Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty Overview
A tummy tuck is also known as an abdominoplasty. This procedure is often performed after significant weight loss has occurred and/or following pregnancies. These situations will most always result in excessive skin of the abdomen as well as a separation of the abdominal muscles. This procedure removes excess skin and also tightens up loosened abdominal muscles. While diet and exercise can yield improvements in the fat layer of the abdomen, the loose skin and stretched muscles will not respond. Indeed, weight loss will often worsen the looseness of the abdominal skin. This is one reason Dr. Brzowski will recommend you be at your best weight prior to surgery, and that you don’t have any immediate plans for more than 10-20 pounds of weight loss. Obviously, a tummy tuck is also best postponed until child-rearing has been completed.
Likewise, Dr. Brzowski may recommend that you also consider liposuction during the procedure. Any superficial fat deposits that are not improved with the usual diet and exercise, or that will not be removed in the process of cutting out the excess skin, may be a candidate for liposuction during the tummy tuck. Common areas are the upper abdomen, hips, outer thighs, and upper back rolls.
Although not common, some patients are candidates for a mini-abdominoplasty. Dr. Brzowski will be able to determine whether he feels this is a good option for you or not during your consultation in Salt Lake City. This procedure uses a slightly smaller incision, only repairs the loosened abdominal muscles below the belly button, and results in much less tightening/removal of the abdominal skin. Fortunately, the recovery time is shorter as well.
Tummy Tuck Recovery Period
During the first few days after the procedure, you will be moving quite slowly and need to have help with feeding and dressing yourself. Also, you’ll be taking narcotic pain medication as needed for pain relief. Because of the tightness placed on the abdominal skin during removal of the excess, you will need to pay careful attention to maintaining a flexed position during this time. For most patients, they will be able to be more upright/flat in bed in approximately 5-7 days. Because of the variation from patient to patient, Dr. Brzowski recommends that you remain in this flexed position until you are not aware of excessive tightness.
In order to minimize the likelihood of other medical complications such as blood clots in the legs and problems with breathing, we ask you to get out of bed and do some short distance walking nearly immediately after your surgery. Dr. Brzowski will also instruct you on exercises to perform with your calves to promote circulation and minimize the risks of blood clot formation.
You are asked to remove your dressings 24 hours after your surgery, and change them twice daily until the incision no longer drains any fluid. If applied, an abdominal binder must be worn for two weeks. Drains placed during the surgery will need care as described to you following the surgery, but they usually remain in place for 1-3 weeks and can be easily hidden underneath your clothing.
Desk work may be resumed two weeks following the procedure. Lifting should be limited to 10-15 lbs for 4-6 weeks.
Risks of Abdominoplasty Surgery
As with any operation, there are risks of bleeding, poor healing, infection, dissatisfaction with the results, and complications from the anesthetic such as blood clots and etc. Certain behaviors around the time of your surgery can influence your risks of problems such as smoking and failing to follow instructions regarding wound care and activities. Specifically, smokers are required to discontinue smoking a minimum of 3 weeks prior to surgery and not resume smoking until proper healing as been verified.
Learn More about Tummy Tucks
If you feel that a Salt Lake City tummy tuck operation might be right for you, schedule a private consultation with Dr. Brzowski at his Ogden, Utah practice to discuss your desires.