Dr. Craig is a board-certified plastic surgeon who obtained her microsurgical training at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and plastic surgery training at Yale School of Medicine. She performs complex aesthetic procedures, continuously developing her techniques through individualized training from experts in the field from all over the world. Dr. Fusi and Dr. Craig provides innovative procedures that create the most refined aesthetic results.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
The mark of a well-toned abdomen is skin stretched tightly across muscle with little fat. While diet and exercise can reduce fat and tone underlying abdominal muscles, tummy tuck patients have excess abdominal skin and fat, and in many cases separated abdominal muscles that cannot be eliminated or corrected simply by exercising or dieting. During surgery, the tummy tuck surgeon removes the loose, excess skin and fat and in most cases, repairs the underlying muscles that have separated as the result of pregnancy. A tummy tuck called an abdominoplasty is a form of plastic surgery in which your tummy tuck surgeon will:
- Excise loose, sagging skin.
- Repair separated abdominal muscles.
- Remove fat to improve contour.
Your tummy tuck surgeon will discuss the entire procedure in great detail every step of the way to ensure you receive the best possible outcome and lasting results that you will love.
Why Patients Decide to Have a Tummy Tuck
Every patient who seeks out a tummy tuck surgeon does so for reasons that are personal to them. People who have gained and lost a significant amount of weight, and are now at a stable, ideal weight are thrilled with how much energy they have and feel a great sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, after they’ve lost weight, they are left with sagging excess abdominal skin. Not only is it aesthetically unappealing, but it lays on top of the skin below creating a fold that traps heat and moisture that causes painful rashes to occur. Because the skin is not allowed to breathe a serious condition called intertrigo can develop.
Another common reason many women are interested in the procedure is that as a result of pregnancy; their abdominal muscles have separated – a condition called diastasis recti. A tummy tuck repairs the damaged muscles, eliminating the protruding bulge. Women who have this condition are prone to back pain because the abdominal muscles are weakened.
Heredity, gravity, and the aging process often compound these patient’s abdominal issues, which are not only unattractive but also negatively affect their health.
It almost goes without saying, but nearly all tummy tuck patients suffer from the embarrassment of feeling uncomfortable in certain clothing, being in intimate situations, and other self-image related issues. The number one reason they want a tummy tuck is to feel better about their appearance. Dr. Fusi and Dr. Craig have the satisfaction of seeing the transformation for patients who come to them seeking a tummy tuck and get to enjoy the added benefit of new-found confidence.
Tummy Tuck Candidates
Your tummy tuck surgeon will consider many factors before they give the go-ahead for your procedure. At Fusi & Craig Plastic Surgery, your safety and health the number one priority which is why communication is essential. In general, a tummy tuck candidate should:
- Attain and maintain their ideal weight.
- Delay surgery until after the birth of their last child.
- Be committed to maintaining a healthy diet and regularly exercising after recovering from surgery.
- Have realistic expectations.
- Be unhappy the way their abdomen looks.
- Be physically healthy.
Although the results of a tummy tuck will remain with small fluctuations in weight, gaining or losing a significant amount, of weight or having another child can dramatically affect your results.
Consulting with Your Tummy Tuck Surgeon
A tummy tuck is a surgery that is personalized to suit each individual’s specific needs. Patients considering a tummy tuck will need an expert’s perspective during a one-on-one consultation with a qualified tummy tuck plastic surgeon. Dr. Fusi and Dr. Craig encourage patients to visit their office for a thorough exam and consultation. For you to achieve a safe and successful outcome, it’s crucial that you be completely honest about your health history, your lifestyle and habits, and what kind of results you hope to achieve from your tummy tuck procedure. Communication and complete transparency are crucial when establishing a good relationship with your tummy tuck surgeon. You are encouraged to ask any questions you may have. Write a list of things you want to discuss in advance of your consultation. Our doctors want all of their potential patients to be well-informed because the better you understand your tummy tuck surgery, the more comfortable you’ll feel. During your initial consultation, Drs. Fusi and Craig will:
- Review your expectations and goals for surgery.
- Review your medical history to confirm that you are in good health for the procedure.
- Educate you about what the procedure will accomplish, options for anesthesia, and costs.
- Discuss with you the importance of communication.
- Inform you about the potential risks or complications.
What Happens During a Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Once you have agreed to a treatment plan with our doctors, a convenient time and date for surgery at a local outpatient surgery center will be scheduled. Before the procedure begins, anesthesia will be administered to ensure your comfort. After the anesthesia has taken effect Dr. Fusi and Dr. Craig will:
- Make a horizontal incision that extends along the bikini line. The shape and length will depend on how much skin needs to be excised.
- Mend your weakened and separated abdominal muscles
- Remove excess skin and fat to contour your abdomen.
- Close the incision to promote healing and minimize scarring.
When your surgery has concluded, patients will be taken to a recovery room to rest comfortably until the anesthesia wears off. You will return home the same day as surgery.
How Long Will Recovery Take?
Although recovery time varies based on your body’s natural healing process, most patients experience one week of discomfort before they are able to return to their regular routine. In the initial post-operative period it can be normal to experience some:
- Abdominal tightness.
- Temporary numbness in the skin right above the incision.
Our doctors will give you specific instructions on post-operative care, recovery time, and any prescriptions you may need. As you heal, you will return for follow-up exams to check on your healing progress.
A tummy tuck is a safe and effective procedure that’s helped many people just like you. If you have excess skin and separated abdominal muscles that are unresponsive to diet and exercise, our well-trained, friendly staff can help to schedule an initial consultation where you can come into our Houston office and meet with Dr. Fusi and Dr. Craig. Call us today at (713) 346-9909!