The procedure resolves a common issue for both men and women who struggle with a loose, stretched, split, or fatty abdomen. No matter how much you exercise and eat right, this condition is often impossible to resolve without surgery. A tummy bulge can lead to feelings of self-consciousness or choosing to avoid activities where you may feel insecure about revealing your body. There is no technology available to “remove your fat” if you have a significant excess, as the science is not there! To achieve the overall effect of a smoother, tighter stomach, a tummy tuck is the sole treatment able to create a sculpted abdomen, which looks youthful, fit, and taut.

What is a tummy tuck?

Clinically known as abdominoplasty, the goal of a tummy tuck is to tighten the contour of a sagging abdomen. The procedure removes excess fat and skin, and restores weakened or separated muscles, resulting in a flatter, tighter, more contoured abdomen.

A tummy tuck usually can change contours that won’t respond to exercise due to sagging skin and weakened muscles.

Why choose us?

At Austin Cosmetic Surgery, your tummy tuck will be performed by a surgeon with over 20 years of experience, and who is a consummate professional. Dr. Cabret delivers an exceptional level of personalized, concierge care, with surgeries performed in the privacy and safety of her onsite surgery center in most cases. Your journey to a fit, firm, sculpted abdomen will be under the care of a surgeon who has been named as one of the “Top 10 Cosmetic Surgeons” in Austin – and who has achieved recognition for her excellent surgical work.

Are you a candidate for a custom tummy tuck?

The question of if this is the right procedure for you or not is the difference between sagging skin or pockets of fat. If your skin is still very elastic and has good turgor and tone, but you have a thick area of subcutaneous or accumulated pockets of fat around your abdomen, liposuction and/or BodyTite might be a better procedure. Understand that liposuction cannot be used to remove or reduce the fat that is intra-abdominal (around organs) or below the muscle. But if you have loose, inelastic skin, with some pockets of fat, a tummy tuck is the better option (probably combined with light liposuction particularly of the hip and flank region to remove the fat depots).

You can restore your pre-baby figure, beautifully!

For women who have had children, it’s usually not just a problem with stretched, saggy skin.

Pregnancy is especially hard on the abdominal muscles because of the way the pregnant uterus puts pressure on the abdomen from the inside and the focused weight gain is in such a small area.

This can actually separate the abdominal muscles along the midline known as a rectus diastasis. These can be brought back together in the center of the abdomen during this surgery, narrowing the waist, and Dr. Cabret typically uses a double corset stitch and routinely achieves inches of reduction. The average patient will go down four pant sizes!

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When to undergo a tummy tuck in Austin or Lakeway for best outcomes

One caveat with a tummy tuck, however, is that you should be sure you do not want to have any additional children.

The effects of pregnancy could negate the results of your tummy tuck. Also, people who plan on losing significant amounts of additional weight should delay their tummy tuck because the additional weight loss, particularly if it occurs quickly, might create more loose skin. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that abdominoplasty is a body-contouring procedure, not a weight loss procedure. To address excess fullness on the abdomen, it is necessary to be dedicated to  a weight loss program.

Tummy tuck for male patients in Austin and Lakeway

Because women have babies, the vast majority of abdominoplasties are done on women. Dr. Cabret also performs this surgery on a fair number of men, both younger and older. The older males may want to remove untoned skin but both older and younger patients benefit from a tightening of the muscles, especially when they have lost a fair amount of weight. Post-bariatric patients, both men and women, tend to lose weight quite quickly after gastric bypass, gastric sleeves, or lap bands and nearly all opt for an extended full abdominoplasty, Type IV, with the tightening of their abdominal muscles.

What is the procedure?

When you’re in your consultation with Dr. Cabret, you will discuss your goals and expectations for your tummy tuck. At that point, you’ll discuss whether you will benefit most from a full tummy tuck or a mini tuck or some level in between. The option that is right for you depends on the amount of loose, sagging skin and where it is located.

Full tummy tuck

In a full tummy tuck, aka Type IV, an incision is placed from hip bone to hip bone as well as above the belly button with a hexagonal removal of the excess to the sides to get rid of the “muffin top” or tendency to have excess fatty tissues in the region. The goal is to have a low incision that matures into a well-healed scar that looks like a resting skin tension line that can easily be covered by undergarments or a bathing suit. Once the skin is separated from the underlying muscle, the abdominal muscles are pulled together with a corset stitch to make the abdomen firmer and to narrow the waist. Next, the skin is pulled downward, excess skin is trimmed away, and the navel/umbilicus is brought back thru the flap in a natural position (called “trans-positioned”).

Mini tummy tuck

In a “mini tummy tuck,” a lower tummy pooch is removed. The length of the incision on the bikini line here is dependent on how much loose skin is present. Type II’s address abdomens that primarily have issues isolated to below the belly button and III’s move the belly button, address the entire abdominal wall, but might not have enough skin to do a “full.”

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Preparing for your tummy tuck in Austin or Lakeway

You prepare for this surgery as you would any surgery. You’ll need to stop taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and certain supplements. You’ll need to stop smoking a minimum of a couple of several weeks before and after your surgery. We’ll discuss what you need to do to prepare physically. But you also need to prepare for your recovery ahead of time.

