Tummy Tuck

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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Overview

Abdominoplasty, also called a tummy tuck, will surgically tighten abdominal muscles and remove excess fat and skin to create a smaller waistline and a flatter tummy. Usually after pregnancy and sometimes after considerable weight gain, the abdominal muscles are stretched beyond their capacity to retract and strengthen with exercise. No matter how many stomach crunches you try your stomach muscles will not respond, which can be very discouraging if you are trying to lose weight, get healthy and enhance your body image. Abdominoplasty can be a tremendous aid for men and women who want to achieve certain physical goals, but tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss, healthy eating habits and exercise.

Being lean and having a flat, slender torso isn’t always a matter of choice, though society tends to think that if you work hard enough, you can have any body shape that you choose. Being discouraged by your body’s inability to respond to muscle strengthening exercises can cause frustration and despair. With the right combination of diet, physical activity and a little help from your surgeon, you can have a fighting chance to achieve your goal.

When you use 1800mySurgeon, you are assured of making an informed decision because all of our Plastic Surgeons are prescreened and continually monitored. The qualified patient coordinators at 1800mySurgeon are prepared to help you find Plastic Surgeons in your area, who specialize in tummy tuck surgery, or we can provide a background check on any surgeon you choose.

Having Realistic Expectations for Abdominoplasty

Being honest with yourself about how your body will change and how those changes will affect your life is important. Disappointment may happen, especially if you believe surgery will fix your life problems, save your marriage or cure depression. Having a tummy tuck will change the shape of your abdomen and torso. Having a shapelier body may boost your self-confidence, but that won’t change who you are or the way other people feel about you.

Questions to Ask Your Prospective Surgeon

Once you’ve made an appointment for a consultation, take the time to prepare a list of questions and concerns you want to address with your prospective surgeon. The consultation is your opportunity to assess the surgeon as much as it is their opportunity to determine your candidacy for the procedure. Take your time, be thorough and know that you are never required to commit to a procedure or a surgeon because you’ve had a consultation, even if the consultation is free.

Abdominoplasty and full tummy tucks differ from mini tummy tucks, which require less skin removal. Some surgeons will use different techniques and surgical strategies to achieve a successful result. You want to make sure that you choose a surgeon whose work you admire. You will be able to see the outcome of some of their surgeries by looking at before-and-after pictures. Have the surgeon thoroughly explain their procedure and why they value a certain technique more than others.

Make sure to speak to the anesthesiologist before you schedule a surgery, and inform them of any allergies or reactions you have to any medications. Make sure to tell both your surgeon and the anesthesiologist if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

This list of information may help you compile your questions and may encourage you to do some further research on different tummy tuck procedures:

  • Since there are a few different techniques for abdominoplasty, ask your surgeon which he prefers or recommends and why?
  • Where will incisions be placed and what will the scars look like?
  • Will your navel have to be repositioned?
  • Will you need to spend the night in a hospital or surgical recovery facility?
  • How should I prepare for my recovery?
  • How long will recovery take?

If you’re consulting with a surgeon from 1800mySurgeon, you can rest assured that you will be meeting with a qualified Tummy Tuck Surgeon. If you already have a surgeon in mind, our qualified patient coordinators can also perform a background check before you schedule your consultation. Most importantly, always trust your instincts during the consultation. The success of your surgical experience will be based on how you feel about your surgeon, the surgery, your recovery and your result.

Abdominoplasty Recovery

Your abdominoplasty recovery will depend on the extent of your surgery, the amount of skin and fat removed, the type of incision, and the length of time your are sedated. Most full tummy tuck patients must spend at least one night in the hospital. Mini tummy tucks are often performed on an out patient basis, but if a significant amount of internal sutures are used a hospital stay might be necessary.

Your incisions will be sutured and bandaged. In some cases, drains will be used beneath your sutures to allow excess fluids to drain away from the incision site. Fluid build up can impede the healing process and drains also help reduce swelling. Scars will seem to worsen for the first few months, but will gradually become lighter and flatter during the first year after surgery.

You may experience bruising and swelling during the first week of recovery. There might be pain and discomfort for the first three to five days after surgery, and you will need lots of bed rest during that time. Your surgeon should prescribe an appropriate pain reliever and antibiotics for your recovery.

Even though you might not be able to stand upright for a few days, you will need to walk for a few minutes every day to reduce the risk of blood clots. Talk to you surgeon about when to start a regular exercise program, and follow the doctor’s advice.

Your surgeon will give you specific instructions for resuming physical activities based on the extent of your surgery and the progress of your recovery. Patients in good physical condition usually return to work after two weeks, but some patients need four weeks to completely recover before returning to work.

Tummy Tuck Surgery Risks

Any surgical procedure carries certain risks and the possibility of complications, infection, and adverse reaction to the anesthesia.

During your consultation, you will want to ask your surgeon about the following risks:

  • What kind of medications, vitamins and other substances do I need to avoid in order to reduce excess bleeding?
  • Is there any risk of muscle or nerve damage or loss of sensation?
  • What is the risk of blood clots?

It is important to remember that no surgeon can guarantee your satisfaction with tummy tuck surgery nor can they deny any risk factors. No matter how rarely risks occur, every surgery carries a certain amount of risk, and you have to decide for yourself if your potential desired result is worth the risk.

Long Term Results of Tummy Tuck Surgery

You will see some changes immediately even if there is swelling. You may not see the final result until six months after your surgery. Tummy tuck surgery will permanently alter your muscles and the shape of your abdomen, but without proper diet and continued exercise the results can diminish.

Choosing Your Surgeon

At 1800mySurgeon, we are here to help you make an informed decision. One of the most important aspects for a successful outcome of your procedure is to choose the right surgeon, therefore all of our Plastic Surgeons are prescreened and continually monitored. We can help you find Plastic Surgeons in your area, who specialize in tummy tuck surgery, or we can provide a background check on any surgeon.