James F. Boynton, MD outlines qualifications that determine candidacy for abdominoplasty and touches on two popular tummy tuck techniques.
Houston, TX — Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, can often be an excellent option for women and men who are displeased with the appearance of their abdominal region, states Dr. James F. Boynton, a board certified plastic surgeon in Houston. Most patients, he notes, are typically bothered by an excess of skin – and fat – in the midsection that often accompanies pregnancy or significant weight loss.
“There are also some functional improvements abdominoplasty provides that liposuction alone cannot,” Dr. Boynton discloses. “For example, rectus muscles – or six pack muscles – are often stretched apart after pregnancy and weight gain, and tightening those muscles back is a key element of the tummy tuck procedure that really makes a difference. Not only does this allow patients to have that ‘straighter’ appearance from the side, it can also improve abdominal function. I’ve even had some patients for which abdominoplasty eliminated back pain caused by a ‘core muscle’ imbalance between the back and stomach muscles.”
According to Dr. Boynton, candidates for tummy tuck surgery include individuals who have loose abdominal skin and muscles, stretch marks, and/or extra fat buildup that proves to be resistant to even the most healthy diets and regular exercise routines. “Tummy tucks are not really about being ‘overweight’. In fact, the most ideal candidates are often people who are more slender with loose skin.” Additionally, he says patients should be physically healthy overall, at or near a stable weight, and have realistic expectations for the final outcome.
Based on their specific needs and goals, the Houston plastic surgeon indicates patients may qualify for either a mini tummy tuck or a full tummy tuck, though he notes the former is seldom employed at his practice. “In reality, very few patients are ‘true’ candidates for this approach, and when a mini tummy tuck is utilized for unqualified individuals, unsatisfactory outcomes that include bulging in the upper abdomen and an odd-looking navel (sometimes appearing pulled down) often result.” Instead, Dr. Boynton discloses that a full abdominoplasty during which skin is excised and abdominal muscles both above and below the belly button are tightened is generally a better option for most patients. He adds that this technique also involves some degree of liposuction and can often be performed using a relatively short incision concealed by the majority of undergarments.
No matter the technique used, Dr. Boynton says he incorporates two advanced technological modalities into his approach: EXPAREL® and embrace® Advanced Scar Therapy. EXPAREL®, he notes, is a revolutionary postoperative pain control method that works by slowly releasing analgesic medication to the targeted treatment area over the course of 72 hours, in many instances enabling patients to receive abdominoplasty as an outpatient procedure. Following surgery, he adds that Embrace® Advanced Scar Therapy can help dramatically diminish the appearance of any potential scarring by “unloading” tension imposed on the incision throughout the healing process.
Ultimately, when considering tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Boynton stresses the importance of seeking a board certified plastic surgeon. By doing so, he explains, patients can be certain they receive the most effective treatment and highest quality of care for their needs.
About James F. Boynton, MD, FACS
After graduating from Duke University, Dr. Boynton earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He has been named to the Texas Super Doctors® list for three consecutive years, and he has also been selected by U.S. News & World Report as a “Top Doctor” in Plastic Surgery. Dr. Boynton is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. In addition, he maintains active membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and several other esteemed organizations.
Dr. Boynton is available for interview upon request.
Boynton Plastic Surgery
1900 St. James Place
Houston, TX 77056