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    A Patient’s Guide To
    Tummy Tuck

       

      Dallas Tummy Tuck Specialist

      About Your Tummy Tuck Surgery

      Men and women in the Dallas area who have fat deposits and loose skin in their abdominal region are addressing these issues with an abdominoplasty (aka a tummy tuck). The abdominoplasty is a body-contouring procedure that plastic surgeons use to redefine the abdomen. During an abdominoplasty, Dr. Huay-Zong Law can eliminate pockets of fat, restore damaged abdominal muscles, remove excess skin and tighten the skin that remains. After a Dallas tummy tuck, the patient has a slimmer, more-tone physique. Dr. Law performs several types of abdominoplasty procedures (e.g., the mini, full, extended and drain-free). He also offers hernia repair and panniculectomy procedures.

      Who Is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck in Dallas?

      While eating healthy and implementing an exercise routine to eliminate unwanted fat are positive lifestyle choices, it appears that these activities have little to no effect on certain areas of the body, one of these areas is the abdomen.

      Tummy Tuck Before & Afters

      The best candidate for an abdominoplasty in Dallas is someone who:

      • Is in good health.
      • Attempted to lose the excess weight in the abdominal area to no avail.
      • Has loose or wrinkly skin in the abdominal area.
      • Is at or close to his or her recommended weight.
      • Has over-stretched or damaged abdominal muscles and loose skin.
      • Is bothered by an abdomen that protrudes further than he or she likes.
      • Has a nominal amount of fat in the abdominal area.
      • Wants to remain at or close to his or her current weight and has no intentions of gaining or losing weight following a tummy tuck in Dallas.
      • Has an abdomen that is relatively tone, but would like a plastic surgeon to remove excess skin and tissue in the abdominal area.

      Even though an abdominoplasty can make an individual appear slimmer, this contouring procedure is not a substitution for eating healthy and exercising, instead, plastic surgeons use tummy tucks to enhance a patient’s already relatively slim abdominal area. Nonetheless, there are times when a slightly obese individual who has sagging skin due to a loss of skin elasticity is considered a good candidate for an abdominoplasty in Dallas.

      What Causes These Unwanted Changes in the Abdominal Area?

      Weak, damaged or overstretched abdominal muscles can result from pregnancy, age or excessive weight gain in the abdominal area followed by substantial weight loss.

      Is There Anyone Who Is Not Considered a Good Candidate for an Abdominoplasty in Dallas?

      Yes, men and women who intend to gain or lose a substantial amount of weight should not consider having an abdominoplasty.

      In addition, to ensure her abdominoplasty results do not become compromised, a woman who intends to become pregnant at some point in the future should hold off on having an abdominoplasty. However, once she has completed her pregnancies, she should revisit the possibility of having a tummy tuck at Law Plastic Surgery in Dallas.

      Can an Abdominoplasty Eliminate Stretch Marks?

      If the patient has stretch marks on the section of excess skin that Dr. Law removes during his or her abdominoplasty, those marks are no longer present after surgery.

      A Consultation for a Tummy Tuck at Law Plastic Surgery in Dallas

      The initial consultation is an individual’s first step towards attaining the flatter, beautifully contoured abdomen he or she desires.

      During this consultation, Dr. Huay-Zong Law assesses the patient’s physical health; asks what results the patient would like to achieve and answers any questions the patient has for him regarding the abdominoplasty procedure. In addition, patients who are interested in having multiple procedures during the same surgical session should feel free to mention this desire during their initial consultation in Dallas. Letting Dr. Law know which procedures he or she is interested in now can help him determine if the patient’s desires can be met during a single surgery.

      It is important to note:

      Dr. Huay-Zong Law does not make a practice of coaxing his patients into additional procedures, therefore, if a patient asks about a procedure, the only way the topic will ever arise again is if the patient mentions his or her interest.

