Tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) removes excess fat and skin to flatten and shape the tummy. It is allows repair of separated abdominal muscles (rectus divarication) that strengthens the abdominal core muscles as well as flattening the tummy profile and reducing the waist measurement.
Although many people specifically exercise their abdomen to correct their undesirable shape often these exercises cannot correct the problem, due to muscle separation or excess skin. Consequently even fit and normal weight individuals can have an abdomen that has loose and sagging skin.
Tummy tuck surgery is primarily a cosmetic procedure that improves the shape and appearance of the abdomen, some women and men are also symptomatic from their abdomen shape and size. Symptoms can include:
Abdominal shape is the product of:
Surgical options that can be offered depending on individual characteristics, include:
Individuals are good candidates for surgery if:
To start, at your pre surgical consultation you will meet Chris Porter and together discuss your personal goals, medical health and previous treatments, surgery and anaesthesia. A list of your current medications is required but you do not need a referral from your family doctor. Your abdominal characteristics will be examined and explained to you. At the end of the consultation you will have discussed:
You will also have the opportunity to satisfy any nervousness or personal concerns, you should be comfortable discussing your feelings during the consultation. Remember, your individual goals are specific to you but are also commonly experienced by other plastic surgery patients.
On the day of surgery you will be admitted to the hospital where you will be assessed by the Anaesthetist who may administer medication to settle any pre-surgical nervousness. Chris Porter will perform pre-surgical markings and take photographs for your personal file. Following this, you will be transferred to the operating room where you will meet the surgical team and then your general anaesthetic will be started. While you are asleep under the anaesthetic your surgery will be performed and you will be given pain relief medication so you are comfortable when you wake up following the anaesthetic. Following completion of your surgery and anaesthetic you will be transferred to the ward where the nurses will keep you comfortable and guide your recovery. Typically you will have a two night hospital stay and on discharge you will be provided with pain relief medication, instructions to optimise your recovery, and post-operative appointments.
You will have some post-surgical bruising, swelling and discomfort which will subside towards the end of the first week. Following discharge from hospital you should not drive or return to work during the first week after surgery. During this time you need to rest at home to minimise swelling, bruising and as well as optimising your wound healing. Your dressings are sufficiently waterproof to allow showering from the first day after your surgery. Typically you will be able to return to driving and office based work in the second week after surgery. I recommend that general activity is limited to gentle walking for the first three weeks, if you are progressing well at that stage then you will be able to increase your activity aiming for unrestricted activity just as you were prior to surgery at week four to six, depending on your level of exercise.
Individuals considering a tummy tuck should be healthy and relatively fit. This surgery is performed using general anaesthesia with an overnight stay in hospital. Post-operatively pain, bruising, and swelling are likely to be experienced, most of which will subside in a few weeks. All, or most, of the stitches are dissolving and do not need to be removed.
Most patients are able to return to work in 1-3 weeks, but it maybe 4-6 weeks before you are able to return to full activity, including heavy lifting and exercise. Cosmetic results from an abdominoplasty are well maintained with time, however this can be compromised by future pregnancy or weight fluctuation.