What is abdominoplasty?
An abdominoplasty surgery removes the excess skin and fat in the abdomen area that is caused by a wide range of factors. This excess skin and fat may have accumulated after pregnancy, obesity, or age. This procedure is also known as a tummy tuck. Patients choose to undergo an abdominoplasty in order to gain a flatter abdominal area.
How long is my tummy tuck consultation?
Your consultation will take approximately 15 to 30 minutes. During your consultation, one of our seasoned surgeons will sit down with you and discuss your goals and expectations, evaluate your medical history, and provide recommendations. With your cooperation, we will be able to assess your case as quickly as possible to get you a step closer to achieving your body goals.
Could I be a candidate for abdominoplasty?
You may be a candidate for abdominoplasty if you are in relatively good health with no serious pre-existing medical conditions. We also recommend being mentally and emotionally health, since the process requires patience and stability. Furthermore, if you are a woman, we recommend waiting until you have decided to stop having children, in order to prevent the skin and muscles from stretching out again. Also, if you are still considering losing weight, we recommend waiting until you have reached your desired weight. To find out if you are the best candidate for abdominoplasty, we invite you to meet with our surgeons for an evaluation.
At what age is abdominoplasty usually performed?
There is no required or usual age to undergo abdominoplasty surgery. Patients usually choose abdominoplasty surgery after they have given birth and do not plan to have any more children and/or after they have lost all of the weight they intend to lose.
What exactly is a tummy tuck surgery?
A tummy tuck surgery begins with the cosmetic surgeon making a long incision from hipbone to hipbone. The incision is made just above the pubic area. Another incision is made in the belly button area in order to free the navel from any surrounding tissue. If you choose to undergo partial abdominoplasty, the incision may be shorter because the navel will not be moved or touched. But this process may leave the navel in an unnatural shape due to the tightening and stitching of the surrounding skin. The surgeon then will separate the skin from the abdominal wall all the way up to your ribs. This then reveals the vertical muscles of your abdomen are as the large skin flap is lifted. The surgeon then tightens the abdominal muscles by pulling them closer together. Next, the surgeon stitches them into their new position. This process provides a much firmer abdominal wall and brings in the waistline. Next, the previously cut skin flap is then stretched back down to cover the opening and the excess skin is cutoff and removed. A new hole is cut in the skin flap for your navel and then it is stitched into place. Finally, the the surgeon stitches up the incisions, applies dressings, and may insert a temporary tube to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. In in case of partial abdominoplasty, the process is very similar. However, the surgeon only separates the skin between the incision line and the navel. The doctor then stretches down the skin flap while removing the excess skin. After which the skin flap is stitched into place.
Is there any special preparation necessary before surgery?
Your doctor will advise you on the necessary steps to take before surgery. We generally recommend to avoid smoking and stringent diets prior to surgery. Maintain a balanced diet, as well as drink plenty of water during the days leading up to your procedure.
What are the risks of surgery?
There are a number of risks associated to abdominoplasty surgery that your doctor will discuss with you prior to your surgery. Due to the surgery, skin, fat, and other tissue are loosened and rearranged, inadvertently detaching from their blood supply. This process can cause tissue death, known as necrosis. It is normal for a small amount of fat to become necrotic. It will turn into an orange-like clear liquid and may drain from the incision. It becomes abnormal if other tissue becomes necrotic or a larger amount of fat dies. You must consult with your surgeon immediately because necrotic tissue must be removed in order to prevent a major infection that leads to gangrene. This is very rare, but patients must still be diligent in taking precautions, such as avoiding smoking and maintaining proper wound care. Another rare risk of abdominoplasty surgery is a blood clot in the circulatory system, also known as pulmonary thromboembolus. A blood clot in the circulatory system can cause a blockage anywhere else in the body. If the clot lodges in the area of the lungs, it is then considered a pulmonary thromboembolus. It will cause serious difficulty breathing and lead to a cardiac arrest or coma. It may even possibly lead to death. A blood clot is possible within 3 weeks after surgery, but they are most likely to happen within 72 hours. The typical symptoms are shortness of breath and fatigue, but it can suddenly occur without warning. Although cases of pulmonary thromboembolus are rare, we recommend patients get up and walk around as often as possible in order to prevent such a case from arising.
Is there a lot of pain associated with an abdominoplasty surgery?
The amount of pain you may feel varies from patient to patient. Some may feel a moderate amount of discomfort, while others may feel more intense pain. Regardless of the level of pain, patients will feel some pain. Speak to your surgeon about possible prescriptions for pain relievers.
