A Tummy Tuck is a very common and highly sought procedure. It is usually needed in people who have lost a lot of weight and in women after pregnancy.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
The purpose of a Tummy Tuck is to tighten and flatten the abdomen. In order to achieve that, excess skin is removed and the abdominal muscles ( the “abs} are reconstructed. There is no other way to achieving this result. Liposuction will not do it and neither will Laser treatment achieve any significant improvement.
The Tummy Tuck is usually performed under general anesthesia. It could be done either in the hospital or in outpatient surgical facility (make sure it’s accredited ). Markings are made by the plastic surgeon before surgery and involve planning an incision in the groin whose extent varies from patient to patient. Prior to the inducement of anesthesia, a special ankle compression device is applied to the ankles to minimize the formation of leg clots. After elevating the abdominal skin, the abdominal muscle edges are brought together using specialized suturing. The excess loose skin is then measured and removed. Little rubber drains are often used and the skin is closed. A compression garment is generally applied.
After surgery the patient is returned to the Recovery Room. The knees are bent with a cushion and/or pillow underneath them for support. The patient is instructed not to lie flat so as to take tension off the incision. It is very important to get out of bed as much as possible, either by sitting in a chair, walking or both. By being out of bed you are minimizing the possibility of a pulmonary embolus (a clot to the lungs which can be very dangerous). Most stitches are absorbed, although some may need to be removed. The use of post-operative massage and ultrasound or some form of lymphatic drainage is recommended.
Diet is progressive beginning with clear fluids then full fluids and progressing to a regular diet.
Return To Work
Most patients may return to non-strenuous work within 10-14 days. Exercise is not recommended for the first 4 weeks and progress gradually. Abdominal exercises are not started for at least 6-8 weeks.
The main concern for many patients is the ultimate scar. This is certainly understandable.
The incision is planned so it is hidden in the groin. If there is an existing C-Section scar, then it is incorporated in the Tummy Tuck incision. While scarring differs from patient to patient, most scars heal satisfactorily. If during the healing phase the scar begins to thicken, then s Steroid injection treatment is started by the surgeon which goes a long way in improving the result. It is important to remember that it takes upwards of 1 year for a scar to fully mature.
In the end it’s a trade-off. What would you prefer: having a bulging abdomen with sagging skin or a flat abdomen with a scar that is usually hidden in a bikini bottom? Most patients will choose the latter.
If you have more questions about tummy tuck surgery, please contact Park Plaza Plastic Surgery today or call (212) 750-9494 to schedule your FREE virtual or in office consultation with New York City board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. George Lefkovits. We look forward to helping you feel better about your body’s appearance.
Dr. George Lefkovits, the owner of Park Plaza Plastic Surgery, is a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. He has extensive training and over 30 years of experience in performing all kinds of plastic surgery procedures. Dr. Lefkovits attended Georgetown University School of Medicine and State University of New York Downstate Medical College for his degrees.