Tummy tuck – also referred to as abdominoplasty – is a cosmetic surgery procedure to give patients a well-contoured abdomen. While exercise and diet are a great way to achieve a toned body, they do not always provide that flat, hourglass shape that many people desire. In a tummy tuck, plastic surgeons remove excess skin, tighten weakened muscles, and eliminate stubborn fat to achieve a firm and sleeker abdominal appearance. At Arroyo Plastic Surgery, Houston's best tummy tucks are performed by Dr. Christian Arroyo.

Common Reasons for a Tummy Tuck

Regardless of the nature of your abdominal concerns, Dr. Christian Arroyo is ready to create a treatment plan that is focused on achieving your goals with abdominoplasty at Houston's Arroyo Plastic Surgery. While there are several reasons one may be interested in a tummy tuck, some of the most common include:

  • Postpartum – when women are pregnant, the abdominal muscles will stretch and separate to accommodate the growing baby. After birth, the body does not always regain its initial shape. For this reason, many women choose abdominoplasty to help restore their pre-baby shape.
  • Significant weight loss – when we gain a lot of weight, our skin stretches to accommodate these changes. This stretching does not always bounce back, particularly after a rapid weight loss or bariatric surgery.
  • Genetics – a significant number of individuals who seek abdominoplasty are men and women whose genetic makeup paves the way for a troublesome, frustrating midsection that doesn't respond to diet and exercise.
  • Abdominal wall hernia – some patients have a hernia because their muscle layer has a hole that allows internal tissue to protrude. It is possible to combine hernia repair surgery with abdominoplasty to repair the hole while achieving an added cosmetic benefit.

Dr. Arroyo's Tummy Tuck Technique

His Surgical Approach

Dr. Arroyo performs tummy tucks at Houston's Arroyo Plastic Surgery in-office operating room. He will start by sedating you to increase your comfort level throughout the process. Incisions will then be created, and excess skin is removed. Also, weakened abdominal muscles are tightened. Liposuction may also be used to get rid of stubborn pockets of fat and assist in giving patients a more curved appearance rather than an unappealing boxier look. Once the re-contouring is complete, Dr. Arroyo will attach the skin and fat back down to the abdominal wall to decrease the time drains are in or not use them altogether. He will then close the incisions and apply gauze and bandage to the treatment area. Because this is considered an outpatient procedure, most patients are allowed to go home on the same day to continue recovery.

His Unique Sedation Method

During a tummy tuck, Dr. Arroyo uses the Total Intravenous Anesthesia (TIVA) Sedation method. This technique is considered to be generally safer and allows the patient to breathe on their own without any intubation during surgery. Some of the other benefits include less intravenous medication and none of the side effects commonly associated with general anesthesia, including nausea and vomiting. The process starts with an oral medication before surgery to ease nerves and pain, then a painless IV to start sedation. After surgery, you'll wake up feeling relaxed and ready to recover at home. Throughout the process, the patient is closely monitored by Dr. Arroyo’s surgical staff, with patient safety being the top priority. Just more evidence that Dr. Christian Arroyo performs the best abdominoplasty Houston has to offer.

Recovery After Your Tummy Tuck Procedure 

Throughout the entire recovery process, Dr. Arroyo and his staff will be there for you. The recovery time after abdominoplasty at Houston's Arroyo Plastic Surgery will vary from one patient to the other depending on the extensiveness of the procedure, as well as each patient’s unique healing ability. Immediately after surgery, Dr. Arroyo will apply a compression garment to help aid the healing process. Patients are encouraged to rest as much as possible during the first 48 hours. However, you should move around as soon as you can to promote blood circulation. It is not uncommon to experience bruising, swelling, and abdominal numbness over the first few days following this surgery. The surgeon will provide pain medication to increase your comfort level. The majority of Dr. Arroyo’s tummy tuck patients can resume work after 2-3 weeks. However, it may take up to 6 weeks before you are allowed to continue exercise and full activity. 

Tummy Tuck FAQ

Tummy tuck vs liposuction, what's the difference?

What procedures can I combine with a tummy tuck?

How bad is the scarring?

How will pregnancy and weight gain affect my results?

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

Tummy tuck vs liposuction, what's the difference?

A tummy tuck is for patients who have loose skin in the lower belly region. Excess skin will be removed during this surgery, and underlying abdominal muscles tightened to achieve the desired abdominal contour. Patients who have stubborn belly fat that won’t respond to diet and exercise but otherwise great skin tone may only need liposuction to achieve their desired contouring goals.

What procedures can I combine with a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck can be combined with numerous other body contouring procedures such as breast enlargement, breast lift, and liposuction to meet the patient’s unique aesthetic goals. A tummy tuck is part of a comprehensive procedure regimen referred to as a mommy makeover for women who have just been through pregnancy and childbearing.

How bad is the scarring?

Unfortunately, scarring is a part of any surgical procedure where an incision is made into the skin. Dr. Arroyo utilizes advanced surgical techniques to achieve to minimizing the risk and visibility of scarring. Furthermore, he makes sure to place incisions in areas where undergarments conceal them. The surgeon may use this scar for the tummy tuck incision for women who previously had a C-section. Most of Dr. Arroyo’s past abdominoplasty patients are not concerned about scarring.

How will pregnancy and weight gain affect my results?

Abdominoplasty aims to achieve a well-contoured abdominal profile, particularly for patients who are not getting their desired results from exercise and diet. Dr. Arroyo recommends that patients wait until they have completed pregnancies before having a tummy tuck for optimal benefits. This is important to ensure that the weight gain and stretching during pregnancy do not interfere with the surgical results.

How much does a tummy tuck cost?

Plastic surgery prices can vary significantly depending on the extensiveness of the procedure. Patients can expect to pay between $8,000 and $13,000 for a tummy tuck. Health insurance companies typically do not cover tummy tuck because it is considered an elective cosmetic procedure (and not a medical necessity). During your initial tummy tuck consultation with Dr. Arroyo, the surgeon’s team will provide a cost estimate so you can arrange for financing.

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