Tummy Tuck FAQ  

Tummy Tuck Specialists strictly works with highly reputable, Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. All of our board certified plastic surgeons have extensive experience performing tummy tuck surgery and have been thoroughly trained to provide their patients with the highest level of satisfaction, safety and care. To find a Tummy Tuck Specialist in your area please call us at (800) 449-1884 or click over to our Find a Surgeon section and locate a plastic surgeon experienced in Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery.

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Women and men who have loose abdominal skin and fat that is concentrated in the abdomen can benefit from abdominoplasty. Sometimes these conditions are inherited. In other instances, substantial weight loss may cause abdominal skin to become flaccid. Abdominoplasty also can tighten muscles that have been separated and weakened by pregnancy. The procedure may somewhat improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located below the navel.

 

Do I need a Tummy Tuck Surgery?

During the initial consultation with the surgeon, you will be asked about the results you would like to achieve from the tummy tuck surgery. This will help determine whether realistic results can be achieved.

You may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck if you fall into one of the following categories:

  1. You are a man or woman in relatively good condition bothered by fatty deposits and loose skin around the abdomen area.
  2. Have an abdomen that protrudes and is out of proportion to the rest of your body.
  3. A woman who has excessively stretched her abdominal muscles due to multiple pregnancies.
  4. Have excess fatty tissue concentrated in the abdomen area.
  5. Older people who, due to age, have sagging, loose skin on the abdomen or weakened abdominal muscles

You should discuss plans to become pregnant or lose weight in the future with your plastic surgeon as muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during the tummy tuck surgery can separate again during pregnancy.

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How should I prepare for my Tummy Tuck?

During your initial visit with your surgeon prior to the tummy tuck surgery, be prepared to give a complete medical history including all your medications, allergies and previous surgeries. You will undergo a thorough physical examination and blood tests. If you are over age 50, an electrocardiogram may be taken. Photographs are important aids in planning and performing your Tummy Tuck, these will become a permanent part of your patient record and are taken before and several months after your procedure.

During your consultation, you will be given specific directions to help you prepare for your procedure. Instructions generally include taking vitamins, cautions about taking certain medication and drinking alcohol, the shaving process and use of anti-bacterial soap. You must not eat or drink anything eight hours before your procedure. If you take daily medication, ask your surgeon if it is safe to take before your procedure. If you have any sores on your body, if you have a cold, sore throat or allergic condition, inform your surgeon so you may be examined prior to your procedure.

IMPORTANT: Smokers must stop smoking completely at least two weeks prior to and two weeks after surgery.

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About the Tummy Tuck surgical procedure..

The Place

The tummy tuck surgery may take place in either the surgeon's state of the art surgical facility or a local hospital.

Procedure Length

A complete tummy tummy tuck surgery normally takes between 2 and 5 hours depending on the particular procedures being performed. A partial tummy tuck, on average, lasts between 1 and 2 hours.

Anesthesia

You and your surgeon will decide on the type of anesthesia to be used in the surgery. A general anesthesia may be employed in order to to allow you to sleep through the operation. The second option is a local anesthesia which will allow you to stay awake for the duration of the procedure, combined with a sedative to keep you relaxed.

The Incision

Generally, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area. The length of the incision, which extends laterally toward the pelvic bones, depends largely on the amount of skin to be removed. The contour of this incision will vary somewhat according to the structure of your abdomen and the style of bathing suit or undergarments that you prefer. Your plastic surgeon will try to keep the incision within your bathing suit lines, but this may not always be possible.

Some patients have loose skin above the navel. In such cases, the surgeon may make a second incision around the navel so that the redundant skin above it can be pulled down. The excess abdominal skin is then removed. The position of the navel remains unchanged.

Skin of the lower abdomen that contains stretch marks may be removed as well. Any remaining stretch marks may be somewhat flattened and improved, but you should not expect a dramatic change in their appearance. The procedure may include tightening of the underlying abdominal muscles using sutures.

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Common Tummy Tuck techniques..

Typical Tummy Tuck

In most situations, the surgeon will make a long incision from one side of the hip-bone to the other and another to release the navel from surrounding tissue. The skin tissue is lifted to reveal the abdominal muscles which are then tightened by pulling them together and stitching them into their new position. Extra skin is removed and a new hole is cut for the navel before finally closing the incisions.

Mini Tummy Tuck

In cases where the amount of loose skin is minimal and the excess fat deposits are located below the navel, it may be possible to avoid an incision around the navel. In a mini tummy tuck , a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area. If there is loose skin above the navel, the surgeon may make a second incision around the navel. Skin in the shaded area is separated from the abdominal wall. To tighten the abdominal wall, the surgeon brings loose underlying tissue and muscle together with sutures. Sometimes liposuction may be used alone, or in conjunction with abdominoplasty, to remove abdominal fat.

Endoscopic Tummy Tuck

An Endoscopic Tummy Tuck is another technique employed to minimize scarring and may be useful when patients have only a mild degree of excess fat and muscle laxity. Abdominal skin is pulled downward, and the excess is removed. A small opening is made to bring the navel through.

Your plastic surgeon will discuss with you the particular method that he or she recommends for achieving the best result in your particular case.

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After your surgery..

Pain and discomfort may be felt within in the first few days after your tummy tuck surgery, but these can be regulated with medication. Depending on the procedures undertaken, you may be released within a few hours or remain in the hospital for a few days. During this time, you will notice swelling and bruising in your abdominal area; with time, everything will fade and you'll be back to normal. Any surgical drain applied during surgery will be removed within a week , at which time your dressings may also be changed or removed. Depending on the abdominoplasty technique used, you may be instructed to wear a support garment for several weeks. Stitches will be removed in stages over a period of approximately one or two weeks.

The day after surgery, you will be encouraged to get out of bed for short walks to promote blood circulation. Although you may not be able to stand up completely straight, it is best if you do not sit for long periods of time during the first several days. Straining, bending and lifting must be avoided, since these activities might cause increased swelling or even bleeding. You may be instructed to sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees.

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How long before I can return to my normal activities?

It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals. Depending on the extent of your abdominoplasty and your general physical condition, it may take you several weeks or months to feel like your old self again. Exercise will help you heal better and will reduce the chance of blood clots while toning the muscles. In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, after a few weeks. You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort and swelling during this time, but such feelings are normal. Expect scars to take from 9 months to a year before fully disappearing.

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