Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating a smoother and firmer abdominal area.
Because not everyone can achieve a flat and well-toned abdomen through diet and exercise, tummy tuck surgery may be a positive solution.
Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. Post child birth, many women struggle with the appearance of their abdominal region. Even individuals with normal proportion and body weight can experience a loose, sagging or protruding abdominal area. The most common causes of this of this include:
- Prior surgery
- Significant fluctuations in weight
A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program.
Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies would be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised.
Here are some of the tasks you can expect as you prepare for your tummy tuck surgery:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
If your tummy tuck is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
During your tummy tuck recovery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your abdomen as it heals following surgery. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
Dr. Garza will give you specific instructions post surgery:
- How to care for the surgical site and drains
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
- When to follow up Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
- When will they be removed?
- When will the stitches be removed?
- How will I bathe?
- How long will I wear the pressure garment?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
Abdominoplasty: A surgical procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over your abdomen.
Diastasis: Condition in which abdominal muscles have separated.
General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
Liposuction: Also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, this procedure vacuums out fat from beneath the skin’s surface to reduce fullness.
Local anesthesia: A drug is injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.
Tummy tuck: A surgical procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over your abdomen.