Tummy tuck surgery, medically known as abdominoplasty, is a procedure that tightens and contours the appearance of the abdomen. The operation involves the removal of fat and skin, and in most cases also seeks to improve the tone and strength of the abdominal muscles.
A tummy tuck is an elective surgery and is medically classified as cosmetic. Controlling waist size is an ongoing battle for many, and dieting and exercising are not always sufficient. Tummy tuck surgery does not guarantee lifetime results, but the procedure, combined with a renewed and ongoing effort to avoid excess weight gain, can greatly improve your appearance, comfort, and self-confidence.
A tummy tuck is among the specialized services offered by the board-certified surgeons at Southwest Breast and Aesthetics in Phoenix, AZ. Drs. Tim Matatov and Joseph Zakhary are trusted and experienced plastic surgeons in Arizona and the Southwest. In addition to their exceptional technical skills, the doctors also consistently earn high marks from patients for their approachability and personal warmth. It is critically important to select a board-certified and highly experienced surgeon for this type of procedure.
This longtime favorite plastic surgery procedure effectively eliminates excess skin and fat to reveal a slimmer and sleeker body contour.
A surgeon cuts away excess skin and fat in order to flatten the appearance of your stomach. Often, your underlying abdominal muscles are also surgically fastened to achieve a taut core. Reasons you might have excess fat or weakened abdominal muscles include natural aging, your natural body type, significant changes in your weight, and pregnancies.
If you’ve had a C-section, your surgeon might be able to meld your tummy tuck scar with your existing C-section scar. Evidence suggests that after undergoing abdominal muscle tightening, women experience improvements in core muscle strength and muscle tone. This helps support the lower back and improves urinary incontinence.
Most adults are. But a tummy tuck might not be a good idea if you plan to lose a lot of weight, or are considering a future pregnancy. Chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease may be disqualifying, as can a body mass index (BMI) greater than thirty.
Longtime smokers should avoid this surgery. At the very least, your doctor will likely require that you quit smoking if you have not already done so. During your initial consultation at Southwest Breast and Aesthetics in Phoenix, you’ll need to provide your medical history including previous surgeries and a list of any medications and supplements you are taking. You’ll be asked about your use of alcohol and tobacco. You may be at elevated risk for this surgery if you have a bleeding disorder or an immune deficiency.
If you wish to proceed with the tummy tuck you will probably need lab tests, including a complete blood count, to further evaluate your health and fitness for surgery. Remember that abdominoplasty is not a substitute for diet and exercise. Also, know that a tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery and will not improve your physical health. It is vitally important that you tell your surgeon in detail about your goals and expectations so that everyone is on the “same page”!
OK! Your tummy tuck procedure has gotten the “green light” and is on the schedule. It’s time for you to prepare. Use your upcoming procedure as an opportunity and motivation to get in better shape. If you smoke, stop. Avoid the use of aspirin and any other drug or supplement that causes excessive bleeding. Depending on your risk factors for developing a blood clot, your surgeon may start you on a blood thinner immediately after your surgery that you will need to continue for 7-10 days. Don’t forget to arrange for someone to drive you home after you leave the hospital or surgical facility and stay with you for at least the first night of your recovery at home.
Most patients are allowed carbohydrate-rich fluids up to two hours before surgery. Patients with acid reflux, diabetes, or bariatric surgery will need to abstain from food and drink after midnight prior to your surgery. Your tummy tuck may be performed in a hospital, a free-standing ambulatory facility, or an office-based surgical suite. Your surgeon will review the procedure with you and give you an estimate of how long your procedure should take.
A typical tummy tuck requires 2-5 hours. An M.D. or D.O. will administer your sedatives or (more likely) general anesthesia and will be present to assist in monitoring during your surgery. While a mini abdominoplasty may be performed under local anesthesia, a full tummy tuck is almost always performed under general anesthesia. After your tummy tuck is complete, you will be taken to a post-operative area. Your vital signs will continue to be monitored. Your medical team will care for and drain your surgical wound if needed. You will be given pain medication as needed. It will take several hours before you clear anesthesia enough to walk with assistance. In many cases, you can go home the day of the surgery, but your doctor may recommend at least an overnight stay in the hospital.
Your recovery continues, but you will need to take it very easy for a few weeks.
Drains might be left in place for a few days after your tummy tuck. Your medical team will show you how to empty and care for your drains until they are removed. Typically, your pain will be moderate. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication as indicated and appropriate. You’ll wear a support garment for up to six weeks following your surgery. During that period, you should avoid positions that strain your incision line. While many patients can safely go back to a desk job within two weeks, other more strenuous jobs may require you to be out longer. Your doctor will schedule follow-up visits with you to help you complete your recovery and get the results you both want!
Yes. All surgeries carry risks including but not limited to infection, bleeding, poor wound healing, unexpected scarring, tissue damage, changes in skin sensation, adverse reaction to anesthesia, or allergic reaction to medications or materials used in the procedure.
Be patient. At first, your belly will look much different from your final results. As you heal, swelling will subside and your scar will start to fade. Full recovery and results from a tummy tuck can take six months or more to achieve. It’s important that you avoid significant weight gain that can limit your tummy tuck results. Barring large weight fluctuations, tummy tuck results are usually permanent. You are going to love your new you! The cost of a tummy tuck varies from doctor to doctor and the technique used in your surgery. Since a tummy tuck is a strictly cosmetic procedure, your insurance will not pay for it.
And you cannot make a better choice than the skilled and trusted plastic surgeons at Southwest Breast and Aesthetics in Phoenix, AZ. The doctors and staff seek the very best for their patient’s health, happiness and appearance. We warmly invite you to schedule an initial tummy tuck consultation today.
Your journey to better begins with a consultation at Southwest Breast and Aesthetics. Our plastic surgeons set the standards for plastic surgery through their innovative procedures and meticulous attention to detail. Discover a better experience by booking your consultation at Southwest Breast and Aesthetics today.