Frank Agullo, MDBoard Certified Plastic Surgeon

Which Tummy Tuck Is Right for Me?

Category: Tummy Tuck

Which Tummy Tuck Is Right for Me?

Woman Being Marked Before Tummy Tuck SurgeryNow that many plastic surgery procedures can be personalized for your needs, achieving your ideal body contour has never been more within reach. Dr. Frank Agullo offers the following techniques for tummy tuck surgery, one of which could be exactly what you need to redefine your waistline.

Comprehensive Abdominoplasty (Full Tummy Tuck)

A full tummy tuck smooths out the entire midsection. The incision scar is placed low between the hip bones so that it can be hidden by clothing. During the procedure, Dr. Agullo will tighten the abdominal muscles to produce an internal corset and create a firmer, tighter waistline. He uses the triple plication technique for a “Hollywood Waist.” He not only tightens the rectus muscles, but also the obliques. He will also remove the excess skin and stretch marks as well as stubborn abdominal fat. Part of the procedure often includes relocating the belly button once the excess skin has been removed. Liposuction is included with this procedure and can remove fat from the abdomen, flanks, and back.

Ideal Candidates

  • Abdominal wall muscle laxity
  • Stretch marks and excess abdominal skin
  • Skin and muscle laxity and excess fat in the entire abdominal area

Tummy Tuck Surgery Before and AfterMini Abdominoplasty (Partial Tummy Tuck)

A partial tummy tuck improves the area below the navel. The incision scar is shorter than it is for a full tummy tuck, but it is located in the same general area above the pubic line. This surgery is shorter and may even be performed under twilight anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. Dr. Agullo will tighten the skin and remove excess fat with liposuction from the lower abdomen to produce a flatter waistline. All improvements are seen in the lower abdomen below the navel.

Ideal Candidates

  • No abdominal wall muscle laxity
  • Minor skin laxity below the navel
  • No excess skin in upper abdomen
  • Fat deposits primarily below the navel

Extended Abdominoplasty (Extended Tummy Tuck)

The extended tummy tuck improves the contour of the abdomen as well as the hips. The incision scar extends around to the back, which leads to a longer scar but enables more significant body shape correction. The scar is still easily hidden by bikini or underwear. Dr. Agullo often recommends this technique with high definition and comprehensive abdominoplasties because, in addition to providing the same benefits as a full tummy tuck, it contours the love handles and even provides a lateral thigh lift and mild buttock lift. Due to the complexity of this technique, it is the longest tummy tuck procedure but has a similar recovery time.

Ideal Candidates

  • Abdominal wall muscle laxity
  • Stretch marks and excess abdominal skin
  • Skin and muscle laxity and excess fat in the entire abdominal area
  • Laxity in the lateral hips
  • Excess skin and fat also in the flanks and love handles

Selecting Your Technique

Patients should select their tummy tuck technique based on the type of correction they need. Here are some general recommendations based on select tummy issues:

  • Abdominal fat: liposuction, typically combined with any of the tummy tuck techniques
  • Excess skin in the lower abdomen only: mini tummy tuck
  • Excess skin and stretch marks in upper and lower abdomen: comprehensive or extended tummy tuck
  • Abdominal wall muscle laxity: comprehensive or extended tummy tuck
  • Tissue laxity and excess fat that are also in the lateral hips/flanks: extended tummy tuck

With any of these techniques, tummy tuck surgery can give you a more youthful and toned abdominal contour.

You can watch Dr. WorldWide perform these procedures on Snapchat under the username RealDrWorldWide.

Of all the different tummy tuck techniques, only one will be right for you. If you are not certain which technique you need, request your personal consultation with Dr. Frank Agullo. Dr. Agullo can offer his expertise and counsel you in choosing the technique that will yield the best results for you. To book your appointment, please call (915) 590-7900 or contact Dr. Agullo online today.

When Is the Best Time for Plastic Surgery?

woman-holding-an-hourglassWhen scheduling your plastic surgery procedure, timing is everything. You want to make sure you are fully healed before a big event, such as a wedding, and that you do not have any major commitments planned during your recovery time. Here are a few things to consider before choosing your ideal surgery date.


