Getting rid of stubborn belly fat or excess skin can be a challenge, especially after going through a pregnancy or losing a lot of weight. An abdominoplasty, also called a tummy tuck, is one of the most effective treatment options to give you a sleeker and smoother midsection.
At Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida, we offer abdominoplasty services to help you achieve the body contouring you want. What is a tummy tuck, though, and what can you expect before, during, and after the procedure?
What Is a Tummy Tuck? Understanding Abdominoplasty Surgery
After losing a lot of weight or after going through a pregnancy, your abdominal region can end up with drooping skin or pockets of excess fat you might not be able to get rid of, no matter how much you exercise or diet. You might also notice that the muscles in the area are lax, not offering the support you need.
A tummy tuck procedure can target all of these issues. It is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from your abdominal area while also helping tighten muscles. There are different kinds of tummy tuck procedures, including a mini abdominoplasty, so you can get the exact level of treatment you want.
For patients who need a high degree of correction, a full abdominoplasty is the best option, while those who have less excess skin to remove can benefit from the smaller incisions a mini abdominoplasty offers. The best candidates for tummy tuck surgery are people who:
- Are in good overall health
- Don’t smoke
- Can take the time for a proper recovery
- Are at a stable weight
You may not be a candidate for the procedure if you have bleeding disorders, are trying to lose weight, are planning on having more children, or have an unmanaged health condition.
Before Abdominoplasty Surgery: Preparing for the Procedure
One of the most crucial steps in the process of getting a tummy tuck procedure is the consultation with us. Abdominoplasty is a complex procedure that requires you to be a good candidate and take the time to prepare for the procedure correctly.
We will ask you about your medical history and any medications you take. To ensure you are healthy enough for surgery, we will require you to take some blood tests and get your doctor to perform a complete physical.
Preparing for an abdominoplasty begins with stopping any blood-thinning medications and supplements. You also need to stop smoking. You have to do this at least one month before the procedure, and yes, this includes e-cigarettes and all other products that contain nicotine.
The moment we schedule your surgery, you should begin looking more closely at your diet. Is it as healthy as it could be? You want to keep your body strong as you prepare so that it can heal more easily after the tummy tuck procedure.
Choose lots of vegetables and fruits, as well as lean fats, and make sure you also keep yourself hydrated. To make your recovery even easier, begin or continue an exercise regimen before the procedure.
About one week before the tummy tuck surgery, set up your recovery area. You want to create a comfortable space where you can recover safely, which, for most people, means a bed or a recliner that you can prop up with pillows. You’ll want to have easy access to a phone, books and magazines, and anything else you will need as you recover. This is also the time to fill all of the prescriptions you will need.
Make sure to assemble your support team so you know who you can call if you need help. You will need to have someone drive you home after the procedure as well, so ask someone you trust. It can be a great idea to have a few meals set up already, saving you the trouble of dealing with that after surgery. The day before the tummy tuck procedure, you should stop drinking and eating as well.
During an Abdominoplasty Procedure: The Day of the Procedure
The morning of your tummy tuck, continue avoiding eating or drinking anything. Take a shower with antibacterial soap and come to our location wearing comfortable clothes but no makeup or jewelry. During a traditional abdominoplasty, we will sedate you and then begin the procedure by making an incision between your belly button and pubic hair.
We can then tighten the connective tissues that lie over your abdominal muscles using sutures before removing excess skin and fat. We’ll reposition the skin around your belly button when we’re done. The entire procedure can take between two and three hours.
After an Abdominoplasty Procedure: Speeding Up Recovery
After the procedure, we will take you to our recovery room to monitor you for a bit. Once we see that you are awake, we will send you home with clear instructions on taking care of the sutures.
For the first days after surgery, you will have to sleep sitting up. Keeping your knees bent at an angle can also help. You can also place pillows under your knees to reduce the pressure on your abdomen. Take the medications we prescribe as we tell you to, and continue avoiding blood thinners and alcohol.
The recovery process can take a few weeks, and you cannot drive during that time. You can start feeling better after just a couple of weeks, but for most people, it can take as long as six months to see the full results and to start feeling like yourself again.
Turn to Experts for Abdominoplasty Surgery
If you want dependable services performed by leading experts in the field of plastic surgery, turn to us at Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida in Hollywood, FL. Contact us to schedule your abdominoplasty consultation.