Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that helps to flatten and shape the abdomen. The procedure removes excess abdominal skin and may also reduce fat and tighten the muscles of your abdominal wall. It is frequently performed to correct muscle weakness and loose skin that can occur following multiple pregnancies or significant weight loss.
Who are good candidates for Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)?
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that haven't responded well to diet and exercise. Older, slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity can also be helped. Abdominoplasty can be useful for women with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy, although results from the procedure will diminish if they continue to bear children. For this reason, women who plan to have children again are advised to delay abdominoplasty. Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight are also encouraged to wait before undergoing the procedure, since skin in that area typically loosens after substantial weight loss.
How is an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) performed?
The procedure takes approximately two to five hours and can be performed with general anesthesia. Abdominoplasty may be done on an outpatient basis or may require a brief overnight hospital stay. Dr. Conkright will make two incisions: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and one around the navel. Skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin flap is stretched down and over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.
Abdominoplasty will likely leave a permanent scar stretching between the hips, although it should be low enough for even a bikini to conceal it. Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery should know that their old scars could be raised, stretched or generally more noticeable after the procedure.
What is recovery like for an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)?
The day after surgery, you are encouraged to get out of bed and walk for short periods to promote blood circulation. You may be instructed to wear a support garment for several weeks and will have drains for a least the first two weeks following your procedure. You will need to avoid strenuous activity for a while, but should be able to return to work within two weeks. Recovery time ranges from two weeks to a few months, but with a balanced diet and regular exercise results are long-lasting.
When will I be able to see the results from an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)?
After the swelling subsides and the drains are taken out you will start to see a difference. You must realize that the underlying tissues have been cut and that an Abdominoplasty is considered a very invasive procedure. Give your body time to heal and you will reap the many benefits of the procedure.
What are the risks / complications associated with Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)?
Rare post-operative complications include infection, blood clots, and poor healing, which may require further surgery.