Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck
Advanced Cosmetic Surgery has years of experience in performing abdominoplasty in Kansas City and the surrounding areas. We have helped many women and men rid themselves of loose skin surrounding their abdomen and achieve tighter muscles. Patients who have minimal sagging skin may be a good candidate for a mini abdominoplasty. We will evaluate your goals regarding the tummy tuck surgery to determine if this procedure is right for you.
A Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty is Someone Who Is:
- In good physical health
- Realistic in his/her expectations and goals
- Not planning on future pregnancies
- Looking for improvement not perfection
- Wanting to get rid of excess hanging skin and fat in the abdominal region
A personal consultation is the first step for every patient considering an abdominoplasty procedure. During this meeting, we will assess your physical and emotional health and discuss your specific cosmetic goals for the procedure. The quality of your abdominal skin, amount of excess fat, and status of the underlying abdominal wall will be assessed at your initial consultation. This exam will allow us to determine if you will benefit most from a full abdominoplasty, mini abdominoplasty, or liposuction alone.
After you are placed under a general anesthetic, a horizontal incision is made just within or above the pubic area. The length of the incision depends largely on the amount of skin to be removed. We try to keep the incision within swimsuit lines when it is possible. Working through this incision, we will tighten the underlying abdominal wall by placing sutures in the strong fascia of the abdominal. Any excess skin and underlying fat from the abdomen is trimmed away. Skin that contains stretch marks may be removed as well.
With a full abdominoplasty, all of the skin and underlying fat from the bellybutton to the pubic hair is removed. A full abdominoplasty will require an incision going from the pubic area to both sides. A second incision will be made around the navel so it may be positioned correctly after all excess skin is removed.
The “mini” abdominoplasty may benefit you if you are primarily dissatisfied with the appearance of the abdominal area below the navel. A mini abdominoplasty requires only a short horizontal incision and no navel incision.
Day of Surgery
After your surgery you will spend up to 2 hours in the recovery room. Bring a pillow to place between you and the seat belt. You will need a friend or family member to drive you home and and pamper you for several days. You will have 2 drains, one on each hip. The Recovery Room nurse will show you how to empty and strip the tubing. Your abdomen will feel tight, you should rest with several pillows behind you to keep your abdomen flexed to relax it. Many patients sleep in a recliner or a zero gravity lawn chair.
Day 1 (After Surgery)
Leave the garment on at all times unless toileting. Try to walk a little but mainly rest. It is not uncommon to notice a little drainage on the garment. You will be very sore. Record the drain output on a daily basis. Your abdomen will slowly feel less tight. It is not uncommon to have lower back pain and vaginal swelling.
Day 2 – 7 (After Surgery)
Shower on day two, washing around the tubing and over the incision tape is a must. To alleviate tension on the drains, place a long shoestring or bungee cord around your neck and secure the ends to the drain bulb. Gently dry bellybutton with a Q-tip. Gradually increase your activity and limit lifting to only 10 pounds. Be sure to take a stool softener. You will need to make an appointment to be seen 1 week post op for drain removal. Be sure to bring your drain record. Do not drive.
After 1st Week
Pain and swelling continue to improve. Steri strips may be removed between the 2nd and 3rd week. Some people feel up to working by the 2nd week, doing light activities only. Continue to wear the garment unless you are in the shower, for a total of 4 weeks from the date of surgery. If your swelling is minimal some people do like to switch to snug fitting bike shorts or Spanx after 2 weeks. You will be asked to come back to the following week to remove the second drain if necessary.
After 1st Month
You may resume most activities. Mild exercise programs may be resumed. No lifting over 15 pounds. After this visit, you will have no restrictions after 6 weeks. It takes up to 6 months for the swelling to disappear.