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 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.
Tummy Tuck Reviews
"Had my surgery April 7th, felt very comfortable during my consultation and before going into surgery. Post-op, my tummy tuck incision never hurt just the normal back pain and discomfort with the drainages. My belly button looks great, get lots of compliments on it. Feeling and looking good. Staff is very nice and friendly. Great doctor would definitely reccomend."- E.E. / Google / Jul 13, 2022
"I received my tummy tuck a little over 2 months ago and it was the best decision I've made. The office staff is wonderful, and Dr Decherd is amazing. All my questions and concerns were addressed and the entire process went smoothly. I had all the information I needed for a speedy recovery and if I had any concerns, they were addressed promptly. Now I am in love with the results. I will be referring everyone I know here. Thank you for everything! "- K. / Healthgrades / Jul 30, 2022
"Had my tummy tuck middle of May and I absolutely love it!! The office is wonderful and friendly, and Dr Decherd is amazing. All of your questions/concerns/fears are addressed and you feel at ease with the entire process from start to finish. Best decision ever. Thank you for everything!!"- K.F. / Google / Jul 29, 2022
"I went to Dr. Decherd after much research on all the plastic surgeons in the San Antonio area and I chose right! I went to Dr. Decherd for a tummy tuck and absolutely love my results. He and his staff are amazing."- S. / Healthgrades / Aug 13, 2022
"I did research on all the plastic surgeons in San Antonio and decided on Dr. Decherd. I’m so thankful I went with him because he is the BEST plastic surgeon!! I got a tummy tuck in June 2022 and now my stomach looks incredible - it’s completely flat and my scar is super low. Dr. Decherd truly is an expert surgeon and an artist. I’m so happy that I trusted him because my results are really astonishing - my scar is very low and very thin. Also, all of his office staff are AMAZING - they are so sweet and kind. I always had a positive experience during each check up. I highly recommend Dr. Decherd and will definitely go back to him if I decide on any more procedures in the future!!"- M. / Healthgrades / Aug 28, 2022
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 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.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 3-4 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 2 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
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.
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.