A Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty is a procedure that removes excess fat and skin from around the waist and removes excess skin to leave a flatter, lower body profile and younger-looking abdomen.
Most commonly during a tummy tuck procedure, the surgeon makes a long incision from hipbone to hipbone just above the pubic area. A second incision is then made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. Your surgeon then separates the skin from the abdominal wall and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen.The muscles are then pulled together and stitched into a new position so that they are tighter. The peeled back flap of skin and fat is then stretched downwards towards the initial incision and any extra tissue is removed.
The incision is subsequently sutured closed but not before a new hole is cut for your navel, which is then also stitched leaving a flatter and younger looking abdomen.
Depending on the technique used and whether this is combined with any other surgery, such as liposuction, it usually takes between 2-4 hours. Depending on the extent of surgery, you are asked to stay in the hospital for 1-2 nights.
You have to be realistic in your expectations. The effects of a tummy tuck are generally long lasting provided you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Abdominoplasty produces excellent slimming and shaping results, giving a flatter and tighter abdomen.
Your abdomen naturally gets swelledup for the first few days, but medication controls the pain. You may place a couple of pillows behind your knees in order to keep them bent to reduce the tension in your abdominal muscles. You may not be able to stand up straight away although you should start walking about as soon as possible. The stitches are removed in 10-14 days.
A comfortable support garment should be worn for six weeks and you are going to have follow-up visits in the months after surgery to check on your progress.
The recovery depends on each individual patient. Some return to work after only two weeks while others take three or four weeks to recuperate. You can usually expect to be back to full activity after six weeks. Heavy lifting or strenuous activity is not advised in the first 6 weeks after tummy tuck surgery. Moderate exercise such as walking or swimming is recommended until this time.