Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
If you’ve lost weight or had a child, a tummy tuck may be right for you. Read further to learn whether or not you’re a strong candidate for this cosmetic procedure.
Have you lost weight and now struggle with excess skin? Have you had multiple children and are unhappy with the results you’ve achieved through exercise and a healthy diet? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you could be a strong candidate for a tummy tuck. Technically known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a common cosmetic operation that helps to flatten and tighten the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin. Shoring up the abdominal muscles also helps give the stomach a flatter, leaner appearance.
Who Should NOT Receive a Tummy Tuck?
Not everyone is a good candidate for a tummy tuck.
If you are planning to bear children in the future, a tummy tuck isn’t right for you. During pregnancy, the abdominal wall and its muscles will be forced to expand. This can lead to tearing and other complications if you’ve had a tummy tuck.
If you are continuing to diet and plan on losing more weight, then postpone the procedure – consider a tummy tuck after you’ve reached your weight loss goals.
Also, bear in mind that abdominoplasty is a major operation, and while Dr. Robertson can help minimize scarring, scars are an unavoidable, lasting effect of the procedure. If this is a concern for you, be upfront about it when talking to Dr. Robertson during your initial consultation.
Full versus Partial Abdominoplasty
Depending on your particular situation and needs, your doctor will decide if a full tummy tuck – as opposed to a partial – is needed.
Both operations are invasive, but the full tummy tuck will likely lead to more scarring and a longer recovery period. During a fully abdominoplasty, the incision is made low on the abdomen and runs from one hipbone to the other. The skin, tissue and muscle will be moved and manipulated; the belly button will be detached; and a new, repositioned navel will be created.
Commonly, drainage tubes will be placed beneath the skin to promote proper healing; removal will be required within a few days of your operation.
A partial tummy tuck requires a smaller incision; doesn’t typically necessitate navel relocation; and the operation itself takes far less time than a full abdominoplasty.
Remember, as with any operation, there are risks related to tummy tucks – Dr. Robertson will help minimize these during your recovery.
Some of the potential risks and side effects include:
- Internal bleeding
- Blood clots (the risks are higher if you have diabetes or conditions affecting the liver or kidneys)
- Unevenness (if too many fat deposits are removed, or if complications arise during the operation, it is possible for the stomach to appear lumpy or uneven)
By following Dr. Robertson’s post-operative recovery plan, as well as some of these tips, you can help reduce the risks of adverse side effects:
- Use plenty of ice and cold compresses to reduce swelling and pain
- Wear loose, non-formfitting clothes (unless you are prescribed a compression garment)
- Stay hydrated
- Use petroleum jelly or other topical antibiotics at the incision site to reduce the risk of infection
- Keep bandaging around drainage tubes as dry and clean as possible
- Limit your physical activity (depending on the severity of the procedure, you may need to take a leave from work and avoid intense activity for up to two months)
Abdominoplasty procedures are common, and through advances in cosmetic surgery, as well as technology, their safety rating is better than ever. However, risks are an inherent part of any operation. Be sure to be an inquisitive, clear communicator during the consultation process.
Please contact our office at 410-836-7205 for your initial consultation! We have offices in Baltimore / Towson and Bel Air Maryland!