Abdominoplasty Questions

1Who is a good candidate for tummy tuck?

Ideal candidates have an excess of skin and fat in the lower abdominal region +/- abdominal muscle laxity. In the case of females it is preferable to have finished having children before proceeding. The ideal candidate will be at a stable body weight with no weight fluctuations greater than 10-15lbs expected before or after surgery as this can impact detrimentally on the final result. Good candidates who see the most benefit from this procedure typically have a pre-operative BMI of between 20-30.

2What will the scar be like?

The scar is a low transverse scar that runs from hip to hip, examples of which can be seen in our abdominoplasty gallery. Depending on individual preference (style of underwear worn regularly) the scar can be sited higher or lower in the groin region. There is also a circumferential scar around the umbilicus (belly-button) as in most abdominoplasties this has to be re-sited.

3Do I have a drain after a tummy-tuck?

Typically, Dr. Tregaskiss will insert two drains that stay in for 7-10 days post-operatively, again depending on the individual case.

4How much pain will I have after a tummy tuck?

Pain relief:

Pain is controlled and limited by providing analgesia pre-operatively, intraoperatively and post-operatively. In close conjunction with our anesthesiologist, Dr. Tregaskiss will use a combination of local anesthetics, intravenous and oral analgesics to make you as comfortable as possible.

In spite of this some patients will experience discomfort after a tummy tuck, more so in the first few days after surgery, settling rapidly thereafter.The severity of pain experienced varies between individuals as well as the specifics of the surgical technique. For example, muscle tightening during the tummy tuck procedure (if required) is associated with greater post-operative discomfort.

Pre-operatively Dr. Tregaskiss will provide prescriptions for pain relief medication and will check-in with you post-operatively to tailor your analgesia requirements and minimize discomfort.

Nausea and sickness:

Some people find that the anesthetic medication used during surgery can cause them to feel nauseous. You can try taking ginger drinks or Gravol tablets from the pharmacy, but if it persists a prescription for stronger anti-sickness medication can be provided. Even if you are feeling sick it is important to keep taking fluids to prevent dehydration and constipation.

5What is the recovery like after a tummy tuck?

Showering and bathing:

Strip-washing can begin the day after surgery as your dressings are water-resistant. Showering and bathing are discouraged until the first post-operative visit (Typically 5-10 days post-op).After this visit the majority of patients can begin showering if Dr. Tregaskiss is happy with your healing.

Movement and exercise:

The first week you will need to rest frequently. Additionally, you should also mobilize (keeping the hips flexed, see below) frequently, every 1-2 hours during waking hours to minimize the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis.

Every 2-3 hours take deep breaths to expand your lungs. Hold your incision while coughing.

Avoid picking anything up greater than 5 lbs. for the first week.

You will not be able to stand up straight for the first week. It will be normal to walk at a 30-degree angle bent at the hips. Your back may become sore in this position. You can try to stand up straight after the first week as tolerated.

Very light regular daily activities are allowed by day 2 after surgery, but these may be sore initially. Depending on the recovery and the first post-operative visit, you can increase your activity level after the first 2 weeks.You should not do any activity that increases your heart rate above 120 beats per minute for the first 4 weeks. It is important to ‘listen’ to your body: if an activity hurts or causes much discomfort then wait longer. Do not participate in any strenuous activity until 6 weeks after your surgery. This includes: heavy lifting/weight lifting, extreme stretching exercises such as yoga, strenuous sporting activities

Driving:

You must not drive for 48 hours after a general anesthetic. Driving can typically begin again 7-10 days post-surgery, depending on comfort levels.

Sleeping:

For the first week post-surgery sleep on your back with your head elevated and knees bent with a pillow underneath them. This will keep the tension off your abdomen. Do not sleep on your side.

Work:

Return to work depends very much on the individual and the type of work activity you perform. Most individuals can return to work in some capacity 2-4 weeks post surgery, but varies depending on individual progress and recovery and type of work.

Follow-up:

Follow-up is tailored to the individual case but typically occurs, 1-2 weeks post-surgery, 4-6 weeks, and 3-6 months post surgery.

6Will the results last?

Yes, typically the results from this procedure will last a long time, as long as your weight remains stable. Subsequent pregnancies or large fluctuations in weight are likely to have an adverse effect on your long-term cosmetic outcome.

7Will a tummy tuck help my stretch marks?
Yes, a tummy tuck will enable the majority if not all of the stretch marks over the lower abdomen to be removed. Dr. Tregaskiss will be able to assess your individual case and advise you on the likely outcome during your consultation.
8Do I need to have a tummy tuck, or can I just have liposuction?

Liposuction helps to remove excess fat from underneath the skin and this can be very effective for some individuals. However, many people (for example those who have experienced significant weight loss or multiple pregnancies) have excess loose skin that can only be removed surgically. Whilst liposuction alone works very well for some individuals, it is not a suitable substitute for a tummy tuck in others. Dr. Tregaskiss’s assessment will help to determine which procedure(s) are indicated in your particular case.

9Can I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?

Yes, pregnancy is still possible after a tummy tuck and there are no additional risks as a result. Pregnancies after a tummy tuck will however, almost certainly have a detrimental effect on the cosmetic appearance. Women who plan on possibly becoming pregnant in future are sometimes good candidates for liposuction alone.

10Will I need to wear a compression garment after surgery?

Yes, you will be provided with a compression garment after your surgery that you must wear for 6 weeks. It is essential that you wear this all the time for 6 weeks for the optimal cosmetic outcome. Failure to wear the garment will result in sub-par aesthetics outcomes.

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