Tummy tuck – Abdominoplasty
Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.
A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve our goals. You should be aware however, that a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. It is most suitable for patients who have excess skin from major weight loss or pregnancy. You should therefore aim to reach your optimal weight before you consider having a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck procedure can:
Remove loose skin after major weight loss
Remove excess skin or fat after a pregnancy
Tighten weak stomach muscles
Repair stomach muscles that have separated.
Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:
Significant fluctuations in weight
The length of incision depends on the amount of fat and skin to be removed in tummy tuck surgery. Looseness in abdominal muscles is fixed providing a flat tummy. The skin is drawn down and excess skin is removed. Another small round incision is made around your belly and your belly button is replaced.
Mini tummy tuck takes about 1-2 hours. The incision is shorter than classical tummy tuck. Your belly button is not touched since the surgery is performed below the belly button.
Frequently Asked Questions
+ What is tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery is the most common surgical operation performed to tighten the abdomen, to remove saggy skin and fat accumulation in upper, mid and lower abdomen and to tighten the abdominal muscles.
+What is the difference between classical tummy tuck and mini tummy tuck?
Classical tummy tuck is performed lifting anterior abdominal wall above the belly button as well and tightening the muscles all over abdomen while mini tummy tuck is performed lifting the abdominal skin and tightening the muscles only below the belly button.
+ What are the steps of a tummy tuck procedure ?
A tummy tuck procedure includes the following steps:
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
A full tummy tuck requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button.
The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin. Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired.
A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen.
The upper abdominal skin is pulled down like a window shade. The excess skin is trimmed and the remaining skin is sutured together. A new opening for the belly button is created. The belly button is popped through to the surface and sutured into position.
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the skin incisions.
Step 4 – See the results
Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.
+ How long after pregnancy must I wait before having a tummy tuck?
Surgeons usually recommend that you wait 6 months after pregnancy before having an abdominoplasty. This is because it can take around 6 months for the stretched abdominal muscles to recover after childbirth.
Tummy Tuck Aftercare
The following instructions are general information to be followed before and after a tummy tuck surgery.
The surgery will need to be canceled if there is any chance that you are pregnant.
2 Weeks Before:
Stop taking any medications or any vitamin supplements containing aspirin, ibuprofen (e.g. Advil, Motrin, Aleve etc.). Tylenol is okay.
Stop using all herbal medicines and all diet pills because they can affect blood clotting and may cause complications about blood pressure heart rate and respiratory.
Avoid from all kinds of nicotine products. Nicotine slows the healing period down and puts you at higher risk for complication during your surgery.
1 Week Before:
Stop drinking alcohol at least 1 week before your surgery.
Do not use any kind of medication without your doctor’s permission.
Night/Day of Surgery:
Do not drink or eat anything after midnight including water, chewing gum, etc.
Take a light shower in the morning of surgery.
Prefer loose fitting clothing (button-top and pull on pants, zipped shirt, sweatpants etc.) that does not need to be put over your head.
Do not wear contact lenses, do not wear make-up.
Some amount of bruising and swelling can be normally expected after the surgery. They will disappear over time.
Feeling of burning and other sensations as well as numbness can be normally expected and last several weeks. But they will fade over time.
Do not smoke for at least 1 week after your surgery.
Take all medications as instructed by your surgeon.
Wear your medical garment for at least 6 weeks after your surgery.
Stay in a hunched over position for the first days after your surgery. Slowly straighten up when your pain level decreases.
Drink plenty of fluids (8-10 glasses/day) for the first week to keep well hydrated.
Restrict your movements after your surgery. Avoid bending down, heavy lifting and straining for at least 6 weeks.
Keep away from any activities that cause you pain or discomfort.
You may resume your activities and exercises after at least 6 weeks. You should begin slowly.
Sex is not recommended for at least 2 weeks after your surgery.
2 to 4 hours
6 – 9 months