Making the decision to undergo cosmetic surgery can be overwhelming, confusing, and often a difficult process. There are countless things to think about: when to have the procedure, how much it will cost, what the recovery will be like, and what kinds of results to expect. At Austin Plastic Surgery Institute in Austin, TX, our knowledgeable and caring team of board-certified plastic surgeons fully understands the significant emotional, physical, and financial investment involved in cosmetic surgery and is committed to making the process as easy and comfortable for patients as possible. During your initial one-on-one consultation, your surgeon will take all of the time necessary to discuss your goals and concerns, answer all of your questions fully, and talk through your options at length.

I am considering a tummy tuck. What do I need to know?

One of the most commonly requested procedures by patients across the country year after year is the tummy tuck. Before making the decision to undergo any surgery, particularly one as significant as the tummy tuck, it is important to have at least a basic understanding of the procedure, what to expect, and what the recovery period will be like.

What is a tummy tuck?

Also known as abdominoplasty, the tummy tuck can produce dramatic results and help patients achieve the body of their dreams by removing excess skin and often tightening the core muscles. Though it is typically thought of as a procedure for women after childbirth (often being performed as part of a mommy makeover), the tummy tuck can be effective for both men and women, including women who have never had children.

Despite its relatively casual-sounding name, the tummy tuck is actually a fairly major surgery. The procedure, which usually lasts about 2-3 hours and is performed under general anesthesia, involves making an incision along the lower abdomen and removing excess skin between the belly button and the pubic bone. Oftentimes, liposuction will also be performed at the time of the surgery to remove stubborn pockets of fat, further enhancing the waistline and improving the final result. In cases where a patient’s abdominal muscles have separated, a common occurrence after pregnancy, the surgeon can bring the muscles back together and tighten them up as part of a tummy tuck. The overall outcome of a tummy tuck is a firmer, slimmer, more contoured midsection.

What is tummy tuck recovery like?

As an invasive surgical procedure, the tummy tuck has a significant recovery period associated with it compared to liposuction alone. The utilization of a long acting local anesthetic Exparel  injected directly into the muscles and fascia has really enhanced recovery. Postoperatively, patients are now less dependent on narcotics for long periods of time. Patients should expect some level of pain and discomfort in the first several days and weeks following the surgery.  Many patients are candidates to not have any drains, but your surgeon will be the one who decides what they think is best for you. There will also be bruising and swelling present for up to 14 days. These symptoms can be relieved with medications, ice packs, compression, and other methods. Patients should plan to have fairly restricted mobility for the first week after a tummy tuck, and it is essential to plan for help during that period. This is particularly important for patients with young children, as the ability to do any heavy lifting will be limited for several weeks. If liposuction was performed in conjunction with your tummy tuck, you will be advised to wear compression garments for up to 4 weeks to reduce swelling and to promote healing.

Most patients will be able to resume their normal daily activities, including returning to work, after about 2 weeks, assuming their job does not require strenuous physical activity. Exercise and other activities can generally be resumed around 4-6 weeks, but it is important that you follow your doctor’s postoperative guidelines closely to ensure a successful recovery and proper healing.

What questions should I ask during my tummy tuck consultation?

In addition to asking about the appropriate time to have a tummy tuck, how the procedure can improve your physique, and what to expect at each stage of the process- one of the most important topics to bring up during your consultation is the experience of your surgeon. Selecting a qualified, experienced , board -certified plastic surgeon is arguably the most beneficial thing you can do when considering a tummy tuck.

How do I find the best tummy tuck surgeon in Austin, TX?

With a treatment that can make as big of a transformative impact as a tummy tuck can, choosing a surgeon that is highly experienced in performing the procedure is crucial. In the hands of an expertly trained surgeon with an artful eye and a skillful hand, patients can achieve a gorgeous, natural, stunning outcome from the tummy tuck. The renowned board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin Plastic Surgery Institute have performed countless successful abdominoplasty surgeries for men and women in Austin, TX and have a reputation for providing the most exceptional level of patient care and service.

Don’t hesitate to use your tummy tuck consultation as an opportunity to find out more about your surgeon, their experience, and their training. You can also see what other procedures they offer that might be right for you. It is helpful to read reviews on the surgeon’s website and on third-party platforms, and to browse before and after photo galleries of the surgeon’s previously performed tummy tucks when making your final decision.

I am seriously considering a tummy tuck. What next?

If you think a tummy tuck may be right for you, the first step is to be evaluated by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Call the Austin Plastic Surgery Institute to schedule your consultation today, and learn more about how a tummy tuck can transform your look, boost your confidence, and help you achieve the body you’ve always wanted!