Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck
A Tummy Tuck, technically known as an Abdominoplasty, is a procedure which removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen. During the procedure, the muscles can be tightened if needed. A Tummy Tuck procedure can reduce the protrusion of the abdomen but does leave a permanent scar.
The ideal candidate for an Abdominoplasty is a healthy, physically fit individual who has excess skin and fat in the midsection that doesn’t respond to exercise. Typically, women who have experienced pregnancy or people who have had significant weight loss find their skin loses it elasticity and doesn’t return to normal. Loose skin does not respond to exercise. Abdominoplasty is designed to re-contour the abdomen, making it flatter and narrower; it is not a substitute for weight loss. A Tummy Tuck can enhance ones appearance but it may not match what your ideals are. Discuss your goals thoroughly with Dr. Stiller prior to deciding on any procedure.
This is your time to get to know Dr. Stiller and the staff at Linea. Be sure to convey your goals and expectations for the surgical procedure. Dr. Stiller will evaluate your medical health and explain the surgical techniques available to you. All of your questions related to the procedure will be answered as thoroughly as possible. Dr. Stiller will perform an examination of your trouble area at the consultation. Dr. Stiller will go over the risks and potential complications and he will explain the pre-operative and post-operative process.
All procedures carry some uncertainty and risks. Listed below are some of the potential risks/complications:
- Bleeding- As with any surgery, bleeding is a risk. This may form a blood collection called a hematoma and may require drainage. It is important to discuss any history of excessive bleeding or family history of bleeding.
- Infection- Infection is relatively uncommon. Antibiotics will be given to you during the surgery and usually will be taken after the surgery.
- Scar- Scars from an abdominoplasty are from hip to hip and around the belly button. Dr. Stiller will try to keep the scars as low as possible. Scars may widen after the surgery and typically fade over time.
- Asymmetry- There may be asymmetry in some areas.
- Pigmentation change of skin is possible
- Irregular contour may occur
- Wound separation- Wound edges can occasionally pull apart. Your body will heal it, but it may prolong the healing time.
- Skin slough/necrosis- When wound edges are put together sometimes the skin edges can slough. Your body will heal it, but it may prolong the healing time. Smoking increases this risk.
- Numbness or sensation changes of the skin
- Some patients will require additional surgery
During your consultation an explanation of pre-operative and post-operative plan will be reviewed. You will be given a list of medication to avoid taking two weeks prior to the operation. A Linea staff member will contact you a few days before the surgery and notify you what time you are expected to arrive for your procedure and discuss any last minute details. At this time, you will be given an opportunity to ask any further questions. Continuing a healthy diet and exercise is very important prior to surgery. Smoking must be stopped two weeks prior to surgery.
Do not eat or drink eight hours before your surgery. You should wear a button down or zipper front shirt and sneakers. Do not wear sandals or slippers. You will meet with a member of our staff to prepare for surgery. Dr. Stiller will see you prior to your surgery to answer any final questions and meet family or friends. You will meet with our anesthesia provider to discuss anesthesia. For family or friends that accompany you, we have a lounge area to comfortably pass the time. You will need someone to drive you home after the operation and stay with you the first 24 hours after the surgery is completed.
An Abdominoplasty can be performed with deep sedation or general anesthesia.
Typically, an Abdominoplasty takes between two and four hours. Frequently, the procedure will include Dr. Stiller performing Liposuction of additional areas to contour the body. In most cases, the Abdominoplasty requires an incision from hip to hip and around the belly button. Occasionally, patients only have loose skin below their belly button and just need an incision from hip to hip. During the procedure, Dr. Stiller will assess the muscles of your abdominal wall. If they have loosened from pregnancy or weight loss, they will be tightened during the procedure. The skin flaps are then sewn together and the belly button is placed into its new position. Upon completion of the procedure, dressings will be applied and you will be placed in post-operative garments.
Following surgery, you will likely have drainage from your incisions. Any discomfort you feel should be controlled with oral pain medications prescribed by Dr. Stiller. You can expect to feel tired and sore for a few days following the Abdominoplasty. Bruising and swelling is common and may take a few weeks to resolve.
Immediately after the surgery, we want you to get up and walk, and continue this light activity for the next few weeks. You will begin feeling better in just a few weeks. You will need to wear compression garments for the first month after the procedure. Healing is a gradual process and it takes time. Please refrain from strenuous activity for one month. Depending on your job, you should be able to get back to work in a few days. Dr. Stiller will direct you regarding resuming exercise and normal activities during your follow-up evaluations.
You will see results immediately. Swelling can take a number of months to completely resolve. But if you have been realistic with your expectations, you should be very pleased with your surgery upon first look. You may find you fit into clothes differently and be more at ease with your shape. Abdominoplasty does not substitute for diet and exercise. If you maintain your weight and continue to exercise, your results should last longer.
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)