Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is a procedure used to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and tighten the abdominal wall. If you have loose skin or a protruding abdomen due to pregnancy, changes in weight or other factors, you may be a candidate for a tummy tuck.
IS A TUMMY TUCK
RIGHT FOR ME?
While a tummy tuck is an excellent way to tighten and tone your midsection, it is not a weight-loss procedure and in order to be a candidate for a tummy tuck, you should be at or near your ideal body weight.
YOUR TUMMY TUCK SURGERY
Our plastic surgeons will see you in an initial consultation. The consultation offers you an opportunity to:
- Meet with the surgeon of your choice and ask questions.
- Review your health history and tummy tuck goals with your surgeon to determine if a tummy tuck is right for you.
- Discuss fees/financing and schedule surgery with our surgery coordinators.
- Computerized imaging is available for our cosmetic surgical procedures.
Day of Surgery
- Your abdominoplasty surgery will be performed in our fully accredited in-office surgical suite or in a same day surgical facility as an outpatient procedure.
- A combination of IV sedation and local anesthesia is normally used.
- A typical tummy tuck procedure will last around 2 hours.
- You can expect to be in recovery 1 to 2 hours after your surgery.
- After your tummy tuck, you will experience some swelling, bruising and discomfort. After 4 weeks, your swelling and bruising will start to subside.
- Many patients return to work two weeks after their procedure.
- For the first few weeks after your surgery you should not bend, lift or stretch your abdomen in any way.
TUMMY TUCK FAQS
A tummy tuck is one of the most popular body contouring procedures. Candidates for a tummy tuck have excess skin and fat in the mid to lower abdomen caused by weight loss, pregnancy and aging. Many find that this excess skin causes a bulging stomach, or pouch, that cannot be taken care of through diet or exercise. With a tummy tuck, this excess skin and fat is removed and the abdominal muscles are tightened to create a taught and more youthful appearance.
The incision for a tummy tuck trails along the pubic hairline and extends toward the frontal pelvic bone. A second incision is usually made around the belly button so it can be repositioned appropriately. The abdominoplasty incision length varies with the amount of tissue to be removed. Currently, no stitches need to be removed as these are all placed beneath the skin and absorb in time. Plastic tube drains are used to remove any fluid which may collect and are taken out in a week to ten days. Most of the incisions will be carefully placed and can usually be concealed by a bathing suit bottom.
A tummy tuck is a significant surgical intervention. After surgery, your abdomen will be tender. Remember, not only has a good bit of skin and fat been removed, but also your abdominal muscles have been tightened. This being said, patients routinely do well with oral pain medication, rest, and supportive care. You’ll be most comfortable in a “lazy-boy” position for the first several days , and laxatives are recommended to avoid straining at bowel movement.
To perform a tummy tuck, the surgeon lifts all the skin and fat from your abdominal muscles from the pubis to the rib line. In doing so, many of the small nerves which give sensation to the abdominal wall are stretched or cut. Initially your abdomen will be numb from your navel to the pubis. As you heal, this area will decrease in size until, for most patients, there is very little or no numbness.
An important part of your post operative care is your garment. Initially this may be of the corset type, but eventually a girdle will be recommended. These garments serve several purposes. After surgery they provide support and lightly compress the abdominal wall which aids in pain control and prevention of fluid collection. Later they limit swelling and speed the progress toward your final result. We suggest the use of a compression garment for about a month, but many of our patients independently use their garments even after that point.
After tummy tuck surgery, many patients return to normal exercise schedules in a month to six weeks. Sedentary activities can certainly be resumed in a week to ten days. Our abdominoplasty patients are allowed to shower in about 48 hours after surgery.
If you gain weight after having a tummy tuck, it will be uniformly spread through your new contours. Ultimately, childbearing should be completed before contemplating a tummy tuck.
Thousands of people undergo tummy tuck surgery each year. The risks of this surgery are similar to the risks of most surgical procedures. Bleeding, infection, and skin loss at the tightest points of closure are most frequently mentioned. However in appropriate candidates who are in good health and do not smoke, the risks of any untoward results are minimized. Remember to listen carefully at the time of your consultation, and return with any questions so that you can do your part to ease your recovery.
Most tummy tucks are performed as an outpatient procedure in our accredited office-based surgical facility or a same day surgery center under local intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. At your consultation the physician will discuss the anesthesia options.
Our patient representatives are available to answer your questions and assist you with scheduling a consultation or imaging session at 423.756.7134.
FEES AND FINANCING INFORMATION
At your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to meet with one of our surgery coordinators to discuss fees and payment options. Click here to learn more about financing options available at the Plastic Surgery Group.