Tummy tuck surgery, also known as “abdominoplasty,” improves the contours of the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat and tightening the abdominal muscles. The midsection is one of the most difficult areas to target with diet and exercise alone, and this procedure gives patients the confidence and comfort that comes with a flatter and more attractive abdominal appearance.
(Anticipating surgery can be stressful. One of the biggest stressors is thinking of what you will look after the surgery. Here are some of the pictures of my patients who have already undergone the journey. All photos are patients of Dr.Kalsow. For patient education only. Do not use without permission).
Benefits of an abdominoplasty
- Removes fat: can add liposuction on flanks to further slim the waistline
- Removes extra skin and stretch marks
- Improves the appearance of the belly button: a youthful belly button is vertical and looks natural
- Removes scars: c section scars can be ugly and dented. They are completely removed with the skin
- Tightens muscles: when muscles are tightened on stomach the abdomen becomes flatter
Tummy tuck recovery
Immediately after: You will spend about two hours in recovery and will go home the same day with a compression garment. You will have two small drains which you will empty twice a day.
1 week: You are encouraged to get up and walk around, but in a bent position, because your tissues were tightened. You will come for follow up in that week, and most likely your drains will be removed. It does not hurt to remove the drains.
2 weeks: At the end of two weeks you can probably go back to normal activity, but no heavy lifting for 6 weeks after the surgery. You will continue to wear the compression garment.
1 month: Your incisions are healed, and you are at normal activity. You can wear the compression brace at night. You are 80 percent healed, and the swelling is down 80 percent.
6 months: This is where the rest of the healing takes place slowly. Over this time, you will see your results continue to improve. Your scars will still be visible.
1 year: At this time the swelling is completely gone, and your scars have matured. This means that they faded as best as they can. Everyone scars differently, some people more and some patients you almost can’t see the scars at all. At one year you will see close to your final scarring.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you drainless tummy tucks? I do not. I keep the drains in usually for a few days, just not to have a fluid collection. I know some surgeons do not use drains for their tummy tucks, but I prefer to use them.
How long will I have to take off from work? It depends on what you do for work and how your body recovers. I would say a week and a half. You will be able to go back to work with limited activity (no lifting greater then 10 pounds for 6 weeks after surgery).
How long does the procedure take? About 3 to 4 hours. Usually it is done outpatient, which means you will go home after the procedure the same day. You can have the option to be admitted to a hospital overnight if you choose to do so. The hospital will charge for overnight stay.
Can I do liposuction instead of a tummy tuck? If you have extra skin, doing liposuction will not treat the skin. You will continue to have loose skin. If you have extra fat under the skin but your skin is not lose, then you can do just liposuction and the skin will tighten a little.
Can I combine tummy tuck with other procedures? Yes, most commonly liposuction of flanks to define the waistline. Also, you can combine a tummy tuck with a breast lift of breast augmentation (Mommy makeover), or fat transfer (Brazilian butt lift).