Do you know that Tummy tuck is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the world? Well, if you had no idea about this, then chances are extremely good that you don’t know much about this surgery.
So, to arm you with a better understanding of this procedure, here are frequently asked tummy tuck questions. Enjoy the ride.
Note: If you don't see your question answered here, feel free to request an online consultation with one of our expert surgeons.
What Exactly is a Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Tummy tuck sometimes referred to as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that is designed to make the abdomen thinner, flat, and more firm. The procedure does this by removing unwanted skin or fat from the abdomen.
It is a surgery that is should only be performed by expert surgeons because of its intricacy. The results of abdominoplasty are usually permanent, but it should be noted that the surgery cannot correct stretch marks.
Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
Every tummy tuck procedure is customized according to the desires of the patient. To be regarded as an ideal tummy tuck candidate, you have to:
- Be physically healthy and at a stable weight
- Have realistic expectations
- Be a nonsmoker
- Be bothered by the appearance of your abdomen
ASLO CHECK: Tummy Tuck is Safer Than You Thougt
What Will Be Expected of Me to Get the Best Results?
To get the desired results, patients also have to play their part, before and after the surgery. Patients are advised to carefully follow the instructions given by their doctor even before the day of the surgery. Smoking and Alcohol should be avoided two weeks before and four weeks after the surgery. Taking Alcohol and smoking won't only affect the results, but they can also lengthen the recovery process, and they may cause one to have blood clots.
Which Surgical Technique is Suitable for Me?
The patient's underlying anatomies, clothing preference, location, and amount of redundant skin will dictate the suitable tummy technique. In some cases, your surgeon may instruct you to bring your favorite swimwear or pants, so that they make incisions marks in a way that hides potential scars.
When performing a tummy tuck, your surgeon will use one of the following techniques:
Standard or full tummy tuck
When using this technique, your surgeon will make a hip-to-hip incision/cut below the navel, and another scar will be on the belly buttock so that it can be adjusted as soon as the excess fat has been removed from the upper abdomen.
After this step, the abdomen muscles will then be tightened using internal sutures, and the surgeon will then pull down the remaining skin over the stomach.
Extended tummy tuck
Using this technique, your surgeon will make a horizontal incision that reaches sides of the lower back (i.e., around the hips). The tail ends of the scar are usually visible, especially when the patient’s body is viewed posteriorly.
Since this technique is designed to remove excess skin than the standard technique, it is usually used on patients who need a massive loss of weight.
Once the unwanted saggy skin has been removed, this technique also requires that your surgeon make a round incision to free and reposition the navel a bit higher.
Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck
Besides the horizontal incision, your surgeon will have to make a vertical scar which is visible. Because of this, the fleur-de-lis technique is usually used on patients who need the most amount of correction and are prepared to accept its tradeoff and attain an attractive post-surgery contour.
In cases where the patient has a long torso, the surgeon may make a short vertical scar so as to remove more skin between the belly button and the pubic area.
Mini tummy tuck
This technique makes minimal improvement on the tummy, and for this reason, it is specifically ideal for patients who have saggy excess skin that is caused by pregnancy or weight loss.
Your surgeon doesn’t have to reposition the navel or remove the excess skin in the upper abdominal if this technique only required 4-8 inches scar above the pubic area.
How Long is the Recovery Period?
This usually depends on the amount of excess skin removed or rather how complex the surgery was. And recovery after a tummy is different for everyone. Soon after the surgery, your doctors may advise you to spend a day or two at the hospital so that they regularly monitor your wellbeing.
Considering that the surgery involves abdominal muscles, patients may require between two and four weeks to recover. But they are expecting to return to work in two to three weeks post-surgery.
What Should I Do During My Recovery?
For a quick recovery, patients will have to carefully follow the doctor’s instructions and desist from any physical or strenuous activities.
You don’t have to shower after the surgery, but you can do so after you self-remove the drainage tubes placed on your tummy, this is supposed to be done after 48 hours. So, until you can shower, you may be taking a sponge bath. And when doing so, you have to be using a chair.
Just in case of any pain, of which its normally rare, your doctor will prescribe pain medications and some antibiotics. Any medication containing aspirin is off-limits, unless when prescribed by your doctor.
During the period you will be taking your meds, you have to avoid alcohol or any form of nicotine. Mixing meds and Alcohol or nicotine can lengthen your healing process, and in some cases, it can affect the outcome of the surgery.
You surgeon will brief you about a comfortable optimal resting position. When sleeping, you may need to do so on an incline for the first few days after the operation. To reduce pressure on your abdomen when sleeping, you will have to put pillows underneath your knees.
What are the Risks and Complications Associated?
Just like any other surgical procedure, tummy also has potential risks, although they are minor. Blood clotting and bruising are two of the most common side effects associated with tummy tuck surgery. Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics to treat the bruises.
Is Tummy Tuck Possible After Pregnancy?
Yes. Even after pregnancy, a tummy tuck can help to flatten the tummy. The beauty of this surgery is that the results are durable, providing that you live a healthy lifestyle and maintain your weight.
If you are planning to become pregnant in the future, it's best to inform your surgeon. The chances are high that he will recommend that you postpone your surgery until your family is complete.
If you may think that you are an ideal candidate for abdominoplasty, don’t hesitate to give us a call so that we schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified surgeons.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in September 2019.