A tummy tuck is a plastic surgery procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen and repairs the abs that might have separated during ageing, childbirth or weight gain. The aim of a tummy tuck is to create a stronger core and flat abdominal contour.
If you are considering tummy tuck surgery, also called “abdominoplasty”, it is natural to have questions. Here are some of the main things to expect when undergoing a tummy tuck.
What happens in a tummy tuck consultation?
Your experienced plastic surgeon will provide a personalised, comprehensive consultation which includes a detailed patient history, treatment options, before and after photos as well as a physical examination. The aim of the consultation is to create a procedure that will achieve the goals you set out to achieve with your tummy tuck.
What happens in tummy tuck surgery?
During an abdominoplasty, your experienced plastic surgeon will work to remove the extra fat and skin from the abdomen as well as repair the separated abdominal muscles. Liposuction may also be added to your procedure to contour the flanks and abdomen if required.
What happens after your tummy tuck surgery?
After your tummy tuck, your surgeon will request that you wear a compression garment, which will be worn for a few weeks post-surgery to reduce swelling and the risk of complications. You may find the compression garment uncomfortable, but patients typically handle any pain with a few days of pain medication.
You will also be bent at the waistline while lying down or standing for around a week after your surgery. This is to protect the incision and allow your skin to adapt to the surgery. After this period, you will once again be able to stay straight. If a drain is placed, it will be removed as soon as the output reaches a lower point. This typically happens after a week.
How does abdominoplasty recovery work?
You will be able to walk a day after your abdominoplasty. In fact, walking is generally encouraged to keep the circulation going and reduce risk of blood clots. However, lifting or running should be avoided for around six weeks after your surgery.
Patients usually return to work after two weeks. The bruising will soon subside, and the swelling will continue to reduce until around three months after your surgery. The scars will become thinner and lighter in colour at around 12-18 months.
Are there risks involved with tummy tuck surgery?
Every operation comes with the small risk of infection or bleeding. But your plastic surgeon will take amazing care to ensure these risks are kept to the absolute minimum.
There is also a small risk of blood clots in the lungs or legs. To minimise this risk, compression boots will be placed on your calves during surgery to help increase circulation. Furthermore, a low dose of blood thinner may be used. Proper ambulation and hydration are important to reduce the risk of post-surgery blood clotting.
And what about later down the track?
Tummy tuck results, with stable weight, are stable over time. If you become pregnant or experience weight fluctuations, the results of your procedure may alter.
It’s all about knowing what to expect!
Readying yourself for tummy tuck surgery is just about knowing what to expect before, during and after surgery. Naturally, this includes some of the things to expect when going through the recovery period. Over time, your health recovery and the positive results of the surgery should become evident, with a more contoured, tighter stomach the expected result!