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 smaller scar and no scarring around the navel - maybe 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 separate abdominal wall muscle that could positively help tighten the bulging of viscera which could not be corrected by panniculectomy only.
General anesthesia - discussed with your surgeon
Before surgery, please inform your surgeon of any allergies, all medical conditions, and any medication that you are taking (both prescription and non-prescription).
To eliminate the chance of post op. bleeding, you should avoid aspirin and any medication containing aspirin for 2 weeks prior to surgery. You should also not smoke for 1-2 months prior to surgery as smoking can affect your reaction to the anesthetic and slow down the healing process. Patients who suffer from hypertension must inform the surgeon prior to surgery.
After your tummy tuck procedure is completed, dressings, bandages, and binder will be placed around your abdomen and waistline to provide additional support and minimize the movement and the resultant discomfort. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. Recovery is prolonged because of the requirement of avoiding bending at the waist for a month until adequate healing has occurred. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. You will experience some pain associated with the surgery which is usually controlled well with pain medications. Upon discharge, you will have prescriptions for pain medication that you will take as needed, and antibiotics that you will need to take for several days to decrease chances of infection. You should be able to resume your regular activities in about 2 weeks, although you should abstain from heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for several months. It may take 6 months to a year for you to get completely used to your tighter stomach and body. Upon completion of the healing process, maintaining a proper diet and exercise routine should assure a long lasting result.
You will need to sit or walk bending slightly bending over for about a week after your surgery. Your abdomen and other surgery sites may remain swollen for a month or more after your surgery. You will need to wear the support garments as instructed by your surgeon.