If the most intense weight loss and diet efforts have failed to firm up your abdominals, a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, can remove loose skin and underlying fat, while also tightening the muscles for a slimmer silhouette. If you’ve had several pregnancies, this is the ideal treatment for restoring your body to its former pre-baby glory. Men are also candidates for this surgery, particularly if they’ve lost a large amount of weight and have stretched and sagging skin as a result.
There are two main types of tummy tuck surgery:
Full abdominoplasty which requires an incision around the navel and at the lower abdomen to remove fat and excess skin, and tighten the muscles.
Mini abdominoplasty, which involves a much smaller incision and is better suited if most of your loose skin sits below your navel.
A tummy tuck is an ideal treatment for:
• Sagging, excess abdominal skin and fat that can’t be treated through diet and exercise
• Extreme stretch marks on your abdominals
What To Expect
Tummy tuck surgery typically ranges from two to four hours, and may require an overnight stay in the hospital. Most commonly, patients are released the same day, into the care of a friend or family member who plans to stay with them overnight.
During your consultation, Dr. Kirman will examine your torso and medical issues discussed. Pre-surgery instructions will also be given: you can prepare yourself by stocking a few extra pillows, prescribed medications and loose, comfortable clothing.
Your torso will be marked with a pen indicating where incisions will be made. Local anesthesia may be administered, although most tummy tucks are performed under general anesthesia. Fat is removed through a process of liposuction and sagging muscles are pulled taut and stitched together. Excess skin is then trimmed (this simultaneously helps eliminate stretch marks) and your belly button may also be moved to a more flattering position.
A surgical drain may be inserted to alleviate any swelling and reduce fluid. Your abs will be a bit sore and you may have some bruising which will resolve over a few days. You will be wrapped in compression bandages and numbed with the appropriate pain medication for your recovery. Bear in mind you will need assistance to get around your living quarters for at least 24 hours and will also need to keep your head and back elevated with extra pillows while you sleep for the next two weeks—your official period of ‘rest and relaxation’. The surgical drain will require emptying three times a day, and will be removed during a follow-up appointment with Dr. Kirman (in about a week post-op). You will visit with Dr. Kirman a few weeks thereafter to see your dramatic results!
Things To Consider
•Be prepared to stop smoking prior to surgery, and hopefully afterward—for good.
•It’s wise to wait to have a tummy tuck until after having children.
Q. Will it hurt?
A. There will be some pain, swelling and discomfort but most patients insist it’s worth it after seeing their results. The first week will be mostly rest at home, but it will be manageable with medication.
Q. What is the recovery time?
A. Allow for two to six weeks of recovery time. All strenuous activity should be avoided during this period.
Q. Will I have a scar?
A. Dr. Kirman takes every measure to minimize scarring. You’ll have the best chance of healing if you follow doctor’s orders and avoid direct sun exposure, keep your incisions clean and avoid strenuous activity.
Q. How long will my tummy tuck results last?
A. Results from a tummy tuck are permanent, given you are in good health. Extreme weight gain or weight loss or can manipulate your results over time, so taking measures to maintain a stable weight should be a priority.