Tummy Tuck Surgery- Eligibility, Procedure, Results, Recovery & FAQs
A tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure that is used to reduce fat deposits and excess skin (but mostly excess skin) from the middle and lower abdomen in order to reveal a tighter abdominal wall. People usually opt for this surgery when there is a little too much skin present in the abdomen area that just doesn’t seem to disappear with any amounts of exercise or diet.
Depending on the intensity of the surgery, it could take anywhere between one and five hours. The complexity of the situation will also help in determining whether you can have it completed as an outpatient or as an in-patient procedure.
A general anaesthetic is given which puts the patient to sleep during the operation. For this reason, it is important to have someone who spends their time with you and can drive you home too. It is good to have someone stay with you after the surgery is done too.
There are two main procedures and a whole that can be followed whilst getting an abdominoplasty. This is something you can figure out with the help of your surgeon or doctor.
- Partial or Mini-Abdominoplasty: this surgery is performed on patients whose fat deposits are present below the navel and thus require shorter incisions.
During this procedure, the belly button is usually not moved at all. Your skin will be moved and separated between the belly button and line of incision. This procedure can also be done with an endoscope. An endoscope is a tube that has a small camera at the end of it. This whole process can last for about 1 or 2 hours depending what has been discussed with the doctor in advance.
- Complete Abdominoplasty: in this surgical method, your abdomen will be dissected from one hipbone to the other. The incision here, will be made extremely low, probably close to where your pubic hair starts.
The experienced surgeon will then contour and manipulate the muscle, tissues and skin as and when required. Your belly button might have a new opening if you opt for this procedure. This is done so that there is an escape possible for the navel from the surrounding tissue. There will be drainage pipes and tubes placed under your skin and these will be removed in a few days post the surgery.
- High Lateral Tension Tummy Tuck: this is an advanced procedure that can take around 4.5 hours to perform. Here, in addition to vertical line tightening, even horizontal muscle tightening is done. This technique results in a drastically flat abdomen.
- Circumferential Abdominoplasty: this combines an abdominoplasty with a butt lift. This procedure is also called a lower body lift.
- FAB Technique or the Floating Abdominoplasty: this technique, allows for shaping and tightening through a much smaller incision that isn’t exactly above the belly button. Through the smaller incision, the excess skin is taken out and the belly button is detached for a temporary basis.
• Extended Abdominoplasty: this includes a complete abdominoplasty in combination with a lateral thigh lift. This operation can benefit you in a lot of ways, for example, a slimmer waist too.
There are several different types of abdominoplasty procedures. The type that is best for you depends on whether you need to have muscles tightened, skin tightened, fat removed, or a combination of any of those factors.
The ideal candidates are both women and men for this type of surgery. Women who usually get their skin and muscles stretched due to multiple pregnancies may find this surgery extremely useful. A tummy tuck is also perfect for those people who used to be obese and who have managed to lose the extra weight but cannot get rid of the excess layers of skin that hang off of their bellies.
If a woman is planning on having children in the future, she should delay getting a tummy tuck. This is because during this surgical procedure, the vertical muscles are tightened. Pregnancies in the future can end up separating these muscles and can cause problems. Hence, it is important to have all these ideas in place before going under the knife. A tummy tuck can cause permanent and visible scarring. It is important to understand all the nitty-gritty before getting this procedure done.
To prepare for a Tummy Tuck or an abdominoplasty surgery, you might be asked to:
- Get certain medications that are prescribed to you adjusted so that it doesn’t interfere with the surgery.
- You could avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal supplements and these can make you increase bleeding.
- Stop smoking for at least two weeks prior to the surgery and 2 weeks post the surgery, as this can increase the risk of complications and could most definitely interfere in the healing process.
- Get lab testing or medical evaluations done.
- Proper nutrition is important to ensure a healthy procedure as well as proper healing post the surgery. Ensure that you are eating well-balanced and complete meals.
At your home environment, you should try and ensure the following:
- Petroleum jelly which is easily accessible for the incision sites. This will help in soothing.
- Keep your telephone within your reach.
- Numerous ice packs to help with swelling.
- Comfortable clothing that can easily be removed and put on. It should be loose too, so that it doesn’t interfere with the cuts.