      Topics patients should be ready to discuss include:

      • Previous surgical procedures.
      • Medical conditions. Dr. Law wants to know about past and present conditions.
      • Weight loss history.
      • Medications, herbs and nutritional supplements the patient takes.
      • Weight loss goals.

      A Physical Examination for a Tummy Tuck at Law Plastic Surgery in Dallas

      During the initial consultation, patients should be prepared to have Dr. Huay-Zong Law examine their abdominal area. If a patient is considering multiple procedures, he also needs to examine the areas he or she would like to target during surgery.

      On the day of their consultation, patients should wear clothing that allows Dr. Law easy access to the areas he needs to examine.

      For a tummy tuck in Dallas, Dr. Huay-Zong Law examines:

      • The abdominal muscles to see if the patient has diastasis recti (i.e., overstretched or separated abdominal muscles).
      • Any existing scars in the abdominal area.
      • The number and size of fat deposits in the abdomen.
      • Skin quality on the patient’s abdomen (e.g., including performing the skin elasticity test).

      How to Prepare for a Dallas Abdominoplasty

      Following Dr. Law’s instructions before surgery is essential to ensuring the patient receives the best possible results.

      Presurgical instructions:

      • Patients who smoke cigarettes or use other products that contain nicotine need to discontinue these products at least 4 weeks before and 4 weeks after surgery. Following this direction is essential because nicotine negatively affects the healing process, which means that individuals who continue using these products increase their risk of developing an infection and having open wounds.
      • There are medications, herbal supplements and vitamins that must be avoided for at least 2 weeks before surgery. Medications to avoid include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), blood thinners (e.g., Coumadin), aspirin and ibuprofen. Patients who need to take medication during the 2 weeks leading up to their surgery can take acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol). Do not take vitamin E. Herbal supplements patients have to discontinue during this time are Kava Kava, St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo Biloba and Fish Oil.
      • If Dr. Law asks the patient to obtain surgical clearance from his or her physician, or he has ordered lab work, the patient must complete these requests at least 7 days before surgery. If Dr. Law does not receive this information in time, he reschedules the patient’s abdominoplasty or panniculectomy.

      A Chauffeur and a Caregiver

      The patient needs to arrange for someone to serve as his or her chauffeur on the day of surgery, as well as the day after. In addition, patients need a caregiver to remain with them for the first 24 hours following their tummy tuck. Even patients who stay overnight in the hospital need a driver and a 24-hour caregiver on the day they return home.

      Why Does a Patient Need a Driver?

      When an individual receives anesthesia, his or her reflexes slow, which makes the patient more likely to be involved in an automobile accident. Therefore, driving within the 24 hours following surgery is dangerous.

      Can a Patient Use For-hire Transportation After Surgery?

      Dr. Huay-Zong Law and his team care about the safety and well-being of each patient. Whenever an individual receives sedation of any kind, he or she will be somewhat vulnerable. For this reason, Dr. Law does not permit the use of for-hire transportation following surgical procedures.

      Tummy Tuck Procedures Available in Dallas

      The type of abdominoplasty that Dr. Huay-Zong Law recommends depends on the issues the patient would like him to address.

      Abdominoplasty options include:

      • A mini tummy tuck — is ideal for individuals who would like to address loose skin beneath their navel (e.g., a pooch).
      • A full abdominoplasty (aka a traditional abdominoplasty) — is perfect for those who want to address loose skin in their upper and lower abdominal areas, as well as over-stretched or separated abdominal muscles.
      • An extended tummy tuck — is a good option for individuals who want Dr. Law to address loose skin around their waist, as well as in the upper and lower abdominal areas. He also addresses separated or over-stretched abdominal muscles during the extended abdominoplasty.
      • A drain-free abdominoplasty — this procedure combines liposuction with the mini tummy tuck procedure and is ideal for individuals with a low body mass index (BMI).