During your preoperative visit, you will receive a comprehensive book and counseling session to make this as easy as possible on you. We all at Austin Cosmetic Surgery understand we may have performed this surgery hundreds, if not thousands, of times and some folks get overwhelmed on a first visit – we will be thorough and listen closely to you and answer all your concerns.

Planning for your recovery after a tummy tuck

You will receive all of your prescriptions so you are prepared ahead of time and the day of surgery will be seamless. You’ll need to get your bed and other recovery areas ready. Because a tummy tuck addresses skin, support tissue, and muscle in the abdomen, we will advise you when you can advance activity and lifting. That means you’ll need to enlist help with children and other household chores. By day 5, Dr. Michelle Cabret is a stickler about walking and asks that you walk a minimum of 1 mile a day and by day 10 you will be walking 2+ miles a day.

What to expect in the recovery?

Since abdominoplasty involves incisions in the abdomen and movement of muscle fiber, recovery is not a cakewalk. There will be more tightness than true pain, but the amount varies by the individual. You’ll be encouraged to walk soon after your surgery and should take short walks three or four times a day for just a few minutes each time.

Initially, you will need to walk a little hunched over and the skin of your abdomen may feel tight. If you have drains, they will be removed anywhere from four days to two weeks after your surgery. You’ll wear a compression garment to help your skin adapt to its new slimmer contour.

Most patients can return to work about ten days to two weeks after their surgery, but this is an individual thing — it may take longer. You’ll have residual soreness that will come and go, and it may last for weeks. Any strenuous exercise or lifting will have to wait for at least six weeks.

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Complementary procedures

A tummy tuck is an involved surgery and recovery, so you may want to think twice before looking to combine it with other procedures. Still, should you want to address the effects pregnancy and breastfeeding had on your breasts, you could combine a tummy tuck with either a breast augmentation, breast lift or a breast lift with augmentation. When a tummy tuck, breast rejuvenation, and/or liposuction are combined into a single surgery session, we call it a Mommy Makeover.

Tummy Tuck FAQ

Is a tummy tuck an alternative to weight loss surgery?

What happens if I have another child after I have a tummy tuck?

Will I have a noticeable scar after tummy tuck surgery?

How do the scars heal?

What are the risks of abdominoplasty?

What causes sagging skin on the abdomen?

Is a tummy tuck an alternative to weight loss surgery?

This is a body-contouring procedure, not a weight loss procedure. Some people think a tummy tuck is an alternative to bariatric surgery. But this is not at all the case. At Austin Cosmetic Surgery, we only perform this surgery on patients who are within 10-15 percent of their ideal weight, preferably at their ideal weight. When a potential patient comes in who has not lost all of her baby weight yet, we advise her to come back when she has lost all of the weight. This is again because significant weight loss will set up more sagging skin, which is what this surgery is trying to correct.

What happens if I have another child after I have a tummy tuck?

Another pregnancy will negate the changes made by your surgery. After all, you will stretch the same area all over again. Plus, pregnancy will place real stress on your incisions, possibly distorting the scars. A tummy tuck isn’t something to have if you’re even remotely considering having more children.

Will I have a noticeable scar after tummy tuck surgery?

You will have an extensive scar from a full tummy tuck. We will place the incision so that it is covered by a bathing suit bottom or your underwear. Still, there will be a scar. You may have a second incision around the belly button. We will go into scar management mode approximately 3-4 weeks post op to optimize the healing process and onboard any scar management modalities that might be indicated.

How do the scars heal?

As your incisions heal, they will darken initially as the body creates new collagen fibers to fill and close the wounds. This will make your scars darker, thicker, and somewhat more prominent for anywhere from 3-6 months. This can be ultimately depressing, but patience is a good thing here because they will lighten. Once the body has formed enough collagen at the wound site, some of it will break down as the blood supply decreases. Now the scar will become lighter, thinner, and flatter. It takes one to two years for scars to fully mature and vigilance and patience pays off. Sun protection is critical!

What are the risks of abdominoplasty?

This is major surgery, so the risks are the same as with any other surgery: excessive bleeding, poor incision healing, infection, keloid scar formation, and the like. This is a safe procedure and complications are rare.

What causes sagging skin on the abdomen?

Our skin and underlying support tissues are remarkably resilient, but there are limits. When our skin is overstretched for a long period of time, it sometimes cannot rebound down to its former degree of tautness. That’s what happens with the localized stretch-weight gain of pregnancy. It also happens if a person gains and then loses a large amount of weight. The general slackening that comes with aging also plays a role, as we all develop a little abdominal pooch as we get older. Hormones play a large role in how and where we lay down fat. As we get older, we tend to have higher amounts of subcutaneous fat.

Schedule a consultation with us.

If you are interested in tummy tuck surgery and would like to find out if you are a candidate for the procedure, contact our office and schedule a private consultation. Even over the phone, our helpful staff can answer your questions and will schedule a complimentary, private consultation with our cosmetic surgeon. We proudly serve people who want a slimmer, sculpted tummy area in the communities of Austin, Lakeway, Bee Cave, Barton Creek, and Spicewood. Dr. Cabret is also honored to serve patients in and beyond Scottsdale, AZ.

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