What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck removes the excess skin and fat on the abdomen that may be the result of simply being overweight, age or pregnancy. Sometimes, the muscles that have weakened or become stretched out are tightened. This is an invasive surgical procedure, and you should be fully informed before proceeding if you are considering getting a tummy tuck.
Am I a Candidate?
Being in good health now, and lacking any serious pre-existing conditions or diseases is, first and foremost, the most important thing for determining whether you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck. Secondly, like any other cosmetic procedure, it is crucial you have realistic expectations of the outcome. It is important to talk to your doctor about your goals for getting this surgery so you can get a clearer picture of what can be achieved. Recovery from this type of surgery can be lengthy and challenging due to the invasive nature—being mentally and emotionally stable is important.
If you don’t think you are done having children, you should wait. If this surgery is part of a grander weight loss plan, it is best to get it done once you have reached your desired weight, or you will end up spending more money as you will need another procedure to remove excess skin.
What Can I Expect after the Surgery?
You will not be completely bedridden after the surgery, and it is encouraged you walk for a few minutes at a clip several times a day. You may be a bit hunched over for a few days, and the skin of your abdomen may feel tight. Because you will not be able to stand up straight for about four to five days, this may lead to some discomfort and back spasms. Your doctor can prescribe muscle relaxants to help.
You will have drains inserted to catch fluid that may leak from the incision, and you will have them for at least four days, and up to two weeks after your tummy tuck. You will require a pressure garment to keep everything in place during the healing process. Swelling and bruising is to be expected. The amount of pain experienced by patients can vary greatly, with some reporting small amounts of discomfort and others saying it quite intense. Your doctor can provide prescription-strength pain relievers if necessary.
You will begin to see results after the drains are removed, and once swelling has gone down, which can take several weeks. Typically you can go back to work within a couple of weeks, but depending on how extensive your surgery was, and the nature of your job, you may need up to a month to recover, possibly more.
Where Will the Scar Be?
Tummy tuck surgeries will leave a scar, and the severity of it will depend on many individual factors, such as how much skin was removed, how well your body heals, how your skin responds to scars, surgical skill and the technique. Most surgeons will make the incision in an area where a standard bikini bottom type bathing suit or underwear would cover it up. If you are concerned about this, it is important to talk to the doctor and have a full understanding of where the incision will be made and how to minimize scarring.