Be very careful of getting conned or duped. Always get cosmetic surgeries performed in accredited surgical facilities, with licensed practitioners. Do not fall for cheap advertisements or false promotions. If your surgery is being performed on an outpatient basis, make sure that there is someone to drive you to and from the location. You might need someone to stay with you at the location for a night as well.
The initial results will be covered with swellings and the inability to stand completely erect to admire your new abdominal shape. It is important to understand that your body takes some time to heal completely. Within a few days or weeks, you will be able to stand tall and proud and admire your new profile. The tummy tuck will result in a firmer and flatter abdominal contour and will be proportionate to your weight and height.
There are particular risks can be life-threatening if not treated properly or in time. When making the crucial decision of undergoing this procedure, it is important to know whether the pros outweigh the cons. Therefore, all the patients are aptly and should rightly be informed of all the complications as well as potential risks.
- Infections: infections are serious potential risks that can occur post an abdominoplasty, but may occur regularly. Infections can easily be treated with antibiotics or drainage.
- Blood clots: to prevent this from happening, patients are always advised to move around as soon as possible post the surgery.
- Heart attack or stroke & pulmonary embolism: these are rare complications, but can take place especially if blood clots form and travel to the brain, lung or the heart. Pulmonary embolism is a very serious risk post a tummy tuck surgery. This problem can rise within 3 weeks of surgery but can also make itself known within the first 72 hours post the surgery.
- Skin Necrosis: this is a problem that may require another surgical procedure to repair it. This is done when the dead skin has to be replaced by a skin graft. Even though skin necrosis is a rare occurrence, smokers are more prone to develop this condition. Stopping the usage of nicotine is suggested for this very reason.
- Collection of fluid: one of the most common problems that the patient could face would be collection of fluid underneath the skin after removal of the drains. A surgeon, in this situation, could aspirate the fluid with the help of a needle. The drainage could stop within a month and will not affect the results of a tummy tuck.
- Scars: the scars that result from this surgery can be large and permanent. For this reason, the scars are usually placed under or close to the swimsuit line, so that it is perpetually hidden by clothes. It could take around a year until the scars flatten and happen to become lighter in colour.
- Other risks: seroma, asymmetry, anaesthesia complications, poor wound healing, bleeding excessively, and even death on rare occasions have been observed.
As mentioned earlier, during the recovery from the tummy tuck surgery, you will be covered with numerous scars and incisions. There will be dressings, elastic bandages and compression garments to support your abdomen and minimize the swelling that you are experiencing.
There will be small and thin tubes placed temporarily under the skin which will drain any excess fluid or blood that gets left behind.
Some specific instructions could include:
- The time and date to follow up with your surgeon to make sure that you are all right and that the body is healing well.
- How to care for the drains and surgical sites
- Medications – how to take them and what to apply orally to reduce the size of the scars or mild infections if any.
- Any specific concerns to look for regarding your general health and the health of your abdomen area.
What are your options if you are not satisfied with your tummy tuck?
You can discuss this with your surgeon at length. There might have been pre-mediated terms and conditions decided at the beginning. But if there is a possibility, it can be rectified.
Are you the right candidate for a tummy tuck or an abdominoplasty?
As mentioned earlier, if you have a protruding abdomen, or have tried various diets and exercises and do not lose weight, if you’ve had a few pregnancies and have a lot of loose skin or if you have realistic expectation from a tummy tuck, you are an ideal candidate. People who have expectations of having the body of a swimsuit model should get a reality check.
Who are the specialised doctors at Apollo Spectra?
Dr. Navdeep Chavan, Dr. Vishal Purohit and Dr. Amiti Shah are the specialists who work on tummy tucks and abdominoplasties.
What surgical technique is best suited for me?
If you have excessive fat deposits or were previously obese, you can go for a circumferential abdominoplasty. If you have a few easily movable deposits of fat, then a partial tummy tuck can suffice. At the end of the day, it is the doctor’s call on what is the ideal surgery for you. Post this, you can also make a decision of whether you want to go for the surgery or not and whether you think you want a more invasive surgery (or lose extra fat deposits and excess skin) or not.
To conclude, a tummy tuck is a very commonly conducted procedure in the world. There are thousands of men and women who get tummy tucks done. It is important; however, you understand the possible risks associated with this procedure. It is also important to follow your doctor’s advice. At Apollo Spectra, you will get world class infrastructure as well as the most experienced doctors taking care of you.