TUMMY TUCK (ABDOMINOPLASTY)

If you’ve reached your ideal body weight through diet and exercise but you still have an excess of skin and fat in your abdominal area that will not reduce, we’d like to recommend lipo-abdominoplasty or as it’s usually known, a “tummy tuck.

There are many ways this extra skin and fat stays around the abdominal area, and no amount of diet or exercise will eliminate it:

• Multiple pregnancy
• Loss of elasticity in the skin
• Sudden, extreme weight loss

After liposuction of the abdomen and waist to sculpt the body, a shallow incision is made in the skin. The length of the incision is dependent on the extent of the area of the damaged skin. Then, we bring your abdominal muscles closer together and affix them in place. Finally, we remove excess skin, stretch the skin back down and make a new spot for your navel.  Due to the minimally invasive nature of the lipo-abdominoplasty procedure, all of our patients go home the same day. Within 2 weeks, all of your stitches will be able to be removed and you can get started on the healing process. Normal activity such as work or school can be resumed within 12-14 days. Exercise can begin after 4 weeks.

What is a Tummy Tuck?
The tummy tuck is a procedure that will remove excess fat and skin and tighten underlying muscles in the abdomen. It also gets rid of loose or wrinkled skin and stretch marks. Both women and men can benefit from this extremely effective body contouring surgery. Pregnancy, weight gain, and weight loss have a devastating impact on a woman’s abdomen. Only rarely can diet and exercise fully restore the abdominal wall to its flat desirable shape after the skin and muscles have been stretched to their limit. After losing weight, men can also have difficulties regaining their youthful flat abdomen.

Liposuction is ideal for contouring the abdomen for those who have good skin tone and excess fat that are resistant to diet and exercise, but the tummy tuck is a better procedure for women and men who have loose abdominal skin following pregnancy and weight loss.While it does drastically improve the appearance of the abdomen, it does produce a permanent scar which, depending on the extent of the original problem and the surgery required to correct it, can extend from hip to hip.

The best candidates for a tummy tuck are men or women who are in relatively good shape, but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that will not respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved.

Like other cosmetic surgeries such as breast augmentation and liposuction, a tummy tuck can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it will not necessarily change your appearance to match your ideal look, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.

Tummy tucks, whether lower abdomen or full, produce excellent results for patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. In most cases, the results are long lasting if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly. If you are realistic in your expectations and prepared for the consequences of a permanent scar and a recovery period, a tummy tuck may be just the answer for you, and you should be confident that Ageless Body Sculpting & MedSpa will provide the best tummy tuck offered.

TUMMY TUCK RECOVERY
Position:
Because the tummy tuck or abdominoplasty involves removal of the extra abdominal skin and (usually) tightening of the abdominal muscles, you will experience some difficulty standing up straight for a few days to two weeks, or even longer. During this period, you may find it more comfortable to place a pillow or two behind your back and under your knees while in bed. The tightness will gradually disappear as you heal and progressively use your body muscles for the activities of daily living. Please make no special attempts to stretch or pull the abdomen straight during the first week of healing. You must change your position and walk around the house every two hours to reduce the danger of blood clots.

Dressings:
We usually do not use a compression device (binder or girdle) for the first few days after surgery. We do not want the binder to interfere with circulation to the skin, which could cause blistering or skin loss. After we remove your drain, usually on day 5, we will give you a girdle to wear. You should wear this continuously, removing it for up to 2 hours/day to shower or for laundering. Many tummy tuck patients wear the girdle for several weeks after surgery, and some choose to wear it for several months. Let your own comfort and the amount of swelling you experience guide you. We want you as comfortable as possible, without swelling.

Drains:
Your surgeon may place one or two drains into the surgical area at the time of surgery and will bring them out through the main incision. These drains evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enable you to heal faster. When the drain is first put in place, the bulb at the end of each tube will be compressed to create gentle suction. As the fluid collects in the bulb, it will expand.

Drain Care:
Secure the bulb of the drain to your clothing or the abdominal girdle with a safety pin. Whenever the bulb fills or expands 50% or more, empty the bulb by opening the plug at the top and pouring out the contents. Do not attempt to remove the bulb from the tubing. Squeeze the bulb to recompress it, and put the plug back into the hole at the top in order to maintain the vacuum. If the bulb fills rapidly after emptying it, or if you need to empty it more than five times a day, please call us at 888-891-3616 x101 . Your surgeon or a nurse will remove the drains anywhere from three to ten days after surgery, when the fluid begins to turn a clear straw color and/or the amount of drainage diminishes. You may shower with the drains in place, but be careful not to pull them out inadvertently.

Activities:
Tummy tucks are not a comfortable operation. You will experience some pain for two to three weeks and will not feel like resuming sports or heavy exercise for at least four to five weeks. After the first week, you may resume moderate walks for as long as is tolerable. Too much initial activity can prolong swelling.

Exposure To Sunlight:
A tummy tuck presents some unique challenges. We recommend that you protect your scars from the sun for a year after surgery. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 when out in sunny weather.

SPECIFIC “AS YOU HEAL” INSTRUCTIONS
Tightness:
Your abdomen will feel tight for a month or longer. If you have had a muscle repair as well (the usual case), you will feel the most tightness down the center of your tummy where your surgeon has actually repaired your muscles. This hurts more than any other part of the procedure.

Healing Of Sensory Nerves:
Usually, the skin of the abdomen remains partially or completely numb for several months or longer. Tingling, burning, or shooting pains indicate regeneration of the small sensory nerves. This feeling will disappear with time and is not cause for alarm. It may take as long as two years for sensation in your abdomen to be restored completely.

Feeling Of Fullness:
You may pleasantly find that you feel full sooner than normal when you begin to eat regular meals.

Activities:
If your job keeps you sedentary, you may plan on returning to work in 12 to 14 days, with the understanding that you will still have discomfort with motion. Please discuss this with your surgeon and the nursing staff. Here again, swelling may indicate too much activity. Do not plan on resuming aerobic or strenuous exercise after your tummy tuck for about four weeks after surgery. Let your body tell you what it can do.