Abdominoplasty, also known as a “tummy tuck,” is a procedure for both men and women who want to be rid of loose or sagging abdominal skin and who want a smoother and firmer profile.
What Happens During Tummy Tuck Surgery?
During tummy tuck surgery, extra skin and fat of the abdomen is removed and, if needed, repairs to weakened or separated abdominal muscles are made. This process creates a smoother and firmer abdominal profile.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
How do I choose between liposuction and a tummy tuck?
To figure out whether liposuction or a tummy tuck is a better option for your situation, you should first set up a consultation. This will help determine if you are a candidate for either of these procedures. A simple way to know if you may be a good candidate for tummy tuck is if you can pinch more than 3 inches of the skin and fat below your belly button and you have loose skin. If you can only pinch under 3 inches and don’t have loose skin, liposuction may be a better option.
How important is it to be close to my goal weight before a tummy tuck?
The ideal tummy tuck patient is in the “normal to slightly overweight” range. While you do not have to be at your goal weight before your tummy tuck surgery, it is recommended that you work toward a weight that is manageable before surgery. You should be at a point that you feel confident that your current weight can be maintained after surgery so that your results are long-lasting. It is essential that you are done considering future pregnancies before having a tummy tuck.
When there is weight loss or gain of a substantial amount after having tummy tuck surgery, this can drastically change your results. We recommend a consultation to patients who are making good progress with their weight loss goals that wish to have this procedure within one year so we can help plan to achieve their goals.
What should I expect during my tummy tuck preparation visit?
When you pick a surgery date, we’ll get you scheduled for your pre-operative visit where we will review your specific plan, go over the consent form, conduct a physical, and take “before” pictures. Your hospital pre-operative visit will be set up, and you may be asked to get lab testing, take certain medications, or adjust your current medications. During this time, you should avoid taking aspirin products, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements that can increase bleeding.
How long is my recovery after tummy tuck surgery?
A tummy tuck is performed in an outpatient surgery setting under general anesthesia. You will be seen back in the clinic within 1-3 days post-surgery and again at one week and two weeks post-surgery. Recovery times vary from patient to patient, but in general, it takes about 1 week to get back on your feet and around two weeks to return to your normal daily activities:
- For the first 2 weeks, you will need to sleep in a recliner-type position and wear the abdominal compression garment at all times, except when showering.
- After the first 2 weeks, light activity must be maintained and you will be free to return to work. At this point, you will begin to taper off wearing the compression garment.
- At the 6- 8 week point, you will be able to return to full-strength activities and your normal workout schedule.
How much pain can I expect to have from tummy tuck surgery?
While each patient’s recovery is unique, pain and discomfort are present for the first several days following surgery and then will gradually improve. We have many things we can do to help recovery be more manageable, such as long-lasting medicine used in the anesthesia (helps to reduce much of the post-operative pain in nearly all patients), pain medication, and abdominal compression garments.
What are the common risks of tummy tuck surgery?
It is important to talk with your plastic surgeon about the risks of your surgery and how they can be minimized to provide the best possible outcome. The more common risks include bleeding, infection, fluid collections (seromas), wound healing problems, and scarring. While blood clots are a risk of all surgical procedures and measures to prevent blood clots are used both in the operating room and postoperatively, patients are encouraged to get drink water to stay hydrated, walk, and take additional measures to assist in the prevention of blood clots.
How long will a tummy tuck last?
If a consistent weight is maintained after the procedure, the results of a tummy tuck can be long-lasting.
Will tummy tuck surgery be covered under my health insurance plan?
In our experience, health insurance plans will not cover this surgery, as coverage for cosmetic surgical operations is specifically excluded.