Tummy tuck surgery, AKA abdominoplasty, aims to remove excessive skin along with the underlying fat from your belly leading to a flatter, tighter tummy. It can even restore separated muscle margins that may have developed during lifetime.
Who is a tummy tuck for?
You should only consider an abdominoplasty if this is something that YOU want. You should not go through with a tummy tuck at behest of others. A suitable candidate is usually a healthy individual who is bothered by the way their tummy looks or feels, despite a healthy diet and exercise. The excess skin may have developed due to aging, weight fluctuations, pregnancy or marked weight loss.
It is important that you have realistic expectations and do not view abdominoplasty as a means to weight loss. If you are planning on loosing weight or possibly becoming pregnant in the near future then it is best to postpone your abdominoplasty.
Evaluation for a tummy tuck!
During the evaluation expect to be asked about your reasoning behind wanting to undergo an abdominoplasty. You should be clear regarding your expectations and goals. Personal medical as well as surgical history will be discussed aside from your general health, use of regular medications and social habits such as smoking. Your surgeon will carry out an examination of your tummy, and the degree of separation of your rectus muscles. Your surgeon would want you to have a complete blood test as well as blood group done prior to surgery. Make sure that before you decide on going through with your abdominoplasty that you should ask your surgeons any questions regarding your tummy tuck, such as the position of your scar, recovery time, return to work etc.
How is a tummy tuck done?
Unless a limited procedure is planned, most abdominoplasties are done under general anaesthesia. A horizontal incision is made running just above your pubis, stretching to either side. Preparation is then made above the muscular plane up towards your naval and beyond. If necessary the rectus muscle edges are also approximated with sutures. The skin is then re-draped and its excess removed. Your belly button will be brought back to the surface through a new skin opening. Finally skin edges are then sutured together and a compression garment applied over wound dressings.
Risks associated with a tummy tuck!
An abdominoplasty, similar to other major surgeries does carry some additional risks. Aside from probable risks associated with general anaesthesia, as with most surgeries there is always a risk of bleeding, poor wound healing, irregular scars as well as infection. More particular risks include the risk of haematoma, seroma formation and wound breakdown. Other conceivable complications include DVT or pulmonary embolism and fat or skin necrosis –loss-. Any of the above may lead to future revisional surgery or hospitalisation.
Recovery from a tummy tuck!
You will spend one or two nights at the hospital following your tummy tuck surgery. There will be a drain -small plastic tube- coming out of either side to draw out excess fluid and blood. The drains are removed after 2-4 days depending on the speed of your recovery. You are discharged with new wound dressings and a compression garment to help support your tummy during its recovery. You have to wear the compression garment for 6-8 weeks. DVT prophylaxis injection will be given for home use. Further follow-ups will be arranged at 1,2 and 4 week intervals. Your sutures are removed after two weeks. During the first two weeks you should not be doing anything strenuous. Your surgeon will advise you regarding incremental increase in the level of your daily activity depending on your progress, but in general exercise is frowned upon during the first 6 weeks, and you can only go back to work 2-3 weeks following surgery.
How much does it cost?
Mini tummy tuck
Full tummy tuck
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