Are sit-ups not giving you the taut tummy you want? If you’ve got too much flab or excess skin in your abdomen that doesn’t respond to diet or exercise, you may be considering a “tummy tuck”. This surgery flattens the abdomen by removing extra fat and skin, and tightening muscles in your abdominal wall.
Hospital stay :
Time off work :
Period of sensitivity :
Time to normal activity :
7 – 10 days
approximately 3 weeks
approximately 4-6 weeks
An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a surgical corrective procedure for the abdominal area addressing excess fat, skin and laxity of the muscles of the abdomen.
A full abdominoplasty involves excess skin and fat removal up to the existing belly button. The rectus muscle is tightened by sutures, particularly in those patients in whom the muscles have diverged like in post pregnancy moms. The final scar will be in the bikini line from hip to hip. Liposuction is usually performed as part of the procedure on the flanks to achieve a better contour.
A mini abdominoplasty refers to a lesser surgical procedure in which the skin excision is a small ellipse starting in the bikini line or old caesarian scar and extending up 8- 10 cm. This procedure is often combined with liposuction of the abdominal area and “love handles” to contour a finer figure for those patients in whom the procedure is indicated. The resultant scar is much smaller in length but not all patients are suited to this procedure.
Liposuction with abdominoplasty is a common combination particularly for the “love handles” and the back rolls that all too often are unsightly.
Your suitability for the correct procedure is determined at your consultation with Dr Patel.
A tummy tuck procedure does not limit your skins ability to stretch if a future pregnancy occurs. The tummy tuck procedure is however by far and away most commonly performed after women have completed their families. In cases where a patient has lost a large amount of weight, a tummy tuck can safely be performed even if the patient is planning a pregnancy in future.
A tummy tuck is a lasting procedure, producing a flatter tummy contour and better waist contour. It does not replace a balanced diet and regular exercise as a form of healthy living. If a substantial amount of weight is gained, the abdominal area will once again become stretch and lose its shape. Hence a tummy tuck procedure should be considered a procedure that one undertakes after making lasting lifestyle changes. It is foolhardy to think that the surgery will ensure your health and that bad habits will disappear after a tummy tuck.
The scar is most commonly placed in the bikini line and where a previous caesarian section scar has been made the scar incorporates this. A full tummy tuck scar does extend further than a standard caesarean scar. The major difference between caesarean scars and those of a tummy tuck are that the tummy tuck scar is generally under more tension than that of a caesarean section. Every care is taken to suture the scar as neatly as possible; skin tone and individual characteristics dictate the final result of the scar. Scar care post surgery is a must to ensure the best possible result. Dr Patel will explain the care of the scar at the time of the follow up visit.
Those stretch marks that are in the area of skin to be removed are removed. Stretch marks are difficult to treat and most “therapies” are not curative, they merely efface the marks slightly. What happens with a tummy tuck, is that by pulling on the skin those marks above the belly button are stretched out and therefore become less obvious giving a much smoother contour to the skin of the rest of the tummy.
Certain drugs and herbal medications should be stopped at least 2 weeks prior to the surgery. It is important to notify Dr Patel of all medications (prescription and herbal) that you are taking. Drugs like aspirin and Ibuprofen have effects on your bruising and bleeding. “Natural” remedies and supplements are not without ingredients that may affect bleeding during surgery and therefore all medications taken should be made known to the surgeon. Make sure that you have a good nights sleep and that someone drives you to the hospital on the day of the procedure.
Tummy tucks are more uncomfortable and more painful than say breast surgery. The recovery period is 7-10 days but the first 2-3 days are the most demanding as movement is restricted due to the muscle tightness and skin tightness. You will advised as to what postoperative routine to follow in order to expedite your recovery. Pain medication is given to you to control the symptoms. You can return to work in 2 weeks but exercise should be phased in and only after 5-6 weeks.
Yes, men can be candidates for tummy tucks. This is often the case where a man has lost a significant amount of weight and has excess skin in particular that needs addressing. An important difference is that men store fat within the abdominal cavity and this fat cannot be addressed with a tummy tuck procedure or with liposuction. Therefore in men with “beer bellies” a tummy tuck will not address all the fat of the lower abdomen.
Smoking, as with all surgical procedures increases the risks of complications. In particular smoking has a significant increase in wound healing complications. Dr Patel advises his patients to stop smoking at least 4-6 weeks prior to the procedure. A single cigarette can cause effects on your blood vessels for up to 24 hours, so minimizing the amount of cigarettes is not a good alternative. Complete cessation is the best option. Urine and blood tests may be done in order to check nicotine levels