What is a Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty (aka: tummy tuck) is the surgical procedure in which the excess skin and fat from the belly area is removed and the abdominal muscles are tightened and set into place. A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck is one of the more popular plastic surgery procedures performed by Dr. Scott McDonald.
Am I a Candidate for Abdominoplasty?
The best candidates for an Abdominoplasty are men or women in good health and relatively good shape, but are bothered by a large fat deposit or excess skin that does not respond to diet or exercise. Many patients undergo a tummy tuck after a large weight loss, including pregnancy or bariatric surgery, where stretched skin remains. Those who are considering losing a significant amount of weight, or women still planning future pregnancies, may want to consider waiting before undergoing the tummy tuck procedure. Patients must be non-smokers or must have stopped smoking in preparation of surgery.
A full tummy tuck requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin. Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. Often, patients will combine liposuction with a tummy tuck. Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.
Following your surgery, dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions, and you will be wrapped in an elastic binder or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your abdomen as it heals following surgery. Small, thin tubes, referred to as drains, will be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. This is common and don’t cause any pain. Drains may stay in anywhere between 5 -14 days.
It’s important to line up help for at least the first day or two that you’re home following surgery. Keep in mind you will not be allowed to drive for at 1 week while you are on pain medication and have limited mobility. Once home, you will likely have difficulty with bending, lifting or standing for prolonged periods of time, so having someone to help around the house during the initial period after tummy tuck surgery can make recovery significantly easier.
Most patients are given antibiotics, pain medication and anticoagulants (Lovenox) to take for a certain length of time.
You will be instructed to wear a binder or compression garment that will help with swelling and discomfort during recovery, so it’s important to wear it for the recommended amount of time each day. It’s helpful to have 2, so you can wash when needed.
Smoking and drinking alcohol can seriously inhibit your recovery, so they should be avoided for at least three months post-surgery.
If you have young children, you will want to enlist help to assist with childcare, as squatting or picking up children (or heavy objects for that matter) for the first few weeks is strongly advised against. However, driving, cooking or shopping is often manageable after a week or two.
Most people opt to take up to a month off work for recovery. If you have a physically demanding job, it’s especially important to take plenty of time off so that you don’t jeopardize your recovery. You will also want to avoid exercise during this time for the same reasons.
What is the Cost for Abdominoplasty?
The cost for abdominoplasty can vary between $6,900 – $7,900 depending on the location chose by the patient.
Tummy tucks are generally considered cosmetic and are not covered by insurance. However, in some cases, insurance may cover a portion of the surgery surgery, called a Panniculectomy. During a panniculectomy, the doctor removes the hanging skin and fat from the lower abdomen to create a smoother abdominal contour. A panniculectomy differs from a tummy tuck in that the abdominal muscles are typically not tightened during a panniculectomy. A consultation will be necessary to determine if you are a candidate for insurance-covered panniculectomy.