- Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed today. Factors such as multiple pregnancies, genetics and even substantial weight loss can contribute to the development of loose skin, fat deposits, and stretch marks in the abdominal region.
To smooth out the abdomen, the surgeon makes a low abdominal incision across the pubic area, from hip to hip, and sometimes from the navel down. The excess skin together with the subcutaneous fat is then pulled over the abdomen, cut and removed. The navel remains intact and attached to the abdominal wall so the surgeon must make a new opening that is the new proper position.
If loose skin and muscle weakness are limited to the area below the navel, a slightly different procedure – which usually leaves a smaller scar and no scarring around the navel – may be performed. Abdominoplasty can be combined with liposuction to help reduce the areas of fat accumulation. The skin and fat excision is sometimes called Panniculectomy but many times the surgeon will have to include repairing the separated abdominal wall muscle that could positively help tighten the bulging of viscera which could not be corrected by Panniculectomy only.
At least three nights
Duration of Operation
Four to six hours
Before any surgery, remember to :
- Inform your surgeon of any medication/s that you are taking (both prescription and nonprescription), any allergies, all medical conditions (such as bronchial asthma, diabetes, hypertension, blood clotting abnormalities, etc…)
- Stop taking Aspirin, medications containing Ibuprofen, all vitamins and herbs for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery to eliminate the chance of post-operative bleeding.
- Stop smoking for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery as this will prolong your healing process from vasoconstriction.
- NO food and any liquid intake for at least 6 hours prior to surgery.
- Absolutely no alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours prior to surgery.
- Make sure you do not wear any jewelries, piercings, make up and nail polish to surgery.
- You should shower the morning of your surgery, wash your hair and do not apply any perfume, lotion, powder, cream or deodorant.
Day of Admission
Preop laboratory examination (Blood test, Chest Xray, EKG). Consultation with an internal medicine specialist if there is some abnormality detected. Preop photo taking and surgical markings will be made.
Post-Operative Care and Recovery
Immediately post-op, you will be brought to the recovery room. You will have one or two drains placed at the time of surgery to help remove fluids and blood that collects under the skin. Whilst in bed you will be advised to sleep on your back, head elevated and knees bent with a pillow underneath them. This will help reduce the strain on the abdominal area. The abdomen may be dressed with bandages and you will experience some compression across the abdomen. You may not be able to stand straight for some time due to the compression, but it is important that you start walking for short periods as soon as possible after surgery to reduce swelling and eliminate the chance of developing clot in your leg veins.
Pain and nausea will be most intense that needs intravenous medication.
Surgical wound will be cleaned daily.
Discomfort may be intense in the first few days.
You will start to feel pain, soreness, numbness of the skin in the abdominal area, discomfort in the incision and this could last for several weeks
Bruising and swelling will be noted. This will subside in 6-8 weeks. The extent of the post operative swelling and bruising depends on whether you tend to bruise or swell easily. Every person is different.
Removal of all the drain catheter and cleaning of the surgical wound.
You may shower and bathe as normal hours after removal of the drains. But do not submerge in swimming pools and bath tubs.
Discharge from the hospital with take home oral medications and the necessary materials for self wound dressing. Please be reminded that it is important to complete the full course of antibiotic therapy.
DAY 5-7- (At Home)
You have to try to keep the wound clean and dry, so the environment should be dry and cool.
You must clean your wound at least twice a day.
You may shower and bathe as normal but do not submerge in swimming pools and bath tubs.
You should avoid strenuous activities that could disrupt the internal muscular suture and the external skin suture. Avoid lifting up things greater than 2 kilograms in the first week. The wound strength will return to the normal level around 3 months. Your surgeon will discuss with you when you can return to your normal daily activities.
Check up with your doctor and stitches will be removed
Day before departure from Phuket-
Outpatient appointment and photo recording.
A light surgical support garment must be worn for approximately 3 months to support the tightened area following surgery.The recovery period is usually about 2 weeks. While there may still be some swelling and bruising, most people are happy with the result and return to work after approximately 4 weeks. You should consult your surgeon as to when you may return to work.
When to call
It is important that you know the signs of infection This includes fever ( temperature over 37.8°ree;C), pain not relieved by meds, increased redness along the incision, yellowish or greenish fluid collection on the wound edge or notice a foul odor, excessive swelling, excessive tenderness. When signs and symptoms of infection is noted or there is bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure, call the nurse or your doctor without hesitation.
Risks and complications
Risks are inherent to any surgical procedure. The most common risks are swelling, bruising, bleeding, infection, fluid, scarring, numbness, or a loss of sensation to the affected area – this should improve after nerve damage has repaired itself, which may take up to 12 months. The most common risk particular to this surgery is long and heavy scarring.
The incision may heal slowly causing crusting and scabbing along the scar. All precautions are taken to avoid these risks. Once the healing process is complete, it is essential to maintain a balanced diet. An unhealthy diet will invariably lead to weight gain which will stretch the skin and increase the possibility of heavy, permanent scarring. In most cases abdominoplasty produces excellent results, and with a balanced diet and regular exercise, the results are long lasting.
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