Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty can flatten your abdomen by removing loose, excess fat and skin and tightening muscles in the abdominal wall. It can also remove some if not all of the stretch marks in your lower abdomen. It is popular following pregnancy, massive weight loss or whenever a flabby abdomen with weak muscles impairs body contour. Most patients report improved self-esteem as a result of this procedure.
Dr. Date performs a variety of different tummy tuck procedures, including two of the most popular: traditional abdominoplasty and the mini tummy tuck. He uses each method to treat different concerns. Dr. Date will evaluate you thoroughly during your consultation and make a recommendation for which method might work best for you, depending on such factors as your age, gender, level of activity, diet, and medical history
- A traditional tummy tuck has a longer incision than a mini procedure and addresses excess skin and fat above the belly button and below.
- A mini tuck improves contours below the belly button only. In both cases, scars are designed to be hidden beneath the underwear or bikini line. The traditional technique is appropriate for most cases requiring dramatic skin excision, but a mini tuck can provide improvement for less severe cases.
You may expect the following immediately after the procedure.
- On the first day or two, you will feel tightness and pulling pain in your skin and muscles around the abdomen. The area operated on will be sensitive and slightly sore and feel tight. You will be given good pain killers to ensure your comfort.
- There may be tubes in your incision to drain away fluid. Drains are usually removed from 3-15 days, depending on how much fluid is coming out.
- The incision will be properly dressed up to maintain a clean and protective environment.
- Elastic compression garments may be started in the first few days. You will require a week or two of bed rest before you can proceed with the routine household activity.
- Most of the time, concealed absorbable stitches are used which do not require any stitch removal.
- There may be redness, bruising, and swelling around the lower tummy. It usually subsides in one to three weeks as your body adjusts to the new contours and the incisions heal.
- Plan to take about two weeks off from your regular commitments.
- Avoid strenuous exercise for four to six weeks, because it can trigger unnecessary fluid retention in the treated areas.
- The overall recovery period following a tummy tuck procedure occurs over a period of six months or more. In the first couple of days, managing pain and avoiding complications is your top priority. The first week will be the worst, and you will still feel like you are recovering for about two to three weeks. After a few weeks, regaining mobility and fitness becomes important. After several months, you can start evaluating the aesthetic outcome of your surgery. It is important to remember that the time it takes to recover varies greatly among individuals.
- Wearing your compression garment as directed reduces the likelihood of loose or sagging skin after an abdominoplasty. The compression garment also helps to control swelling, resulting in a shorter recovery period.
- If you maintain a good lifestyle with diet control and exercise to maintain your weight, then your results should be more or less permanent.
- One must note that plastic surgery will not prevent the effects of normal ageing and some skin laxity may develop over time as ageing continues.
- If you gain and then lose a large amount of weight after a tummy tuck, the abdominal skin could stretch out again, negatively impacting the overall contour.
- Likewise, if you become pregnant your abdomen will loosen again. For this reason, it is best to wait until after you finish having children to undergo a tummy tuck. If you’re planning to lose weight, do it before the surgery.
Every procedure involves inherent risks. Although serious complications are extremely rare, Dr. Date educates every patient about potential risks.
Fortunately, significant complications associated with tummy tucks are infrequent and the satisfaction rate is high. The overall complication rate is small if the operation is done by an experienced plastic surgeon operating in an accredited facility.
Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anaesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
- Infection and bleeding
- Changes in skin sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of Dr. Date, both before and after your tummy tuck surgery.