A bulging tummy is a source of angst for so many patients. You diet and exercise, but still you have a pouch where your stomach was once flat. It is incredibly frustrating. A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure to tighten the skin and muscles of the abdomen. The result is the smooth, flat stomach of your youth.
Dr. Robert Whitfield understands the importance of a flat abdomen for restoring self-esteem and body confidence. He is also sensitive to the fact that his patients have busy lives. Historically, the downside of a tummy tuck has been the long recovery. In the right patient, Dr. Whitfield offers a drainless & painless tummy tuck, a modern technique that greatly reduces recovery time.
During your abdominoplasty consultation, Dr. Whitfield will perform a full physical exam to assess:
He will then listen to your goals and talk about your lifestyle. From there, he will discuss your options and together a plan will be made.
Every woman wants a mini tummy tuck because it sounds less invasive. However, few woman are actually a good candidate for this procedure. A mini abdominoplasty is designed mostly for mild cases where loose muscle only exists below the belly button. It also is for patients who have little skin laxity and stretch marks. Rectus plication (muscle separation above the belly button) is a common problem for mom’s and requires more than a mini tummy tuck can offer. However, for the right patient, a mini combined with liposuction can deliver a nicely re-contoured abdomen.
Most women who have had children are going to require a full tummy tuck. It is the only procedure that addresses both loose skin and muscle. An abdominoplasty will lift and trim the excess skin and underlying muscle in the entire abdominal region, both above and below the below button. If necessary, Dr. Whitfield can also correct any rectus plication. A full abdominoplasty is often combined with liposuction to smooth out the contours of the hips, thighs, back and bra roll if necessary.
Most tummy tuck procedures with Dr. Whitfield are “drainless & painless”. During surgery, Dr. Whitfield injects a long-lasting analgesic called Exparel into your abdomen. The benefit of Exparel is that you will be in considerably less pain during your early recovery as it stays for up to 3 days. This allows you to be up and moving around quicker, hastening recovery. Furthermore, you will not need as many, if any, post op narcotics – many patients are fine taking tylenol. Not only is this better for your recovery, but it means that you can return to your normal life much faster.
In the past, abdominoplasty required drains. The drains remove fluid build up where the skin and muscles are separated during surgery, helping recovery and protecting from complication. Most patients find drains to be a drag. For many patients, Dr. Whitfield uses TissuGlu to reduce the space between the abdominal wall flap and the underlying muscle. The result is a drainless tummy tuck. Not only does this speed up your healing process, but it means that you can start wearing your normal clothes much faster.
Recovery from any surgical procedure is really dependent on a patient’s individual healing process. Most patients can expect to return to all daily activities in 2-4 weeks.
To find out more about a tummy tuck with Dr. Whitfield, call us today at 877-785-2382 or schedule a consultation at our Austin location in West Lake Hills.