbreaking research.
Types of Abdominoplasty
The types of tummy tucks we offer include:
- Extended abdominoplasty (central body lift): The surgeon makes incisions around the waist to remove fat and sagging skin. Remaining skin is then flattened over the abdomen. Muscles are tightened during the procedure. We also make sure the belly button is positioned appropriately. Patients can expect a flatter abdomen and smaller waist size with this procedure.
- Mini abdominoplasty: This procedure can be an option for patients with a high torso and smaller amounts of excess skin and adipose tissue, particularly above the belly button. The procedure allows for a minimal incision just above the pubis area, along the bikini line. The incision then continues laterally to the hip. The surgery provides more impact than liposuction and can be performed on an outpatient basis.
Tummy Tuck: What to Expect
Before recommending the best approach for abdominoplasty, our surgeons consider the individual circumstances of each patient. We evaluate body type, the amount of skin and fatty tissue to be removed, and other factors.
Surgery can last one hour to three hours, depending on the amount of tissue to be removed. The use of drains depends on the surgeon’s preference and the amount of tissue being removed. Most patients who have an extended abdominoplasty can go home the following day and return to normal activity within one to two weeks.
For the best results, it’s important to be within a healthy weight range. A tummy tuck should never be a replacement for weight management. If a patient is significantly overweight, we might recommend various diet and exercise plans in addition to other surgical and nonsurgical weight loss methods available at UT Southwestern.
Maximizing the Long-Term Benefits
The results of abdominoplasty are permanent. However, the body (including the abdomen) changes over time. To preserve the results of the surgery, regular exercise and healthy eating habits are key to long-term success.
“Our physicians have performed thousands of abdominoplasty and body-contouring procedures and written numerous journal articles on reshaping the body, and we continue to teach future plastic surgeons."