Michael E. Decherd, M.D.
San Antonio Plastic Surgery Institute
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TUMMY TUCK

Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty Surgery (San Antonio, TX)*

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Overview

Tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is an operation that removes excess skin and fat from the tummy while also tightening the underlying muscles. San Antonio plastic surgeon, Dr. Michael Decherd, performs countless tummy tuck surgeries each year and creates beautiful results for women. Patients that choose Dr. Decherd for tummy tuck surgery will walk away with a firmer, flatter abdomen and a slimmer waist. This surgery is often combined with other procedures, such as a breast lift and liposuction. These are popular combinations for women, especially those who have experienced a massive weight loss or those who have completed a pregnancy.

Tummy Tuck by Dr. Decherd

Tummy Tuck VS Lipo

Liposuction removes fat, whereas a tummy tuck removes both skin and fat. Most of the time, if a woman has had pregnancies (or after significant weight loss) there is loose skin that ultimately is not improved using suction lipectomy alone. So while the fat can be removed with liposuction, oftentimes the result is not desirable because of the loose skin that still exists. Also after pregnancy, the stomach muscles (really the fascia) are usually pretty stretched out, and a tummy tuck tightens these, whereas liposuction will not. That being said, a younger woman with good skin tone who has not had babies may benefit from liposuction alone.

Surgical Technique

The goal of a tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is twofold: we want to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen, and we want to tighten the internal wall muscles that have been stretched apart from a variety of causes including pregnancy, weight loss, or congenital formation. To do this, Dr. Decherd trims away and removes excess skin, pulls the rest of the tummy skin tight, and sutures the widened muscles/fascia together in the midline.

Tummy Tuck Patient

Tummy Tuck Types

Dr. Decherd tailors each tummy tuck procedure to the needs of his patients. Some patients will require larger incisions, and a larger section of skin to remove. The procedure will also be determined by how loose the abdominal muscles are and how much tightening is needed. He will also take into consideration the overall aesthetic concerns and goals of the patient and then choose the technique that will garner the best results. Dr. Decherd offers several approaches:

Mini Tummy Tuck

While most women may think that a tummy tuck surgery is only reserved for those who have large amounts of skin to remove, there are candidates who only need minor tightening. Individuals who are in good shape but still battle a pesky “pooch” and desire a flatter tummy are usually good candidates for a mini tummy tuck procedure. This method is sometimes referred to as a “Brazilian tummy tuck”. It is reserved for patients who are at a healthy weight, have good skin tone, and who have loose abdominal muscles that are not stretched to a degree in which a full tummy tuck procedure is required. This surgery involves a much smaller incision that is made along the lower abdomen. Through this incision, great improvement can be made in the abdomen allowing the stomach to appear tight and toned to match the rest of the patient’s physique.

Skinny Tummy Tuck

Crafted specifically for Athletic women, Dr. Decherd's "Skinny Tummy Tuck" falls between a traditional abdominoplasty and a mini tummy tuck. Athletic body types, while lean, may still require skin and muscle tightening, especially after weight loss or pregnancy.

Full Tummy Tuck

A full tummy tuck is the traditional abdominoplasty approach for most men and women. This body contouring procedure is for those who have a moderate amount of excess skin to remove, as well as abdominal fascia that are stretched and loose. This surgery is most common among women after pregnancy. During a full tummy tuck, the incision general extends from hip to hip. This allows for a greater amount of skin to be removed. Liposuction is usually incorporated to remove excess pockets of fat. The internal muscles are tightened and secured. In some cases, the belly button is usually repositioned, and if a C-section scar existed prior to surgery, this approach creates a single new scar that is thinner.

Extended Tummy Tuck

Patients that loose a significant amount of weight usually battle loose skin within the abdominal area. The only way to correct this skin deformity is with an extended tummy tuck. This is sometimes referred to as a panniculectomy where a longer incision is made that extends beyond the hips and navel. This surgery addresses loose skin and fat in the abdomen, and can reach as far as the hips and flanks. During the extended tummy tuck, the belly button is often repositioned so that is looks natural.

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Average Cost  
$7,000 - $12,500
Recovery Time  
3-4 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
2 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
2 Weeks
Procedure Recovery Location  
Outpatient
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Tummy Tuck FAQs

What About The Scar?

It would be great if we could make the significant changes that a tummy tuck achieves without a scar. While the results are beautiful, a scar is the price one pays for achieving the improvement. Dr. Decherd is a meticulous surgeon and strives to keep the scar low where it can be hidden under a bikini or underwear, understanding that even then it may not accommodate all styles. There is also a scar around the belly button. Sometimes this is a large scar and sometimes it is barely noticeable. It does take time (months) for the scars to fade, but usually they are acceptable when they mature.

Prior C-Section?

During a tummy tuck, Dr. Decherd will put the tummy tuck incision below the C-section incision, and it will be removed.

Will It Remove Stretch Marks?

There is no direct treatment for stretch marks. However, tummy tuck removes most of the skin from the lower abdomen, which also happens to be where stretch marks are most common. Stretch marks above the belly button move down to the bottom of the abdomen, and they are sometimes less visible when they are tight.

Can I Combine Procedures?

Yes. Dr. Decherd commonly performs other procedures with a tummy tuck. For women who have completed childbearing, specifically, this procedure is known as a mommy makeover. It combines abdominoplasty with a breast lift, liposuction and sometimes, breast implants.

What Is The Recovery?

This operation does require some getting over. Patients should take it easy for at least a couple of weeks. That being said, it is important to be mobile so that circulation can assist in the healing process. Within 3-4 weeks patients begin to feel normal again and can resume exercise within about 6-8 weeks.

What Does This Cost?

On average, most patients can expect to pay around $7,000-$12,500 for their tummy tuck procedure. The price for abdominoplasty will vary depending on the surgical case. This includes the surgical technique used, the number of procedures combined and the patient’s condition, as well as personal aesthetic goals.

Related Procedures

*Stock images are models. Case photos are actual patients of Dr. Decherd. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.