We all want to have a firm, flat abdomen. You look more physically fit with a flat abdomen. Sometimes there is hanging excess skin and fat of the lower abdomen that hangs. All of these are indications to have a tummy tuck. Pregnancy will also cause the muscles of the abdominal wall to spread and stretch. This will cause a bulging of the upper and lower abdomen. This can not be corrected with exercise since this is a separation of the abdominal muscles in the mid line of the abdominal wall. This mechanical needs to be repaired surgically creating a new or recreating the old, and tight abdominal wall that existed prior to pregnancy. women who have had multiple pregnancies or who have had twin or more pregnancies will stretch more and therefore have a grater likelihood of having a wider Diastasis Recti deformity. Abdominoplasty, also called “tummy tuck,” is a surgery designed to contour the lower abdomen . Abdominoplasty surgery focuses on three main goals: (1) removing loose skin and excess fat of the lower abdomen, (2) tightening the underlying muscles to restore the foundation of the abdomen, and (3) suspending the pubic area for a more youthful look.
Abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight reduction. This surgery is best performed either at or “near” your ideal realistic weight. It is also best to finish your family before having abdominoplasty surgery. Pregnancy is possible after abdominoplasty surgery, but the tissues will again be stretched, thus diminishing the results of the surgery.
In most cases cosmetic goals can be accomplished in a single surgery. However in a very small segment of the patients it is simply not possible or safe to do everything needed at a single surgery. In such cases an additional surgery may be required. Most of the time we will be able to predict ahead of time if you will need one or two procedures to meet your goals. The additional surgery most commonly consists of: liposuction, excision of additional extra skin, and scar revision.
The goal of surgery is to make you happy. At your consultation I will obtain a very thorough medical history. I will want to know if you have had any previous abdominal surgery. We will discuss your expectations together. I will discuss your recovery and examine you to make sure there are no Hernias that need simultaneous repair.
Often patients will have fullness of the hips that need attention at the same time as abdominoplasty surgery. We often perform concurrent liposuction at the same time to optimize the overall results of your surgery. The most common additional areas treated with liposuction are: flanks, hips, thighs, and knees.
Following the examination I will present to you a comprehensive treatment plan. We will discuss the procedure(s) recommended in detail. We will also advise you of the potential risks and complications of surgery. We will outline your recovery period and make focused suggestions to make your surgery experience safe, easy, and as pleasant as possible.
The surgery usually takes about 2- 3½ hours to perform. This will vary depending on the needs and goals of the patient and how much surgery is performed. You will be totally asleep for the surgery to minimize anxiety and to maximize comfort.
The surgery consists of a fine incision just above the pubic area and an incision around the navel. The underlying wall muscles are then tightened, and then excess skin and fatty tissue are removed to create a firm and flat abdomen. Drains are sometimes placed which are removed in 7 days, depending on the amount of drainage observed. Sometimes other techniques or glue is used to avoid the drains.All sutures are “dissolving.” You will also be placed in a special elastic compression garment called an abdominal binder for support and protection. The binder also keeps the dressings in place.
Post- Operative Recovery
I inject local anesthesia during the surgery so that when the surgery is finished you have a complete abdominal wall block and are essentially pain free when the surgery is complete. You start the pain medication immediately so you will have a pain free recovery process. Total recover time will depend largely on the amount of surgery performed. Discomfort is minimal. Your “down time” will be between 1 and 2 weeks. You will need to wear your garment for 6 weeks.
There are scars as a result of this surgery. The scars usually take at least 6-12 months for to completely fade.