For one reason or another, many people worry that they are too old for plastic surgery. Patients should know that age alone will never disqualify anyone from a particular procedure; however, older patients are more likely than others to have more serious health concerns, which may make elective surgery more of a risk. If you are considering plastic surgery and already feel “too old,” schedule a consultation to find out the pros and cons that are unique to you.

Future Weight Loss

Those who experience the best results with all body contouring procedures are at or near their ideal weight and have maintained it for at least a few months. Patients who plan on losing more weight after their surgery will still be able to schedule their surgery, but once they lose more weight, their body may not be as “tight” as their final surgery result, as excess skin may develop.

Future Pregnancy

Cosmetic surgeries such as the tummy tuck will never cause harm to the woman or baby if the patient becomes pregnant after her surgery. However, patients should realize that a subsequent pregnancy will undo some of the results of a tummy tuck or Mommy Makeover procedure since pregnancy will stretch the skin and muscle and nearly always causes weight gain in different areas.


If you are in between jobs and are prepared mentally and financially to undergo cosmetic surgery, you should schedule your procedure before you find a job. Taking a couple of weeks off for recovery at a new job is not always possible or ideal. It is also better to have surgery when you do not have the added pressure of learning your new role.

Upcoming Events

Nonsurgical procedures are an excellent option for last-minute improvement before a big event. Although results can be seen immediately, it is a good idea to schedule treatments like lip augmentation and dermal fillers a couple of weeks before the date of an event to ensure you are happy with your results. For surgical procedures, such as a breast augmentation, patients may wish to schedule it about six weeks before an event to ensure the implants have settled into their new position and all swelling has completely subsided.

Future Cosmetic Surgery

If you plan to have a different cosmetic surgery a couple of years after the one you are considering, be sure to mention it during your consultation. Many times a patient will realize the time and cost saved if they decide to have both procedures done at one time.

When planning your surgery, there are many factors to consider including timing, options, and risks. Dr. Agullo can help you determine if the procedure you have in mind is right for you. To schedule your appointment, please call (915) 590-7900 or fill out our online contact form today.

Follow Dr. Frank Agullo, aka “Dr. WorldWide,” on Snapchat under the username RealDrWorldWide.

How to Exercise After a Tummy Tuck

shutterstock_103383050Anyone who has undergone major surgery knows that the body needs some time to recover before you exercise again. Resuming exercise too soon after surgery can lead to injuries, infections, or worse. After tummy tuck surgery, it is important that you follow Dr. Agullo’s directions and exercise safely so that your body heals properly.

How to Exercise During Recovery

During the first few weeks after tummy tuck surgery, you will be in recovery. It is likely that you will experience pain, soreness, and fatigue that will deter you from wanting to exercise. While it is important to rest during this time, you should get up, walk around, and keep mobile within the first 24 hours after treatment. Do not do anything too strenuous; rather, limit your physical activity to light walking around the block or house. This light cardiovascular exercise will help your circulation and help you avoid blood clots as your body heals. Avoid abdominal exercises, weight lifting, and intense cardio during this time. Gradually increase the length of time you walk or the frequency of times that you go walking to increase your body’s endurance.

When to Reintroduce More Active Exercises

Before and After Tummy TuckAfter four to six weeks, much of your soreness and fatigue will be gone. Most patients at this point are ready to pursue more active and strenuous activities. Depending on how your recovery is going, Dr. Agullo may recommend that you wait longer. It is most important that you follow Dr. Agullo’s instructions for your recovery, as they will be tailored to your needs. Do not push yourself too soon. Even if you were very healthy and active before your surgery, your body will not be able to immediately resume the same activities you could do before surgery. It will need to be gradually eased into your former exercises. If Dr. Agullo has approved that your body is ready for more active exercises, slowly introduce more physical activities like jogging, swimming, cycling, or yoga. Beginning with general cardio activities is best; still, continue to avoid abdominal exercises and heavy weight lifting.

