Are you looking to improve a sagging abdomen by undergoing a tummy tuck procedure? Before having any type of cosmetic surgery performed, whether minor or major, you owe it to yourself to completely understand every aspect of the procedure so that you can make the right decision for your health and appearance.
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What is a tummy tuck?
The tummy tuck is a type of cosmetic surgery that reshapes the abdominal area through the removal of excess, sagging skin and fat. It also helps tighten weakened muscles, leading to a sleeker and healthier looking abdomen.
Tummy tucks are among the most popular cosmetic surgeries performed in the United States. The tummy tuck ranks sixth in popularity, with over 100,000 performed each year.
Tummy Tuck Cost
According to statistics provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost for a tummy tuck procedure, in the most recent year that statistics were kept, was $6,154.
To determine the final fee for your individual tummy tuck procedure, consult with your plastic surgeon’s office.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
Your tummy tuck procedure will begin with the delivery of anesthesia, which could be either general anesthesia or sedation, depending upon which type of tummy tuck procedure will be performed, as well as the length of the procedure. The type of incision that your surgeon creates is dependent upon whether you are getting a complete, partial, or mini tummy tuck.
If you’re getting a complete tummy tuck, it will involve the upper and lower abdomen. Your surgeon will create a horizontal incision running from hip to hip over the pubic area. They will lift the abdominal skin, remove excess fat and repair weakened muscles.
Your surgeon will then form a second incision around your navel for the removal of excess abdominal skin. They will then pull down the upper abdominal skin, trimming excess skin away and suturing remaining skin together. This will leave a permanent scar, but your surgeon will attempt to conceal it in the bikini area. Your surgeon will let you know how you can improve the scar over time.
Your plastic surgeon may then place drainage tubes under your skin to remove any accumulated fluids.
The length of your tummy tuck surgery can range anywhere from one to five hours.
Mini Tummy Tuck
The mini tummy tuck is not as extensive and invasive as a complete tummy tuck. If you only have problems with your lower abdominal area, this is an appropriate procedure.
Your plastic surgeon will create one horizontal incision above your pubic area, removing excess fat and repairing weakened muscles. You may or may not receive drainage tubes at this time. The scar resulting from a mini tummy tuck will only be a few inches long. If your mini tummy tuck is not performed in conjunction with any other procedures, it should take about two or three hours to complete.
Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline
Although everyone’s body responds somewhat differently to a given medical procedure, here is roughly what you can expect following your tummy tuck procedure:
Once your anesthesia wears off, you’ll be released so that the person that you arranged to drive you home can return you to your familiar surroundings to relax and recover.
At first, you’ll be somewhat drowsy from the effects of the anesthesia. You’ll also likely experience at least some of the following:
- Dull or throbbing pain
- Abdominal area swelling
- Feeling nauseated or groggy
- Sensations of tingling, numbness or itching
There is no denying the fact that you will experience a good bit of soreness, swelling, bruising, and pain in the week after your tummy tuck procedure. Keep your pain medication handy and take as directed. You may also be taking antibiotics to prevent infection.
You’ll probably be wearing compression garments to help maintain your new figure during your recovery. You may also have drains in place to remove accumulations of fluid and minimize the swelling.
A day or two after your procedure, you can take a shower.
Drink plenty of water during the early phases of your recovery. Avoid placing strain on your abdominal muscles. Carefully walk around some in the early days to promote healthy blood circulation and prevent the development of blood clots.
You should be able to have your drains and stitches removed if everything is proceeding smoothly.
Your swelling and bruising should have significantly diminished by now.
You should be able to resume work activities in about two weeks after your tummy tuck, as long as they do not involve strenuous physical activity.
One Month After
You can stop wearing your compression garment around this time.
Weeks Six to Twelve
You can start easing back into your regular exercise routine, but take it slow at first and listen to your body at all times.
The final results of your tummy tuck surgery are beginning to make their presence known at this stage of your recovery. As time goes by, your final results will become increasingly visible until all of your swelling has resolved and you have completely recovered.