Many people celebrate the loss of weight but are disappointed by the excess, deflated skin afterwards. Some have done it through diet, excercise, 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 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
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 tucks should be at a stable body weight, be non-smokers, not pregnant, and have finished child bearing.
Patients with a history of bleeding or clotting disorders, upper abdominal scars, poor health, or excess weight may not eligible for tummy tuck procedures.
What will the tummy tuck procedure be like?
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-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 is then lifted up to the belly button and the abdominal muscles are then tightened with permanent sutures. Liposuction may be perfomed on the flanks or abdomen. The excess skin and tissue is then removed and the incision is closed with dissolving stitches. Two drain tube are places below the incision, to assist in the evacuation of fluid.
Full-abdominoplasty involves a longer lower abdominal incision in which the skin and tissue is 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 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 but we want you to spend one evening in a pre-arranged overnight facility. 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 are 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 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.
To learn more about tummy tuck in Portland, please contact the office of plastic surgeon Dr. Elisa Burgess.