What is abdominoplasty?
The goal of abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, is to remove excess skin and fat on the abdomen that frequently accumulates after pregnancy, significant weight loss, or with aging. Traditional abdominoplasty requires general anesthesia, involves significant cutting of tissue, and placement of post surgical drains for up to two weeks. Recovery can take 8 weeks or longer, and there is significant risk of complications both during and after the procedure. At GLOW, we do tummy tucks utilizing tumescent anesthesia, liposuction, and careful skin excision. This technique allows for comfort while eliminating the need for general anesthesia ("going under"), reduces the risk of complications, and shortens recovery time when compared to traditional abdominoplasty.
Am I a good candidate for abdominoplasty?
The best candidates for our tummy tuck procedure are active men or women with loose abdominal skin and large fat deposits that are not responding to diet and exercise. Women whose post-pregnancy lower stomach skin has stretched beyond the point of no return, and older patients with loss of skin elasticity are also excellent candidates. Of course, you must be in good overall health and not have any active diseases or serious pre-existing medical conditions. Female patients generally wait until they are finished having children since skin can get stretched out again with pregnancy after abdominoplasty. Previous abdominal surgery does not prevent a patient from undergoing a tummy tuck.
Can I come in for a tummy tuck consultation?
Yes. We will be happy to schedule your free, no obligation tummy tuck consultation at your convenience. During the consultation, you will learn more about the procedure, including what to expect before, during, and after tummy tuck. You’ll also meet the Doctor and staff, undergo a physical exam, review before and after photos, and have all of your questions answered. If you are a good candidate, we’ll gladly provide a quotation for your abdominoplasty procedure. We always encourage our patients to take as much time as needed to decide if and when to pursue our treatment recommendations. If you decide to proceed with abdominoplasty at GLOW, we’ll need to complete pre-operative work and finalize your procedure date. In some cases, we can do this at the time of your initial consultation, or schedule a more convenient time.
How is abdominoplasty performed?
All of our grocedures are performed at our bay area cosmetic surgery office. The tummy tuck prodecure is performed using local tumescent anesthesia and oral medications for relaxation. Liposuction of your abdomen and flanks is performed first. This results in an smooth, thinner skin flap and helps to create a cosmetically pleasing contour post-operatively. By avoiding the surgical skin undermining commonly used in other techniques, you can anticipate a faster recovery and fewer complications. Following liposuction, excess skin is excised and the upper and lower skin edges are joined together. In some cases, a temporary drain will be placed. If so, it will be removed 1 to 2 days after your procedure. Once the procedure is over and bandages have been placed, you will relax in our recovery area before returning home.
What should I expect after the procedure?
You will be able to walk immediately following your procedure, though you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home. Your stomach area will be numb for several hours after the procedure because of the tumescent anesthesia that was used. As this medicine wears off, most patients describe a mild achy pain as if they had undergone a "tough workout." Also, the skin of your abdomen may feel tight. Typically, any discomfort you have for the first few days is well controlled with the medicine we instruct you take. At your first post-op visit (1-2 days later), we will remove your dressings and provide recovery garments for your use. You will then be able to shower and begin resuming many of your normal activities. Your return to work, exercise and more strenuous physical activity will depend upon your personal situation. In general, you should be able to return to work within a week, and begin some exercise after 14 days.
How big is the scar after abdominoplasty?
We make every effort to minimize the size of the scar while ensuring an excellent cosmetic outcome. Typically, your scar can be covered by a standard bikini. However, the size of the scar is dependent on the amount of skin that is removed and your body’s ability to heal after surgery.
What are the risks of abdominoplasty?
Serious complications after tummy tuck surgery are uncommon. Bruising and swelling can occur, but usually resolves within 1 to 2 weeks.
As with any procedure, bleeding, infection, and collections of fluid and blood can occur, though rarely. Separation of the wound edges can also happen. Separate treatment may be required in the event of a complication. One way to reduce the chance of complications is to carefully follow the post-procedure recommendations after surgery.
When will I see the results of my tummy tuck?
You will be able to see a difference immediately after the procedure. Additional contour changes will gradually occur, with final results apparent after three months.
How long do the results of tummy tuck last?
If you have no large weight gain or pregnancies, the changes resulting from your abdominoplasty are relatively permanent. There can be some tissue relaxation associated with aging, but it should not be as extensive as it was prior to surgery.
What to learn more about tummy tuck? Check out our blog post "How About that Tummy Tuck".
Pre Procedure Post Procedure
To see more tummy tuck before and after photos visit our tummy tuck gallery.