An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fatty tissue from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten muscles of the abdominal wall. The severe laxity of the abdominal skin and muscles typically occur after significant weight loss or after bearing children.
It is important to understand that an abdominoplasty is not a surgical treatment for being overweight. Obese individuals who intend to lose weight should postpone all forms of body contouring surgery until they have been able to maintain their weight loss. If weight loss surgery is what you desire, please visit the section of “weight loss surgery” for more helpful information.
There are a variety of different techniques used by plastic surgeons for the abdominoplasty procedure. To achieve optimal results, an abdominoplasty can be combined with other forms of body-contouring surgery, including power assisted liposuction, or performed at the same time with other elective surgeries.
As with all surgeries, there are risks to each procedure, including but not limited to infection. Please consult with the surgeon to discuss all the risks versus benefits, and any alternative options for this procedure.
You may not have anything to eat or drink after midnight the evening prior to your surgery. It is important that you arrange for a responsible adult to take you to and from the surgery center. For your safety, a responsible adult should also be available to stay with you during your first night at home. If you take blood pressure medications, you may continue to take those meds with a small sip of water the morning of your surgery. Your surgeon will determine what other medications you may continue to take and which ones you will need to discontinue prior to your surgery.
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Tummy Tuck Before and After
Immediately after the surgery, you will be transferred to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit where you will be monitored closely for approximately 1-2 hours. Pain medications and breathing treatments will be administered as needed. It is normal to feel a little nauseous after waking up from surgery. This is an effect of the anesthesia. Simply inform your nurse and he/she will treat your nausea with medications ordered by your anesthesia provider.
Once you arrive home, you may begin with light soup. If you are not nauseated, you may slowly advance your diet to thicker and heavier foods as you can tolerate. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and keep yourself warm and well hydrated.
Begin taking your medications on your first day. Your surgeon will typically prescribe an antibiotic, a muscle relaxant, pain medications, and an anti-nausea medication. Take these medications as directed and do your best to not miss a dose.
For the abdominoplasty procedure, there are three very important things to remember:
1.The “Recliner” Position: When laying down in bed, you must always lay with your back elevated approximately 60 degrees and your knees fully bent. Use firm pillows to support your knees and back. Keep in mind that your surgeon has removed a great deal of skin and has tightened your abdominal walls. Laying flat will place tension on the sutures, causing pain, and may result in severe complications and an undesirable esthetic outcome. Therefore, when sleeping and resting, you must remain in the recliner position to avoid placing any tension on your incisions for the first week or two.
2.The Abdominal Binder: You will be sent home with an abdominal binder. This binder is made of elastic is NOT to be worn tight. Its purpose is to simply hold the dressings in place. Your surgeon will determine when and how tight the binder should be worn for contouring purposes during your first post-operative visit.
3.The Drains: You will be sent home with two Jackson Pratt Drains. The recovery room nurse will teach you and your family how to use these drains. The purpose of the drains is to remove any excess fluid in the spaces of your abdominal tissue, allowing the tissues to heal nicely together. Correct and proper use of the drain is very important during your recovery period at home.