How much swelling will there be after a tummy tuck?
The amount of swelling again depends on the patient. Because of the invasive nature of a tummy tuck, your abdominal area will be swollen following surgery. Swelling will subside after a few weeks. In order to reduce swelling, you will be told to wear a compression garment.
What should I expect after surgery?
The recovery process after surgery requires patience and persistence. Expect a lot of downtime and rest! You will experience swelling and bruising in the area of the procedure. If you are going straight home after surgery, we suggest having a family member or friend drive you to and from the surgical office. After the procedure, you will find yourself to be drowsy from the anesthesia and in a lot of pain. Having the support of your family and friends will ensure safer travel to and from the hospital. If drains were inserted during surgery, you will be required to see your doctor between 4 days to 2 weeks after your procedure to remove the drains. We advise taking it easy for at least 2 weeks after surgery in order to ensure a safe recovery process. Although you may be advised to take it easy, we strongly recommend walking and moving around a bit every few hours every day, in order to avoid blood clots. In order to hold everything in place while you heal, you will be required to wear a compression garment. Speaking with your doctor will reveal anything more you should expect after surgery.
When will I be able to see the final results of the surgery?
After surgery, you must give your body time to heal and recover from this invasive procedure. Your abdominal area may be swollen from surgery, preventing you from seeing the results immediately. But if you are patient and diligent in your recovery process, you will be able to see results after the swelling subsides and the stitches and drains are taken out.
How long will the results of a tummy tuck last?
Whether or not the results of your tummy tuck lasts depends solely on you. Results can last permanently if you have no significant weight gain or pregnancies after your procedure. As expected, there will be some loss of elasticity in tissue and muscle due to age, but not to the full extent prior to the surgery.
Are the results permanent?
In order to ensure that the results of your tummy tuck remain permanent, we advise that you maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Please note that as your body continues to age, the results of your surgery may be altered.
When can I return to work?
There are a number of factors to consider when giving a time frame of when you can return to work. Doctors consider your progress during your recovery, how extensive your surgery was, and what you do for a living. Completely healing from abdominoplasty surgery takes a certain amount of time. Heed your doctor’s instructions and be patient with the healing process, so that you can return to work quickly.
Can I have a tummy tuck between pregnancies?
We advise you wait to have a tummy tuck after you are finished having children in order to maintain the results of the procedure. Pregnancy tends to stretch the skin, reversing the results of a tummy tuck.
Will I have scars?
Because of the incisions necessary to perform the surgery, you will find scars in the area. The severity of your scars depends on a number of factors, including: the amount of skin that needs to be removed; your body’s ability to heal; your surgeon’s skill level; and the type of procedure you undergo. These scars will typically take several months to fade and it will take a year to fully heal.
Where will the scars be after surgery?
Scars will typically be found in the abdominal area, from hip to hip and sometimes from your belly button. Your surgeon will try to keep your scars hidden from plain sight as much as possible, making incisions closer to your pubic hairline.
What can I do to improve the appearance of my scar?
The number one thing we recommend to improve the appearance of your scar is proper wound care during the healing period. Properly taking care of your wound will ultimately help the healing process, which will directly affect the overall appearance of your scars.
When can I begin to exercise again after surgery?
Typically, you can begin to engage in light exercise within 6 weeks after surgery. You should reserve more strenuous exercise, including running, until 12 weeks after your surgery. We advise you consult with your physician since every case is unique.
What is the difference between an abdominoplasty and a panniculectomy?
An abdominoplasty surgery tightens the underlying stomach muscles, while a panniculectomy removes excess fat and skin. A panniculectomy is recommended for patients who have undergone significant weight loss of more than 100 lbs.
How much does a tummy tuck cost?
Your surgeon will go over these details with your during your complimentary consultation. We can assure you that we will do our best to give you the right price for your goals and expectations. This procedure is not usually covered by provincial health plans or most company benefit plans. However, cosmetic surgery can be quite affordable and we want to help you figure out a payment plan to reach your body goals. The price of your procedure will vary based on different factors that your surgeon will clarify.
Can I have other forms of cosmetic surgery (i.e. breast reduction or liposuction) at the same time as my tummy tuck?
It is not unusual for an abdominoplasty procedure to be combined with other procedures, such as breast augmentation and liposuction. Speak with your doctor to see if it is possible to conduct multiple surgeries at the same time.
Tummy Tuck FAQ’s
What is abdominoplasty?