Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Procedure
An abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is designed to flatten and shape the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat, as well as tightening the abdominal muscles. Laxity of the abdominal wall can develop either as the result of pregnancy or following significant weight loss. Despite exercise, extra skin persists and abdominal muscles remain lax.
If you are interested in an abdominoplasty, contact Lincoln Aesthetic Surgical Institute today to set up a free consultation with Dr. Mitchell. Dr. Mitchell will meet with you in private to discuss if an abdominoplasty is right for you.
Abdominoplasties are performed either on an outpatient basis or with a short overnight stay. If you are scheduled as an outpatient, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery. Periodically, abdominoplasty is performed in conjunction with either a hernia repair or hysterectomy. We will work with your other surgeon to make your experience as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Dr. Mitchell will place your scar as low as possible on your abdomen, typically in the same location as a C-section scar, in order to keep it hidden under clothes and bathing suits. Although length can vary depending on the extent of extra skin and fat to be removed, the length of the scar typically extends across the abdomen, from hip bone to hip bone. After the extra skin and fat has been removed, Dr. Mitchell will place sutures to tighten the loose abdominal muscle and return tone to the abdominal wall. Dr. Mitchell frequently performs liposuction at the same time to improve overall contour. Small drains will be placed during the procedure to remove excess fluid. Because liposuction is commonly performed at the same time as the abdominoplasty, a compression garment will be placed at the conclusion of the surgery just before you are awakened.
Dr. Mitchell places all sutures to close the incisions internally. This has several benefits for his patients. Patients experience less discomfort, as there is no need for painful suture removal. In addition, this allows patients to shower sooner after surgery, once the drains are removed.
You will see Dr. Mitchell in his office for a follow up appointment one to two days after the surgery. The dressings will be removed at that time and further instructions will be given.
The drains will be removed in the office approximately one week after surgery. After drain removal, you will be allowed to shower. The compression garment will be worn for four to six weeks.
The recovery period varies greatly among patients, but a period of two to three weeks is typical to return to most normal activities and work, although some patients return sooner. Strenuous activity must be avoided for several weeks following surgery and Dr. Mitchell will inform you when it is safe to resume certain activities and exercise.
Some discoloration and swelling will occur initially, but this will subside over the following days to weeks. There will be a tight feeling of the abdominal muscles, which will be present for several days to weeks. Some patients cannot stand completely upright for several days after surgery.
Most residual swelling will resolve within one to two months. It is important to wear your compression garment as instructed to help reduce post-operative swelling as soon as possible. It is also very important to walk as much as possible after surgery to promote circulation.
The improved contour of your abdomen after abdominoplasty will be long-lasting. Significant weight gain or weight loss or pregnancy after surgery can alter the shape of the abdomen and may necessitate another procedure.
Dr. Mitchell will discuss in detail all of the risks commonly associated with an abdominoplasty during your consultation.
Some potential complications include bleeding, infection and reactions to anesthesia. Following a tummy tuck, you may have areas of temporary numbness, which usually resolve over time. Wound healing problems are uncommon but can lead to increased scarring which may necessitate additional revisional surgery. Early ambulation is encouraged to help decrease your risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis, during which a blood clot can potentially dislodge and travel to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.
If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery, as cigarette smoking before or after abdominoplasty can significantly hinder the wound healing process. Since aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Dr. Mitchell will review your medications and discuss in detail what medications you should avoid.
Contact us today or call at 402-483-8530 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mitchell to determine if this procedure is the right choice for you.