An abdominoplasty is a form of tummy tuck surgery that is highly sought after in San Antonio seek. Like tummy tucks, an abdominoplasty contours a woman’s abdomen. However, the abdominoplasty definition is different. This procedure is generally conducted on patients who’ve gone through childbirth or a massive weight loss and have extremely lax muscles and need to remove excess skin in the abdominal area.
Like with other cosmetic surgery procedures, Dr. Elizabeth Harris of San Antonio, TX follows patients through three abdominoplasty surgery stages for success. These are evaluation, procedure, and recovery. These stages are important for realistic expectations, including the abdominoplasty cost, the different available options, and the abdominoplasty recovery time.
The first step to a successful abdominoplasty procedure is the evaluation process. If Dr. Elizabeth Harris recommends an abdominoplasty surgery to you, she will go over information such as your medical history and discuss the details with you. You’ll learn about potential abdominoplasty complications and have the opportunity to voice concerns and get your questions answered. Dr. Elizabeth Harris welcomes your questions, so don’t hold back if you have them. It is important that you understand the abdominoplasty before and after the procedure. During the evaluation, you may also be asked whether you plan on having children. It is highly recommended that you postpone a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty until you are finished having children to ensure that you get the most out of it.
You may also want to discuss the abdominoplasty prices. Each cosmetic surgery is customized, so pricing may vary depending on your situation.
Abdominoplasty is considered a major cosmetic surgery with differing steps depending on the patient. For example, if you had a lot of weight gain during pregnancy, the procedure removes excess fat and skin in addition to tightening the tummy area. Dr. Elizabeth Harris will review the steps with you during the initial consultation so that you’ll know what to expect on the day of your abdominoplasty surgery. So use this information as a guideline. Body weight should be close to a healthy BMI before having a cosmetic abdominal procedure. Risks are increased with obesity.
- Placing Incisions in the Abdominal Area – Once anesthesia is administered, Dr. Elizabeth Harris will place incisions in your abdominal area. The number of incisions that you receive depends on the type of abdominoplasty that you have. For example, if you have a mini-abdominoplasty, there may only be a small incision under your belly button and another incision that looks similar to a C-Section scar. However, if you’ve elected to have a circumferential abdominoplasty, you may have an incision across your waistline. This may be a relatively short scar, slightly longer than a C-Section scar for mild skin laxity. Sometimes this scar might need to be extended beyond the hips after massive weight loss.
- What Happens to the Belly Button? – The belly button (umbilicus) stays in the same position that it has always been. The skin around it is tightened. This can improve the loose skin around the umbilicus. A circular scar will remain around the umbilicus after surgery. The purpose of this is to help give you a more youthful and natural look once the abdominoplasty procedure is complete. If an umbilical hernia is present (this is always looked for during the evaluation process), the surgery gets more complicated and will be discussed during the consultation.
- Tighten Loose & Weak Muscles – Over time, and especially after childbirth, abdominal muscles may become loose or even separate. During the abdominoplasty, Dr. Elizabeth Harris may pull the muscles close together and into a position that gives them a tighter, more toned appearance. This will also help the waistline look narrower. Muscle tightening is not performed with a mini-tummy tuck.
- Trim and Remove Loose Skin – Once the abdominal muscles are tightened, Dr. Elizabeth Harris may also need to pull the skin downward to tighten and smooth it. Any excess loose skill will be trimmed away, leaving you with a tight and attractive tummy.
- Minimize Stretch Marks – When the excess fat and skin is removed, you may have the added benefit of removing stretch marks, especially if they are on the loose skin that is removed. And if they are in a part of your abdominal area where the skin is not removed, they may become less noticeable.
- Incisions are Closed – Once all of these steps are taken care of, your skin will be sutured back together to close the incisions. Surgical stitches will be used to help the wound heal naturally. Any excess fluid will be collected using a surgical drain if necessary. This may be removed at the same time as the stitches.
Once the abdominoplasty surgery is complete, you will enter a recovery time. This includes about a week of rest at home and several follow-up appointments with Dr. Harris. These appointments will generally take place over six weeks.
Because this is a major surgery that involves cutting into muscles and skin, it does take time to heal, and you can expect to have an abdominal scar. Patients may heal at different rates, and it could take more than a year for the scar to fade away. However, most patients are recovered and able to return to normal by six weeks. Dr. Elizabeth Harris will work with you on a personal plan for your recovery process.
Because an abdominoplasty surgery is customized to each individual, the cost of the procedure will vary. For example, if it is part of a mommy makeover, then the price of the package will include the abdominoplasty cost. When you schedule an appointment for your initial consultation, you will have an opportunity to discuss both insurance and total costs with Dr. Harris.