What is Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Let’s face facts: even with a healthy lifestyle that consists of dieting and regular visits to the gym, stubborn pockets of fat persist. Yet, we luckily live in a world where we have options to help us reach our goal weight, including abdominoplasty.
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin from an individual’s middle and lower abdomen. Treatment also tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall and can dramatically reduce a bulging abdomen.
At the Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville, tummy tucks are one of the post-bariatric cosmetic surgery procedures we offer.
At our plastic surgery practice in Nashville, abdominoplasty usually requires two to three hours to complete, depending on the extent of the procedure. A mini tummy tuck, intended to target a lesser area, usually requires one to two hours to complete.
During surgery, two incisions are made: one above the pubic region, extending from hipbone to hipbone; another incision is made to free the naval and surrounding tissue. The skin is then separated from the abdominal wall, in order to reveal the abdominal muscles. The abdominal muscles are tightened and pulled together, resulting in a firmer abdominal wall. The skin is stretched back down, and any excess skin tissue is removed.
After your procedure, you will experience some swelling and discomfort for the first few days. Any pain or discomfort you experience can be treated with medication. After five to seven days, surface stitches will be removed. Support garments can replace any dressings on your surgical incisions, as instructed by your surgeon.
It may take several weeks or perhaps even months before a patient will start to feel normal again. You should at least expect the swelling to take four months to completely resolve. Those individuals in good physical condition and with strong abdominal muscles will most likely experience a quicker recovery.
Exercise is helpful in improving post-surgical healing, though, you should avoid any type of strenuous activity, or vigorous exercise until you feel comfortable. It may even be necessary to wait until you get an approval from your doctor to participate in such workouts.
During the first three to six months of the healing period, the surgical scars may appear to worsen, though, they will eventually flatten out and fade in nine months to one year. Remember, the scars will not disappear completely, but most types of clothing, as well as bathing suits, can often successfully conceal them.
At our cosmetic surgery office in Nashville, Tennessee, we perform abdominoplasties regularly, and with excellent results. Complications, such as infections and blood clots are extremely rare but can occur. Yet, a post-surgery infection can be treated with antibiotics and drainage, but this treatment may prolong your recovery and healing time.
Moving around as soon as possible after tummy tuck surgery can minimize the risk of blood clots. A second operation may be required if a patient is healing poorly, in order to better avoid conspicuous scarring.
It is important to always be honest with your surgeon. If you quit smoking before the surgery, it’s highly possible to get a tighter, better body contour, and in a much safer fashion.
Abdominoplasty Frequently Asked Questions
If you are considering scheduling a tummy tuck, you most likely have questions regarding the procedure. Below, you will find a range of frequently asked questions about abdominoplasty.
Of course, if you don’t see your specific question, or still have concerns regarding the surgery, please contact the staff at Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville by calling 615-467-6777. As professionals, we only have one goal in mind: complete customer satisfaction.
What is abdominoplasty?
Treatment removes the excess skin and fat on the abdomen that often forms due to pregnancy, obesity, or even age. Depending on a patient’s particular wants, needs, and overall goals, a full or mini tummy tuck can be performed.
Who is a good candidate?
It’s important to know that all forms of cosmetic surgery are completely subjective. Therefore, only you can decide whether cosmetic surgery is right for you and your body.
Further, an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck surgery is someone who is healthy. This procedure should not be pursued in an attempt to avoid diet and exercise. Instead, if you’re having trouble getting rid of pesky pockets of fat, despite diet and exercise, then abdominoplasty may be for you.
Not only should patients be active, but there should also be no present diseases, illnesses, or pre-existing medical conditions. It is also necessary to be mentally and emotionally stable, as well as have realist expectations following the surgery. Specifically, you should discuss with your doctor what can realistically be achieved.
While there is no “right” or “wrong” age to schedule an abdominoplasty, the person in question must be mature and stable enough to handle the process. If women are planning on having children in the near future, it’s best to wait until after childbirth to pursue surgery.
