Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Abdominoplasty or Tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery procedure for improving tummy shape by removing excess belly fat, loose skin and tightening the muscle wall. Liposuction of excess fat bulges is also required in most cases and is performed simultaneously.
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. 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:
‣ Prior surgery
‣ Significant fluctuations in weight
Candidates for surgery
A tummy tuck is a highly individualized procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
In general, you may be a good tummy tuck candidate if:
‣ You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
‣ You have realistic expectations
‣ You are a nonsmoker
‣ You are bothered by the appearance of your abdomen
Depending on your desired results, this surgery can take anywhere from one to five hours. The complexity of your particular situation also will determine whether you have it completed as an inpatient or outpatient procedure
You will receive general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep during the operation. There are two options for a tummy tuck
Complete abdominoplasty. Your abdomen will be cut from hipbone to hipbone in this procedure, the option for those patients who require the most correction. The incision will be made low, at about the same level as your pubic hair. Your surgeon will then manipulate and contour the skin, tissue, and muscle as needed. Your belly button will have a new opening if you undergo this procedure because it's necessary to free your navel from surrounding tissue. Drainage tubes may be placed under your skin and these will be removed in a few days as your surgeon sees fit
Partial or mini abdominoplasty. Mini-abdominoplasties are often performed on patients whose fat deposits are located below the navel and require shorter incisions. During this procedure, your belly button most likely will not be moved. Your skin will be separated between the line of the incision and your belly button. This type of surgery may also be performed with an endoscope (small camera on the end of a tube). The procedure may only take up to two hours, again, depending on your own personal situation and the complexity of your needs
Recovery from Abdominoplasty
There are many factors that play into the speed and effectiveness of your tummy tuck recovery. Things like a smoking habit, post-op activity levels, your body's immune response, and your natural ability to heal all contribute to the process. Varying surgical techniques have been developed to hasten recovery time and reduce complications, but the risk of both minor and major complications still remains
First week of recovery: The first week of recovery is usually the most uncomfortable for tummy tuck patients. You can expect our abdomen to be swollen, bruised, and sore. Ice packs can help reduce the swelling, and pain medication will be prescribed to help with pain and soreness during recovery
Second week of recovery: By the second week of recovery you should notice pain beginning to subside and any bruising should begin to fade. Any swelling should also have begun to go down, but it will almost certainly still be present. You should still be following your instructions concerning pain and antibiotic medication, as well as sticking to only light activity.
Third and fourth week of recovery: By the third and fourth week of recovery you may feel pretty much back to normal. At this point, you can usually begin a routine of light exercise. However, even if you feel great, overly strenuous exercises like sit-ups or weight lifting ought to be put off for a few more weeks. Most patients are fully recovered by about week six, and once approved by a doctor, can return to full exercise and activity levels. .Pain, swelling, and bruising should be just about gone between three and four weeks into recovery. At this point, you will probably be advised to stop wearing your compression garment, and you can return to your normal, everyday activities