Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure where sagging skin and excess fat are removed from the middle and lower abdominal area and in the process, tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall to create a flatter, firmer abdominal profile. Most of the people who undergo this procedure are women who have a sagging abdomen after they have given birth and lost a lot of weight; however, many men are also open to this procedure as an option to remove sagging or protruding bellies.

What to Expect During Abdominoplasty

An abdominoplasty may take 1-5 hours to complete depending on how extensive the procedure is. Patients are often put under general anesthesia for this procedure. If you prefer a different form of sedation or anesthetic, be sure to discuss your options with your doctor. Once under anesthesia, the surgeon then proceeds to make an incision above the pubic line. For a full tummy tuck, the incision runs from hip to hip, but for partial tucks, shorter incisions are made. A second incision is then made around the navel to free it from the skin surrounding it. After the incisions are made, the surgeon is now able to remove the excess fat and skin, as well as tighten the abdominal muscles. The abdominal tissues are also sculpted for a smoother, more contoured look. The incisions are then closed with sutures and excess fluids are drained from the incision site.

Recovering from a Tummy Tuck

The majority of tummy tucks are done in out-patient surgical facilities or in hospitals as an out-patient procedure. It is normal for patients to return home on the same day the procedure is done. People who undergo more extensive procedures may have to stay for a day or two while recovering. The incisions are covered in dressings and bandages, and an elastic band or compression garment can also be worn for abdominal support. Fluid drains will also be placed under the skin temporarily to help drain any excess blood or fluids and help minimize swelling. Patients are given post-operation introductions before being released and it’s important to follow them in order to avoid infection and help speed up the healing process. Pain, swelling and numbness are normal within the next few days following the procedure, but it will eventually subside. The downtime for an abdominoplasty is approximately 2 weeks, after which patients can resume performing light activities. It can take a month or two before a patient can make a full recovery depending on the extent of the surgery.

Deciding on whether to go through a tummy tuck procedure is a personal one. No one should feel pressured to go through this procedure if they feel that they don’t need it. As part of the consultation process, our doctors talk to patients through the procedure to help them decide whether or not this procedure is right for them. For your peace of mind, feel free to ask our skilled and highly qualified surgeons anything about the procedure, its risks and what a tummy tuck can do for you. For more information or to schedule an abdominoplasty consultation, contact us and your questions will be answered by our friendly and knowledgeable staff.

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