What is Tummy Tuck?
Many people celebrate the loss of weight but are disappointed by the excess, deflated skin afterward. Some have done it through diet, exercise, or bariatric surgery. Others have a normal weight but have seen the effects of pregnancy and in particular, multiple births or twins. In her Portland, OR area practice, Dr. Elisa Burgess is pleased to offer tummy tuck procedures, or abdominoplasty, to patients who want a firmer, flatter abdomen. There are multiple reasons people chose to undergo tummy tuck surgery, including:
- To remove excess skin and fat that has not responded favorably to diet and exercise
- To repair abdominal wall muscles and contour the abdominal shape after childbearing has been completed
- To assist bariatric patients in removing excess tissue following weight loss
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Tummy Tuck Before and After
Am I an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck?
Individuals often select a tummy tuck to correct an out of proportion midsection or to correct a midsection that will not shrink with diet and exercise. Ideal patients for tummy tuck surgery should be at stable body weight, be non-smokers, not pregnant, and have finished childbearing.
Patients with a history of bleeding or clotting disorders, upper abdominal scars, poor health, or excess weight may not eligible for tummy tuck procedures.
Tummy Tuck Surgery
The tummy tuck procedure takes between two and four hours to complete and is done under general anesthesia. Incision sites are chosen where any scars can be concealed and then marked.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Mini-abdominoplasty involves a c-section type incision on the lower abdomen. It will improve only the appearance of the area from the belly button to the pubic region. The abdominal skin and fat are then lifted up to the belly button and the abdominal muscles are then tightened with permanent sutures. Liposuction may be performed on the flanks or abdomen. The excess skin and tissue are then removed and the incision is closed with dissolving stitches. Two drain tube is placed below the incision, to assist in the evacuation of fluid.
Full Tummy Tuck
Full-abdominoplasty involves a longer lower abdominal incision in which the skin and tissue are lifted above the belly button area. This involves making a separate incision around the belly button. The underlying abdominal muscles are tightened with sutures and the excess tissue is removed. The skin is redraped and pulled toward the pubic area. Since the belly button is on a stalk, it does not move. The belly button is brought out through a new skin opening through the redraped skin. Liposuction may be performed on the flanks or abdomen. Two drain tubes are placed and removed when the fluid level has reached an acceptable amount.
What should I expect during my recovery following a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery is usually outpatient surgery; it is helpful to have someone stay with you for the first 48 hours to assist with medications, getting up to use the restroom, and other daily activities. Immediately after the surgery, gauze and a compression garment are applied. Individualized instructions will be given with regard to massage and garments. You should prepare for 2 weeks of recovery and wear a garment for approximately 4 weeks. Dr. Burgess will encourage you to walk around after surgery. Bruising, swelling and aching is likely and discomfort may be managed with medication. Swelling and incisions may cause some loss of feeling in the abdomen. It is imperative to avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least 6 weeks. Traveling long distances is not recommended in the first month following surgery. Ensure that you attend all scheduled exams following surgery. Scars from the procedure will be noticeable at first but will improve over the next year.
Results of the procedure are not as permanent as gravity, weight fluctuations, and aging continue to play a role. Possible complications of the procedure may include unacceptable scars, infection, wound issues, seroma, bleeding, blood clots, and other unforeseen risks.