What takes place during a consultation?
During the initial consultation, you will discuss with your doctor the entire process of the surgery, as well as what you hope to gain following the procedure. You will be examined by the doctor, asked questions regarding your health and family history, and shown before and after images of past patients.
It’s important to be completely honest with your doctor, as doing so will result in a faster and smoother process. You should leave this consultation feeling informed and prepared for surgery
How is a tummy tuck surgery performed?
Your procedure is commonly performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision across the lower abdomen, right above the pubic bone and pubic hair. This incision will likely extend from hipbone to hipbone. Then, skin and fat are separated from the abdominal muscles, after which, an incision is made around the belly button to loosen and detach skin. Finally, excess skin and fat below the belly button are both removed.
Following an abdominoplasty, what can I expect post-surgery?
Following surgery, most patients are able to walk. You should expect the abdomen to feel tight and sore for the first several days following surgery. You may also discover that it’s difficult to stand in an upright position.
Depending on your specific treatment plan, your doctor may recommend that you take one to two weeks off from work, which will give your body proper time to heal. It’s imperative that you don’t push your body to heal too fast. You will also need to avoid strenuous exercises and workout regimes for at least six to eight weeks. Better yet, you should wait until your doctor clears you to take part in these type of activities.
If you do experience any type of pain or discomfort, you can take prescribed pain medication. To help reduce swelling and inflammation, you will be fitted with a compression garment. Drains will also be placed within the incisions to help remove any potential fluid that may form, but generally will be removed with a few days after surgery.
What are some common tummy tuck surgery benefits?
As mentioned above, it’s typical for both men and women to develop an abdomen that protrudes unwanted loose and sagging skin, often due to age, genes, or pregnancy. Successful treatment can help reverse these negative effects by flattening the abdomen, slimming the waistline, and reducing cellulite. Abdominoplasty can also improve an individual’s posture, as well as boost their self-confidence.
Does tummy tuck surgery hurt?
Because every individual has a different level of pain tolerance, it’s difficult to estimate just how comfortable surgery will be for you. For example, some patients only report a mild amount of pain or discomfort, while others feel like the surgery is much more intense. Regardless, you can expect to feel some sort of discomfort following the procedure. However, your doctor can prescribe pain medication to help soothe you.
What are potential risks associated with a tummy tuck surgery?
As with any type of surgery, there is always the potential for risks to occur. Possible (yet rare) risks include infection, blood loss, and abnormal scarring. However, these risks are even less likely to occur when the surgery is performed by an education and trained professional.
At the Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville, we have had the honor of working with a variety of patients. When it comes to performing abdominoplasties, or any other type of cosmetic surgery, we aim for complete customer satisfaction. Take a look at what some of our previous clients have had to say about our services:
“I was pleased with how everyone treated me. My doctor knew exactly what I wanted. I never felt pressured. She was very thorough in her explanations and made me feel very comfortable. The hospital staff was also very nice and comforting. I am much more comfortable and confident now that I Have my implants out and my breasts are not as saggy.” – Satisfied Client
“The staff left no stoned unturned. Every minutia was attended to. After getting an infection, they were unbelievably detailed in my recovery, and supplied me with everything I needed to care for the wound. I can purchase clothes that actually fit, and don’t need alterations. I feel confident in how I look, and I am encouraged to continue losing weight. I have lost 27 pounds total from before surgery to three months out.” – Satisfied Client
“I was well prepared for what to expect from my surgery, thanks to the surgeon. I was pleased with the surgery experience. The staff put me at ease before, during, and after the procedure. Recovery time was accurate, and the results, so far, are great. How easy the whole process was from start to finish. Waking up without extra skin that’s made me self-conscious for years is amazing. I’m so grateful, and the incision is so thin. I feel so much more comfortable now!” – Satisfied Client
Click to schedule a consultation at our Nashville, Tennessee practice for abdominoplasty/tummy tuck surgery today.