      A panniculectomy is similar to an abdominoplasty; however, the panniculectomy only addresses the excess skin that hangs over the waistband (i.e., the pannus). Therefore, a panniculectomy does not address over-stretched or separated abdominal muscles. In addition, the skin above and around the navel remains the same.

      Following significant weight loss, some health insurance companies will cover a panniculectomy. Individuals who are interested in this procedure should contact their insurance company ahead of time to find out if it is covered under their plan.

      The Difference Between the Mini, Full, Extended and Drain-free Tummy Tuck Procedures in Dallas

      One of the differences between a full abdominoplasty (aka a traditional abdominoplasty), a mini tummy tuck and an extended abdominoplasty are the incision lengths. When deciding which abdominoplasty method to use, Dr. Law determines the amount of skin that he needs to remove and the results the patient desires.

      The Mini Tummy Tuck

      Men and women who have a nominal amount of skin that needs to be removed below the navel are usually good candidates for the mini abdominoplasty. The incision Dr. Law creates during a mini abdominoplasty is much shorter than the incisions he creates during the full and extended tummy tuck procedures.

      An Extended Tummy Tuck

      An extended abdominoplasty is ideal for men and women who have sagging skin that continues around their waist. To address this sagging skin, Dr. Huay-Zong Law creates an incision along the lower abdomen, just above the pelvic bone. Since Dr. Law is addressing a larger area than he addresses with a traditional abdominoplasty, this incision is longer, extending around each hip. In addition, patients receive an incision around their navel. Once Dr. Huay-Zong Law has removed the excess skin, he creates the patient a designer belly button.

      A Drain-free Abdominoplasty in Dallas

      The drain-free abdominoplasty is a good option for patients with a low BMI, who are not concerned about a slight increase in the risk of developing a seroma.

      What is a seroma?

      A seroma is a pocket of clear, uninfected serous fluid that sometimes develops after a surgical procedure. Seromas develop under the skin close to the incision. The body usually just reabsorbs the fluid. However, there are times when the surgeon has to drain the seroma or the patient receives a compression garment to wear. Although rare, sometimes eliminating a seroma requires surgical intervention.

      Benefits of a drain-free abdominoplasty:

      • Patients do not need to hide a drain as they recover.
      • The patient avoids any complications associated with having drains after surgery (e.g., bacterial infections, monitoring fluid levels).
      • Patients enjoy a more enhanced contour than those who receive drains because the tension stitches contour the skin better, allowing it to correspond well with the muscles underneath.

      Liposuction During a Tummy Tuck

      Patients can add liposuction to their abdominoplasty procedure. The only procedure that includes some liposuction is the drain-free abdominoplasty.

      The Day of Surgery — An Abdominoplasty in Dallas

      When a patient arrives at the hospital, if he or she does not have a driver, Dr. Huay-Zong Law reschedules the abdominoplasty.

      An abdominoplasty takes from 2 to 5 hours. Patients who are having additional procedures (e.g., hernia repair, liposuction, a breast augmentation) will spend more time in surgery than those who are only having an abdominoplasty.

      A Tummy Tuck in Dallas — Procedure Steps

      Once the patient and driver arrive at the hospital, a surgical team member escorts the patient to the pre-op area.

      While in pre-op, a nurse takes the patient’s vitals (e.g., blood pressure, temperature) and the patient receives a surgical gown.

      Dr. Law visits his patients in pre-op to answer any last-minute questions they have. In addition, using a surgical marker, he makes specific markings on the patient’s abdominal area to use as a guide during surgery.

      A member of the surgical team moves the patient from pre-op to the operating room.

      Administering Anesthesia

      The patient receives medications from an anesthesiologist. These medications cause the patient to fall asleep (i.e., general anesthesia). The anesthesiologist remains in the operating room to monitor the patient throughout the abdominoplasty.

      Creating the Incision (or Incisions)

      Once the patient falls asleep, Dr. Law creates the incision or incisions that correspond with the size of the patient and the type of abdominoplasty he or she is receiving.

