Life is not fair. You have the children, lose the weight and you still have extra skin, stretch marks and a “pooch” in the lower abdomen. Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a “tummy tuck,” may be your answer to remove excess skin and contour the abdomen. Although it is a major procedure, it often produces results that are well worth the undertaking.
The abdominoplasty is most effective in men and women who are in relatively good shape, but have loose abdominal skin and perhaps a lower tummy “bulge”. This procedure is particularly successful for women who have had multiple pregnancies or men and women who have lost a lot of weight. Women who have unsightly scars in the lower abdomen from C-Sections or hysterectomies that were placed along the midline may also choose abdominoplasty. The surgery typically produces excellent, long-lasting results.
Abdominoplasty is not a procedure for everyone. You are not a good candidate if:
- You are really overweight. It is not a weight-loss procedure.
- You intend to lose a significant amount of weight. Lose the weight first.
- You have plans for future pregnancies. We don’t want to “undo” the results.
- You have some types of scars in the upper abdomen (like a long gallbladder incision)
The procedure is most often performed as an out-patient basis under general anesthesia. It takes two to four hours to perform. The procedure produces a permanent scar that usually extends from hip to hip.
Most patients will have drains and an abdominal binder (girdle) placed after the surgery. The drains may stay in place for 2 days to several weeks.
Expected Side Effects:
- Temporary Pain
- Numbness of the abdominal skin which may be permanent
- Tiredness for several weeks
We do everything we can to decrease the risks of surgery. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees of any surgery. Some of the risks specific to abdominoplasty are:
- Poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss
- Bleeding or fluid collection under the skin, which could require more surgery
- Infection – requiring removal of the implants
- Bleeding – requiring additional surgery
- Blood clots in the legs leading to clots in the lungs
- Death related to anesthesia
Learn More About the Procedure:
Click below to learn what to do before and after the procedure.
At this visit, we will: Take your payment and answer any questions you may have regarding the procedure. At this time, Dr. Frost may not be available, but if you would like to speak with him again, please let us know and we will schedule this visit when he is available. Provide you with any prescriptions that you may need for after surgery. We encourage you to have these prescriptions filled prior to your surgery to avoid having to stop at the pharmacy after your procedure. Please let us know if you have any specific pain medication requests, and we will try to prescribe the medication that works best for you. Make arrangements for any necessary pre-operative evaluations that need to be performed, such as blood tests, pregnancy testing, EKG, etc.
Diet and Medications:
Please, DO NOT eat or drink ANYTHING after midnight prior to your surgery. This is VERY important. Your surgery will be CANCELLED if you eat or drink anything after midnight. The only exception is a sip of water with any medications that you must take. Generally, you should take high blood pressure and heart medications. Do NOT take arthritis medications and do NOT take diabetic medications (including insulin), unless specifically instructed to do so.
Bathing and Clothing Prior to Surgery:
Please take a shower and use antibacterial soap the night before and the morning of your surgery. Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing such as a front button shirt and loose pants since these items are easier to put on and take off after surgery.
Take it slow and easy with your diet. Start with clear liquids and simply advance as tolerated. It is normal to have some nausea from the anesthetic and pain medication, but by taking it easy, this should quickly resolve.
Take it easy, Walking is good, bouncing is bad. A good rule of thumb is: “If it hurts, don’t do it.” You may feel like you cannot stand up straight. Feel free to walk bent-over for the first week or so. You will be able to stand straight (and proud) soon. As you start to feel stronger, you may gradually increase your activity. Do not plan to drive for 2 to 3 weeks since restricted movement may limit your response time in an emergency. Do not do any abdominal exercise for at least a month to six weeks. Actually, if we tighten the muscles enough, you may never do another sit-up again!
An abdominoplasty is major surgery, so there is considerable discomfort. We want to help limit your pain as much as possible, but we will not be able to take it all away. The goal of pain medication is to prevent pain, so do not wait until you are really hurting to take your medication. Follow the directions on your prescription to stay ahead of the pain and experience the highest level of pain relief possible. Narcotics can cause constipation, so drink plenty of water, eat fruit and use an over-the-counter laxative, if needed.
Post-Operative Dressings and Bathing:
Leave your abdominal binder (girdle) on day and night. There will be plenty of time to examine your results later, but no peeking right now. Sponge-bathe until the drains are removed (usually 2 – 7 days). There will be tape across the incision that will stay on while showering, so simply shower over the tapes that cover the incision and pat them dry. The sutures will dissolve over time, so you will not need to have them removed. Follow the instructions for emptying and recording the output of the drains, and remember to bring your drain output record with you to the office. There will be changes over the months following your surgery, so do not judge the results too early.
Our goal is for you to be informed. If you have a question, please call our office at 850.474.8333.