Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) The stomach can begin to loose tone and shape over time, often the result of pregnancy, weight fluctuations, or normal aging. People who have undergone Gastric Bypass, dropping close to 100 pounds or more, are also prone to large amounts of excess, sagging tissue around their waistline. Unfortunately, diet and exercise alone cannot successfully restore a smooth, flat stomach. A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to regain a tight, smooth abdomen. Those who choose this procedure alone can expect excellent results. When paired with complementary procedures, such as liposuction, a breast lift, or a mommy makeover, the abdominoplasty can provide exceptional, life-changing benefits. The ideal candidate: The ideal candidate for an abdominoplasty can be either a man or woman who is unhappy with their appearance due to excess skin and fat on their abdomen that doesn’t disappear with diet and exercise. The ideal candidate for an abdominoplasty will be in generally good health and have reasonable expectations for the procedure. This procedure can be particularly beneficial for women after pregnancy, or anyone who has undergone weight loss surgery. Your consultation: A potential patient considering this procedure should start the process by researching the procedure. Valuable resources can be found online, as well as at Dr. Lohner’s office. Once the patient understands the abdominoplasty procedure, the next step is to call and schedule a consultation appointment. The initial consultation appointment with Dr. Lohner is a chance for both patient and surgeon to develop a trusting relationship. He will take time to review the medial history and current medications, as well as perform a brief physical examination. Dr. Lohner will listen to the patient’s aesthetic goals and desires. After explaining all of the rejuvenating procedures available, it will be decided if this procedure is right for the individual patient. If so, a unique surgical plan will be created. What you can do to prepare for your surgery: At the consultation appointment, Dr. Lohner will provide detailed post-operative instructions. Carefully read through these and contact our office with any questions that arise. To ensure a smooth recovery, keep the following points in mind: Arrange for a ride home from the hospital. Pick up prescriptions before the day of surgery. Have a friend or family member stop by daily to assist with light chores and children. Have supplies like reading materials, extra pillows, and ice packs on hand. Plan on liquid, soft, and easy to prepare meals. Consolidate all insurance information and emergency contacts in an easily accessible place. Decide what to tell friends and coworkers about your surgery. Take the recommended time off work to allow your body to properly heal. Organize your follow-up appointments on your calendar. Relax The tummy tuck procedure: An abdominoplasty will take between two and three hours to complete, under general anesthesia. The procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure, although overnight stays in the hospital can be arranged as well. To begin the procedure, Dr. Lohner will make a lower transverse incision, located just above the pubic area, running between the hipbones. From this incision, excess skin and fat are removed. Liposuction, if included in the procedure, will be used at this point; further sculpting the abdomen. The muscles are then tightened to achieve the desired correction. Finally, the remaining tissues will be sutured for appropriate healing. The mini tuck is a variation of the full procedure. A smaller incision, a bit smaller than a C-Section, is placed above the pubic bone. Excess skin and fat are then removed, and the muscle is tightened below the belly button. The mini abdominoplasty is best for patients seeking the majority of correction below the belly button. Exactly which procedure is used will depend on the specific patient’s needs and desires. Potential risks: This procedure has been performed by plastic surgeons for decades. With modern techniques, the procedure is safer and more efficient than ever before. As it is an invasive procedure, there is always the small risk for complications. If these occur, they may include excess bleeding, infection, scarring, and seroma formation (fluid collection). By choosing a Board Certified Cosmetic Surgeon, like Dr. Lohner, patients can guarantee themselves satisfying results with the lowest potential for complications. Tummy tuck recovery: Any patient undergoing an abdominoplasty should expect the recovery to take between one and two weeks. Pain Pumps are utilized in patients undergoing muscle tightening. These are removed three days post operation. Initially, bruising and swelling may be present; these will normally resolve over the first two to three weeks. Moderate pain is normal, but Dr. Lohner will prescribe appropriate medications to keep patients resting comfortably at home. Normally pain medication is used in conjunction with a muscle relaxant, especially if the tightening of the abdominal muscles is performed. Drain tubes will be placed to alleviate the accumulation of fluid. After 7-10 days, patients will return to Lohner Plastic Surgery to have these removed. Part of the recovery process involves wearing a special compression garment for several weeks to keep swelling down and promote appropriate healing. Patients will generally feel well enough to return to work in 7-10 days after surgery. However, most patients may experience midday tiredness for the first week or two. Vigorous exercise and heavy lifting should be postponed for four to six weeks. As the swelling resolves, over the following six to eight weeks, the full benefits of the abdominoplasty will become apparent. FAQ: How much does a tummy tuck cost? The cost of the procedure varies. The cost of this procedure depends on the extent of correction. The cost of the surgery can range between $7,000-$12,000. When can I exercise after my surgery? Patients should wait until four to six weeks have passed after their procedure before embarking on strenuous exercise. When can I return to work after the procedure? Patients generally feel well enough to return to work in 7-10 days when muscles are tightened. Muscle tightening, however, does not always need to be undertaken. What are the risks of the surgery? Complications of an abdominoplasty are rare, but when they occur can include infection, excessive bleeding, scarring, asymmetry, seroma formation, and numbness in the treatment area.