FEELING LIKE IT’S TIME TO REIN IN YOUR MIDSECTION?
Dr. Alavi has performed over 1,500 Tummy Tuck Procedures.
Why Consider Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a “tummy tuck,” is a major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tighten the abdominal wall’s muscles. The procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen. The tummy tuck procedure does, however, produce a permanent scar. The length of the scar will depend on the extent of the original problem. The best candidates for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) are men or women in relatively good shape. Still, they are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise.
The surgery benefits women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved.
What to Expect During Your Initial Consultation for a Tummy Tuck
Our doctor will evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal region, and carefully assess your skin and abdominal muscle tone. You will have ample opportunity to discuss your expectations with the doctor. He will give you a realistic assessment of what can be achieved.
This will include describing alternatives and the risks and limitations of each option. If, for example, your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a mini-abdominoplasty, also known as a mini-tummy tuck which is usually performed in conjunction with liposuction. Liposuction alone can create the best result in some instances where a patient has good muscle and skin tone. Our doctor will work with you to recommend the right procedure and come closest to producing the desired body contour. During the consultation, the doctor will also explain the anesthesia he will use and the type of facility where the surgery will be performed. His office staff will review the costs involved and assist you with our various payment options.
Who Are the Best Candidates for Abdominoplasty?
Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the surgery. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as vertical muscles in the abdomen tightened during surgery can separate again during pregnancy.
Preparing for Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on preparing for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. If you smoke, plan to quit at least one to two weeks before your surgery and not resume for at least two weeks. Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your abdomen, and do not go on a stringent diet, as both can inhibit your healing ability. If you develop a cold or infection, your surgery will probably be postponed.
Whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you should arrange for someone to drive you home and help you out for a day or two after leaving the hospital, if needed.
The Day Of Abdominoplasty Surgery
Abdominoplasty typically takes two to three hours, depending on the extent of work required. Most commonly, the surgeon will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter, and the navel may not be moved, although it may be pulled into an unnatural shape as the skin is tightened and stitched.
Next, the surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall up to your ribs and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. These muscles are tightened by pulling and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline. The skin flap is then stretched down, and the extra skin is removed. A new hole is cut for your navel and stitched in place. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. In partial abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.
What To Expect After Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen, and you’re likely to feel pain and discomfort, which can be controlled by medication. The doctor typically asks you to spend the night at the surgical facility for safety and comfort. You will be able to go home the following morning. You will be provided with instructions for dressing changes and drain care. And though you may not be able to stand straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible. You will receive a support garment for the first three to four weeks after surgery.
Getting Back to Normal
It may take weeks or months to feel like your old self again. If you start in top physical condition with strong abdominal muscles, recovery from abdominoplasty will be much faster. Some people return to work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate.
Your scars may worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Expect it to take nine months to a year before your scars flatten and lighten in color. While they’ll never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, even bathing suits.
For the past five years, the Consumer Research Council of America has chosen Dr. Alavi as one of America’s Top Physicians in cosmetic surgery. After your consultation, we are sure you’ll see why. Contact the Center for Cosmetic Surgery today to learn more about how Dr. Alavi and his staff can guide you through the tummy tuck process.