Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery to tighten and flatten the abdomen by removing the excess fat and skin, and consequently tightening the muscles of the abdomen.
Indications for tummy tuck surgery are loose or sagging abdomen or for weight loss because of:
- Post pregnancy.
- Weight fluctuations.
This being a cosmetic surgery is an extremely personal decision. It is done solely to get a flat and well toned abdomen.
Preoperative Workup and Instructions
- Lab work and EKG.
- Review of the medications by the doctor (avoid aspirin in any form).
- Avoid smoking and alcohol.
- Wash and bathe regularly to avoid risk of infection.
- Fasting for about 8 hours before surgery preferred (nothing to be taken post midnight).
- If you are having any skin rash or eruptions you need to inform the doctor (treatment of the same is necessary and surgery can be postponed).
- The above list is the same for all tummy tuck alternative surgical procedures.
- An incision around the navel and along the pubic line is taken under general anesthesia.
- The weakened muscles are repaired and excess skin and fat is removed.
- The skin and the muscle ends are sutured.
- The tummy tuck will give a flatter and firmer abdomen.
Tummy Tuck Alternative
- In abdomen liposuction very small incisions are made over the abdomen and fat is extracted (thighs can also be included).
- It can even be performed under local anaesthesia.
- Faster recovery and lesser pain.
- This procedure has the disadvantage of small amount of contour abnormalities.
3. Mini Tummy Tuck:
- In this procedure with the knowledge of the three layers of fat, the surgeon removes fat where necessary and leaves behind some, which later gives a good contour to the body (E.g. biceps, triceps, central abdomen).
- Fat from other parts is transferred where required.
- This gives a muscular look to the body.
- It is a carefully planned procedure to give an incredible change.
- This is a lesser invasive procedure and involves lesser incision on the lower abdomen to take care of the lower sagging abdomen.
- The muscles of the lower abdomen are tightened.
- Fat from the sides (love handles) removed via liposuction.
- Disadvantage being weak and separated muscles are not taken care in the upper part of the abdomen.
- Does not yield very effective results
4. Other alternatives apart from cosmetic surgery are muscle toners and creams, or abdominal exercises.
- Hospital stay will be for about 4-6 days.
- Your will have soreness of the abdomen for few days.
- Take pain medications on time.
- You might have difficulty in standing up initially, take help, do not strain.
- Compression garment may be given initially to reduce swelling.
- The surgeon places drains (1 or 2), to drain any fluid collecting in your abdomen.
- Drain log has to be maintained so that it will help the surgeon decide for how long you will require drainage.
- Drains can be removed anywhere between 5-10 days.
- You cannot take a shower until the drains are removed.
- Sponge bathing and keeping your surroundings clean is important.
- Drains have to be milked to prevent clogging.
- Color of drain to be observed (bright red initially and later pinkish).
- Physical activity and exercise have to be increased gradually.
- Drink good amount of fluids and have a healthy diet.
- Complete recovery takes about 4-5 weeks.
- You can return to work by 2-3 weeks.