July 15, 2011
Sometimes simply dieting and exercising are not enough to take care of waistline problems. In such cases, a patient may wish to consider a tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty). A tummy tuck is the surgical removal of excess skin or fatty deposits from the abdomen, along with the repositioning of abdomen muscles into a tighter formation. This bodily enhancement procedure is designed for those who wish to have a flatter and tighter stomach. It is also helpful in remedying the vertical separation of abdomen muscles known as diastasis, which can occur following pregnancy.
Reasons for Considering an Abdominoplasty:
Inability of dieting and exercise to improve the abdomen area.
Excessive accumulation of skin following weight loss.
Loss of skin elasticity or diastases (loose abdomen muscles) due to pregnancy.
The removal of unsightly skin and fat deposits as well as the proper alignment of the abdomen muscles to produce a more flattering look.
Abdominoplasty surgery lasts anywhere from one to five hours, depending on the desired look and the patient’s unique physiology. To begin the procedure, an incision is made just above the pubic bone area. This incision goes horizontally across the lower abdomen and sometimes around to the back. The skin is then stretched away from the muscle tissue, and excess skin is removed. The abdomen muscle tissue is tightened to provide a firmly contoured stomach and well-defined waistline. Finally, the incision is closed; and the skin is stitched back into place. Sometimes the procedure requires an additional incision around the navel in order to provide the best results.
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. As the body recuperates, the patient can expect some swelling, pain, and discomfort. Medication can be prescribed to relieve any pain caused by the procedure. The stitches will be removed shortly after the surgery depending on the procedure(s) involved. Normal activities can generally be resumed within two weeks. It may take up to a year for the body to completely adapt to the new abdominal configuration. With proper diet and exercise the striking results of the surgery will be long lasting.
Get all the facts to help determine if a Tummy Tuck is right for you.
What happens during tummy tuck surgery?
Step 1- Anesthesia
Medications are administrated for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2- The incision
A full tummy tuck requires a horizontal-oriented incision in the area between the public hairline and navel. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the degree of correction necessary. Through this incision, weakened abdominal muscles are repaired and sutured and excess fat, tissue and skin is removal. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen.
Step 3- Closing the incisions
Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the skin incisions.
Step 4- See the result
Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight. The final results may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete. Within a week or two, you should be standing tall and confident about your new slimmer profile.
HOW MUCH WILL TUMMY TUCK SURGERY COST?
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Price for tummy tucks can vary widely. A surgeon’s cost for tummy tuck may vary based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used, as well as geographic office location. Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.
Cost May include
Hospital or surgical facilities costs
Prescription for Medication
Post-surgery garments, and
Your satisfaction involves more than a fee
When choosing a plastic surgeon for a tummy tuck, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
WORDS TO KNOW:
Abdominoplasty: A surgical procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over your abdomen.
Diastasis: Condition in which abdominal muscles have separated.
General Anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relive pain and alter consciousness.
Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
Liposuction: Also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, this procedure vacuums out fat from beneath the skin’s surface to reduce fullness.
Local anesthesia: A drug is injected direct to the site of an incision during operation to relive pain.
Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.
HOW CAN YOU CARE FOR YOUSELF AT HOME?
Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
Try to walk each day. Start by walking a little more than you did the day before. Bit by bit, increase the amount you walk. Walking boosts blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia and constipation.
Avoid abdominal exercises and strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise for 6 to 8 weeks.
For 6 weeks, avoid lifting anything that would make you strain. This may include heavy grocery bags and milk containers, a heavy briefcase or backpack, cat litter or dog food bags, a vacuum cleaner, or a child.
Ask your doctor when you can drive again.
Most people able to return work about 2 to 3 weeks after surgery. It depends on the type of work you do and how you feel.
You may shower 24 to 48 hours after surgery, if your doctor okays it. Pat the incision dry. Do not take a bath for the first 2 weeks, or until your doctor tells you it is okay.
Ask your doctor when it is okay to have sex.
If you have a strip of tape on your incision, leave the tape on for a week or until it falls off. Or follow your doctor’s instruction for removing the tape.
Wash the area daily with warm, soapy water, and pat it dry. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing.
Keep the area clean and dry. You may cover it with a gauze bandage if it weeps or rubs against clothing. Change the bandage every day if your doctor told you to do so.
You will probably have one or two drain tube in place to prevent fluid from building up under up under the skin of your belly. Your doctor will tell you how to take care of it.
Hold a pillow over your incision when you cough or take deep breaths. This will support your belly and decrease your belly and decrease your pain.
Do breathing exercises at home as instructed by your doctor. This will help prevent pneumonia.
You may have a tube (catheter) in your bladder for a few days after surgery. If so, your doctor will tell you how to care for the catheter.
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