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The goal of a tummy tuck is to create a smoother, firmer abdomen. Abdominoplasty can be performed on patients who have loose skin due to pregnancy, weight loss, or aging. It can also be used to treat separated or weakened abdominal muscles, which can cause the stomach to protrude. 

What is a tummy tuck?

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a “tummy tuck”, is a surgical procedure typically performed in patients who are at their ideal body weight but have loose skin on the abdomen due to pregnancy, weight loss, or aging. In addition, some patients may have separation of the abdominal muscles (rectus diastasis), which can cause a vertical mound in the center of the abdomen when straining. Abdominoplasty can help to improve the appearance of the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, and by tightening the abdominal muscles. It can also help to relieve symptoms associated with rectus diastasis (muscle separation).

Why choose the surgeons at Hill Country Plastic Surgery for your tummy tuck?

Hill Country Plastic Surgery was founded by two experienced board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Scott Farber and Dr. Amita Shah. With years of experience, they have performed some of the most complex plastic surgery procedures in the field. They bring a rare wealth of knowledge and expertise to our practice. In addition, we believe that the relationship between patient and surgeon is at the core of every successful procedure and that our exceptional results are based on the open communication between our surgeons and their patients. We are committed to working with you to achieve your cosmetic goals and have a reputation for delivering tailored, meticulously performed procedures. If you're looking for exceptional care from some of the best plastic surgeons in the business, look no further than Hill Country Plastic Surgery.

What happens during a tummy tuck?

  • Muscle separation is corrected by bringing the muscles back together in the center and suturing them in place. This procedure is called an “abdominal plication”. The excess skin from the abdomen is removed and the abdominal skin is stretched tight and sutured low on the abdomen.
  • The belly button is kept in the same place on the abdominal wall but is brought through the new overlying skin. This can help rejuvenate the belly button’s appearance if you have a droopy belly button.
  • Liposuction can be incorporated with an abdominoplasty but is limited. Liposuction on the flanks and back can help improve the final contour. If the patient has a significant amount of fat on the abdominal wall, it is recommended that they pursue weight loss or liposuction prior to having an abdominoplasty.
  • Stretch marks that are located on the lower abdomen can be removed during abdominoplasty.

The results of an abdominoplasty are permanent; however, they can be affected by fluctuations in weight. The surgery should be done when you are at or near your optimal weight. If you are planning any major weight loss or pregnancies in the future, the surgery should be postponed. An abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss or exercise.

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Variations of tummy tuck surgery 

Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may be a candidate for a drainless tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). Drainless tummy tucks also tend to have a shorter recovery time, as there is no need for patients to keep an eye on their drains and empty them regularly. Not all patients, however, are suitable candidates for a drainless procedure. For fleur-de-lis abdominoplasties or those requiring much skin and fat removal, drains will usually need to be placed. 

“Fleur-de-lis”

For patients that have undergone major weight loss and have a lot of excess skin, a “fleur-de-lis” procedure may be the best option. This procedure involves making an incision in the shape of a fleur-de-lis, which is a flower-shaped symbol that is often associated with French culture. The surgeon will then remove excess skin and fat from the abdominal area, as well as any loose or stretched-out muscles. In some cases, the surgeon may also tighten the abdominal muscles. The incisions will then be closed with sutures and the recovery process will begin 

Mini abdominoplasty

A mini abdominoplasty entails the removal of excess skin and fat below the belly button. This method can be utilized for patients that have excess skin that often hangs over c-section scars. The abdominal muscles are not tightened, and the belly button is not moved. This is not a good procedure for patients with extra skin above the belly button or a sagging belly button. Liposuction can be combined with a mini abdominoplasty. See also:  How To Minimize Tummy Tuck Scars After 5 Years

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Panniculectomy

A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. The panniculus is the apron of skin and fat that hangs down from the lower abdomen, often extending to the thighs. This can be a result of dramatic weight loss, pregnancy, or other factors.

A panniculectomy is not to be confused with a tummy tuck, as the latter is a cosmetic procedure that also tightens the abdominal muscles for a more toned appearance. A panniculectomy will only remove the excess skin and fat. However, this can still make your abdominal area flatter. 

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Tummy tuck Before and After

What will happen during a tummy tuck consultation?

During your Tummy Tuck consultation at Hill Country Plastic Surgery: 

  • We will discuss your concerns and goals before recommending treatment options that are tailored specifically to your needs. 
  • We will review your health and lifestyle to determine the best treatment options for you. Your medical history, surgical history, medications, allergies, family medical history, and other pertinent data will be reviewed in detail. It is very important that we obtain accurate information in all areas as it may impact the outcome of your surgery.
  • We will perform a physical exam and take the necessary measurements when planning for your surgery. Pre-operative (before surgery) photos will also be taken either at your consultation or during your pre-operative visit.

