Tummy Tuck: aka Abdominoplasty, Abdominoplasty Technique, Tummy Reduction Surgery
What is it?
An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck technique is a stomach reduction technique that can help tighten muscles that become separated and weak following weight gain, pregnancy and other life circumstances. The procedure can sometimes help improve stretch marks for some, especially when they appear below the belly button.
The surgery usually involves the removal of a section of fat, tissue and skin beneath the navel. Often patients leave several pounds lighter and without many of the skin folds and stretch marks they had on arrival. The tummy tuck is among the most popular procedures performed in the U.S. and worldwide. Some consider the tummy tuck as part of a typical “mommy” make over because many women have excess skin leftover after the birth of their children. If you do plan to have a tummy tuck make sure you are done having children before you have the procedure.
The tummy tuck procedure typically occurs on an outpatient basis, unless you you’re your surgery abroad in an inpatient medical care center as part of an inclusive medical vacation. Most of the time surgery occurs in a stand-alone facility although some patients may have surgery in a hospital or office surgical suite. An anesthetist will provide medications to assist you in sleeping throughout the procedure. During the surgery the surgeon will create an incision in the belly to remove excess skin and tighten stomach muscles.
Tubes will help the stomach heal by allowing fluids that accumulate in the stomach to drain properly. Gauze dressings also cover the wound to help provide support for the abdomen while it heals. Most patients can return home within a few hours following surgery.
Your doctor will check in on you following surgery to ensure you are doing well and recovering properly. Bruising and tenderness are common following surgery. Your doctor will recommend you take it easy and avoid strenuous activity that may jeopardize the healing process.
Alternatives to Surgery
Many companies create creams and toners that claim to help flatten the tummy. You may consider trying these first if you are not confident about having surgery or abdominoplasty to help improve the contours of your stomach.
There are other individuals that use oils to help smooth the appearance of the skin on the stomach providing better moisture in that area. Still others find that working out diligently daily helps improve the appearance and tone of the abdomen as best as possible. A combination of these efforts may improve the overall appearance of the abdomen although these measures are not likely to remove stretch marks or all loose skin for all patients.
Before the Operation
Smokers need to stop smoking a few weeks prior to surgery. Many times patients on anti-inflammatory drugs need to stop taking them before surgery. This helps limit the amount of post-surgical bruising that can occur. You should make sure you have some readily available to rive you home after surgery and stay with you for a couple of ways to help you during the first day of recovery.
After the Operation- In the Hospital
During this phase of recovery, the patient will be waking up from their anesthesia as well as prior to their departure; they will be given specific post operative instructions for the remainder of their recovery period.
After the Operation- At Home
Following surgery you will have someone care for you the first day or two following surgery. It will help if that person is familiar with basic care or medical procedures following a hernia surgery but if they are not, the surgeon or doctor can explain to them how to best care for you. You should not lift anything during the first few days following surgery while your incision heals.
Normal activities can usually be followed within six weeks. You will have to sleep on your back initially and place a pillow under your knees.
Within one week following surgery the doctor will change your dressings and will likely remove the tubes in your sides allowing the fluids to drain. You may need to wear a support garment during this time.
Swelling and bruising is normal during the first couple of weeks or few weeks following your surgery. It may be difficult to imagine your final result during this time, but stay positive, it will happen. Often patients feel some numbness over parts of their abdomen during the first few weeks following surgery, but gradually this will return to normal as well as the stomach and navel heal.
An abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure that can improve the firmness of your abdomen. Many people find a tummy tuck helps improve their self confidence and esteem. Tummy tucks are among the most popular plastic surgery procedures. Usually the procedure lasts for many years as long as the patient does not gain or lose a significant amount of weight.
Estimated Costs for Abdominoplasty
The price of a tummy tuck generally runs a few thousand dollars. Fortunately the procedure lasts for many, many years and most people are very satisfied with the results. Not only can you improve the contours of your body, you can also lose weight and remove old stretch marks and surgical scars especially those below the navel.
The cost of abdominoplasty is often much less outside of the states. Here is a comparison of costs for a basic tummy tuck. The tummy tuck may vary depending on your size and the amount of tissue and fat that needs to be removed.
Many health centers have payment and financing plans available to help you cover the costs associated with a tummy tuck.