      Patients who are having:

      • A mini abdominoplasty — receive a single incision above the pubic area. This incision is relatively short.
      • A full tummy tuck — receive an incision just above the pelvic area that extends from hip to hip.
      • An extended abdominoplasty procedure — receive an incision just above the pubic area. This incision runs from hip to hip and around to the lower back. This patient also receives an incision around the navel.
      • The drain-free abdominoplasty — receive a relatively short incision above the pubic area.

      Separating the Skin and Stabilizing the Abdominal Muscles

      Dr. Huay-Zong Law separates the skin from the patient’s abdominal muscles. When a patient receives a full or an extended abdominoplasty, this separation of muscle and skin extends up to the rib cage.

      Following separation, Dr. Law pulls the muscles together and stitches them in place. This part of the procedure provides the patient with a narrower waist and a firmer abdomen.

      Covering the Abdominal Muscles

      Dr. Huay-Zong Law stretches the skin downward; placing it over the patient’s newly tightened abdominal muscles.

      Removing the Excess Skin

      Using his experience, skill and artistic vision, Dr. Law strategically removes the patient’s excess abdominal skin.

      The Navel

      When Dr. Law reconstructs the appearance of a patient’s navel, the navel itself remains intact within the underlying tissue. After pulling down the skin and removing the excess, he exposes the navel through a new section of skin. Dr. Huay-Zong Law strategically stitches the skin around the navel to provide the patient with natural-looking results.

      Closing the Incisions and Applying the Dressings

      Dr. Huay-Zong Law stitches the incisions closed before applying sterile surgical dressings over the sutures. The patient may also receive a compression garment.

      Most Tummy Tuck Patients Receive Temporary Drains

      Unless a patient has the drain-free abdominoplasty procedure, he or she will have drains. These drains allow the excess fluid within the surgical site to drain. This drainage helps reduce inflammation and prevent the development of a seroma.

      What Patients Can Expect as They Recover from an Abdominoplasty

      Most patients remain overnight in the hospital following their abdominoplasty in Dallas. During this time, nurses monitor the patient and assist him or her with walking. In addition, to reduce the likelihood of clot formation in the lower extremities, the patient receives blood thinners. Medications to thin the blood are necessary because following the use of general anesthesia, the risk of clot formation increases.

      To reduce discomfort following surgery, Dr. Huay-Zong Law provides his patients with pain medication.

      Moving Around After an Abdominoplasty

      Patients should expect to have difficulty walking and standing upright for a few days after their tummy tuck in Dallas. During these first few days, patients need to rest as much as possible.

      Patients must avoid lifting and bending directly following surgery and until Dr. Law releases them to perform these activities.

      For the sake of comfort and preventing unnecessary strain on their stitches, patients may want to sleep on their back with their knees bent for several weeks following their abdominoplasty.

      Each Patient Heals at His or Her Own Pace

      Although each patient is unique, healing at his or her own pace, the general timeline below gives patients a good idea what to expect throughout the recovery process.

      Within 7-10 days:

      • Dr. Huay-Zong Law removes the patient’s drainage tubes.
      • Inflammation and bruising reaches its peak.
      • Dr. Law may remove the patient’s stitches.

      2 Weeks Post-op:

      • Patients can usually return to their normal daily routines at the 2-week point.

      Several weeks following surgery:

      • Most patients gradually begin to increase their activity level.
      • Non-strenuous work can resume.
      • Patients slowly begin to reinstate their pre-surgical exercise routine.
      • Inflammation and bruising continue to subside.
      • Some aspects of the patient’s results become evident.

      A few months following an abdominoplasty in Dallas:

      • The tight sensation in the abdominal area begins to diminish.
      • As long as the patient protects his or her incision line from UV light, it begins to fade.
      • The numbness in the areas surrounding the incisions may slowly begin to dissipate.
      • The final results of the abdominoplasty start to emerge.

