Questions & Answers
Questions & Answers about Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
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What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) removes excess skin, and in most cases restores weakened or separated muscles creating a much smoother and firmer abdominal profile. A flat, well-toned abdomen is something most of us strive for with diet and exercise. Sometimes these methods cannot achieve your goals.
Even individuals within normal body weight and proportion can still develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:
- Significant fluctuations in weight
- Prior Surgery
What won’t a tummy tuck do?
Tummy tucks are not a substitute for diet and exercise. Also, tummy tucks cannot correct/erase stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved depending on their location, generally the treated areas below the belly button.
How long are the scars and where are they located?
The scar resulting from a tummy tuck usually runs from hip to hip. However, the incision is made low on the abdomen and is easily covered by undergarments and bikini bottoms. The scar does fade over time and we provide additional scar treatments to help with this process.
Would liposuction along with the tummy tuck help optimize my results?
Answer coming soon.
Do I need to stop smoking? If so, when?
It is imperative with this procedure that you stop smoking at least 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery. Smoking causes poor blood flow and blood quality making healing much slower and more complications than necessary.
Do I need to stop any medications I am currently taking?
You will be asked to discontinue aspirin and ibuprofen 2 weeks before surgery. You should stop all herbal supplements and diet medications at least one month prior to surgery. Please ask Dr. Nein or our office staff about discontinuing any other medications.
How much discomfort should I expect and what can I take to relieve the pain?
Answer coming soon.
Do I need help after surgery? How long is the recovery period?
You will need someone to help you for the first 4-5 days after surgery. You will not be bedridden but you will need help getting to the bathroom and getting up/down. It typically takes approximately 2 weeks for most patients to get their strength back and start to feel like themselves. You will be asked to refrain from strenuous exercise including situps, crunches and anything that uses your stomach muscles for at least 6 weeks.
When can I return to work?
You may return to work when you feel up to it. Patients with a desk job return faster than those who stand or have an active job for 8 hours. It generally takes 2 weeks to regain your strength after surgery. Patients are encouraged to use their discretion as everyone heals at a different pace.
When can I resume regular activity such as exercise and sex?
Answer coming soon.
What is a mini tummy tuck and who is a candidate for it?
A mini tummy tuck is best suited for patients who require only a minimal amount of abdominal tightening and loose skin removal below the belly button. Because less surgery is required, the scar is somewhat smaller than that of a traditional tummy tuck.
What are the complications/risks associated with tummy tucks?
Tummy tuck risks and side effects may include temporary bruising and swelling, numbness, blood clots, infection, visible scarring, and skin loss. Complications are rae, and unlikely to be experienced if a qualified plastic surgeon performs the procedure.
Is pregnancy after a tummy tuck safe?
Pregnancy following a tummy tuck isn’t dangerous, but it is likely to undo the repairs that the abdominoplasty made. The stomach muscles can once again stretch out, resulting in a similar state that the patient was in prior to surgery.
What type of anesthesia will I have? Is the anesthesiologist board certified?
Dr. Nein uses general anesthesia for tummy tucks. The anesthesiologist is board certified and is present during the entire surgery.
Are tummy tuck results permanent?
If a patient follows their surgeon’s post-operative instructions, including maintaining a healthy diet and exercising reguarly, results can be long-lasting. It is important for women to avoid pregnancy after tummy tuck surgery ino order to prevent the results from being undone.
Does a male tummy tuck differ from a female tummy tuck?
It does differ slightly. While the steps are similar, men are looking for a more chiseled, masculine stomach and women may seek a flatter abdomen due to weight fluctuation, multiple pregnancies, and childbirth.
Are there stitches to be removed after surgery?
Dr. Nein uses absorbable sutures on the muscle repair and surgical glue on the incision. These sutures absorb on their own in time and the glue flakes off on its own. There are sutures in the belly button that are removed during a post-operative visit. This is not painful.