Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

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Houston Tummy Tuck Specialist

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat around your abdomen and strengthen your abdominal muscles. Houston Tummy Tuck Specialist Dr. Scott Reis performs tummy tuck surgery with a focus on excellent results and minimized scarring. A tummy tuck can give you a flatter and firmer abdomen for a slimmer appearance and improved confidence.

Tummy Tuck Surgery

For many people, regular exercise and a careful diet just aren’t enough to maintain a firm, flat abdomen. Even if you are devoted to healthy living, you may still have loose skin as a result of weight loss, aging, and/or pregnancy. A condition called diastasis recti, which is a separation of the abdominal muscles in the midline, is very common after pregnancy and pretty much universal after multiple pregnancies, and can prevent you from achieving or restoring the flat firm stomach you desire, no matter how much you diet and exercise. A tummy tuck can repair these separated abdominal muscles while removing excess skin from the lower abdomen and also allowing removal of lower abdominal skin with stretch marks.1 Additionally, with the rise in bariatric surgery procedures, tummy tucks have become an invaluable go-to procedure for people with excess laxity of the abdominal skin and tissue which loses its elasticity after weight loss.2

Benefits of Tummy Tuck Surgery

There are a number of reasons why you may want to have a tummy tuck, including:

  • You want your abdominal area to look better, tighter, more contoured, firmer and accentuate the narrow waistline to wider hip feminine appearance
  • You have extra skin and loose abdominal muscles after pregnancy
  • You have lost a significant amount of weight from either bariatric surgery or on your own and have extra loose lax skin around your midsection
  • You have lower abdominal skin stretch marks and thinned skin from pregnancy or after weight loss

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Am I A Good Candidate For Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Dr. Reis has extensive experience in all aspects of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, including tummy tucks. You’ll begin with a consultation in which Dr. Reis will explain the entire process of abdominoplasty so you’ll understand how it’s done, the risks and benefits, and what you can expect.

Dr. Reis will ask you about your health history and your family planning. Ideal candidates for tummy tuck surgery have maintained a stable weight for at least one year. Dr. Reis also recommends that women wait until they are at the point in life where they are not planning to become pregnant in the future. Although tummy tuck surgery will not prevent you from having more children, your results will typically be lost or at least partially reverted during additional pregnancies.

Dr. Reis’ Surgical Technique For Abdominoplasty

A tummy tuck is performed with intravenous anesthesia as an outpatient procedure, which means you would go home the same day. The procedure typically takes about 3 to 4 hours depending on the specific technique used and the amount of liposuction required of the abdomen, waistline and flanks to achieve your goals.3 Dr. Reis begins by making an incision below your bikini line. He removes excess skin and fatty tissue and tightens your abdominal muscles. He then repositions your skin and closes the incision with dissolvable sutures. Tummy tuck surgery is very often combined with other body contouring procedures (when combined with a cosmetic breast procedure, this is often called a Mommy Makeover).

After your tummy tuck, you may have surgical drains temporarily in place to remove extra fluid from your abdomen and prevent it from collecting and causing complications. Dr. Reis typically removes those drains in about a week. Unlike most surgeons, he has the drains exit right through your surgical incision below the bikini line instead of creating a new additional incision. Also, for women who have had C-sections and are unhappy with their scars, these are removed during a tummy tuck procedure.

Types of Abdominoplasty Procedures

Mini Tummy Tuck

The mini tummy tuck is designed for individuals with concerns about stubborn belly fat that doesn’t respond to exercising and dieting. During this surgery, Dr. Reis will make a small incision that runs horizontally between the hipbones before tightening the abdominal muscles and tightening and redraping the overlying skin. If necessary, Dr. Reis may use liposuction to remove any additional fat pockets before closing the incision.

Standard Tummy Tuck

The standard tummy tuck also referred to as a traditional or full tummy tuck, flattens the abdomen above and below the belly button through a horizontal incision that runs between the hipbones and a circular incision around the belly button. During a traditional tummy tuck, Dr. Reis will tighten the abdominal muscles, remove excess skin on the stomach and finally redrape the skin in a new position. Once he’s established the ideal contours, Dr. Reis will finish the surgery by repositioning the belly button and closing the incision.

Extended Tummy Tuck

A more extensive version of the standard or full tummy tuck, the extended tummy tuck addresses unwanted excess skin on their abdomen, flanks, and hips with a circumferential incision that stretches between the hipbones and around the hips. For some patients, a vertical incision may be required to remove more extra skin and fat. Before closing the incisions, Dr. Reis may use liposuction to reduce additional excess fat and contour the body before repositioning the belly button.