      The Results of a Dallas Tummy Tuck Are Long Lasting

      The final results are impressive, providing the patient with a slimmer abdomen that is flatter than it was before surgery.

      Although the incision scars are permanent, as long as they are protected from UV light, with time, these scars will continue to lighten. Furthermore, Dr. Huay-Zong Law places the abdominoplasty incision for skin removal in a position that is low enough for them to be concealed with bikini bottoms or swim shorts.

      Post-surgical Appointments at Law Plastic Surgery in Dallas

      The patient’s first follow-up appointment is usually within just a few days of his or her abdominoplasty. However, to monitor the patient’s progress, Dr. Law may ask the patient to return periodically for a few months after his or her abdominoplasty.

      The post-surgical office visits are crucial because it is during these appointments that Dr. Huay-Zong Law examines the patient’s abdominal and navel incisions to ensure they are healing as expected. During these appointments, Dr. Law also answers any questions his patients have.

      Can a Patient Have Multiple Procedures During One Surgical Session?

      Yes, Dr. Huay-Zong Law can perform multiple procedures during the same surgical session (e.g., a tummy tuck and a breast augmentation). Patients, who are interested in this option, should ask Dr. Law which procedures he can combine.

      Hernia Surgery

      Dr. Law can address small hernias and umbilical hernias during a patient’s abdominoplasty or panniculectomy procedure. If a patient has a large hernia, Dr. Huay-Zong Law has an experienced general surgeon accompany him. The general surgeon addresses the hernia, and Dr. Law performs the patient’s abdominoplasty.

      What Factors Affect the Results of an Abdominoplasty?

      Weight gain affects the results of an abdominoplasty. In addition, aging and the effects of gravity may cause the abdominal skin to loosen. If a patient experiences any of these issues, another surgical procedure may be able to restore his or her slim and sleek abdominal contour.

      How to Maintain Tummy Tuck Results in Dallas

      The results Dr. Law achieves with an abdominoplasty are long-lasting; however, patients still need to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and manage their weight.

      Potential Complications Associated with an Abdominoplasty

      Plastic surgeons perform thousands of abdominoplasty procedures every year without any major complications. Nonetheless, as with every procedure and treatment, there are risks. Men and women who are considering a tummy tuck in Dallas need to know the risks associated with the abdominoplasty procedure.

      There are the inherent risks associated with any surgical procedure (e.g., bleeding, a negative reaction to the anesthesia or product allergies).

      Risks associated with the abdominoplasty procedure itself include:

      • An unfavorable aesthetic result.
      • Loose skin.
      • Uneven results.
      • Numbness in the abdominal area.
      • Visible scarring.
      • The need for another surgical procedure.

      Patients with scars from previous abdominal surgeries may notice that these scars have stretched, appear more raised, or are more noticeable than before. Dr. Huay-Zong Law may be able to address these issues during a scar revision procedure.

      How Much Does a Tummy Tuck in Dallas Cost?

      Since each patient receives a custom-designed treatment plan, the only way to determine the cost of an individual’s abdominoplasty procedure is with an initial consultation.

      Hernia Surgery, Panniculectomy and Health Insurance

      Patients who have an abdominoplasty at the same time as a hernia repair may be able to receive reimbursement from their health insurance for the charges associated with the hernia repair. In addition, when a patient has hernia surgery with a panniculectomy, Dr. Law can bill his or her health insurance for the hernia repair and the panniculectomy.

      It is easy to see why men and women in the Dallas area who have tried to address their abdominal issues numerous times are frustrated. These individuals should consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Huay-Zong Law at his state-of-the-art office in Dallas. Dr. Law is a board-certified, experienced, highly talented and skilled plastic surgeon who provides men and women with the physique and facial features they desire. If you would like to learn more about the tummy tuck procedures available in Dallas, please contact Law Plastic Surgery today at (972) 331-1900 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Huay-Zong Law’s office is located at 7777 Forest Lane, C-528, Dallas.

       

       

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