Before & After
This patient is a 40 y/o who has had two children and is unhappy with the appearance of her abdomen. She had a full abdominoplasty and is shown here 2 months postoperatively.
Dr. Hall has years of experience in performing abdominoplasty in Kansas City and surrounding areas; he has helped many women 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. Dr. Hall will evaluate your goals regarding the tummy tuck surgery, in order to determine if this procedure is right for you.
A personal consultation is the first step for every patient considering an abdominoplasty procedure. During this meeting, I 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 me 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 placed just within or above the pubic area. The length of the incision depends largely on the amount of skin to be removed. I try to keep the incision within swimsuit lines, when it is possible. Working through this incision I will tighten the underlying abdominal wall by placing sutures in the strong fascia of the abdominal wall if needed. 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 belly button 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 the excess skin is removed.
The "mini" abdominoplasty - This procedure 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.
After your surgery you will spend up to 3 hours in the recovery room. If you are spending the night you will then be transferred to the overnight room where you will be monitored and cared for by a nurse. If you are not spending the night you will be discharged home. You will be given prescriptions to get filled. You will need someone to drive you home. There will be a mildly compressive garment on to help reduce swelling. You will need someone to pamper you this first day, as you will be very sore. You will have at least one drain in that the nurses will show you how to use. Your abdomen will feel tight, you should rest with several pillows behind you to keep your abdomen flexed to relax it.
Leave the garment on. Try to walk a little but mainly just rest. It is not uncommon to notice a little drainage on the garment. You will still be very sore. Record the drain output on a daily basis. Your abdomen will slowly feel less tight.
You will slowly feel better with discomfort gradually improving. You may gradually increase your activity. Do not lift anything over 5 pounds. You will be asked to come to the office 5-7 days after your surgery for suture and drain removal. You can shower 1 day after drain removal. Do not drive.
Pain and swelling continue to improve. Some people feel up to working, doing light activities only, after the 1st week. 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 after 2 weeks. You will be asked to come back to the office about 2 weeks after suture removal for a follow-up visit.
You may resume most activities but I would still take it easy for another month. Mild exercise programs may be resumed. No lifting over 15 pounds. The garment can be left off. You will be asked to come back to the office for another follow-up visit about 7-8 weeks from the date of your surgery. After this visit you will have no restrictions.
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