When to Reintroduce Abdominal Exercises and Intense Weight Training

After about 12 weeks, most patients are ready to reintroduce abdominal exercises and intense weight training. The reason that patients must wait so long is due to the intense trauma of tightening the stomach muscles. Your stomach muscles will not be ready for crunches, sit-ups, or core exercises until at least 12 weeks after your tummy tuck procedure. Intense weight lifting can also put undue pressure on your core muscles, which is why it is important to put off weight training until 12 weeks after surgery. When you reintroduce these activities, do so gradually, and listen to your body. You will feel it if you are pushing yourself too hard. Gradually building your endurance will safely reintroduce your body to the appropriate exercises to keep your newly trimmed waistline looking fit and toned.

For more information about tummy tuck surgery and how to exercise after your procedure, contact Southwest Plastic Surgery in El Paso to schedule your personal consultation. Call (915) 590-7900 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with us today.

Improve Your Appearance Following Weight Loss

Improve Your Appearance Following Weight LossMajor weight loss can simultaneously be the most triumphant and frustrating experience in your life. It is no small task to stick to your diet and exercise plan. Shedding those unwanted pounds and reaching your goal feels amazing. What doesn’t feel as great? Not having the body you envisioned at the start of your weight-loss journey. What keeps many men and women motivated through their weight loss is the idea of the new, fit body they will have achieved at the end of it all. However, this healthier, leaner you is often obstructed by excess, sagging skin. If you are frustrated with your appearance, body contouring to improve your appearance following major weight loss may be just what you need.



What Is Body Contouring?

Body contouring includes a set of select procedures that are designed to eliminate excess skin and fat to enhance your body’s physique. Each body contouring procedure is customized to the patient in order to target your trouble spots and highlight your body’s natural curvature. Possible treatments included as a part of body contouring are:

  • Tummy TuckAchieves a flatter, smoother abdomen by eliminating excess skin and tightening the abdominal muscles
  • LiposuctionRemoves excess fat to enhance slender curves in women and create better body definition in men and women
  • Lower Body LiftTargets sagging tissues around the hips, thighs, and buttocks for a slimmer, more toned lower body
  • Thigh LiftRemoves sagging thigh tissue for more toned legs and to eliminate painful chafing
  • Breast EnhancementsMay include a breast lift and/or breast augmentation to restore firmness, shape, and volume to drooping, deflated breasts
  • Arm LiftRemoves sagging arm tissue for firmer, slimmer arms

Why Choose Body Contouring?

Body Contouring Before and After PhotosMany people struggle to avoid surgery during their weight loss, while others undergo surgery and don’t desire to do it again. It can be disappointing for some that surgery is their only option. However, body contouring surgeries offer numerous benefits that often outweigh the drawbacks of surgery, including:

  • Permanent and precise removal of skin and fat
  • Elimination of painful skin irritations and chafing caused by excess folds of skin
  • Removal of stubborn fat deposits that resist diet and exercise
  • A stronger abdominal core
  • Enhancement of new, lean muscles
  • Customized procedures tailored to the patient’s needs

When Should I Consider Body Contouring?

Body contouring is often right for both men and women following major weight loss or for patients with large amounts of excess skin. Patients should be within their goal weight and should have maintained a stable weight for at least six months. Future weight loss or gain can affect the quality of body contouring surgery results. Some health conditions may prevent you from qualifying for body contouring, which will be discussed during your consultation.

If you are ready to reveal the new, fitter, and healthier you following weight loss, schedule your body contouring consultation with Dr. Agullo today. Contact our office at (915) 590-7900 or fill out our online contact form for additional information.

Plans for Plastic Surgery After Baby

shutterstock_317534825Real women aren’t the only ones who get plastic surgery. It turns out that Kim Kardashian has treated herself to a full mommy makeover after the birth of her 2nd child. The curvy 35 year old didn’t want to waste any time getting her body back in shape after the birth of her son – and that meant getting some of the best plastic surgeons to help her.

No detail was left out, and it seems as if she had no hesitations or anxiety about going under the knife whatsoever!

So what is she likely to have had done for her mommy makeover?

