The appearance of the abdomen can change dramatically because of aging, and after weight loss or pregnancy. The combination of extra skin and weakened abdominal muscles can be hard to improve with diet and exercise alone. If diet and exercise are not enough to improve the appearance of your abdomen, you may wish to explore a tummy tuck operation.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is another name for an abdominoplasty, a surgical procedure that removes fat and skin from the abdomen and can tighten the underlying muscles. These are issues that cannot be solved with diet and exercise alone.
Board-certified Denver plastic surgeon, Dr. Mouchantat, performs tummy tuck operations for his patients who wish to:
- Flatten a protruding abdomen
- Rid the abdomen of extra skin
- Tighten the muscles of their abdomen
Tummy Tuck Options
If you only have fat deposits in the area below your navel, you may be able to get a smaller version of the tummy tuck, sometimes called a mini-tummy tuck. If you have more extensive skin and fat on the abdomen, you may need a full tummy tuck. A full tummy tuck may also be performed at the same time as liposuction. Dr. Mouchantat can help you decide which of these procedures is right for you.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
During a tummy tuck, Dr. Mouchantat will make a large incision across your abdomen, from hipbone to hipbone. He will pull together the abdominal muscles, remove excess skin and fat, then reposition your belly button and close the incisions.
You must understand that tummy tuck operations leave a scar, which can extend from hip to hip. Though this scar should fade over time, this can vary by individual. This scar will be placed where it should not show when you wear a bathing suit.
Abdomenoplasty: Pre-op Instructions
Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, herbal medications or vitamin E for 14 days prior to surgery.
Shower with Hibiclens for 3 days and the evening before and the morning of surgery, use a clean towel each time. Do not use the Hibiclens on your face at all, only on your body. Hibiclens is not safe to use near your eyes. Shower 48 hours post op using the remaining Hibiclens soap for the next few showers. Hibiclens is available at your pharmacy.
Wear comfortable clothes to the surgery center, avoid tops that pull over the head and slip on shoes are best.
Bring your history and consent paperwork with you to the surgery center.
Fill prescriptions and read the instructions before the day of surgery. Discuss your regular medications and birth control pills prior to surgery.
Do not drive yourself to the surgery center; you will also need a ride home and someone to care for you for at least 24 hours.
Abdomenoplasty: Post-op instruction
Eat what sounds appetizing; smaller portions more often may be more comfortable than full meals.
Take medications as directed, try to keep some food in your stomach before taking pain medications as they can cause nausea. Pain medications can cause constipation, take plenty of liquids and an over the counter stool softener such as: Colace or Senna Kot can help prevent problems. Milk of Magnesia as directed on the bottle is safe if you are constipated.
Rest, but do not be sedentary for extended periods, raise your legs and flex the leg muscles frequently while resting and walk for 5-10 minutes four or five times a day, around the house is fine. Rest with your torso supported in an elevated position and knees bent, such as in a recliner. Maintain this flexed position while sleeping as well in order to minimize the stretch on your incision.
You may move your arms gently throughout the range of motion, no resistive exercise and no lifting more than 5 pounds with each hand.
Adjust your garment as needed, it should fit low on your abdomen, down to the pubic bone area, the abdominal binder should be snug but not impede a deep breath. Wearing a clean T-shirt under the binder will help prevent rubbing and scraping from the Velcro, change the T-shirt daily.
A gentle massage of tenderness or spasms in the muscles is OK.
You should take a shower in 48 hours from the surgery time unless your discharge paperwork tells you otherwise. Use the remaining Hibiclens for the first few showers. Wash right over the wounds and drain dressing taking care to keep the dressing intact.
Empty the drains and record the amount of fluid two or three times a day. Bring the record of output to your follow up office appointment.
If something doesn’t seem right to you, please call, we are happy to answer questions.
Learn More About Your Tummy Tuck in Denver, CO
Are you interested in a tummy tuck? If you wish to learn more, contact Denver-area plastic surgeon, Dr. Richard Mouchantat. We encourage you to schedule a consultation today.