By Benjamin Eskenazi, MD, FACS

You’ve probably all heard the phrase “Summer bodies were made in the winter.” While this surely alludes to the fact that our healthy habits throughout the course of the year are cumulative, it also applies to all of you considering plastic surgery to help you embrace your most confident summertime self!

Why plan during the winter months for swimming suit season?

As I discussed in last month’s blog post, quality takes time. Your health and safety are paramount to us at Central Texas Dermatology & Plastic Surgery. Prior to each procedure, you undergo a careful medical and physical evaluation, and I tailor each procedure specifically to align with your unique goals.

You should anticipate a minimum of two to three months from the time you make your call to the office to the time you have good post-operative healing and can engage in summer activities like swimming and being out in the sunshine without restrictions. So if you begin your journey with me in late winter or early spring, that puts you well on the road to your confident swimsuit silhouette by summertime!

There are a lot of reasons why a patient may consider a tummy tuck. Pregnancy, weight fluctuations, bariatric surgery, and prior abdominal operations have all brought people to my office seeking solutions for loose skin and abdominal musculature.

Among my patients preparing for swimsuit season, the most commonly requested plastic surgery procedures include:

  • Liposuction (Lipo)
  • Tummy Tuck
  • Breast Surgery (Depending on the patient’s goals, could include some combination of lift/reduction or augmentation.)

In this month’s blog post, I’m going to answer some of your most frequently asked questions about a Tummy Tuck at Central Texas Dermatology & Plastic Surgery!

If you’re interested in learning more about how I can help you achieve your swimsuit-season confidence goals, I’d love to begin the discussion with you. Just call (512) 327-7779 to schedule your consultation.

Tummy Tuck

Who is the ideal candidate for a tummy tuck?

The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck is somebody who has loose abdominal skin or diastasis (laxity) of the rectus (6 pack) muscle. This is most commonly seen in people who have had children or lost a significant amount of weight. In either case, the ideal patient is within 10 to 15 pounds of their goal weight. In the case of someone who has had children, I recommend they wait until they’re done having kids because future pregnancy can undo all of their results.

What can I expect from my tummy tuck procedure?

I’ll perform your tummy tuck under general anesthesia in an AAASF-accredited surgery center adjacent to Central Texas Dermatology & Plastic Surgery.

It involves making a low incision similar to a C-section that will be hidden by a bikini. The muscles of the abdomen are tightened, which can reduce or eliminate weakness, laxity, and separation. Excess skin is also removed. Often, a tummy tuck is performed in combination with liposuction to improve the shape and contour of the hips, flanks, and waist area for that nice hourglass shape. Sometimes the patient is flipped on their stomach for additional 360 degree lipo.

What will my recovery be like following a tummy tuck?

Most patients who undergo a tummy tuck will want to plan to spend seven to 10 days away from work and refraining from any strenuous activities. It’s extremely important after a tummy tuck to not do any heavy lifting for about four weeks. I’ve found that patients who set aside the most time early on to heal are the ones that seem to have the quickest recovery following their surgery. Many – but not all- patients will have drain tubes for a short amount of time.

After a week, you can resume light activity, and those restrictions will gradually ease. You can shower beginning 2 days post op but it will be about a month before you can submerge your incisions in water, such as a bathtub or swimming pool. On average, after four weeks most patients will be able to resume all activities as before. By about six weeks out, most of the swelling is gone. It can take nine months to a year for scars to fully fade and for normal sensation to return to the skin.

What results can I anticipate from my tummy tuck?

Patients can expect a reduction in abdominal stretch marks and a significant reduction if not elimination of abdominal skin laxity. They will also appreciate the improvement in shape and appearance of the belly button as well as improvement in the shape and silhouette of their waist. The goal of the operation is restoration of form and function of your core. It’s always really satisfying to have a patient come in after the first summer following liposuction and to hear their stories about going on a boat or to the beach feeling their absolute best.