This procedure is designed to treat loose skin, fatty tissue, and loose muscle that occurs due to aging, pregnancy, and weight loss. This procedure can offer substantial improvement in the overall body contour to the truncal area and is commonly performed in Houston, The Woodlands, and Conroe, Texas. Dr. Gill utilizes a special muscle plication technique designed to restore the abdominal silhouette and contour from both a profile and front view. He also utilizes extensive liposuction of the flanks and strategic contoured areas to restore the hourglass and feminine silhouette.
The visit will begin by a detailed history from Dr. Gill. He will take the time to closely listen and understand your concerns and goals from surgery and perform a detailed physical exam. This will then lead into an informed discussion of what procedure can best achieve your future goals and expectations, followed by a discussion of the tummy tuck recovery, risk, and realistic expectations. There are several different options to the abdominoplasty procedure and each one is tailored to address different body contours.
When assessing the abdomen Dr. Gill divides it into four different areas: the upper abdomen, the central abdomen around the belly button, the lower abdomen, and the flank area. In each of these areas he will assess the amount of skin, fatty tissue, and muscle laxity and base my recommendations on what will provide optimal results based on the exam of these areas.
I spend a lot of time trying to hide the incision within a patient’s normal clothing or underwear. I will typically recommend that my patients wear an underwear the morning of surgery to help me hide the incision within their regular clothing. I believe the key advantages of this tummy tuck technique are my use of multiple layers of muscle plication. I perform a two layer muscle plication repair on all my patients to allow strength and integrity and minimal chance of muscle break down. We have also developed a method that allows for aggressive liposuction in strategic areas to provide optimal contouring and redefine the feminine silhouette. We find that the combination of our liposuction technique and multilayer muscle repair delivers superb clinical results that our tummy tuck patients are extremely happy with.
In order to speak about recovery from a tummy tuck, it is often easiest to give a timeline.
Dr. Gill always start off with appropriate preoperative lab work, along with any necessary medical clearances. As part of scheduling your surgery, we will also schedule a preoperative visit once all tests are back to review your results and discuss the procedure and recovery in detail. This is a great opportunity to bring a family or friend member to the visit, who will be helping in the postoperative care process. At this visit we discuss your pre and postoperative care instructions, the surgical procedure in detail, the recovery, risks, and realistic expectations. Then the morning of surgery you will see Dr. Gill 20 minutes prior to perform your surgical markings. The tummy tuck procedure takes anywhere from one hour to four hours depending on the amount of skin that is removed and the amount of liposuction that is necessary. You will be given the option of staying overnight or going home depending on your medical history, the amount of surgery performed, and your overall comfort level. Most tummy tuck patients are sore and require assistance for approximately 10 days to 2 weeks. Our goal is to have you off the pain medication, drain tubes removed, walking upright, and able to return to a desk job by two weeks postoperatively. However we will limits your activity level and require the use of abdominal binder for 4 to 6 weeks. This typically means no heavy lifting, limited exercise, and careful follow-up with Dr. Gill. Usually by six weeks patients are free to return to the gym and daily activity without restriction.
Our typical follow-up regimen is one, three, and six weeks follow-up visit then every three months for a year. This allows Dr. Gill to closely monitor your incisions and ensure you recovery is optimized and the end result is the best we can offer.
Swelling typically is most prominent during the first two weeks after the tummy tuck procedure. We do see that about 85 to 90% of the swelling is resolved by six weeks. Hence, 10 to 15% of the swelling can still be there at 6 weeks and this can take up to 4 to 6 months to fully resolve.