A full tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that can correct a protruding, or loose, sagging abdomen. The surgery consists of removing excess fat and loose skin in the abdomen resulting in a flatter, firmer stomach. The abdominal muscles that have weakened or separated due to weight loss or pregnancy are also repaired. Often times, liposuction to the hips, or flanks, is done at the same time for better contouring. This procedure will leave a scar along the belt line, above the pubic region, from hip to hip. The belly button stays intact, but a new opening is made for it to be exposed through the new skin that has been pulled down.
There are variations to abdominoplasty surgery and is dependant on the degree of correction necessary to achieve a flatter stomach. Your surgeon will discuss these options with you at a consultation appointment.
A mini tummy tuck is similar in that it will leave a scar above the pubic region, but not quite as long as the full tummy tuck. It does not incorporate the belly button or any skin/fat above the belly button.
After surgery, most surgeons recommend wearing a compression garment for a minimum of four weeks. This helps support the abdomen and reduce swelling.
It is important to realize a tummy tuck is not a weight loss solution. Good candidates for surgery include those who are at an ideal weight and are in good health, but just have loose skin and/or excess fat in the stomach.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How much is the procedure?
The total cost* is provided at a consultation based on surgery details. Surgery is based on time, so if other areas of liposuction are added, or if the incision is extended, the price increases.
*The pricing reflects a cash or cash equivalent discount.*
Where can I find a post-operative bra or garment?
You can search online at various stores, or go directly to www.cosmeticsurgerystuff.com If you have questions on what type to purchase, please let us know and we can help.
What type of anesthesia is used?
General anesthesia is administered by a board certified anesthesiologist via an IV.
How long does the procedure last?
Surgery time varies depending on the patient but averages about 2+ hours. You will arrive 30 minutes prior to surgery, and you will be in the recovery room after the surgery.
What will it feel like when I wake up?
Most patients complain of tightness and burning in the abdomen. This is normal. You will be given some pain medications during and after the surgery to keep you comfortable.
When can I eat after surgery?
You will need to eat/drink something prior to taking your oral medications. As soon as you are ready to do so, you may.
In what position should I sleep?
We recommend sleeping on a few pillows with your head propped up and a few pillows under your knees. You may not be comfortable on your side or back for several weeks/days after surgery.
If drains are placed, when do the drain tubes come out?
Typically they are removed about 5-7 days after surgery. Sometimes it is necessary to have them in longer depending on the amount of drainage. We do not place drains in every patient.
I have fluid coming out where the drains are inserted, is this normal?
Yes, this is common. We want that fluid to drain out where it can. Just be sure to wear inexpensive clothing. You can also apply feminine napkins in front of the insertion sites to collect the drainage.
When can I tan?
Tanning is not permitted for two weeks after surgery. After two weeks you may tan, but it is recommended to cover the scars for one full year from any exposure. Early exposure can cause the scars to become a dark color forever.
When can I exercise?
No physical exertion is permitted for two weeks after surgery. Once you begin an exercise regimen, you must listen to your body. If it hurts or causes swelling, don’t do it.
When can I drive?
Driving is permitted as long as you are not under the influence of medications.
I have numbness by my scars, is this normal?
This is common. The scar itself may never have feeling, but the areas around it will normalize over time. It is also to have numbness in the areas that had liposuction. Again, this will subside over time.
Do the sutures dissolve?
Yes. Sometimes they might poke through the skin before dissolving completely. If so, simply pull the knot up with tweezers and clip it off with small scissors. You may also come in and have us do it for you.