Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Now You Can Look Great In Jeans Or A Bikini
With Your New Tummy Tuck
- Tummy Tuck Quick Glance
- Tummy Tuck Surgery Risks
- Tummy Tuck Surgery Postoperative Care
- View Tummy Tuck Photos
Have you had children or perhaps just gained a few pounds over the years that exercise just can’t seem to touch?
Jeans to tight, bikini’s embarrassing?
Maybe it’s time for you to explore a waist reducing tummy tuck.
If you have excess subcutaneous fat or excess skin laxity, which is resistant to diet and exercises, then body contouring surgery may be appropriate for you.
An abdominoplasty(tummy tuck) surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. Mini-abdominoplasty removes the lower abdominal wall skin only, and no manipulation with the umbilicus.
Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair.
Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles (standard scar). Extended abdominoplasty tights the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flank onto the lower back).
Is a Tummy Tuck for you?
Schedule Your Tummy Tuck ConsultationWith Dr. Vu Today By Calling 503.601.2910 or Toll Free 866.297.8522.
This is a procedure covered by CosmetAssure. Learn how Dr. Vu protects you from any potential financial burden from complications by visiting our Complications Assurance page.
Tummy Tuck Surgery – A Quick Glance
Who Is A Tummy Tuck Candidate?
- If you have loose or sagging abdominal wall skin frequently associated with abnormal relaxation of the anterior abdominal wall muscles (frequently secondary to multiple pregnancies or prior surgery).
- If you are unable to tighten abdominal wall skin with exercise.
Tummy Tuck Intended Results
A smoother flatter abdomen.
Tummy Tuck Procedure Description
- The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia either within the hospital or in an outpatient setting. (Mini and modified abdominoplasties are similarly performed.)
- Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall skin only (shortest scar). Modified abdominoplasty addresses conditions where just the muscle wall or just the abdominal skin requires repair.
- Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles (standard scar).
- Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flanks onto lower back.)
Tummy Tuck Recovery Times
- Abdominoplasty can be one of the more uncomfortable plastic surgery procedures and probably requires more time-consuming and limiting recovery.
- One to three days of hospitalization or skilled nursing care or assistance at home is usually indicated.
- You will be encouraged to be moving and walking regularly within 1-2 days. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days.
- Sports will not be comfortable for about 6 weeks.
Tummy Tuck Other Options
Additional procedures that may enhance the result are Liposuction, Breast Procedures, or Thigh Lift.
- The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation.
- All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.
- Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally.
- Major complications are unusual.
Tummy Tuck Potential Risks
No surgeries are performed without risks. Dr. Vu’s goal is to perform the planned procedure, take extra precaution during surgery, and most important of all is to be safe and yet achieve utmost optimal outcomes. Following are some of the potential risks that are commonly discussed about regarding tummy tuck surgery.
A. Incisional scars
After a full abdominoplasty, you will have a long scar above the pubic hairline extending toward the flanks or beyond, as well as a scar around the umbilicus (belly button) and possibly a shorter vertical scar in the midline just above the pubic hairline.
You should discuss your incision lines with Dr. Vu and plan the incision to accommodate, within limits, different clothing and bathing suit styles. (In cases of extreme skin redundancy — that is, after massive weight loss — a vertical scar extending from the pubic hairline to the lower end of the breastbone may
B. Uneven Skin Contours
Following an abdominoplasty, the skin contours may be slightly uneven and areas of slight depression or wrinkling can occur. As healing progresses, most of these problems (if present) usually improve dramatically.
Minimal asymmetry of abdominoplasty scars occurs frequently as healing is not always even from side to side. The mild asymmetry is usually not cosmetically significant. If the asymmetry is significant, revisional surgery of the scars may be considered.
D. Belly button (umbilicus)
The belly button may be slightly off center, heal poorly, suffer necrosis (loss of circulation), protrude or be unusually retracted. Significant problems are uncommon.
E. Loss of Sensation
Patients commonly experience areas of partial and/or complete numbness of the abdominal skin. Few experience permanent loss of feeling, but it may take several months or longer for sensation to return. Rarely, areas of numbness persist.
