Tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) is designed to tighten and flatten the abdomen by removing excess fat and abdominal skin and by tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. Tummy tuck surgery is best suited for women and men in relatively good shape but who have loose abdominal skin and/or a significant amount of abdominal fat that won’t respond to dieting or exercise. The procedure is especially useful for women with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy.
Abdominoplasty Postoperative Instructions
It is important to follow all of your doctor’s postoperative instructions for the abdominoplasty (lower body lift) procedure to achieve the best possible surgery results. Corpus Christi Institute of Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery abdominoplasty patients are provided with detailed instructions to ensure the best outcome to the procedure.
- Have someone drive you home after surgery and help you at home for 1-2 days.
- Get plenty of rest and increase your fluid intake.
- Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may want to add more ripe fruit to your diet. Prunes and prune juice work well for most.
- Take pain medications as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medications.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol for three weeks following surgery, even when no longer taking pain medications, as alcohol causes fluid retention.
- If you regularly take vitamins with iron, resume these as tolerated.
- Do not smoke or consume nicotine, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.
- Start walking as soon as possible with assistance the day of surgery, this helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots. Starting the day after surgery, walk 300 feet three times per day with assistance daily.
- Do not drive until you are no longer taking any pain medications (narcotics).
- Do not drive until you have full range of motion in your legs and no discomfort in your abdomen when lifting your legs.
- No lifting greater than 5 lbs. for six weeks. Avoid straining of abdominal muscles, strenuous exercise and activities are restricted for 6 weeks.
- Sexual activity can be resumed in two weeks unless otherwise specified by Dr. Bindingnavele.
- You may shower 48 hours after surgery.
- Keep steri-strips on, and replace if they come off. Keep incisions clean and inspect daily for sign of infection. No tub soaking while sutures or drains are in place.
- Place daily soft dressing over incisions and around drain sites to wick away moisture and prevent irritation by garment along the incision line.
- Wear compression garment all the time (24/7) for six weeks postoperatively.
- Sleep with back elevated (a recliner works very well) and four pillows under your knees to decrease tension on your incision.
- You may experience temporary pain, soreness, numbness of abdominal skin, incision discomfort.
- Maximum discomfort will occur the first few days.
- You will have bruising and swelling of the abdomen. The majority of bruising and swelling will subside in 6-8 weeks.
- You may feel tired for several weeks or months.
APPEARANCE AND SCAR CARE
- Flatter, firmer abdomen with narrower waistline.
- You will walk slightly bent forward and gradually return to normal posture over the next 3 weeks.
- Scars will be reddened looking for six months. In time, these usually soften and fade.
- Please start using your silicone (as given to you) four weeks after surgery or as instructed by Dr. Bindingnavele. Use silicone for twelve hours daily for 4-6 months.
- Avoid exposure of scar to sunlight for 6-12 months. If unavoidable, use sunblock (SPF 30 or greater) with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
- Massage scars ten minutes at a time, three times daily while using silicone strips.
- Empty drain bulb 3 times a day and record outputs in mL (milliliters) noting time of day and drain amount. Make sure to record each drain’s output separately.
- It is normal for drain outputs to vary and for clots to be in tube and bulb.
- Do not disconnect bulb from tube.
- Do not push in or pull on the drain tube at its entrance on the skin.
- See additional attachment for more instructions and additional drain log.
FOLLOW UP CARE
- Your post-operative appointment will be scheduled before surgery for your convenience.
WHEN TO CALL
- If you have increased swelling or bruising.
- If swelling and redness persist after a few days.
- If you have increased redness along the incision.
- If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
- If you have any side effects such as rash, nausea, headache, or vomiting.
- If you have an oral temperature over 100.4 degrees.
- If you have yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
- If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
- If you have loss of feeling or motion.