Recovery After A Tummy Tuck Surgery

In order to make your recovery as comfortable as possible, Dr. Reis offers a non-opioid anesthetic abdominal nerve block called Exparel that works for 72 hours to provide significant pain control.4 For about a week, you may feel some moderate discomfort that can be well controlled with oral pain medication.5

Depending on the tummy tuck procedure you have and how physically demanding your job is, you may be ready to return to work in 2 to 4 weeks. You will wear compression garments during your recovery, and you should not do any heavy lifting or exercise for at least 8 weeks.

What Results Can I Expect From Tummy Tuck Surgery?

After your tummy tuck, you will have a flatter, firmer abdomen that is more in proportion to your body type and weight.3 Your abdominal muscles will be tighter and firmer, and your excess skin will not come back.2

Although the results of a tummy tuck are long-lasting and considered permanent, significant changes in your weight can stretch your skin again and affect your outcome.3,4 Maintaining a stable weight will help you enjoy the long-term results of your slimmer, more youthful body.3

All tummy tucks produce scarring, but Dr. Reis focuses on keeping scars as minimized as possible by using a precise umbilical incision that hides inside the belly button instead of around it like a halo, and takes care to hide the lower abdominal incision below the level of your underwear or bikini so it’s fully concealed when covered. After your tummy tuck, Dr. Reis additionally offers fractional CO2 laser treatment, as well as multiple scar optimizing topical options, all of which have been shown to be safe and effective at improving the appearance of scars.5 Additionally, wearing sunscreen everywhere but especially over the incisions is extremely important to optimize your scar appearance.

Dr. Reis also uses Alastin Restorative Skin Nectar, a special lotion designed to support skin before, during and after cosmetic procedures by working with your skin’s natural regeneration process to improve its appearance and minimize scarring.6 This product is the closest thing available to the fountain of youth ever created, and also comes in other forms for anti-aging use on the face, eyes, neck and body.

FAQs About Tummy Tuck Surgery

What can I do about scar prevention after tummy tuck surgery?

Dr. Reis understands that some patients are hesitant to undergo tummy tuck surgery due to the potential for developing surgical scars. With that in mind, Dr. Reis is proud to offer highly effective pre- and postoperative skin care scar regimens that can dramatically minimize the appearance of surgical scars. Dr. Reis also offers CO2 Laser Resurfacing treatments to treat suboptimal scars to significantly reduce their appearance, while improving skin tone and texture. Learn more about treating and preventing scars after tummy tuck surgery here.

Are there any risks associated with abdominoplasty?

As with any type of surgical procedure, you should understand the risk of complications or side effects. Dr. Reis prioritizes patient safety in every step of your treatment plan and your personal risk will depend on your medical history and other factors. You can rest assured that Dr. Reis is a Board-Certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in tummy tuck surgery and a track record of successful procedures. He will discuss surgical risks with you and answer any questions during your consultation appointment.

What other procedures or treatments can I combine with tummy tuck surgery?

Depending on your unique goals, abdominoplasty can be combined with a variety of other procedures such as Mommy Makeover surgery for more comprehensive body rejuvenation, breast augmentation, or non-surgical treatments such as Botox or dermal fillers.

Contact Dr. Reis for Tummy Tuck Surgery in Houston

If you would love a flatter, more toned tummy, abdominoplasty may be the answer! To learn more about tummy tuck surgery with Dr. Scott Reis, and to schedule a consultation, please contact us.

1 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Tummy Tuck. Available at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/tummy-tuck. Accessed January 30, 2020.
2 Mayo Clinic. Tummy Tuck. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/tummy-tuck/about/pac-20384892. Accessed January 30, 2020.
3 ASPS. Which tummy tuck is right for me? Available at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/which-tummy-tuck-is-right-for-me#:~:text=Also%20called%20a%20traditional%20or,the%20stomach%2C%20removing%20the%20excess. Accessed March 8, 2022.
4,5 Pacira BioSciences, Inc. Exparel. Available at: https://www.exparel.com. Accessed January 30, 2020.
6 Regan J, Casaubon JT. Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck). National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431058. Accessed January 30, 2020.
7 Omi T, Numano K. The Role of the CO2 Laser and Fractional CO2 Laser in Dermatology. Laser Ther. 2014 Mar 27; 23(1): 49–60.


Dr. Scott Reis has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.