Tummy tuck surgery

Whether you’re a newly proud mother or have lost a considerable amount of weight, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) may be right for you if you want to get rid of that loose, saggy skin and tighten those muscles in your abdominal region. This cosmetic surgery will help your tummy look smoother and flatter; males and females alike can benefit. Sometimes, dieting and exercise aren’t enough to get rid of sagging skin. To be fully informed of the choices involved with getting a tummy tuck and everything else you need to know, read on for more information.

Choosing Your Physician
Choosing the physician who will do your abdominoplasty surgery is just as important as choosing to have the surgery done in the first place. You must choose someone you trust, like, and know all there is to know about. First and foremost, make sure the physician is a member of ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons). This will ensure that the physician has at least 2 years of plastic surgery experience, 5 years of surgical experience, is trained and experienced in all types of plastic surgery procedures, operates only in accredited facilities, fulfills continuing medical education requirements, and is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Preparing for Surgery
There are certain preparations that must be made when getting ready for a tummy tuck surgery. For example, if you’re a smoker, you will have to stop smoking at least 2 weeks beforehand to reduce the risk of complications and the risk of not healing in the usual amount of time. Also, don’t diet excessively before surgery; make sure you’re getting proper nutrition because it plays a big role in the outcome. Your physician will determine which medications (if you’re on any) you should stop taking prior to the surgery.

Tummy Tuck Procedure: Different Types

The surgery takes about 1-5 hours, depending on the extent and type of procedure performed. Most procedures are done under local anesthesia; however, this is determined by the extent of the procedure, the patient’s wishes, and the doctor’s suggestions. General anesthesia (which puts you to sleep) is an option too. In addition, there are two types of tummy tucks, complete abdominoplasty and partial (mini) abdominoplasty. The deciding factor is based on your desired results and your prior tummy situation (a.k.a. how much fat and where it is located).

Complete Abdominoplasty. For those who have a lot to lose, your physician will recommend this option. The procedure involves making a long incision, hipbone to hipbone, right above the pubic area. There is another incision made above the belly button to free it from the abdominal tissue. After the incisions are made, the skin is loosened from the wall of the abdomen. The abdominal muscles are stretched/pulled together to make them tighter and a stitch is made to hold them in the new position. As a result, the muscles are tightened and the waist is smaller. The skin is stretched down and the excess fat is removed. A new incision is made by the surgeon for the belly button; this will most likely be in a different location than it was before.

Partial Abdominoplasty. This is a less invasive abdominal surgery and is used on patients who’s fat deposits are located below the navel and require smaller incisions. The belly button is not necessarily moved in this procedure; the skin separation occurs above the incision line and below the belly button.

After Surgery
After abdominoplasty, the surgery site will be stitched and bandaged. Make sure you follow the post-op instructions given to you by the surgeon or facility to prevent infection. There will be instructions on how best to position yourself when sitting. Another important thing: you will have to severely limit physical activity for at least 6 weeks after surgery. You will also be advised to take off work for up to one month.

Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
The benefits of a tummy tuck all relate to the fact that excess skin is gone and the abdominal muscles are tighter. You’ll feel more attractive, be healthier with the loss of fat, be able to wear clothes that maybe haven’t fit you in awhile, and improve your self-confidence and self-esteem.

Complications and Side Effects of a Tummy Tuck

Although the results are incredible, there are a few side effects of abdominoplasty. As with any surgery, there are also complications involved. The plastic surgeon will discuss all of this with you during the consultation.

Complications. Complications include, but are not limited to, negative reactions to the use of anesthesia, blood clots, collection of blood beneath the skin (hematoma), heart complications, pulmonary complications, and swelling in the legs.

Side Effects. The side effects of a tummy tuck surgery are as follows: scarring, bleeding under the skin flap, poor wound healing, tissue loss, changes in skin sensation, skin discoloration, asymmetry of the wound, recurrent looseness of skin, and pain after the procedure.

Who Should Not Get a Tummy Tuck
To be considered a good candidate for a tummy tuck surgery, you should meet the following criteria: be close to your ideal body weight and not plan to lose anymore weight; if you’re a woman, you should be done having children and not be pregnant when considering abdominoplasty; lastly, you should understand the procedure and possible outcomes.

Cost of a Tummy Tuck
As a cosmetic procedure, abdominoplasty is not typically covered by insurance. However, there are instances, say if a patient has a hernia that will be fixed during the surgery, that insurance will cover it, or at least part of it, for medical necessity. It may be necessary for the surgeon or someone on staff to write a letter of medical necessity to your insurance if it applies to you. There are many options to be discussed with the physician.

Last updated on Nov 27th, 2010 and filed under Plastic Surgery, Weight Loss. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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