Tummy Tuck

Having your tummy stretched out by a baby more than a time or two can wreak havoc on the abdominal wall muscles and the skin around your waist. Saggy skin may not be able to bounce back on its own, leaving “flab” or a “muffin top” behind, even after weight loss. Tummy tucks also help tighten up the muscle underneath, so it’s not just about handling excess skin.


Baby fat leftover in the hips, legs, and tummy are hard to erase with exercise alone. Contouring the area with liposuction or some other type of laser therapy can give you a toned, flatter abdomen. Most opt for traditional liposuction, as it permanently destroys fat cells and makes it easier to prevent fatty buildup from coming back.

Breast Augmentation or Lift

Before and After Breast LiftKim has always been obsessed with her body, and it’s no secret why. Her vivacious curves are the talk of the town and something that many women compare themselves to when they’re consider having surgery done on themselves.

Even with those great curves, she likely experienced some breast growth, stretching, and sagging during pregnancy. Women often do, whether or not they nurse may not even make a difference. Kim will probably had a bit of a lift done to add more fullness to her chest and avoid drooping or sagging when she hops back into a bathing suit this summer!

Cosmetic Surgery “Down There”

Do we know if Kim had a vaginal makeover? No. But plenty of women do after they give birth to a baby. Why? Because it tightens up the skin, makes things look more tidy down there, and reshapes the inner labia so that the stretched skin doesn’t rub inside of your clothes. A lot of women do it to feel more comfortable in bed, and some even report that it increases their stimulation.

After having a baby, every woman experiences changes that can impact them physically, athletically, socially, and emotionally. There’s no shame in doing something about it, either.

Women like Kim who gain 40 or 50 pounds during their pregnancy (she admitted just 6 weeks before her birth that she had already gained 52 pounds) truly have their work cut out for them. Even if they’re able to drop the weight through diet and exercise, it’s normal to consult a plastic surgeon to polish off the finishing touches.

To make an appointment, you can contact the office of Dr. Frank Agullo by calling (915) 590-7900 or by filling out our online contact form.

Get Ready for A Total Mommy Transformation

shutterstock_77729719Since having a baby, how many times have you looked at yourself in the mirror and just wished you could change things back to the way they used to be? Or to just improve one or two physical features so that you felt “good enough” to get back into that favorite pair or jeans or swimsuit?

Whether it’s getting a flatter stomach (and erasing some of that “baby belly”) or lifting your sagging breasts after nursing for months on end, you’re not alone. A lot of women come to my El Paso office just wanting to feel more confident in their bodies again after having children.

Not a One-Size-Fits-Most Treatment

Mommy Makeovers aren’t a one-size-fits-all procedure. Each one is a custom “package” that I put together to help women like you get what they need out of a customized cosmetic procedure. Whether it’s getting their hourglass figure back or erasing loose skin, we address it all.

Ultimately, we’re trying to help women feel better with their bodies after having children. That means addressing the way fat is distributed through their bodies, the contours that change in their abdomen and breasts, and stretching skin.

Everything’s Included

Liposuction Before and AfterWe’ll usually start at the top and work our way down, recreating that hourglass figure. With the breasts, some lifting or augmentation may be needed. Around the abdomen, I might recommend liposuction or a tummy tuck. Once we get to the hips and buttocks, many women enjoy a Brazilian Butt Lift – which can give you great curves and the round bottom that women spend months in a gym working toward.

During a Brazilian Butt Lift, I’m actually transferring fat from one portion of the body to another. We can do the same thing to increase a woman’s bust size if they do not want to undergo breast implant surgery! It’s an increasingly common procedure and there are no unwanted side effects.

The important part is that your Mommy Makeover addresses your primary concerns and is tailored to meet your expectations. I won’t recommend the same procedure on each woman, because everyone’s bodies are designed differently. That’s why it’s so important to find a skilled plastic surgeon who has experience with a wide variety of techniques, whether surgically or non-invasive.

Choosing the Right Doctor is Vital

Choosing the right plastic surgeon not only increases the success of your treatment, but also impacts your recovery time. In most cases, my patients need about 2 or 3 weeks to get back to normal after a full Mommy Makeover. In the meantime, it’s important to have help around the house when it comes to lifting or doing extensive housework. After that, it’s back to business as usual!

