LENGTH: 2-3 hours
IN/OUTPATIENT: Outpatient or one night in hospital
SIDE EFFECTS: Bruising, swelling, and some pain
RECOVERY: Return to work: 2 weeks, Light exercise: 4 weeks, Swelling completely resolve: 4-8 weeks
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure that removes the extra loose skin and tissue in the lower abdomen and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. Dr.Tran is a plastic surgeon in Arlington who specializing in cosmetic surgery with significant experience in body contouring including abdominoplasties. He received his credentials from some of the nation finest medical centers. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Before you decide to have a tummy tuck, think carefully about your expectations and make sure you discuss them with Dr. Tran.
Your Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty Consultation
Your visit with Dr.Tran will determine if you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck. If you are in good physical health and have reasonable expectations then this may be a good choice for you.
During your first visit, Dr. Tran will ask you about your desired appearance to help him understand your expectations and let you know if they can be realistically accomplished. He will examine and measure your abdomen considering factors such as the quality of skin the amount of underlying fatty tissue and the contour of your body. Be prepared to discuss any medical conditions you may have such as allergies, prior surgeries and medications, vitamins or other supplements that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking at least 3 weeks before your surgery. Dr. Tran is concerned about your health and safety and depending on your medical status may ask for additional evaluations before proceeding with surgery.
You will learn about the procedure, its limitations and risks, and Dr. Tran will discuss your needs and concerns. He will explain which surgical techniques are most appropriate for you, based on your examination and factors such as the distribution of fatty tissue, position of your abdominal muscles and quality of skin tone. After your consultation, photographs will be taken for your medical record.
Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty Techniques
Before going to surgery, Dr. Tran will draw an incision line with a marker. This usually lies just above the pubis and extends at least from hip to hip across the lower abdomen. When you are under anesthesia, the skin is lifted from your abdominal wall and releasing the belly button from its surrounding skin in order for it to stay attached to the abdomen. The muscles are tightened to form an internal corset and the skin draped over, removing any excess. Depending on the amount of fat present, some liposuction may be performed on your sides and upper abdomen in order to improve the overall three dimensional contour. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the skin and a compression garment is placed over your abdomen before you wake up.
The Day of Surgery
Before surgery, you will be given medicine to lessen the anxiety and pain. General anesthesia is typically used, so you will be completely asleep for your abdominoplasty. You will meet your anesthetist before your procedure and he or she will answer any questions you may have about your anesthesia. The surgery usually takes 2 to 3 hours. After surgery, you will awake in a recovery area where you will be closely monitored. Surgery may be performed as an outpatient procedure at a certified ambulatory surgery center or at one of several affiliated hospitals with an overnight stay. Whether you stay overnight or not be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and stay to help you the first few days while at home.
Some discomfort or pain is normal following surgery. When you are discharged, you will be given prescriptions for pain medication. Your abdomen will feel very tight and you will walk stooped over for the first week and slowly straighten as your skin stretches. You will wear a binder or compression garment for three weeks, day and night, following your surgery.
Initially, your scar will appear obvious to you. By three weeks, it is turns into a thin red line then slowly fades to a light brown or white line over the next several months. It is usually well hidden in your swimsuit or underwear.