Abdominoplasty is a procedure that can produce a rapid result that is quite gratifying to both the patient and the surgeon. There is an immediate improvement in the tummy with the elimination of excess skin and fat and the flattening of the abdomen by the tightening of the muscles. This procedure is used instead of or in conjunction with liposuction when there is a need to address excess skin, fat, and weakened abdominal wall muscles from weight gain/loss, pregnancy or simply poor abdominal tone and conditioning.
Tummy tuck is normally done under general anesthesia (asleep) and in most cases as an outpatient procedure. Surgery may take from one and a half to three and a half hours to perform depending on the type of procedure done and the size of the patient. Abdominoplasty will create a low line bikini level scar that is usually concealable below underwear and bathing suits. The actual shape of the scar can be modified and adjusted to the style of undergarment or bathing suite the patient wears. The surgery involves the removal of excess skin and fat and the tightening of the lax abdominal wall muscles.
After Your Tummy Tuck
After surgery, the tummy will be sore and feel tight. After three days or so, there is usually much improvement in both the discomfort level and tightness. Initially, walking straight upright may be difficult, but very soon full upright walking will be easier.
Medication is given to ease the discomfort. There will be a small diameter soft rubber drain tube that emerges from the skin near the incision, which collects body fluids from the surgical site into a small rubber reservoir. This is easily removed in 6 to 10 days after the procedure in the office.
The patients wear a snug fitting compression garment about the abdomen to support the repaired muscles of the tummy wall, help control the swelling (edema) and increase comfort. This is worn for at least four weeks and is easily concealed with clothing. The patients can often return to non-strenuous work within 10 to 14 days. Strenuous work that involves lifting or considerable exertion should be avoided for 6 weeks.
The appearance of the abdomen, similar to after liposuction, will continue to improve with time. Like liposuction, the majority of the swelling is gone in 6 to 8 weeks after the procedure. The end result is typically reached in 4 to 6 months as the remainder of the tummy swelling clears. The scar will fade over the course of the 12 months after surgery.
The patients who have tummy tuck are very pleased with the quick visible improvement in their appearance in both clothing, bathing suits, and undergarments. Tummy tuck is especially desirable for patients who have had a large weight loss, have had children or simply do not have the tummy they had when they were younger.