If you’re considering getting a Mommy Makeover, I highly advise you to set up a private consultation with me here at my El Paso facility. Be sure to bring photos of your ideal “look,” even if they’re from a magazine or pictures of you before you had children. Visuals are ideal when I’m working with women on designing the finished product. I’ll be happy to discuss what options are available to help you feel and look your best!

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Frank Agullo, you can contact his office by calling (915) 590-7900 or by filling out our online contact form

Losing Hundreds of Pounds: the Cosmetic Disadvantage

shutterstock_241360303For men and women that have lost hundreds of pounds with the help of surgery or lifestyle changes, excessive weight loss has an ugly downside: excess skin. It’s not uncommon for 20 pounds or more of leftover skin to be left hanging from a slim frame once all of the weight underneath is gone.

The Problem

For someone who should be feeling confident about their weight loss, the bags of stretched skin hanging from their arms or stomach can take an emotional toll. While mild weight loss can allow skin to “bounce back,” this rarely happens when we’re considering hundreds of pounds of weight being lost. This can leave people feeling unhappy or even uglier in their now-healthier bodies.

When my patients have undergone sleeve or bariatric procedures to lose weight, I work with them on fitting their excessive skin to their thinner frame. We start treatment once all of the desired weight has been lost, that way we aren’t worried about additional loose skin following the procedure.

Where’s the Confidence?

As you can see, weight loss isn’t the only part of feeling confident. So is having skin that fits your body. Weight loss alone just won’t cut it, so it’s important to keep a plan in mind for the end result. The 2nd phase of that plan is usually visiting with a plastic surgeon, such as myself, to remove the baggy skin.

Some people wear latex compression garments under their clothing to control sag through their waistline. This can be uncomfortable and limit your mobility, especially if you’re trying to have a more active lifestyle; or to even feel attractive with their partner.

Looking Your Best

If you’re wary of the curious looks or questions you get from strangers, it’s probably a good time to go ahead and see someone about tightening your skin. Doing so can help you “fit” your body even better, and allow your skin to conform to what is truly underneath.

However, just like drastic weight loss, skin-tightening treatments do require a bit of getting used to. It may be that you need to have a fairly immobile lifestyle for the first few months, as your incisions heal the way we want them to.

Psychologically, this can be a challenge – especially if you’ve taken to an active lifestyle. But if you’re committed, you don’t have to start over from scratch. You might even find that you’re able to be even more active, without having to wear compression garments.

The Process

Before and After Tummy TuckSo, what’s actually involved in having excess skin removed or tightened? It’s actually a series of procedures like a tummy tuck, breast lift, or arm lift. Excessive skin is pulled away and removed, while the remaining skin is conformed to your thin frame. We can even polish off your overall look with a bit of body contouring to reshape your curves in just the right places.

For my patients considering bariatric surgery or who have already lost a hundred pounds or more, I’m always very happy to meet with them to discuss their concerns. Some people come before the weight loss has started, and others wait until they’ve reached their desired weight. Whatever phase of the process you’re in, I’m confident that my El Paso cosmetic surgery team can help you get to where you want to be!

To make an appointment, you can contact the office of Dr. Frank Agullo by calling (915) 590-7900 or by filling out our online contact form.

The Benefits of Looking Your Best

Looking Your BestA familiar misconception is the idea that cosmetic surgery isn’t beneficial past the surface of the skin. But that’s not true! Investing in aesthetic treatments by a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you boost your confidence, improve your appearance, and change your lifestyle.

Not only that, but cosmetic treatments can also be beneficial to your health and well-being. Here are just a few examples:

Breast Reduction

It’s not uncommon for women with larger breasts to experience pain or discomfort in their back, shoulders, or neck. Reducing the size of the breasts to one that is lighter can improve posture, reduce spinal problems, and even make it easier to workout at the gym. Some women also experience frequent skin irritation or infection under their breast tissue, so a reduction makes it much easier to reduce the likelihood of these conditions.

