Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
What is Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?
A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is abdominal surgery which removes excess skin and fat that may accumulate after pregnancy, or due to obesity or age. The benefits of FULL abdominoplasty are tightening of the abdominal muscles/fascia which may have become stretched out over time. This procedure can dramatically aid in the reduction of a once prominent abdomen. Abdominoplasty can be done in conjunction with a buttock/thigh lift.
Who is a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty?
Candidates must be in good health, have no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions, and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery. If you plan to become pregnant or to lose a significant amount of weight, you should discuss these plans with your doctor before surgery. Abdominoplasty is not a treatment for obesity or a substitute for proper diet and exercise.
NOTE: You may not be a candidate for surgery if you smoke, have recently quit smoking, or if you are exposed to second-hand smoke. Primary and secondary smoking decreases blood flow to the body’s tissues. This can result in prolonged wound healing, skin loss, infection, increased scarring, and a number of other complications depending on the kind of procedure performed.
Alternatives to Abdominoplasty
During your initial physical examination, your plastic surgeon may find that you would be a good candidate for less invasive procedures which would still allow you to meet your appearance goals. Alternative procedures may include a mini-abdominoplasty, liposuction, or a panniculectomy, a procedure which reduces the hanging skin in the abdominal area.
How is the Procedure Performed?
Most commonly, the surgeon will make two incisions. The first is a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area, with a second incision freeing the navel from surrounding tissue. In a mini-abdominoplasty, the first incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved, although its appearance may be slightly altered. After the incisions, the surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall all the way up to the ribs, then lifts a large skin flap, revealing the vertical muscles in the abdomen. These muscles are tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.
Complete abdominoplasty can take from two to five hours, depending on the extent of work required. Mini-abdominoplasty may take one or two hours.
Planning for Your Surgery
Communication is vital in reaching your goals. You will have the opportunity to discuss your goals and the results you’d like to achieve. Dr. Roesner will work with you to reach an understanding about what you can expect from this procedure and what long-term benefits you will experience. Every patient is different, and he will choose the surgical technique and treatment plan that is right for you. During your initial consultation:
• Provide a complete medical history. Include information about any previous surgical procedures; past and present medical conditions; and all medications or herbal supplements you are taking.
• Expect an examination of your abdomen, including the quality of your abdominal skin; the location of any existing scars; the amount and location of any excess fat; and the status of the underlying muscles.
• Be prepared to discuss possible risks and complications of the procedure.
Preparing for Your Surgery
You will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for your surgery. A pre-operative information packet will be provided that explains everything you should do and know before your surgery date. Dr. Roesner will instruct you on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and which vitamins and medications should be taken or avoided. You should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis. You may also want to make arrangements for someone to help you out for a day or two after you leave the hospital.
Where Your Surgery Will be Performed
Dr. Roesner has surgical privileges at North Suburban Medical Center, Rose Medical Center as well as St. Anthony Hospital. The majority of these procedures are completed on an out-patient basis; however, in cases where additional procedures are performed – you may expect an overnight stay.
Types of Anesthesia
General anesthetic is used so that you will sleep and remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
After Your Surgery
What to expect during your recovery. It is very important that you follow your surgeon’s instructions. This will promote healing and improve progress towards your new physical appearance. Also, it is important that you attend all scheduled follow-up appointments so that your surgeon can assess your long-term results and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Post-Operative Instructions
• Have someone drive you home after surgery and help you at home for 1-2 days.
• Get plenty of rest.
• Follow balanced diet.
• Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may want to add more raw fruit to your diet, and be sure to increase fluid intake.
• Take pain medication as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin until approved by your physician.
• Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medications.
• If you are taking vitamins with iron, resume these as tolerated.
• Do not smoke, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.
• Slowly start walking as soon as possible. This helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots.
• Do not drive until you are no longer taking any pain medications (narcotics).
• Do not drive until you have full range of motion with your arms.
• No lifting greater than 10 lbs. (gallon of milk = 8lb) for 6 weeks. This can be modified by your physician.
• Resume sexual activity as discussed with physician, usually 6 weeks postoperatively.
• Avoid straining of abdominal muscles. Strenuous exercise and activities are restricted for 6 weeks.
• Return to work in 2-4 weeks.
• You may shower 48 hours after removal of all drainage tubes.
• Avoid exposing scars to sun for at least 12 months.
• Always use a strong sunblock, if sun exposure is unavoidable (SPF 30 or greater).
• Keep steri-strips on (when applicable).
• Keep incisions clean and inspect daily for signs of infection.
• No tub soaking while sutures or drains are in place.
• Wear you compression garment 24/7 for 6 weeks post op.
• Place daily soft dressing over incisions and around drain sites to wick away moisture and to prevent irritation by garment along the incision line
• Sleep with head slightly elevated and pillows under your knees to decrease tension on your incision.
What to Expect
• You may experience temporary pain, soreness, numbness of abdominal skin, incision discomfort.
• Maximum discomfort will occur the first few days.
• You will have bruising and swelling of the abdomen. The majority of bruising and swelling will subside in 6-8 weeks.
• You may feel tired for several weeks or months.
• Flatter, firmer abdomen with narrower waistline.
• You will walk slightly bent forward and gradually return to normal posture over next 2 weeks.
• Scars will be reddened for 6 months. After that, they will fade and soften.
• The scar will extend from near one hipbone to the other, low on the abdomen.
• Abdominal drains removed when less than 30 ml for 24-48 hours. (This will vary depending on your physician).
• Surface stitches removed in 7-10 days (when applicable)
• This can result in prolonged wound healing, skin loss, infection, increased scarring, and a number of other complications.
When To Call
• If you have increased swelling or bruising.
• If swelling and redness persist after a few days.
• If you have increased redness along the incision.
• If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
• If you have any side effects to medications; such as, rash, nausea, headache, vomiting.
• If you have an oral temperature over 100.4 degrees.
• If you have any yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
• If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
• If you have loss of feeling or motion.
For Medical Questions, Please Call:
Mile High Plastic Surgery
303-909-6977 M-F 8am-5pm