If you’re considering a tummy tuck, you probably want to know all about the process. With our help, you can find answers to your questions, dissipate any uncertainty, and know what to expect from the procedure. At Burt & Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, we believe in empowering our clients with comprehensive knowledge, so we’ve written this guide to explain the tummy tuck procedure, recovery process, and potential results.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
Also known as an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure designed to flatten your stomach or abdomen by removing excess skin and fat. It may also tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. This surgical procedure aims to provide you with an abdomen that appears smoother and firmer.
Tummy tucks can be game-changers for those who are dealing with excess skin and fat as a result of major weight loss, pregnancy, or age. It’s important to note that abdominoplasty is not a weight-loss surgery but is instead a body contouring procedure that is often performed after weight loss.
The results of a tummy tuck are long-lasting, as fat and skin are permanently removed during abdominoplasty. However, you should support your tummy tuck results with a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
How Abdominoplasty Surgery Works
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that requires precision and knowledge to perform well. We begin with a long incision along your bikini line from one hip bone to another. If we’re removing excess skin from the upper abdominal area, we then make a second incision around the navel.
We separate the skin from the abdominal muscles so we can tighten the muscles. By pulling the abdominal muscles closer together and stitching them into a new position, we provide patients with a narrower waistline and firmer abdominal wall.
Finally, we stretch the separated skin over the newly tightened muscles and remove any excess. The remaining skin is stitched into place, providing you with a firmer, flatter appearance.
Preparing for Your Tummy Tuck Surgery
When you’re considering tummy tuck surgery, preparation is key. Adequately preparing for your procedure will help ensure a smoother process while setting you up for a more successful recovery.
The process begins with a thorough health check, where we make sure you are physically fit for surgery. This may involve evaluating your medical history and current medications and supplements and doing a few blood tests.
If you smoke or vape, you must stop at least six weeks before the surgery. You also cannot resume until two weeks after surgery, as smoking can hamper your body’s ability to heal. Similarly, you should limit alcohol use, as alcohol is dehydrating and can impede recovery.
Healthy, Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is an important part of a smooth recovery. In the weeks leading up to surgery, eat lean proteins, fruits and veggies, and whole grains. You should also stay hydrated and reduce sodium intake because excess sodium can cause water retention and increase swelling.
We recommend avoiding strenuous exercise when you’re close to surgery, but light exercise can help keep your body in great condition and even enhance the success of the recovery process. Walking, yoga, Pilates, and other low-impact movements are great recommendations.
We’ll talk about your current medications during your evaluation. We may recommend stopping certain medications before surgery that might lead to increased bleeding. We may prescribe medications as well for you to take before and after surgery.
Don’t neglect mentally preparing for your procedure! Any surgery can take a mental toll, and a tummy tuck is no different. This is an especially important step if you get medical anxiety, so consider meeting with a counselor or therapist before your surgery.
After surgery, you’ll need someone to help you with day-to-day tasks for the first week or two of recovery. Make sure you arrange for a family member or friend to help you. If needed, consider hiring a professional caregiver.
Before going in for surgery, make sure you have a cozy, comfortable recovery space set up at home. Your tummy tuck recovery space should have:
- Easy access to a bathroom
- Medications and water within reach
- A space to rest where you can keep your body slightly elevated
- A supply of loose, comfy clothes that won’t put pressure around your midsection
Every patient is unique, so we may recommend specific steps or instructions for your surgery prep and recovery.
The Recovery Process
Directly after your tummy tuck surgery, we’ll take you to a recovery area where we can monitor you closely. You will likely have drains inserted into your incisions to prevent fluid from accumulating. We may also have you wear compression garments to minimize swelling and support your repaired muscles. We’ll have you get up and move as soon as you can (slowly and with assistance) after surgery to promote the healing cycle.
Tummy Tuck Results
Once you’ve passed the tummy tuck recovery phase, you’ll be able to see the results of your new, slimmer profile. Initially, you’ll have some swelling. But after a week or two of recovery, you’ll notice your tummy tuck results.
For some patients, it can take a few weeks for the swelling to go down fully. The area of the incision will be easily concealable under your clothes, even bathing suits.
Abdominoplasty Surgery in Naperville, IL
At Burt & Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, we are the leading provider of tummy tuck procedures in Naperville, IL. To learn more about tummy tucks or to schedule a consultation, reach out to our team today.