A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is a fascial and skin surgery. The function of abdominoplasty is to make the stomach flat. The patient who needs abdominoplasty is a patient who has a round protuberant stomach with redundant abdominal skin with stretch marks. A person with good tone of the abdominal skin few stretch marks and tight abdominal muscles and fashion may do better with liposuction. Liposuction is the procedure that narrows the waist and makes the curve.
What you are physically doing is tightening the muscles on the stomach, which may have been stretched apart during pregnancy or sometimes without pregnancy. This is the main thing that makes the stomach flat. The second thing you’re doing is taking away redundant skin. You are removing more or less the skin from the navel to the pelvis and stretching the top half of the skin to cover the entire stomach. When you stretch something to twice its length it would decrease its thickness by one half. These are the techniques that are used in an abdominoplasty to make the stomach flat.
Tummy tuck candidates are those with extra skin on their abdomen due to aging, heredity, pregnancy, prior surgery, or weight fluctuations. Ideal candidates will be non-smokers at a stable weight who are physically healthy. It is also important that patients be finished having children, as future pregnancy can undo results. Internal or external scars from any previous abdominal surgery may also affect candidacy. Overall, the best way to determine if a tummy tuck is right for you is through a consultation with Dr. Perry.
After the Surgery:
The recovery from abdominoplasty is painful. The first 48 hours are no fun. On the third day most people begin to feel better, they are moving better and having less pain. At one week the patient’s bent over when they walk in moving slowly. By two weeks most patients amputating normally and are ready to return to work. At two weeks patients are able to do light treadmill level of activities. Heavy lifting and heavy exercise cannot be done for 4 to 6 weeks. Most people take 2 to 3 months for the swelling to resolve and see the final results.
The complications associated with abdominoplasty include pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, infection, hemorrhage, wound healing problems and flap loss.
Abdominoplasty should only be considered when no future pregnancies are planned. After abdominoplasty the fascia and abdominal musculature may not stretch enough to accommodate a pregnancy.
If you are interested in learning more about tummy tuck surgery, contact Dr. Perry for more information or to schedule an appointment.