Overview of the surgery:
Tummy tuck (appropriately known as abdominoplasty), is a major surgical procedure that gets rid of excess fat and skin, tightening muscles in your abdominal wall and designed to flatten the abdomen.
The best candidates for this procedure are physically fit and healthy individuals who suffer from loose skin and excess fats in the lower portion of the abdomen which is typically the result of single or multiple pregnancies in women whose abdominal tone were lost after pregnancy or considerable weight loss and age related looseness of skin may also be corrected.
It usually requires a long incision across the abdomen from hip bone to hip bone and around the belly button. The shape of the incision is like a smile, with a flat bottom. The skin is separated from the abdominal wall, up to the ribs, exposing the vertical abdominal muscles (rectus muscles). These muscles have usually been stretched apart by previous pregnancies. The rectus muscles are then stitched into a new position, tightening the muscles and reducing the waistline. After the muscles have been repositioned and tightened, the excess skin is stretched and removed.The remaining skin is redraped over the abdominal area and sutured in place. The belly button is then brought out through the overlying skin in its new location.
Duration of the operation:
The procedure will take about 2-5 hours. A partial tummy tuck may take about 1-2hours.
Post operative care:
- Patients are required to take a rest for about 1-3 weeks before returning to work and a normal schedule.
- A day after the surgery, patient must have light to moderate physical activities.
- Some incision will be left open and drainage is inserted.
- Patients can start light to moderate activity after four weeks. After six to eight weeks, most people can resume all exercise and activity.
- Patient will be given pain medication as needed. This typically entails narcotics for the first few days after surgery and then non-narcotic pain relievers after that.
- The abdomen is swollen and sore for the first few days.
- The abdominal scars will appear to worsen during the first three to six months. They may take nine months before they flatten and lighten in color. The scars never disappear completely, but clothing can hide them easily.
You may be able to go back to work after 2-4 weeks. More strenuous activities for 4-6 weeks or more. Fading and flattening of scars for 3 months to 2 years.
Possible risk and complications:
These potential complications can be prevented if you carefully follow surgeon's instructions. Listed below are the potential complications:
· Anesthetic medications
- Tissue loss
- Collection of blood beneath the skin (hematoma)
- Collection of fluid under the skin (seroma)
- Blood clot to the lungs
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Bleeding under the skin flap
- Insufficient healing that may result in the need for a second surgery
- Unfavorable scarring
- Poor wound healing
Abdominoplasty is often performed with general anesthesia and can also be done using a local anesthetic with a sedative.
This procedure may be performed in the cosmetic surgeon’s office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center, or at a hospital. This procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis
Preparation for surgery:
- Assessment of the medical history (any allergies, serious medical condition and all medications taken both prescribed and non-prescribed), physical examination, and laboratory tests will be performed during consultation.
- Blood and urine samples will be collected for routine preoperative laboratory tests.
- Smoking must be avoided for about 3-4 weeks prior to surgery, as nicotine interferes with circulation and will greatly affect healing process.
- You will likely to be asked to stop drinking alcohol, a week before the surgery and throughout your recovery period.
- Avoid taking any medications such as hormones, anticoagulants, anabolic steroids and supplements at least 4-6 weeks to prevent complicating medical factors prior to surgery. Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.
- If general anesthesia or sedation will be used, and the surgery will be in the morning, fasting from midnight the night before is required. If only local anesthesia will be used, fasting is not required
- Maintain the best of health and hygiene in the weeks prior to surgery. Colds, virus, throat infection or other illness can result to rescheduling of surgery.
- Eat a well balance diet several weeks prior to surgery. Over eating and crash dieting can greatly affect overall health status and well being of the patient
- Daily exercises are an important factor to help enhance posture and strength at least 3-4 weeks prior to surgery.