Breast Augmentation

For women who experienced tuberous growths, or asymmetry to the point that it interferes with their posture, breast augmentation can create a healthy fit for your profile and reduce your risk of back pain.


Getting a “nose job” could actually help you breathe easier, due to correcting a deviated septum or other anatomical irregularities that reduce oxygen flow. Rhinoplasties offer straightforward results to my patients with obstructed nasal passages.

Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

If droopy eyelids (ptosis) interfere with your line of vision, a simple lift can improve your eyesight.
Suddenly you’ll see better again, without having to wear glasses!


A tummy tuck reduces the excess fat and skin along the waistline – decreasing your risk of diabetes, reduce certain types of incontinence, and relieve back pain as the muscular positions are corrected. Enjoy a flatter, more toned stomach that diet and exercise alone haven’t achieved.

Body Lift

After significant weight loss, reducing excess skin in the arms, lower body, thighs, or breasts can improve posture, reduce your risk of diabetes, and even reduce incontinence caused by stress. Say goodbye to the “waving” skin when you walk or raise your arm, and hello to tighter fitting clothes.


Liposuction can be used to reduce the amount a person sweats under their armpits – something that can interfere with everyday social relationships. The procedure can also bone completed using a laser. Liposuction is often used for men who need breast reduction due to excessive fatty tissues in their chest.

Vaginal Rejuvenation

After childbirth, many women experience scar tissues caused by tearing, looseness of the vaginal walls, or chafing because of naturally large labia. Plastic surgery can reshape and recontour the vaginal tissues for greater comfort in your favorite clothes (or with the person you love.) Through vaginal rejuvenation you can achieve your desired look.

Of course, the psychological benefits of plastic surgery are significant. Being able to overcome the embarrassment of specific anatomical irregularities can give my patients a new-found freedom that literally changes their life for the better. If you’ve been thinking about having some type of cosmetic procedure performed, and you just can’t justify it for looks alone – it’s time to look even deeper, and see how treatments can improve things other than just your appearance.

To learn more about your options in plastic surgery, you can make an appointment at the office of Dr. Agullo by calling (915) 590-7900 or filling out our online contact form.

The Top Cosmetic Procedures for Generation X’ers

Let’s face it; the forever-young-at-heart Generation X is beginning to see the impact of life on their bodies. And they’re starting to do something about it! Over 40% of 35-50 year olds have gotten some type of cosmetic procedure done to improve the way they look and feel about themselves.

As middle age starts rearing its ugly head, Generation X’ers aren’t taking it sitting down. With more aesthetic options available than ever before, it’s no wonder why the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has seen a surge in elective cosmetic procedures. I’m seeing the very same thing in my own office, as women are becoming more comfortable with the idea of body rejuvenation and skin treatments.

Which ones are the most popular, you ask? Most of my new patient consultations and completed treatments with Gen X’ers involve procedures like:

Breast Augmentation / Lifts / Reduction

You’re at the age where you know what you want. Maybe it’s finally having something to fill out your bra, or regain the confidence you had before “sagging” became a problem. You don’t have to be in your 20s to get your breasts fuller, higher, or the right shape and size. My Gen X female patients know that they’ll be with them for several more decades, and they’re taking steps to feel better about themselves in the future.

Tummy Tucks

Haven’t been able to get rid of that sagging belly skin since you had a baby or finally lost a few pounds? You’re not the only one. The stretching and swelling that your stomach experienced in younger years can really put a toll on your waistline – but a tummy tuck is an excellent fix!

Tummy Tuck Surgery Before and After


If diet and exercise haven’t caught up with your decreasing metabolism, liposuction is an excellent way to rid yourself of excessive fatty or cellulite tissues in those troublesome places that bother us all – love handles.

Eyelid Procedures

The delicate skin around your eye can be one of the first places to show signs of aging. Especially when you see yourself in photos or the mirror – and don’t expect to see what you’re looking at. An eyelid procedure, or blepharoplasty is a great way to erase signs of crow’s feet, circles under the eyes, or excessive wrinkling.