What will happen after my initial consultation?

After your consultation, you will receive access to your notes via the patient portal in addition to information regarding your specific surgery. If you have not yet activated your patient portal, this can be done at your appointment by asking any of our staff to assist you. If you have questions after your appointment, you can contact our office or message us through the patient portal. 

If you call the office after surgery, you will be connected to your surgeon, not a nurse. We want to make sure all your questions leading up to and after your procedure are answered to your satisfaction. Once you have determined that you would like to have surgery and have completed any clearances and tests that were requested, contact our office at (210) 658-3555 to schedule a pre-operative appointment with one of our surgeons.

Limitations, risks, and complications

While abdominoplasty surgery is generally safe, there are always risks associated with any kind of surgery. These risks can include bleeding, infection, and negative reactions to anesthesia, however, most patients who undergo abdominoplasty experience no complications whatsoever. As always, these risks can be greatly minimized by the skill of your surgeon. By choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon at Hill Country Plastic Surgery, you will greatly reduce your chances of experiencing any problems during or after your surgery.

View Our Pre & Post-Op Instructions

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Tummy tuck FAQs

Where will my surgery take place?

Will I stay overnight after my procedure?

How do I know which surgery is right for me?

Will my tummy tuck be covered by insurance?

When can I return to normal activities?

Is a tummy tuck be covered by insurance?

How much does a tummy tuck cost in San Antonio?

Where will my surgery take place?

Your abdominoplasty will be performed in our accredited surgical facility. The type of facility depends on many factors, such as the surgeon's preference, your overall health, and the complexity of the procedure. In most cases, the surgery is performed in an outpatient surgery center or a hospital.

Will I stay overnight after my procedure?

After an abdominoplasty, most patients can go home the same day. If we are doing an excision of a large amount of skin or additional procedures, you may need to stay overnight in the hospital or surgical center.

How do I know which surgery is right for me?

During your consultation, your surgeon will review all your options and supply you with recommendations. In general, an abdominoplasty is a good option if:

  • you are at your ideal weight and have been stable at that weight for at least 6 months
  • you are nicotine free. Nicotine can cause severe complications such as skin necrosis and wound separation. Tobacco use can also lead to an increased risk of developing a blood clot
  • you have realistic expectations about the results of the surgery.
  • If you have any bleeding or clotting problems, it is important that we are made aware of it. We will work with your hematologist to determine if this is a safe operation for you.
  • If you have significant medical problems, we will work with your physicians to determine if you can safely undergo surgery.

If you are considering abdominoplasty, it is important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon with ample experience performing this procedure. The surgeon will be able to evaluate your individual case and provide you with specific recommendations.

Will my tummy tuck be covered by insurance?

A cosmetic abdominoplasty is not covered by insurance. If you have chronic rashes under excess skin, your insurance carrier may cover a panniculectomy. If you are having a panniculectomy, the abdominal muscle plication and any additional dissection and liposuction may not be covered, as it is considered cosmetic. These procedures can be combined with the panniculectomy but will be an additional and separate cost. We will work with your insurance carrier, however, the final decision on coverage is theirs.

When can I return to normal activities?

You can return to your normal activities in about six weeks. If you had abdominal plication performed, you may want to limit your abdominal core workouts until 3 months after surgery. When resuming activities, it is recommended that you start slow and wear an abdominal binder at first and slowly increase your activity level.

Is a tummy tuck be covered by insurance?

A cosmetic abdominoplasty is not covered by insurance, however, if you have chronic rashes under excess skin, your insurance carrier may cover a panniculectomy. If you are having a panniculectomy, the abdominal muscle plication (six pack tightening) and any additional dissection and liposuction will not be covered. These procedures can be combined with the panniculectomy but will be an additional and separate cost. We will work with your insurance carrier, but the final decision will be theirs.

How much does a tummy tuck cost in San Antonio?

The cost of an abdominoplasty varies from patient to patient and depends on the amount of surgery that is needed. For example, a mini abdominoplasty would cost less than a full fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty. When determining the affordability of the surgery, the total cost of the abdominoplasty should be evaluated. The complete cost includes:

  • anesthesia fees
  • hospital or surgical center facility fees
  • medical test
  • compression garments
  • prescriptions
  • surgeon’s fee

Book your tummy tuck consultation!

Hill Country Plastic Surgery We build confidence.

Are you interested in learning more about this procedure? To schedule a consultation, please contact us. Hill Country Plastic Surgery, we treat each patient like a member of our family and are proud to have patients from all over who seek out our surgeons to achieve their aesthetic goals. We are the premier plastic surgery center in the San Antonio and Austin area, and our friendly team members are here to help. We look forward to meeting you in person!

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