Drastic weight loss, particularly when associated with bariatric surgery, can leave behind large amounts of excess skin. The excess skin and fat in the lower stomach area that hangs below the belt line is called the pannus, or abdominal “apron,” and can have several negative effects on one’s quality of life. These extra folds of skin can hinder hygiene, put stress on the back and make everyday activities difficult. Often, the areas in the pubic region under the pannus can become moist, as perspiration is trapped. This can cause rashes, skin ulcers and odor. Clothing may not fit comfortably, and if severe, even simple activities, such as standing and walking, can become difficult. In such cases, a surgical procedure called a panniculectomy, a type of abdominoplasty procedure, may be appropriate.
A panniculectomy is an invasive procedure that can take from 3 to 5 hours and always requires at least 1 overnight stay in the hospital. Unlike abdominoplasty, panniculectomy does not tighten muscle or reposition the belly button. It only removes the excess skin and fat of the pannus from the lower abdomen, using a horizontal incision that runs from hip to hip with a downward curve, and a vertical incision running from below the sternum to the pubic area. After overhanging skin and fat are removed, the remaining skin is pulled tight and sutured together.
Panniculectomy Postoperative Instructions
It is important to follow all of your doctor’s postoperative instructions for the panniculectomy to achieve the best possible surgery results. Corpus Christi Institute of Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery patients are provided with detailed instructions to ensure the best outcome to the procedure.
Why Choose Dr. Vijay
How long do the results of a tummy tuck last?
The results of a tummy tuck surgery are generally permanent and will last as long as you maintain a healthy weight and do not have a future pregnancy.
How much does a tummy tuck cost?
The exact cost of a tummy tuck procedure will depend on the severity of your condition and several other factors. During your consultation, your surgeon will evaluate you and your desires to help determine the cost of your procedure.
Is a tummy tuck covered by insurance?
Health insurance companies usually do not cover the cost of a tummy tuck surgery if it is undergone solely for cosmetic purposes. However, your surgeon will physically examine you to determine if there is any medical reason, such as a hernia, that may qualify you for insurance coverage. You may wish to contact your health insurance provider to learn the details of your coverage
Will scarring exist?
The incision for tummy tuck surgery is strategically placed along the lower abdomen so that the resulting scar can easily be hidden beneath undergarments and bathing suits. Your scar will continue to improve and fade over time, and protecting it from the sun will help prevent it from darkening.
Frequently Asked Questions About Tummy Tuck Surgery
Am I the right candidate for a tummy tuck?
Candidates for tummy tuck surgery desire to craft sculpted abdominal contours after pregnancy, weight loss, or aging. These candidates should not smoke, be in good overall health, and have realistic expectations of their results. Men and women who are obese or have pre-existing medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, may not be appropriate candidates for tummy tuck surgery.
Do I need a tummy tuck or liposuction?
Liposuction surgery, even 360 liposuction, targets excess fat on and around the abdomen. While these procedures create slimmer and more sculpted contours, they cannot target skin or muscle laxity. If you have loose skin or separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti), liposuction alone will not provide optimal results. Only tummy tuck surgery or panniculectomy will remove excess skin and tighten abdominal muscles.
How much weight will I lose with a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery is not a weight-loss surgery like gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery. This procedure is a body contouring surgery that targets excess skin, fat deposits, and weakened abdominal muscles. Therefore, you should not expect to lose weight following a tummy tuck. While you will notice a significantly slimmer contour (from removing excess skin and fat deposits), you will not lose a lot of pounds. Tummy tuck surgery is not an alternative to a healthy lifestyle and should not be considered for weight loss purposes.
Can I have children after a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery or panniculectomy will not interfere with your ability to get pregnant or carry your baby. While we often recommend that women wait for their tummy tuck surgery until having had their children, we do this purely for aesthetic reasons. Most women consider tummy tuck surgery following the rigors of childbirth, and an additional pregnancy can negate the results achieved through your tummy tuck. It is best to wait until you are sure that you will not get pregnant to maintain your results.