F. Fat Necrosis
In rare cases, some of the underlying fat can necrose (die) because of infection or excessive tension. An uncommon problem, it is usually nothing more than a severe annoyance, requiring additional healing time, dressing changes, and sometimes, revision of the scar later. It usually does not seriously affect the ultimate outcome.
G. Skin loss
Like fat necrosis, skin loss can result from infection or excessive tension. The treatment is the same regardless of the cause. Careful preoperative planning and resisting the urge to make the tummy “as tight as possible” reduces but does not eliminate the possibility of this problem occurring. In addition, patient who smokes is at increased risk of skin loss and fat necrosis.
H. “Dog Ears”
When Dr Vu closes the angle at the end of the skin incision during the repair, a nipple or projection of bulging tissue called a “dog ear” can occur. Liposuction under the area or extension of the incisions can solve or reduce the problem. If a small “dog ear” appears at the end of surgery, it will usually flatten or disappear with time and healing. If it remains visible, a small procedure under local anesthesia can solve the problem at a later time.
I. Fat Emboli and Blood Clots
These problems can occur rarely with any surgery, but occur a little more frequently after an abdominoplasty. Shortened operating time, postoperative leg movements, and walking soon after surgery help to avoid these problems.
Although fat emboli and blood clots can be life threatening, they usually resolve completely with hospitalization and care by a medical specialist.
J. Fluid accumulation (seroma)
Rarely, tissue fluids collect under the abdominal skin flap (usually after the drains have been removed). If this occurs, aspiration of the fluid with a needle two or three times a week for 2-3 weeks usually solves the problem. Few patients require further surgery.
Tummy Tuck Postoperative Care
Special attentions are placed during your postoperative period. My goal is to make sure that you are comfortable after you leave the surgery center, and have proper instructions how to take care of yourself in order for you to have a pleasant surgical experience.
Because abdominoplasty involves removal of the extra abdominal skin and (usually) tightening of the abdominal muscles, you will experience some difficulty standing up straight for a week or two or even longer. During this period, you may find it more comfortable to place a pillow or two under your knees while in bed. The tightness will gradually disappear as you heal and progressively use your body muscles for the activities of daily living. Please make no special attempts to stretch or pull the abdomen straight during the first 2-3 weeks of healing.
You must change your position and walk around the house every few hours to reduce the danger of blood clots.
We will place an elastic abdominal binder around your tummy after surgery to provide some gentle pressure, to give you stability, and to reduce swelling.
If it feels too tight or causes pain, take it off. We do not want the binder to interfere with circulation to the skin, which could cause blistering or skin loss! You may also remove it temporarily for laundering.
Many patients wear the binder for several weeks after surgery and some choose to wear it for several months. Let your own comfort and the amount of swelling you experience guide you. We want you as comfortable as possible without swelling.
C. Drains & Drain care
Dr Vu will usually place two drains into the surgical area at the
time of surgery. These drains evacuate the fluid that accumulates after surgery and enable you to heal faster.
When the drain is first put in place, the bulb at the end of each tube will be compressed to create gentle suction. As the fluid collects in the bulb, it will expand.
Drain Care: Secure the bulb of the drain to your clothing or the abdominal binder witha safety pin. Whenever the bulb fills or expands 50% or more, empty the bulb by drain when the drain output is less then 25cc per bulb within 24 hour time period, which may be anytime between postoperative day 3 to 5.
Tummy tucks are probably the most uncomfortable operation we do. You will experience some pain for 10-20 days and will not feel like resuming sports or heavy exercise for at least 6 weeks.
After the first 2 weeks, you may resume moderate walks for as long as is tolerable. Too much initial activity can prolong swelling and cause you to easily fatigue.
You may be able to return back to work in 10 –14 days, but with modification, and with an understanding that you will still have some discomfort with motion.
E. Exposure to Sunlight
We recommend that you protect your scars from the sun for a year after surgery. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 when out in sunny weather.
F. Healing of sensory nerves
Usually, the skin of the abdomen remains partially or completely numb for several months or longer. Tingling, burning, or shooting pains indicate regeneration of the small sensory nerves. This feeling will disappear with time and is not cause for alarm. It may take as long as 2 years for sensation in your abdomen to be restored completely.
Schedule Your Tummy Tuck Consultation With Dr. Vu Today By Calling 503.601.2910 or Toll Free 866.297.8522.