If you have loose skin and muscle weakness of your abdomen as a consequence of multiple pregnancies, weight loss or aging, you may be a candidate for an abdominoplasty which is also referred to as a “tummy tuck”.
An abdominoplasty is indicated for those adult men and women who present with abdominal wall weakness and loose and excessive skin. It is a procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen.
PRIOR TO SURGERY
At your initial consultation, Dr. Glassman will ask you to express your concerns about your appearance. Your medical history will be reviewed and a physical examination will be conducted to determine if an abdominoplasty is best for you. If you are a good candidate for surgery, Dr. Glassman will explain what can be done to assist you. He will discuss the variables that may affect the procedure.
Dr. Glassman may request that you visit your private medical doctor for a check-up and for any necessary lab work and x-rays.
Precise preoperative instructions are provided, and all necessary prescriptions are given to you in advance of the surgery. All aspirin, aspirin-containing products, and anti-inflammatory products must be stopped at least ten days before and for ten days after surgery. You will be provided with a complete list of which medications to avoid. Tylenol may be taken during this time. Also, you will be given a list of vitamins and homeopathic preparations to take prior to and after the surgery. This is done to promote healing and limit bruising.
Some insurance companies will pay for an abdominoplasty if it is medically necessary to repair the defects in the muscles and repair the integrity of the abdominal wall. Our office staff will help you determine if you are eligible for such benefits.
General anesthesia is given for all abdominoplasty cases. You will be asleep through the entire operation.
An abdominoplasty is generally performed as an outpatient in a private facility.
Before anesthesia is given, careful measurements are taken of your abdominal wall. A special surgical marking pen is used to apply a “map” of the surgery to the skin of your abdomen.
After anesthesia is given, an incision is made across the lower abdomen above the pubic area. A second incision is made around the navel. Dr. Glassman will remove the excess fat using liposuction and tighten the abdominal muscles with non-dissolving internal stitches. The extra skin is measured, marked and removed. Fine stitches are used to close the incision. You will be wrapped in a supportive bandage before you are awakened. The operation takes three to four hours.
THE POSTOPERATIVE PERIOD
The first one to two hours after surgery are spent in the recovery room. When you are fully alert you are transferred to an aftercare facility for a two night stay. Care is provided around the clock by licensed nurses.
The following morning, all bandages are removed in the aftercare facility. The surgical sites are inspected and cleansed, and a lighter bandage is placed.
By the third day, you will be able to return home. Instructions are given on how to care for the incisions until the stitches are removed in ten days.
The pain following an abdominoplasty is described by most patients as mild. Pain medication is prescribed, although this is usually unnecessary after the first day.
There may be mild bruising and swelling which lasts for approximately one week. Most patients may drive a car and return to work or social activities after one week. Strenuous physical exercise is avoided for three weeks following an abdominoplasty. You must avoid lifting or pushing anything heavy during this three week period.
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS
As with any operation, an abdominoplasty has minimal risks and potential complications. However, with highly trained doctors and nurses making up the surgical team, complications are extremely rare. Like all surgery, the risk of bleeding, infection, scarring or an anesthetic problem is present.
The procedure leaves permanent scars at the incision sites. These scars may vary in color and intensity from one patient to another.
Although much of the swelling and bruising will disappear in the first few weeks, it may be three months before your abdomen settles into its new shape. Clothes will fit better, and you may be perceived by others as having lost weight. Dr. Glassman will make every effort to make your scars as inconspicuous as possible. They often remain raised and red for months, then gradually become less obvious, sometimes eventually fading to thin white lines. All efforts will be made to place the scar so that you can still wear a low cut bathing suit.
ADVANTAGES OF ABDOMINOPLASTY SURGERY
The permanent scars of an abdominoplasty may be a welcomed alternative to the physical and emotional compromise of having an apron or excess skin and a weakness of the abdominal wall. An abdominoplasty will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.