- February 23, 2022
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Abdominoplasty (also known as a tummy tuck) is a surgery performed on the abdomen that tightens the abdominal muscles and removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal area. This procedure helps shape the abdomen to make it firmer and flatter. A tummy tuck also helps remove the stretch marks on the spot where the surgery is performed (usually under the belly button) but not all the stretch marks of the abdomen. The results will appear after the swelling of the operated area has healed, and you will have a more toned abdomen.
Take note that the focus of this operation is not on weight loss, but rather on improving the appearance of the abdomen. For example, pregnancy, bariatric surgery, old age, and substantial weight loss may cause excess loose skin. The amount of weight the patient loses after a tummy tuck is typically about 5 pounds. Therefore, if your main objective is to lose weight, exercise, diet, liposuction, or bariatric surgery would be better options.
Significant weight gain will reduce the effectiveness of your surgery, so try to keep your weight steady.
Who Is a Good Candidate For Abdominoplasty?
These are the characteristics of a good tummy tuck prospect:
- Healthiness (patients with health problems have higher chances of complications and risks)
- Individuals who can keep a steady weight
- Having a BMI of lower than 30
- Nonsmokers are better candidates
- People who have lost significant amounts of weight and now have loose skin in their abdominal area
- Women who have been pregnant and now have excess skin
Inform your plastic surgeon about your current medical situation. For example, if you are taking any medications, have any allergies, or if you are on a diet. Furthermore, tell them about your medical history, including diseases or operations you have had in the past.
The Risks and Complications of a Tummy Tuck
Before deciding to get a tummy tuck, consider the risks that may come with the surgery. Here is a list of a number of possible risks:
- Anesthesia related complications.
- Tummy tuck may damage the fatti tissues beneath the skin (fat necrosis).
- Poor wound healing.
- Reduced skins sensations or numbness.
- Seroma: a state where fluid accumulates under the skin.
Your doctor will provide you with a thorough list of risks prior to the surgery. At this stage, you can ask any questions you have regarding the complications that may follow the abdominoplasty. This information aids your surgeon in better assessing the situation.
First, general anesthesia will be administered, and you will be unconscious during the procedure. There are two types of abdominoplasty:
- Full abdominoplasty: This is for patients who have more excess skin. This procedure involves a horizontal incision made between the pubic hairline and the belly button to remove excess skin and fat. In addition, your surgeon makes an incision around the belly button to remove the excess skin in the upper abdomen. The belly button is then repositioned. After the surgeon has tightened the muscles and removed the extra skin and fat, the remaining skin is stitched together.
- Partial abdominoplasty: This procedure is suitable for patients with less excess skin. In this procedure, excess fat and skin are removed through shorter incisions. The incision is made on the lower tummy and the excess fat and skin are removed. Moreover, there is no need to move the belly button in this procedure.
A tummy tuck surgery can take 1-4 hours. At the end of both of these types of surgery, tubes may be placed beneath the skin to prevent fluid accumulation. If you’re in pain after the procedure, you will be provided with painkillers. Furthermore, you may have to wear an elastic bandage or a pressure garment (also known as a medical corset) when you leave the hospital. Follow your doctor’s instructions on how to wear the garment and take care of your incisions and tubes. You may be discharged from the hospital from a few hours to a day after the abdominoplasty surgery.
Recovery Process after Tummy Tuck Surgery
- It usually takes six weeks to recover from an abdominoplasty.
- Adhere to your surgeon’s advice about how to take care of your wound.
- Wear your elastic bandage or compression garment according to your doctor’s instructions.
- You may have to take medication for your wound to heal.
- Limit vigorous physical activities for the first six weeks.
- Take six weeks off work.
- Do not make quick movements that could cause your scars to reopen.
- Consult your doctor regularly so that they can help you along the recovery process.
- You may not be able to drive during this period.
- Inform your doctor if you experience any symptoms such as pain and bleeding.
Cost and Insurance
The average cost of abdominoplasty is $6000. This price does not include all the costs. Operation facilities, anesthesia, the type of tummy tuck surgery, follow-up consultations, and the surgeon themselves should all be taken into consideration.
Since abdominoplasty is cosmetic surgery—often without medical reasons—it is usually not covered by insurance except in particular cases (a case of having a hernia, for instance). Therefore, make an inquiry from your insurance company and explain your situation to them. If you can convince them that you need a tummy tuck for a medical reason, they might pay for your surgery.
- Under what conditions should I not get a tummy tuck?
If you want to lose substantial weight in the near future.
In case your BMI is higher than 30.
If you want to get pregnant in the near future.
- Can I get a liposuction with my tummy tuck at the same time?
Yes, you can. The name of this procedure is lipoabdominoplasty. If you are overweight and have saggy skin, this may be the best procedure. Nonetheless, make sure to ask for your doctor’s advice.
- What are some questions I should ask my doctor?
How long before I can return to my daily routines?
What medications do I need to take for my incisions to heal?
How do I shower or bathe?
How long until my stitches are removed?
What type of tummy tuck procedure is most suitable for me?
- How much pain will I feel after my tummy tuck surgery?
You might feel mild to moderate levels of pain, but it can be mitigated by means of medications. The pain often goes away after the first four weeks.
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