Houston - Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) and Liposuction

Many men and women are unhappy about the appearance of their stomachs (abdomen). Some can have an abdomen that is too large due to excess weight gain, pregnancy, or both, while others may suffer from an abdominal disorder that causes the abdomen to enlarge and stretch the abdominal skin. Whatever the reason for the enlargement, it is important to determine whether the abdomen has too much fat, too much skin, or both, in order to determine the correct procedure for treatment.

At Dr. John K. Long’s practice in Houston, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and liposuction are used to treat patients from throughout Texas who are unhappy about the appearance of their stomachs.

Abdominal Contouring for Excess Fat

An abdomen that has too much fat can be treated in many ways. Weight loss through regular exercise and careful eating habits is a well-known method, and many individuals with weight problems have tried this with various diets and exercise routines. Achieving long-term weight loss and maintaining a healthier weight require a comprehensive change in lifestyle. Many dedicated individuals have been successful in this manner, but many more have not.

At Dr. Long’s practice in Houston, liposuction of the abdomen is often performed as a safe procedure to reduce excess fat in the abdomen with reliably good results.

Abdominal Liposuction

Liposuction is the surgical means of selectively removing fat cells from targeted areas of the body. Everyone is born with a certain number of fat cells distributed in specific locations; fat cell distribution is determined by a person’s ancestors and their genes. This explains the incredible differences in weight distribution found between average-sized and heavier people.

Many times, individuals have stubborn areas of fat distribution that seem reluctant to respond to serious attempts to lose weight and inches. If one were to lose enough weight to get rid of these stubborn areas of fat, they would look too thin and sickly. The role of liposuction is to selectively remove these stubborn areas of fat to provide you the appearance that you cannot achieve through diet and exercise alone.

Abdominal Liposuction Procedure

At Dr. Long’s Houston practice, the abdominal liposuction procedure is similar to the liposuction procedure for other parts of the body. Cannulas are inserted through small incisions in the abdomen to selectively remove areas of fat. Contact Dr. Long’s Houston practice to learn more about the liposuction procedure.

Recovery from Abdominal Liposuction

Recovery for abdominal liposuction is similar to liposuction recovery for other parts of the body. Patients are fitted with a compression garment that is worn for at least two weeks following surgery. Liposuction patients should discern a noticeable improvement to the contours of the abdomen soon after the procedure, with full results achieved once all swelling has resolved.

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Abdominal Contouring for Excess Skin

Weight loss after pregnancy, bariatric surgery, or old fashioned exercise and dieting often results in excess skin in the abdominal area. This surplus of skin can be difficult or impossible to diminish, even with constant exercise and careful eating. In addition, the skin eventually loses its elasticity, which means that no reduction of the size of the skin can be achieved by diet and exercise alone. For many patients, abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is the best method for tightening this excess skin.

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure used to remove excess skin from the middle and lower abdomen. In most instances, a tightening of the muscles from the rib cage to the pubis is also performed. This provides a thinner waist and a stronger, firmer abdominal wall. Often, the skin of the pubis and upper thighs also appears tighter and more flattering following a tummy tuck.

By definition, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a cosmetic operation, and generally not covered by insurance. It is best suited for those individuals who have very little skin that needs to be removed. Patients who have experienced massive weight loss often require a procedure called a panniculectomy to remove a larger amount of excess skin than is possible through an abdominoplasty.

Abdominoplasty Procedure

An abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. The time of anesthesia is generally around two hours. The surgery creates a scar from hip to hip, as well as a scar around the umbilicus (belly button). The hip-to-hip incision is closed with absorbable sutures, while non-absorbable stitches are used at the incision around the umbilicus.

Recovery from Abdominoplasty

The abdominoplasty procedure does not have the side effects associated with common abdominal operations such as appendectomy, hysterectomy, gallbladder surgery, or cesarean sections. Possible side effects are swelling, bruising, numbness, and burning sensations. These side effects lessen within a few days to weeks. Complications from abdominoplasty may include fluid collections under the skin, loss of skin, infection, or poor scarring. These complications are rare, and are aggressively treated if they do occur so that serious problems do not develop.

After abdominoplasty, all patients must wear abdominal binders or compression garments until one week after the drains are removed. Patients should be able to return to work within 10 days to two weeks of the procedure, although it may mean working with the drains still in place.

If you live in the Houston area and would like to learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), contact Dr. Long’s practice, serving patients in Texas since 1980.

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Comprehensive Abdominal Contouring

It is possible to have both excess fat and excess skin in the abdominal area. Fortunately, combining liposuction with abdominoplasty or panniculectomy can help to both reduce the size and contour of the abdomen and remove unwanted skin.

Combination Liposuction and Abdominoplasty

Caution should be taken as to how much surgery is performed at one time. Extensive and aggressive liposuction followed immediately by an abdominoplasty or panniculectomy is a recipe for disaster for too many patients. If both are to be considered, the two procedures should be staged at different times.

At Dr. Long’s office in Houston, it is considered prudent to have aggressive and thorough liposuction of the abdomen followed several months later by either abdominoplasty or panniculectomy to remove the excess skin. This makes sense because the liposuction will create more loose and excess skin that can be later removed. At times, abdominal liposuction leads to some contraction of the abdominal skin, and a skin operation is not desired at all by the patient.

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Contact Dr. Long for Liposuction and Abdominoplasty in Texas

Contact Dr. Long’s practice in Houston to learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and liposuction. Patients throughout Texas visit Dr. Long for his experience and expertise in abdominal contouring procedures, as well as post weight loss plastic surgery procedures.

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Contact Dr. Long in Houston to learn more about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and liposuction. Serving Texas patients for more than 20 years, Dr. Long provides exceptional abdominal contouring results.

John K. Long, M.D., F.A.C.S.
1200 Binz St., Suite 1275
Houston, Texas 77004
Phone: (713) 522-5664
Fax: (713) 522-9618