Tummy Tuck from Start to Finish
Part 4: During & After the Tummy Tuck –
In this 4 part series Dr. Ali explains tummy tuck surgery from start to finish – and breaks down everything you’ve ever wanted to know about a tummy tuck, including whether a noninvasive body sculpting can give you the same results.
What You Can Expect During the Tummy Tuck Procedure
Tummy tucks are done in a hospital or an outpatient surgical facility. You will be under a general anesthesia, which means you will be completely unconscious and unable to feel any pain.
During the procedure itself, Dr. Ali will make incisions to remove excess skin between your belly button and pubic hair. Depending on the extent of your surgery, Dr. Ali might also address any excess fat, removing it the same way it would be removed during traditional liposuction.
The fascia, which overlies the abdominal muscles, will be tightened with permanent sutures. Finally, the incision will be stitched together.
The procedure typically takes about three hours from start to finish, but of course that depends upon what type of tummy tuck you choose to have.
Before finishing the procedure, Dr. Ali will probably place drains in your stomach to remove any extra fluid that may build up as you heal, allowing the newly stretched skin to stick to the muscle. (The drains will be removed after about a week.)
What Happens to the Belly Button in a Tummy Tuck
In a full tummy tuck, the skin above the belly button will be pulled down so that it will cover both the upper and lower abdomen. Some patients are surprised to notice that an existing birthmark or mole that was located above their belly button before the operation has moved to below the belly button after the surgery. Your belly button, however, will be brought out through a small incision and sutured in its normal position.
After a Tummy Tuck
After spending time in recovery, you will be released to go home, and your recovery process will begin. Before you leave, Dr. Ali will likely cover your abdominal incision and your bellybutton with surgical dressings. Small tubes may be placed along the incision to drain any excess fluid or blood. You will need to have a driver take you home, and it is a good idea to have arranged for someone to be with you for at least the first night after the surgery.
The length of your recovery will depend upon the type of tummy tuck performed, as well as how much skin was removed. The recovery period is usually much shorter for a mini-tummy tuck.
Drains may be left in place at the surgery site for a few days after the surgery. Typically, DR. Ali will also prescribe antibiotics and an anticoagulants while the drains are in place. You will also be given a prescription for pain management – although some patients only require over-the-counter pain relievers.
Recovery from a Tummy Tuck
Once you get home, the recuperation process begins. Most patients find that positioning their bed to keep the upper body slightly elevated and knees at an angle for the first few days after surgery is helpful in terms of comfort level.
It could take a few days to a week before you feel completely comfortable standing fully erect. Patients often walk slightly bent over due to the tightness of their abdomens.
Light walking right after the surgery is advised, and in fact, it’s good for you. However, you should avoid hitting the gym for at least two weeks, and consult with Dr. Ali before you try anything strenuous. Generally, tummy tuck patients take at least two weeks off of work, and maybe more, depending on what the job entails. After about five weeks, most patients are usually able to completely resume their normal activities. Of course, everyone is different.
Patients typically wear an abdominal binder for about six weeks, to avoid fluid buildup and help support the abdomen. Patients need to avoid strenuous activity, including exercise and lifting for at least six weeks.
Macomb County Tummy Tuck Surgeon
Macomb County board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali has helped hundreds of women and men get the body they love with tummy tuck surgery. In fact, many men and women get the best abs of their life after a tummy tuck – with firm, tight skin and muscles!
When you schedule a consultation with Macomb County surgeon Dr. Ali, he will answer all of your questions – and help you decide if a Tummy Tuck is the right solution for your appearance goals.