Abdominoplasty called also as tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgical procedure that helps flatten the abdomen. Recovery time after tummy tuck operation occur over a period of 2-6 months. The first week is the hardest one. Just after surgery the patient should rest quietly. After a few weeks, regaining mobility and fitness becomes important.

Who is the best candidate for Abdominoplasty?             

The decision to have an abdominoplasty procedure is personal, and patients choose to have it for a variety of reasons. The ideal candidates for abdominoplasty are non-smokers who are in the good physical condition and at a stable weight. They can have pockets of fat or loose skin that have not responded well to diet and exercise. This surgical procedure is also good for slightly obese people who have lost elasticity in their skin and for women whose skin and muscles have been stretched from pregnancy. Women who are planning to have more children or anyone planning on losing a significant amount of weight should wait before undergoing an abdominoplasty. The best solution is to undergo abdominoplasty after pregnancy or bariatric surgery.

How it is Performed?

During abdominoplasty procedure, the patient is placed under genel anesthesia. The suregon is making two incisions. First one is made from the hip bone on one side to the hip bone on the other side of the body, and the other incision is made around the navel. The skin will be separated from the abdominal muscles. Then the muscles are pulled together and stitched into a place for a more narrowed waist and firmer abdomen. The separated flap of skin is then stretched over the newly tightened muscles and excess skin is removed. The navel is reattached to a position where it looks natural. The incisions are closed and a sterile dressing is applied over the area. The abdominoplasty procedure can take from 2-5 hours to perform.

What can be possible risks of Abdominoplasty?

Along with the usual risks associated with surgery and anesthesia, the risks of abdominoplasty include the following:

* Fluid accumulation beneath the skin (seroma). Drainage tubes left in place after surgery can help reduce the risk of excess fluid. Doctor might also remove fluid after surgery using a needle and syringe.
* Poor wound healing. Sometimes areas along the incision line heal poorly or begin to separate. To prevent possible infections during and after surgery patients should use antibiotics.
* Unexpected scarring. The incision scar from a tummy tuck is permanent, but is placed along the easily hidden bikini line. The length and visibility of the scar varies from person to person.
* Tissue damage. During an abdominoplasty, fatty tissue deep within patients skin in the abdominal area might get damaged or die. Smoking increases this risk. Depending on the size of the area, tissue might heal on its own or require a surgical touch-up procedure.
*Changes in skin sensation. The repositioning of abdominal tissues can affect the nerves in the abdominal area, and infrequently, in the upper thighs. It is possible to feel some reduced sensation or numbness. This usually diminishes in the months after the procedure.

Like any other type of major surgery, a tummy tuck poses a risk of bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to anesthesia.

Tips for recovery

Recovery time after tummy tuck operation occur over a period of 2-6 months. The first week is the hardest one. Just after surgery the patient should rest quietly. After a few weeks, regaining mobility and fitness becomes important.

Drains will be left in for a few days after the surgery. You’ll be shown how to take care of and empty the drains. You’ll likely need to take an antibiotic and an anticoagulant while your drains are in place.

You can shower 48 hours after you remove your drainage tubes. You may want to take a sponge bath until you can shower.

You’ll wear an abdominal binder for about six weeks. This helps to avoid fluid buildup and helps to support your abdomen.

You’ll be prescribed an antibiotic and possibly an anticoagulant. You may be given some type of medication to apply to the skin. Take any pain medication as directed. You shouldn’t take any medicine containing aspirin unless directed by your doctor.

You should also avoid alcohol if you’re taking pain medication, and avoid any form of nicotine for at least six weeks. Smoking can hinder the healing process and may cause complications.

You may need to sleep on an incline for the first few days after surgery. Keeping your upper body raised slightly with your knees bent at an angle can help reduce swelling. Putting pillows underneath your knees can also reduce pressure on your abdomen.

Keep moving after your surgery, even if it’s only a bit of walking. This will help to keep your blood flowing, which helps with the healing process and decreases the chances of a blood clot in your legs.

It’ll be several weeks before you are fully back to normal. You won’t be able to drive for a few weeks. You’ll also have to limit strenuous exercise and demanding physical activity for four to six weeks. Your doctor can help you decide what activities you can perform and how long you’ll need to take off work.

Most of the intense pain will be in the first few days following surgery. You can take pain medication to control the pain you are likely to experience. You may experience swelling for up to three months after the surgery.

Your tummy may feel like it’s being pulled when you try to stand up straight. You may feel numbness in your tummy for months. It’s normal to have bruises in your abdominal area. You may have fluid-filled swelling above the scar, but this will go away. Your scar may be red and raised, but it will eventually fade.

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