What is a Tummy Tuck?Abdominoplasty, commonly known as Tummy Tuck, is one of the most popular St. Louis cosmetic surgeries available today. Tummy tuck is a procedure that flattens the abdominal muscles area by removing excess skin and fat, also called ‘Pannus’. It also involves the tightening of separated ab muscles for a firmer tummy. It is often done after childbirth or during weight loss. A full tummy tuck is done on excessive skin and fat that usually results from extreme body weight loss. Tummy tuck involves a long horizontal incision just above the pubic area, often hidden behind the garter of the underwear. A mini tummy tuck, on the other hand, is done to remove that small pooch right under the belly button. This requires a smaller incision.
Are you qualified for an abdominoplasty?While this surgical procedure is an effective way to acquire a smoother and firmer tummy, it is not an alternative to a healthy diet, exercise, or other healthy weight loss option. You are qualified for tummty tuck procedure if you:
- Are physically healthy
- Have a stable weight with a BMI of 30 or lower
- Have loose skin around your stomach area
- Have stubborn excess fat
- Have not been smoking for at least 2 months prior to surgery
Preparing for a Tummy Tuck ProcedureIn preparation for the surgery, take two to three weeks off before you the date of the scheduled procedure. Rest and avoid strenuous tasks. You may want to prepare the following items before getting admitted for the procedure:
- Compression garments
- Pain medications
- Stool softener
- Basic, healthy food
How is tummy tuck abdominoplasty performed?During a consultation with a licensed surgeon, a surgical plan is devised and should be agreed upon by the patient. The tummy tuck surgery lasts about two to four hours, depending on how extensive it is. The basic procedure starts with the administration of a general anesthetic to put the patient to sleep. Most surgeons nowadays make use of innovative methods that prevent the buildup of fluids more efficiently than inserting small drain tubes. Numbing medicine is administered before or during the procedure to numb the area where the procedure will be done. Once done, the incision is sutured, dressed, and covered with tape or an elastic bandage.
Recovery TimeAfter surgery, the recovery time varies among individuals. Factors that would affect recovery time is how extensive the surgery was and the general health condition of the patient. Others may go home a few hours after surgery while some need to be admitted and monitored overnight. Make sure to refrain from smoking at least a month after surgery. Nicotine and tobacco can slow down the healing process.
What to Expect Post-TreatmentRight after tummy tuck surgery, a flatter, tighter stomach is already evident. Aside from that, expect the following:
- Weight loss, the amount of which varies depending on the size of the Pannus
- Swelling along the abdominal area which may last several weeks or months
- Discomfort and pain that may last a week or two
- Restriction from doing heavy and strenuous activities or tasks
- The use of a surgical binder for about six weeks to keep the incision from reopening and to keep the abdomen intact during the healing process
Tummy Tucks Surgery: The Side Effects and Risks InvolvedJust like most surgeries, there are some side effects and risks involved in a Tummy Tuck, such as:
- Complications that may include infections, bleeding, and abnormal reactions to the anesthetic used.
- Tissue loss along the incision is possible in extensive procedures and is more common in smoking or diabetic patients.
- Seroma or the buildup of fluid under the skin, often along the incision, could develop. This can be removed painlessly but would need to be done by the surgeon.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Tummy Tuck Procedure
Q. Can a Tummy Tuck be done after every pregnancy?
A. It is highly advisable to have a Tummy Tuck when you have no plans of getting pregnant anymore. Getting pregnant soon after a tummy tuck will loosen and stretch the tightened tummy again.
Q. Is a surgical binder or compression garment necessary?
A. Yes. It will help keep the entire tummy intact during the healing process, preventing improper healing, wound reopening, and infections.
Q. How soon before a patient can have sex?
A. Sex is a strenuous activity and must be avoided at least two weeks after the procedure. After two weeks, it is best to consult your surgeon if you have to wait longer.