A tummy tuck is an excellent way for women to rejuvenate abdominal muscles and skin after one or more pregnancies. In fact, many patients turn to this surgical procedure to regain their pre-baby bodies when they can’t achieve desired results through diet and exercise alone.
Nevertheless, an abdominoplasty requires serious consideration, and it’s important for women to be fully aware of their treatment options and how to plan for before and after surgery.
So, is a tummy tuck right for you? Here’s what you need to know.
A tummy tuck is a popular plastic surgery treatment that can tighten weak or separated abdominal muscles and remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen. It can produce a flatter and tighter mid-section, transform a patient’s figure, and boost confidence.
Two of the most common abdominoplasty techniques are a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck. While a full tummy tuck addresses concerns above and below the belly button, a mini tummy tuck only targets the area between the pubic mound and belly button.
Therefore, a mini tuck is appropriate for patients that only need repair in their lower abdomen.
It’s important that patients have open and honest communication with their plastic surgeon throughout their tummy tuck experience and follow all of the recommended pre-op instructions.
To start prepping for surgery, patients may need to undergo lab work and/or an ECG to gain clearance. They should also disclose any illness, allergies, and experience with anesthesia to their provider.
Additionally, the use of hormones, herbal supplements, diet pills, blood thinners, aspirin, and NSAIDs should be discontinued at least two weeks before a tummy tuck. Smoking must also be stopped four-to-six weeks before and after surgery to limit complications and promote proper healing.
The recovery period for an abdominoplasty is two-to-four weeks, and patients should have care for the first few days after their surgery.
Much of this time will be spent resting on the couch or in bed, with the head elevated and several pillows under knees.
Patients should ambulate periodically to reduce risk of a blood clot, but be very careful with their movement to prevent fluid build-up. Drains will be in place for about a week to collect blood and fluid.
A compression garment must also be worn for several weeks after a tummy tuck to decrease fluid build-up and swelling.
Post-operative pain can be managed at first with prescription medication and eventually acetaminophen. Patients cannot drive while they are taking pain medication, and therefore, may need to arrange for childcare for seven-to-10 days.
To learn more about planning for your tummy tuck, please call our office to schedule a consultation.