Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a procedure that tightens the loose or protruding abdominal skin after weight loss or pregnancy. Tummy tuck surgery is not a replacement for weight loss; the primary goal of this surgery is to remove fat and excess skin while contouring the abdomen for a flat appearance.
Considerations, Medications and Preparation Prior to Surgery
Results are best for patients who have met their goal weight or are close to it. Women who are considering pregnancy are advised to postpone a tummy tuck. Dr. Novia will require that you discontinue use of drugs that contain aspirin to prevent excess bleeding.
Tummy Tuck Surgery
Surgery will take two to five hours; your release may be within hours or you may require hospitalization. The first incision is made in a “U” shape that extends from beneath one hipbone to the other. An additional incision is made around the navel. The skin is then separated to expose loose tissue that conceals the abdominal muscles. Excess fat is removed and weakened muscles are sutured together before the skin is stretched back over the abdomen and reconstructed. Drains are inserted to prevent excess fluid buildup.
Recovery and Outcome
You may experience some swelling and discomfort in the first days after surgery. Pain medications will be prescribed to alleviate discomfort. You will also wear a support garment after surgery. Scarring is expected with this type of cosmetic surgery; scars will become lighter in time. Depending on your occupation, you will want to schedule two or more weeks off of work to recover. In general, tummy tucks are most successful for those that continue to eat a healthy diet and stay on a consistent exercise program.