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
"I am 7 weeks post tummy tuck and muscle repair and am so in love with my results. Dr.Decherd and his staff are absolutely amazing!!!! They were always there to answer any questions or concerns I had and helped me feel at ease. He is hands down the best there is out there. After three kids I never thought I would get my pre baby body back and Dr Decherd made that happen. He has helped me feel at my best and confident in my own skin. I can’t thank him enough!!! He is the BEST 🤩"- K.D. / Google / Jan 04, 2023
"Dr. Dechard gave me my tummy tuck a year ago this month (+ liposuction), and it has been absolutely life changing! When I first wen to him I wasn’t sure he would do it since I was overweight at 215lbs. But he did and a year later I’m still in awe and so thankful to him and his amazing staff, especially Heather! I am going to be 50 years old on Tuesday, this is a great way to kick off the decade! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! DIRECT RESULTS: 1. Got rid of 10 lbs of fat 2. Got rid of my FUPA 3. Got rid of my hideous hysterectomy scar 4. Got rid of my side hip bags 5. Made me a new beautiful belly button 6. Repaired my stomach muscles and gave me abs 7. Gave me the motivation to change my over all health, and life INDIRECT RESULTS: 1. Motivated me to drop an additional 30 lbs 2. Eliminated my diabetes risk 3. Helped me lower my BMI from 34 to 28 4. Chronic back issues almost non existent 5. Knee issues are gone 6. I can wear clothes I have never been able to wear before, as you can see in my after pic"- D.L. / Google / Feb 19, 2023
"Tummy tuck & muscle repair - waist has come in so much & I look curvy - I had a tummy tuck by Dr. Decherd last fall. Now that it's been 6 months and I see my final results I am even happier than I thought I would be. I waited for several months to see him for the initial consultation but it was worth it. He made me feel comfortable right away. I had been on two other consults before seeing him and I felt like he genuinely liked talking to me. Way different than the other doctors I had met with! The staff I met was super helpful and friendly. They were laid back and not stuffy which I liked. I liked that he told me confidently what he could do, but also listened to what I wanted. The day of surgery I brought my underwear that is the style I always wear and he marked me before surgery to make sure the scar stayed within the lines. So cool! I'm not an overweight person, just had two big babies, so I didn't know how dramatic my results would be but they are fantastic! My waist has come in so much and I look curvy in a good way! After care was exceptional. They were there any time I needed anything. I highly recommend Dr. Decherd. So happy I chose him!"- S. / RealSelf / Mar 17, 2023
"I had an amazing experience with Dr. Decherd! He is truly so kind and an amazing artist! I have a genetic condition called Ehler Danlos that basically creates faulty connective tissue. As a result, I have had many health issues as well as lax skin. I had a pretty large gap between my abs, a hernia and a ton of extra skin. I had a mommy makeover (tummy tuck and breast lift) with Dr. Decherd. Best decision I have ever made for myself! After complex pregnancies and all my body has endured, I finally have my body back! I actually don’t think my tummy was ever able to be this flat! I feel confident and the happiest I have ever felt in my body! Thank you Dr. Decherd! You are amazing!!!"- H.H. / Yelp / Apr 17, 2023
"I had an amazing experience with Dr. Decherd! He is truly so kind and an amazing artist! I have a genetic condition called Ehler Danlos that basically creates faulty connective tissue. As a..."- H.H. / Yahoo / Apr 17, 2023
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.