Dr. Kenkel performs abdominoplasty, more commonly called tummy tuck surgery, at his Dallas, TX practice for women and men who want to correct a sagging, protruding midsection. Loose skin and lax abdominal muscles are often the result of pregnancy or significant weight loss, and won't go away with diet and exercise. If you've achieved a healthy weight and still find that a flat, firm abdomen eludes you, it may be time to consult with a plastic surgeon.
Am I a good candidate for the surgery?
Although most people associate tummy tuck surgery with women who have been pregnant, it is by no means limited to mothers. Anyone who is bothered by loose or hanging skin around their abdomens can likely benefit from tummy tuck surgery, including men and women who have lost a significant amount of weight or those who are simply seeing changes as a result of the aging process. You should be in good health, at or very near your goal weight, and have reasonable expectations for your results.
What should I expect from my consultation?
Your consultation is the first step to achieving the beautiful results you want. During this appointment, Dr. Kenkel listens to your concerns and desires and talks to you about your lifestyle and medical history. He will provide you with details about the surgery and the results you can realistically expect. Together, you'll determine if tummy tuck is appropriate for you. In some cases, you may determine that you're a better candidate for liposuction or even CoolSculpting®.
After you meet with Dr. Kenkel, we'll take photos of your abdomen to save in your file. You'll also talk to Debbie, our coordinator, to discuss pricing, financing, and other questions you may have about the surgery.
How is the surgery performed?
Before you're anesthetized for surgery, Dr. Kenkel draws the incision line on your abdomen with a marker. It's placed as low as possible on your body, typically from hip to hip just above your pubic area.
Dr. Kenkel performs tummy tuck while you are under general anesthesia. He makes the incision along the line he made earlier and releases the skin from the fat, muscles, and other supportive structures below. He often performs liposuction concomitantly with tummy tuck surgery. He repairs the separated abdominal muscles, which results in a slimmer waist and firmer belly. He repositions the navel before redraping the skin and removing any excess, creating a smooth, firm contour. Dr. Kenkel closes your incision with a combination of dissolving and conventional sutures. In most cases, he does not use drains. However, if he does place a drain, it often remains in place for 7 to 10 days.
What happens the day of surgery?
Your abdominoplasty is performed here at UT Southwestern, and most patients spend a night or so in the Medallion Guest Suites which provides a hotel like environment with full time nursing care. Dr. Kenkel emphasizes that you should ask a friend or family member help you around the house for several days. We have created an informative document that details how you can prepare for your tummy tuck. For example, if you're a smoker, you'll need to stop at least several weeks prior to your surgery. If you're feeling anxious about surgery, we can administer medication prior to your procedure to help you relax. What is recovery like?
Discomfort and soreness in the immediate days after surgery are normal. However, Dr. Kenkel prescribes medication to help you feel more comfortable.
Depending on the nature of your work, you may need up to 3 weeks off of work to facilitate your recovery. For the first 5-7 days, you'll need to walk stooped over because your abdominal skin will be too tight to allow you to stand up fully. As it gradually stretches, you'll be better able to move freely. Although you shouldn't overdo it, Dr. Kenkel recommends taking short, easy walks around your home several times a day to facilitate healthy healing.
You'll need to wear a compression garment to reduce swelling and to help support your abdomen as it heals. Dr. Kenkel advises you on when you can discontinue use of the garment, but it's typically within a month of surgery.
What should I know about my results?
Any type of surgery inevitably results in a scar. However, Dr. Kenkel uses careful techniques to ensure that your tummy tuck scar fades to a thin, flat, discreet line that stays concealed beneath your clothing, swimwear, and undergarments.
It's important to remember that tummy tuck surgery is not intended to be a weight loss procedure. Good candidates should be at or near a healthy weight. Although the surgery can yield incredible results, it's only one element of your final look. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes a reasonable diet and regular exercise, can go a long way toward helping you enjoy those results indefinitely.
How many visits do I have after surgery?
Dr. Kenkel recommends an initial follow-up visit 3 to 4 days after surgery, followed by another 7 to 10 days after surgery for suture and drain removal, when necessary. During these visits, you'll discuss your post-op timeline and any questions or concerns you may have. Additional follow-up visits should occur at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year after surgery. These help Dr. Kenkel monitor your results and your overall well-being.
How much does tummy tuck cost?
Like all cosmetic surgery procedures, tummy tuck is highly customized to each patient's specifications — so it's difficult to offer a quote over the internet. Instead, we'll create a written estimate for you during your consultation. This estimate will reflect the specifics of your surgery, as well as fees associated with the operating facility, anesthesia, and more. If you decide to move forward with your tummy tuck, we ask that you pay a $500 deposit to reserve your surgery date.