Abdominoplasty, also known as a “tummy tuck”, is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. You may benefit from an abdominoplasty done in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips for a better and more pleasing body contour.
This surgery is helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies or significant weight loss, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal.
In planning for surgery, smokers should plan to quit four weeks prior to surgery and not resume for four weeks after surgery. It is important to avoid exposure to the sun before your surgery, especially to your abdomen. Also, do not go on a stringent diet prior to surgery, as both these factors may inhibit your ability to heal.
An abdominoplasty typically takes typically takes 2-3 hours, depending on the extent of work required. An incision is made along the bikini line, just above the pubic area. A second incision is required to free the navel from the surrounding tissue.
After your surgery, you will have drains in place to drain fluid from the surgical site. The drains will be removed when drainage has slowed or stopped. For the first one to two weeks, your abdomen will likely be swollen. Discomfort will be controlled by medication. You will have a gauze dressing on your abdomen, covered by an abdominal compression garment. Patients typically wear this for 6 weeks. Sutures are removed at approximately ten days.
You may expect to go back to work within one to two weeks, depending on the level of activity required for your job. During the first three to six months your incision will be pink and raised. It may take up to one year before your scars flatten and fade.