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Tummy Tuck Houston -  Dr. Nikko Answers Tummy Tuck Questions

Speaker 1: Dr Nikko is here with us, a cosmetic surgeon from Houston, Texas, to answer some questions regarding tummy tuck procedures. Hi Dr Nikko.

Dr. Nikko: Hi everybody.

Speaker 1: Okay our first question comes from Helen. She wants to know what is the difference between liposuction and a tummy tuck. 

Dr. Nikko: I believe one of the most difficult thing when it ... a question for patients to answer when it comes to dealing with their abdominal area is, do I need liposuction or do I need a tummy tuck? Liposuction is basically the removal of fat through suction and the term liposuction. We do it with a small instrument basically called canula. We go in and we use a noninvasive technique where we use tumescent fluid and then after the tumescent fluid, we basically use the canula to suck out the fat. 

Now, a tummy tuck is when we actually go in and we excise out the fat and the skin and tighten the abdominal muscle. So, in essence, you're looking at, you're basically thinking okay, is it more of, do patients have more fat and their skin is good? So that's liposuction. Tummy tuck is for people who have just extra amount of fat, but also a loss of elasticity in their skin or they have excess skin. 

Speaker 1: That makes sense, thank you Dr. Nikko. Our next question is from Marilyn who says she wants a tummy tuck but is concerned about scarring. How big of a scar is it going to leave?

Dr. Nikko: Yeah. The how big of a scar means we can talk about the length of the scars and you can talk about the thickness of the scar. Now, in a full tummy tuck, the way that I do my tummy tuck, I do a lot of liposculpting with it. So what I do is most people have stubborn fat around their waistline and what a lot of surgeons do is they tend to go around the back to remove that stubborn fat with the tummy tuck, excising it out. What I do is I actually use liposuction to create that waistline, to reduce that waistline and to get that skin to shrink in so I can keep my incision shorter. 

The incision is still one side of a hip to the other, but it's not like, it doesn't go around, it just stays sort of in the front for most of my patients. With that said, if you have a lot of skin then I have to of course make it longer. Essentially the more skin I have to remove, the longer the scar has to be. We all want a small scar, but if we have a lot of skin, then we have to extend the incision to the size of the removal of the skin. Because ultimately, you are going to have scar, will it be this long or this long? The difference is really not that much. 

What patients really want after a tummy tuck is they want their stomach to be tight and if you try to keep the scar too small, then you can't excise out as much skin and then they come back, and they say well what's the point of getting a tummy tuck if my stomach is not as tight as I want. So, that's what we have to work with patients.

And then the other aspect is the thickness of the scar and that varies from one patient to another, genetics, how well they take care of their scar, the general health and of course we have a lot of wonderful things now to really help make scars look really small. We have a lot of treatment options. Half of my patients have darker skin type so I have lot of treatment options for those patients to really keep the scar as fine as possible. 

Speaker 1: Okay, next we have a question from Stephanie who is a flight attendant and would like to know if I get a tummy tuck, how long will it be before I can go back to work?

Dr. Nikko: Yeah. Believe it or not, we lived obviously in Houston and took care of a lot of flight attendants from back when United ... and obviously those flight attendants, they work a lot. They lift heavy luggages and they do a lot of stuff. So, that's a little bit different. With that scenario, On average, I would say about a month. Now, for the average patient who has desk work, I would say about a couple of weeks. It's what really what I recommend taking off. They're not going to be 100%, but they're well enough to come back to work and do their desk work and do their other work and so that's on average. 

Speaker 1: This next question is from Marie. Can I get pregnant again after the surgery and if so, how does this affect the tuck?

Dr. Nikko: I have had, most of my patients decide to get a tummy tuck after they have had all their kids. But there is, of course, there's accidents. I've had three patients that I know of that have had accidental pregnancies and childbirth after having tummy tucks and to my surprise, again, it depends on how much weight you gain, genetics, how well you take care of yourself, but of the three patients that I know of that got pregnant afterward, I would say they retained 85% of their results, and it's pretty amazing.

Speaker 1: I'm sure a lot of women will be happy to hear that. This next question is from Julia and she wants to know what do you charge for a tummy tuck?

Dr. Nikko: Yeah. Well obviously tummy, we all comes in different size so the bigger the tummy tuck, the more cost. And so it varies. You're talking about just, because the majority of my patients they don't have just the loose skin. They have the wrinkly skin, bu they have stubborn fat too and so we have to deal with that. But if you're talking about just simple, just skin, I mean you could be ... But you're still looking at starting off at $6,000. But if you have fat deposit in certain area that you have liposuction to it, so the cost will depend on how much liposuction we have to do to get the results the patients are looking for. 

Ultimately it is that. How much it will cost depends on what kind of results you're looking for. 

Speaker 1: Becky wants to know, how many tummy tucks have you performed and how long have you been doing them?

Dr. Nikko: Yeah, so I've been in practice for 15 years and 15 years ago we started out doing small tummy tucks and now we're doing a lot bigger tummy tucks. And it's still outpatient. Our patients do very well going home. No hospital stay required. And they do very well and tummy tuck is probably the third common procedure that I do. I do a lot of body work, so on average I probably do one tummy tuck at least a week. Sometimes every other week, so we do quite a bit of, quite a few tummy tucks. 

Speaker 1: This last question is from Beverly who asks, I'm probably a bit older than most of your client base. Is age a factor in what you can do for me and if so, how?

Dr. Nikko: You'd be surprised that the, I'm seeing older and older patients get tummy tuck because we're living longer and longer and people want to look good into ... I see patients 50, 60 going in and get tummy tuck, so age is not really a determining factor because, it really determine on the health of the patient. A lot of these patients take great care of themselves. And if you take good care of yourself, you're healthy, there's no reason why you can't have a tummy tuck and look great for another 20, 30 years. 

Speaker 1: Well thank you so much, Dr. Nikko, for taking the time out to answer these questions about tummy tucks procedures.

Dr. Nikko: Oh, my pleasure and if you have any questions regarding what's right for you and tummy tuck, liposuction combination, seeing new patients in office is the best way to give you the best way to give you the insight, so if you're interested, give us a call, 713-960-1311 and I'd love to see you.

Speaker 1: You can also scroll down to the comment section of this video to ask any further questions you might have and Dr. Nikko will answer those for you as well.