Abdominoplasty Questions

Serving Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Plastic Surgery Group, P.C., in Chattanooga, Tennessee offers the latest plastic surgery procedures, including abdominoplasty.

1. Will my stomach be flat after tummy tuck surgery?- how much skin and fat can be removed?

Abdominoplasty is a very popular body contouring surgery. Those candidates for abdominoplasty have excess skin and fat in the mid to lower abdomen. This deformity often arises particularly in women after child bearing. Coupling excess skin and fat with stretched abdominal muscles can lead to a full or paunchy abdomen where an hourglass figure once existed. The abdominoplasty both tightens the muscles, and can remove the extra skin and fat between the navel and the pubic hairline. This serves to return the abdomen to a more youthful taut appearance

2. Where will my tummy tuck incision be, and when do my stitches come out?

The incision for a tummy-tuck trails along the pubic hairline and extends toward the frontal pelvic bone. A second incision is usually made around the navel so it can be freed and repositioned appropriately. The abdominoplasty incision length varies with the amount of tissue to be removed. Currently, no stitches need to be removed as these are all placed beneath the skin and absorb in time. Plastic tube drains are used to remove any fluid which may collect and are taken out in a week to ten days.

3. How long does the tummy tuck surgery take?

The usual abdominoplasty requires about two and a half to three hours to perform.

4. Is the tummy tuck surgery painful?

Abdominoplasty is a significant surgical intervention. After surgery, your abdominal wall will be tender. Remember, not only has a good bit of skin and fat been removed, but also your abdominal muscles have been tightened. This being said, patients routinely do well with appropriate oral pain medication, rest, and supportive care. You'll be most comfortable in a "lazy-boy" position for the first several days , and laxatives are recommended to avoid straining at bowel movement.

5. Will my stomach be numb after abdominoplasty?

To perform an abdominoplasty, the surgeon lifts all the skin and fat from your abdominal muscles from the pubis to the rib line. In doing so, many of the small nerves which give sensation to the abdominal wall are stretched or cut. Initially your abdomen will be numb from your navel to the pubis. As you heal, this area will decrease in size until, for most patients, there is very little or no numbness.

6. Do I need to wear a girdle or binder following tummy tuck surgery?

An important part of your post operative care is your garment. Initially this may be of the corset type, but eventually a girdle will be recommended. These garments serve several purposes. After surgery they provide support and lightly compress the abdominal wall which aids in pain control and prevention of fluid collection. Later they limit swelling and speed the progress toward your final result. We suggest the use of a compression garment for about a month, but many of our patients independently use their garments even after that point.

7. When can I resume my normal activities?

After tummy tuck surgery, many patients return to normal exercise schedules in a month to six weeks. Sedentary activities can certainly be resumed in a week to ten days. Our abdominoplasty patients are allowed to shower in about 48 hours after surgery.

8. What if I gain weight or get pregnant after the tummy tuck surgery?

If you gain weight after abdominoplasty, it will be uniformly spread through your new contours. Ultimately, childbearing should be completed before contemplating an abdominoplasty. The stretch of the expanding uterus during pregnancy would tend to precipitate a recurrence of the deformity which was surgically corrected.

9. What are the risks of abdominoplasty?

Thousands of people undergo abdominoplasty each year. The risks of this surgery are similar to the risks of most surgical procedures. Bleeding, infection, and skin loss at the tightest points of closure are most frequently mentioned. However in appropriate candidates who are in good health and do not smoke, the risks of any untoward results are minimized. Remember to listen carefully at the time of your consultation, and return with any questions so that you can do your part to ease your recovery.

10. Is the tummy tuck surgery performed as an inpatient or outpatient under local or general anesthesia?

Most abdominoplasty is performed as an outpatient. Your procedure will be performed in our accredited office-based surgical facility or an ambulatory surgery center under local intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. At your consultation the physician will discuss the anesthesia options.

For more information on the body contouring procedures we offer, visit our plastic surgery procedures page or call our plastic surgery staff at (423) 756-7134 or (800) 634-3334. You can also e-mail us your questions and we will be in touch with you shortly.  Proudly serving the area of Chattanooga, Tennessee.