Mommy Makeovers

Our “mommy makeover” packages are extremely popular, especially for our late 30s and 40s women who are done having children. While a mommy makeover isn’t one procedure alone, it’s a combination of various treatments like breast augmentation, body contouring, and vaginal rejuvenation to help them get their entire body back to a slimmer, fitter, more youthful shape.

Somebody You Know Has Had Cosmetic Surgery

How many women are we talking about, here? Nearly 50%! Chances are, out of you and three other girlfriends, at least two of you have had aesthetic surgery. The procedures are becoming more advanced, less invasive, and help you get your younger body back with minimal down time.

Now’s Your Chance

Are you a Generation X’er who is starting to see time and life wear down parts of your body before you’re ready? Tired of seeing fine lines and wrinkles in the mirror each morning? Call to set up a complimentary, private consultation so that my team can help you feel better about the way you look and feel each day!

To contact the office of Dr. Frank Agullo, you may call (915) 590-7900 or fill out an online contact form.


Total Tummy Tuck Recovery Guide

Tummy Tuck RecoveryIf your lower belly has excess skin and stubborn fat that isn’t responding to diet and exercise, a tummy tuck may be right for you. Tummy tuck surgery can effectively and permanently rid your waistline of sagging skin and localized fat. But before you jump into it, here’s your guide to preparing for tummy tuck surgery, what to expect during recovery, and how long it’ll take until you can fully enjoy the benefits of your tummy tuck.

Preparing for a Tummy Tuck

Before your tummy tuck, make sure that you’re at or near your ideal body weight. This procedure is not a weight-loss procedure but rather a technique for ridding the body of excess skin and stubborn fat. You’ll need to have any medical complications resolved before surgery. Build habits of healthy living so that it’s easier for you to maintain long-term results afterward. If you’re a smoker, you’ll want to quit before having surgery because smoking interferes with circulation and can hinder your ability to heal. Most of all, consider whether you want to have any children in the future – if you do, a tummy tuck may not be a good idea now because a future pregnancy can reverse the results.

Other Things to Prepare:

  • Two to three weeks off work for healing
  • Medical supplies
  • Caretaker and driver to and from surgery
  • Comfortable, loose clothing that is easy to put on
  • Towels and padding for your bed
  • Extra pillows to prop you up while sleeping

What to Expect During Recovery

Your recovery experience will largely depend on the kind of procedure you have. For example, a partial tummy tuck will have a quicker and somewhat easier recovery than an extended or comprehensive tummy tuck. All tummy tuck patients may expect soreness, swelling, and likely some pain. Dr. Agullo will help you manage the pain with prescription medications or a pain pump. You may also experience numbness, bruising, and fatigue. Most of your discomfort will be gone within one week, and within a couple weeks, you may feel up to going out and about. Expect some scarring, but the scars will be hidden beneath the bikini line and will fade over time.

How to Care for Your Body the First Week After Surgery

The first week after surgery, you’ll need to rest to help your body focus its energies on healing. However, do not remain bedridden; get up and walk around every once in a while to keep circulation moving so that you reduce any swelling and avoid getting blood clots. Avoid driving and exercising, and limit any activities that require more than walking short distances. Be very careful not to strain any of your incisions or abdominal muscles. Take your prescription medications promptly and regularly, especially the antibiotics. You will need to sleep in a semi-sitting position with your head and shoulders propped up on pillows. Dr. Agullo will instruct you on how to manage draining any drains, changing any dressings, and wearing support garments.

How Long the Healing Process Lasts

Tummy Tuck Before & After PhotosWithin a few weeks after surgery, you can expect to feel well enough to resume many normal activities. Within about six weeks, you may be able to resume more strenuous activities and exercise. Some patients may experience depression or anxiety after cosmetic surgery, but this should subside as your body heals and you begin to see and feel the positive results of your surgery. After a few months, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the results of your tummy tuck!

For more information about tummy tuck surgery, call our El Paso office at (915) 590-7900 or our Las Cruces office at (575) 520-5041 to schedule your personal consultation today with double board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Agullo. For your convenience, you can also contact us online at our El Paso Office or our Las Cruces Office.

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