An abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a major cosmetic operation that removes excess kin and fat from the lower and middle abdomen and from around the waist area.A tummy tuck can also be used to tighten he muscles of the abdominal wall, which leaves patients with a tighter, flatter stomach and a slimmer waist. In some cases abdominoplasty can be performed together with either a thigh lift or an upper arm lift.
Anesthetic: general anesthetic; Duration of the procedure.: 2-3 hours
Hospital stay: 2 days; Proposed stay in Cyprus: 5-6 days after surgery
Stitch removal : 2 weeks after surgery or absorbable stitches
What should I expect during the post-operative period?
After surgery you should expect to spend 1 to 2 days in the hospital. Initially you will be on bed rest but as soon as you are able, you will be encouraged to get out of bed to walk. You will notice that at first it will be hard to stand up straight.
Early walking helps the muscles heal and makes it less likely that any blood clots will form in your legs. Once you are stable you can be transferred to your accomodation. You should have someone to drive you and to stay with you for the first few days. Your drains may be removed before discharge or you may leave the clinic with them still in place.
You will be limited to sponge baths until the drains and dressings are removed. After that you may take showers but no baths for 2 weeks. You may continue to have a significant amount of pain for 1 to 2 weeks. Take pain medicine as prescribed by dr. David. Skin sutures are removed at about 10 to 14 days if these were not absorbables. You can eat whatever you want but you may need to take laxatives for 1 to 2 weeks.
The combination of the pain pills and sore abdominal muscles may cause you may have constipation. Continue your walking at home. Dr. David may suggest some non-strenuous exercises may be recommended. Although mild exercise is important for your recovery, you should avoid any vigorous activity for 6 weeks.
Elastic stockings and/or an elastic binding worn around the abdomen may be recommended for a few weeks after surgery. Most patients can go back you may return to work within 2 weeks (if non-physically demanding). If your job is physically demanding you should wait 4 to 6 weeks. Your scars may remain raised and/or discolored for up to 9 months.
What are the risks and complications of this procedure?
Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand the risks involved with tummy tuck.
Risks of Tummy Tuck Surgery
As with any surgery, there are risks to consider. Tummy tuck plastic surgery involves a very essential part of your body. Although the majority of patients do not experience the following complications, you should understand all possible consequences of tummy tuck plastic surgery.
- Bleeding – It is possible, though unusual, to experience a bleeding episode during or after tummy tuck surgery. Do not take medications for 14 days before tummy tuck surgery, as this may increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery.
- Infection – Infection is unusual after tummy tuck surgery.
- Change in skin sensation – Diminished (or loss of) skin sensation in the lower abdominal area may not totally resolve after tummy tuck.
- Skin contour irregularities – Contour irregularities and depressions may occur after tummy tuck. Visible and palpable wrinkling of skin can occur.
- Skin scarring – Excessive scarring is uncommon after tummy tuck but in rare cases abnormal scars may occur.
- Surgical anesthesia – Both local and general anesthesia involve risks. There is the possibility of complications, injury, and even death from all forms of surgical anesthesia or sedation.
- Asymmetry – Symmetrical body appearance may not result from tummy tuck. Factors such as skin tone, fatty deposits, bony prominence, and muscle tone may contribute to normal asymmetry in body features. The belly button may be off the midline of the abdomen.
- Delayed healing – Wound disruption or delayed wound healing is possible after tummy tuck plastic surgery. Some areas of the abdomen may not heal normally and may take a long time to heal, some areas of skin may die. The belly button may not completely survive, especially with previous history of laparoscopic procedures.
Smokers have a greater risk of skin loss and wound healing complications.
- Allergic reactions – In rare cases, local allergies to tape, suture material, or topical preparations have been reported. Systemic reactions which are more serious may occur to drugs used during tummy tuck surgery and prescription medicines.
- Pulmonary complications – Pulmonary complications may occur secondarily to both blood clots or fat particles (pulmonary emboli) or partial collapse of the lungs after tummy tuck surgery. Should either of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment. Pulmonary emboli can be life-threatening or fatal in some circumstances.
- Seroma – Fluid accumulations infrequently occur in between the skin and the abdominal wall after tummy tuck.
- Umbilicus (belly button) – Malposition, scarring, unacceptable appearance or loss of the umbilicus (navel) may occur after tummy tuck.
- Long term effects – Subsequent alterations in body contour may occur as the result of aging, weight loss or gain, pregnancy, or other circumstances not related to tummy tuck.
- Pain – Chronic pain may occur very infrequently from nerves becoming trapped in scar tissue after abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).
- Other – You may be disappointed with the results of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery. Infrequently, it is necessary to perform additional surgery to improve your results.
Fortunately, major complications from tummy tuck surgery are uncommon. Every year, thousands of people undergo tummy tuck surgery and experience no significant problems.