What You Should Know Before Your Abdominoplasty Consultation

Handsome young man's torsoThe sight of a loose and floppy midsection can be extremely frustrating. Excess tissue and skin in the abdominal area can make it difficult to wear certain items of clothing and to feel confident in the items that do “fit”. We hear complaints about sagging abdominal tissue a lot when we meet with patients who are exploring options like liposuction and abdominoplasty. The abdomen can be a difficult part of the body to sculpt. It is prone to excess fat and to laxity because it is affected by several factors. Pregnancy is one, as is general weight over time, age, hormones, even stress. To get back the flat, tight abdomen you once had, you may be considering abdominoplasty. If you are, we have a few points you probably want to know.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

It should first be understood that a tummy tuck is not a fat-reduction procedure. It is a body contouring procedure that works by tightening the abdominal muscle and trimming the overlying tissue to achieve flatter, tighter contours. If you have excess fatty tissue obscuring your abdominal contours, you may want to combine your tummy tuck with liposuction to get the best results. Every tummy tuck that is performed is done around the patient’s body frame and desired outcome. Not all patients need a full tummy tuck. In some cases, a mini tuck is all that is needed to restore gorgeous midsection contours.

Points You Should Know About Tummy Tuck Surgery

Candidates for Abdominoplasty

Most adults can be good candidates for tummy tuck surgery. If you smoke, you must quit for a few months. To be able to have your abdominoplasty when you’d like, we suggest that you quit smoking as soon as you begin consulting with plastic surgeons about your procedure. You must also be in good general health and will likely undergo a medical exam to ensure you can safely undergo general anesthesia. Patients who intend to become pregnant in the future should wait to have a tummy tuck. Likewise, patients who are in the midst of weight loss should schedule surgery once they have maintained a stable weight for at least six months.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

Abdominoplasty is often perceived as a painful procedure. Obviously, the procedure itself does not hurt because it is performed using general anesthesia. However, recovery is another story. If you have a tummy tuck, you can expect mild to moderate discomfort. The process is not extremely painful, though. You will take prescription painkillers for a week or two to help you manage the tightness, soreness, and tenderness that can occur. The main reason patients think that their tummy tuck recovery will be painful is that they are aware they may be stooped and bent for a couple of weeks. The bent posture is not a matter of pain but simply that the muscles are too tight to fully straighten. As they relax and settle, posture returns to normal and, before that time, patients are not in immense pain. One tip here is to take your prescription medication as directed. Don’t wait to see how you feel. This way, you can stay ahead of pain and experience a much more enjoyable recovery.

Activity Level after Abdominoplasty

Early during tummy tuck recovery, you won’t feel much like running errands and doing housework. Your prescription medication and surgical experience will likely result in fatigue and grogginess for at least a few days. For the first two weeks, you may do nothing more than sleep, rest, and take short walks. As your comfort improves, you may increase the time that you walk or the number of short walks you take each day. Still, you must avoid driving until you can do so safely and are no longer taking prescription pain medication. You must also avoid cardio and strenuous activity that increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The restrictions your doctor advises are there to prevent unnecessary complications that will extend your overall recovery time.

The cosmetic results of a tummy tuck are satisfying and well worth the brief recovery period. We expect the new abdominal contours to last many years, if not indefinitely. Though some tissue laxity is expected with age, patients rarely need to repeat their abdominoplasty procedure.

To schedule your tummy tuck consultation, contact our NYC office at (212) 508-0000.

Posted in: Tummy Tuck

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