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Tummy Tuck

 Also called “Abdominoplasty ” is a surgical procedure correcting the apron of excess skin and fat hanging over the abdomen, and tightening muscles in the abdominal wall.
However, this is a major surgery, so a tummy tuck should be the last resort for people who have exhausted all other measures, and the procedure should not be used as an alternative to weight loss.

Good candidates:
A good candidate for abdominoplasty Surgery:
• Is close to their ideal body weight (within 25-30%)
• Wants to remove specific areas of loose skin or fat that is diet-and exercise-resistant
• Weight has been stable for 6 months or more
• Has realistic expectations
Although the results of an abdominoplasty procedure are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies may be advised to postpone abdominoplasty surgery.

 

Techniques/Basic procedures:

A mini tummy tuck or partial abdominoplasty, may be recommended for patients that are within 10% of their ideal body weight. This procedure is less invasive and can be done on an outpatient basis. While a full tummy tuck involves an incision around the navel and across the lower abdomen, a mini tummy tuck leaves the navel intact and requires a smaller incison.

Liposuction is sometimes employed and the fat is removed from below the navel, tightening muscles from the navel to the pubis.
If your abdominal muscles require more extensive tightening and your body weight is more than 20% above your ideal weight, your plastic surgeon is more likely to recommend a full abdominoplasty. This frequently is performed with liposuction to obtain the best results.
Drains may be placed in the skin and removed a few days later. The drains reduce swelling by collecting excess blood and fluid. All incisions are closed.

Pre-op preparation:
-Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications
-If you smoke, quit smoking for at least 2 weeks pre-op
-Make arrangements to have someone drive you to and from the operation
-Arrange for someone to care for you the first 24-72 hours after surgery
-On the day of surgery, wear loose clothing wich will be easy to get off and on after operation

Complications and side effects:
• Pain and swelling in the days following surgery.
• Soreness, numbness.
• Bleeding under the skin flap or blood clots.
• Insufficient healing specialy in diabetic persons and smokers .
• Visible and long scar extending from hip to hip.
• Anesthesia reaction
• Infection

Recovery:
For faster recovery:
• Walk around every hour or so and flex your feet to prevent blood clots in the calf veins
• Keep your hips gently flexed for the first week to prevent tension on the sutures
• Do not shower until the drains have been removed
• Limit any activity that causes discomfort

 

FAQ:

 Am I a candidate for a tummy tuck?

Tummy tuck candidates are healthy men and women with realistic expectations about this procedure. Ideally, a tummy tuck patient will be within his or her desired weight but wishes to get rid of stubborn pockets of fat in the mid section .If you are a woman, you probably should wait until you are finished having children before having a tummy tuck, since the skin and muscles can get stretched out again. If you are considering losing weight, you should wait until after you’ve reached your desired weight.

 At what age is abdominoplasty usually performed?

There is no “normal” age or time in one’s life to have an abdominoplasty, but it is most often done after a woman has given birth and does not plan to have more children, or after someone has lost all the weight he or she intends to lose.

 What are the different techniques for abdominoplasty

There are several different techniques  for abdominoplasty , most of which differ in the amount of tissue that is removed and the shape and placement of the incision. Most abdominoplasty surgeons try to place incisions in the most inconspicuous area whenever they can, but sometimes this is not possible . Some surgeons go completely horizontal and straight across with their incisions, some use a V shape, and others follow along the bikini line.

 What should I expect postoperatively?

You are usually able to walk after abdominoplasty surgery and you will be encouraged to do so. You should take a short walk three or four times a day for a few minutes each time. You will most likely not be able to stand completely straight and you may be a bit hunched over for several days. The skin of your abdomen may feel tight.

 Is there much pain associated with abdominoplasty?

The amount of pain with an abdominoplasty is quite variable. Some people report a moderate amount of discomfort and some say it is more intense. But there will be some pain. Your surgeon can give you a prescription for pain relievers.

 Where are the scars located in an abdominoplasty?

This is not a scar-free surgery. In fact, scars may be quite severe depending on the amount of skin needed to be removed, your body’s ability to heal, whether you scar well, the skill of your surgeon, and the technique used. Most surgeons try to use techniques that leave a scar that can be covered by a standard bikini

 Is there a lot of swelling involved with a abdominoplasty?

Yes, there will be some swelling after tummy tuck. Abdominoplasty is serious surgery and, depending upon the case, a lot of tissue is removed, so some swelling is inevitable. Swelling should subside within in a few weeks.

 When can I return to work?

Abdominoplasty takes a long time to heal completely. You may be told to wear acompression garment , usually a girdle or a wide band of elastic material. You may be instructed to wear this for 3 to 6 weeks. Many patients can return to work after 2 weeks after tummy tuck surgery, but this depends on how extensive your surgery is and what you do for a living

 When will I be able to see the results?

You will start to see a difference after the swelling subsides and the drains are taken out. A full abdominoplasty is considered a very invasive procedure. Give your body time to heal and you will reap the many benefits of the procedure.

 How long do the results of a tummy tuck last?

The results can last for many years. If you have no large weight gain or pregnancies after your tummy tuck, then the changes will be relatively permanent. There will be some relaxation of the tissues with age, but not to the extent prior to surgery.

 

How long is the recovery after a tummy tuck?

Most patients having a full tummy tuck with muscle repair find that they are generally able to drive a car within a week, depending on their pain level. Light exercise like walking or gently peddling on a stationary bike can start by the third week. By 6-8 weeks, most patients would consider themselves fully or nearly fully recovered, although it is worth remembering that the nerves will continue to heal, the scar will continue to fade, and the swelling will continue to go down for several months.

Will the results last?

Yes! As long as your weight remains stable over time, abdominoplasties are typically a one time  procedure, never needing to be repeated. Of course your skin will age a bit over the decades, but it usually never gets back to the looseness that you may have experienced before surgery.

After pregnancy, my tummy needs help, but my breasts do, too. Can you work on both at the same time?

Not only is the answer yes , but combining a tummy tuck with a breast lift or breast augmentation popularly called a “mommy makeover” is very common.

Will a tummy tuck help my stretch marks?

That depends on where the stretch marks are located, but the answer is usually yes if they are located well below the umbilicus. A full tummy tuck removes most of the skin in the lower abdomen, and any stretch marks in this zone will be removed along with the loose skin. Stretch marks outside of that zone are not really going to be helped.