What to Expect from a Tummy Tuck

by Garreth Myers


A tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgery performed to remove excess fat and tighten the skin around the abdomen. A tummy tuck may also help remove unwanted stretch marks and scars on your stomach.

If you are looking for a quick fix solution to your weight loss dilemmas, a tummy tuck is not the correct choice for you, as it cannot be used as an alternative to regular exercise and a balanced diet. The best candidates for a tummy tuck are people who have recently lost a lot of weight and are left with folds of excess skin or women who have lost muscle tone and tautness after their pregnancy.

Before opting for a tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck surgery, it is important to sit down with your surgeon and discuss all the pros and cons of the procedure. The more you know about what to expect before, during, and after your surgery, the higher the chances of satisfaction.

What should you do before a tummy tuck surgery?

  • Stop smoking as this increases your recovery time post surgery.
  • Lose weight prior to the surgery for the best results.
  • Stop taking certain medications such as anti-depressants and contraceptive pills that may increase the chances of complications during the procedure.
  • Do not eat or drink anything six hours before surgery, as you will most probably require general anesthesia.
  • Take photographs of yourself before and after the surgery to have a better idea of the changes that take place.
  • Decide whether you need a tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck surgery.

What should you expect during a tummy tuck surgery?

  • Depending on how much skin and fat has to be removed the procedure can take between one to three hours.
  • During a standard tummy tuck, an incision is made on your abdomen (along the bikini line) and excess fat and skin is removed. The skin is then pulled together tightly and stitched in place. Some cases may also require a repositioning of your bellybutton. The presiding surgeon will inform you about the same.
  • A mini tummy tuck removes all the excess fat and skin from below your belly button area. The area of incision is much smaller than the normal procedure thus reducing the recovery time.

What happens after the surgery?

  • You will be given painkillers and antibiotics to treat the swelling, pain, and any possible infection that may arise.
  • Tubes may be inserted into the incision site to encourage excess fluid to be drained out.
  • You may feel nauseous, uncoordinated and tired so it's better to have a friend or family member drive you home after the operation.
  • Your stitches will be removed in a week or two.
  • You will need to wear a support garment for a few weeks to improve healing.
  • It can take up to six weeks to fully recover from a tummy tuck but make sure you take adequate rest and follow your doctor’s instructions about what you can and cannot do after your surgery.

References:

  1. http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/surgery/plastic/cosmetic/body-contouring/abdominoplasty.cfm

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