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Tummy Tuck FAQ

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

A tummy tuck is one of the most popular body contouring procedures. Candidates for a tummy tuck have excess skin and fat in the mid to lower abdomen caused by weight loss, pregnancy and aging. Many find that this excess skin causes a bulging stomach, or pouch, that cannot be taken care of through diet or exercise. With a tummy tuck, this excess skin and fat is removed and the abdominal muscles are tightened to create a taught and more youthful appearance.


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 belly button so it can be 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. Most of the incisions will be carefully placed and can usually be concealed by a bathing suit bottom.


Is tummy tuck surgery painful?

A tummy tuck is a significant surgical intervention. After surgery, your abdomen 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 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.


Will my stomach be numb after having a tummy tuck?

To perform a tummy tuck, 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.


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.


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.


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

If you gain weight after having a tummy tuck, it will be uniformly spread through your new contours. Ultimately, childbearing should be completed before contemplating a tummy tuck. 


What are the risks of having a tummy tuck?

Thousands of people undergo tummy tuck surgery 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.


Is a tummy tuck surgery performed as an inpatient or outpatient under local or general anesthesia?

Most tummy tucks are  performed as an outpatient procedure in our accredited office-based surgical facility or a same day surgery center under local intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. At your consultation the physician will discuss the anesthesia options.