What to Expect from a Tummy Tuck
During a tummy tuck, your physician will put you to sleep through the use of general anesthesia. Once you are sedated, they will make an incision along your stomach. Each surgical approach is different and tailor-made to the patient’s individual needs.
However in most cases, your surgeon will pull tight the excess skin over your stomach, remove the extra skin, suture your rectus abdominal muscles together, and close the incision with sutures.
An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is performed on an out-patient basis; the procedure itself takes anywhere from 3 to 4 hours and you will go home the same day.
Although a tummy tuck provides long-lasting results, any significant weight loss or weight gain after a tummy tuck surgery can alter the outcome. Another benefit to having a tummy tuck is that it can increase the stability and strength of your abdominal wall.
When you awaken from your tummy tuck operation, your incision will be covered in a surgical dressing and within a day after surgery, you will be able to get up and start walking, with help, of course. Walking will stop the formation of any blood clots. For pain, you will likely be taking prescription painkillers to alleviate any discomfort. You can also utilize the use of Exparel – a 72 hour non-narcotic pain reliever that will help you feel comfortable for the first few days after surgery.
Ask your surgeon if Exparel is right for you. Antibiotics may also be given to you to lower the chance or risk of any infection. In addition, surgical drains may also be in place for up to fourteen days after your tummy tuck.
It takes approximately a few weeks to recover from a tummy tuck and you’re going to need a few follow-up appointments with your physician to check on how you are healing. Through this healing period after a tummy tuck, you should try to avoid any movement that causes strain on your abdominal muscles or on your incision. In addition, you may also need to hold off any strenuous physical activity or workouts until your physician has cleared you to do so.
A tummy tuck is considered a serious surgery and your recovery should be treated as such.
Tummy Tuck Candidate
A tummy tuck can eliminate loose, excess fat and skin, and tighten the abdominal muscles and connective fascia. A tummy tuck may also remove stretch marks and extra skin at the lower abdomen below the belly button. However, a tummy tuck will not correct stretch marks out of the operation area.
If you have already had a C-section, your plastic surgeon may have the ability to integrate your current C-section scar in your tummy tuck scar.
A tummy tuck is also carried out together with other body contouring cosmetic procedures, like breast surgery with or without implants. A tummy tuck is not for everybody. Your physician may caution against a tummy tuck for those who:
- Need to lose a significant amount of weight
- May have a future pregnancy
- Have a serious chronic condition, such as heart disease or diabetes
- Have a body mass index or BMI that is more than 30
- Are smokers or use nicotine products
- Had a prior abdominal operation that caused major scar tissue
Tummy Tuck Results
The results of a tummy tuck are considered permanent if you keep a healthy weight and lifestyle. To boost your chances for long-term, long-lasting results, your physician may advise that you lose or maintain a steady weight prior to the tummy tuck surgery.