Tummy Tuck Mobile, AL
Tummy tuck surgery is one of several plastic surgery procedures popular today. Among women whose tummies have excess skin, fat, or muscle weakness after pregnancy or weight gain, it can be life changing. Many women can diet and exercise to help reduce their abdominal bulge while for many it just isn’t enough. Once the skin and muscle layer have been stretched with pregnancy, the elasticity of the tissues may not be able to rebound to pre-pregnancy proportions. With the advances in weight loss surgery (gastric bypass and banding) Dr. Proffitt sees the effects of loose skin and lax abdominal walls.
Remember that all patients are unique, so results vary depending on many factors.
How is the surgery done?
Abdominoplasty is done either as an outpatient procedure or overnight stay, depending on each patient’s health requirements. It is done under general anesthesia and takes from one to two hours depending on the length of the incision. After a transverse incision in the lower abdomen, the skin and fat is elevated off the muscle layer up to the ribs. This allows exposure to tighten the muscle layer with sutures. The belly button remains where it always has been. Then the skin and fat is pulled tight and the excess fat removed. The belly button is brought out through its new location in the skin and sutured in place. The remaining incision under is closed with absorbable sutures under the skin. One or two drains also are placed prior to closure. The drains allow excess fluid to escape and reduce swelling. Usually the patient will go home with dressings and drains intact. After four to six days they are removed in Dr. Proffitt’s office. For the next six weeks the patient wears a snug-fitting girdle.
This graphic illustrates a common incision for a tummy tuck
A mini tummy tuck is a variation where surgery is performed only below the belly button. Some women only have looseness of skin and muscle below the belly button and don’t need a full Abdominoplasty. This incision is also shorter in length.
Will fat be removed?
In all tummy tucks the fat immediately below the skin that is removed is also taken out. In a full tummy tuck, liposuction is not performed under the remaining skin that has been mobilized. Liposuction can be done over hip areas or pubic area at the same time. However, with a mini tummy tuck, liposuction may be used on the areas where the skin was not mobilized.
Do I have to wear a girdle?
A compression garment or girdle must be worn for six weeks following your surgery. It reduces swelling and helps to re-drape the skin.
Planning Your Surgery
In order to prepare for your surgery, Dr. Proffitt has several recommendations:
- If you smoke, you must completely stop smoking for at least 6 weeks before your surgery. Dr. Proffitt will prescribe a medication that may help you stop.
- Many medicines, herbal remedies, vitamins and over the counter medicines should be avoided at least two weeks before your surgery and one week after. We will provide you with a list of drugs to avoid before your surgery.
- As with many abdominal surgeries, exercise, lifting more than ten pounds, and driving are not allowed for a period of time after surgery. You will need to plan on help after your surgery and a leave from work if necessary.
- Usually a tummy tuck can be performed as an outpatient surgery but sometimes it may be necessary to stay overnight. This depends on your overall health and extent of surgery.
- An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is best suited for the patient who has completed her family planning.
- A tummy tuck is also best suited to the patient who is at their desired weight. If you are planning a major weight loss campaign, a tummy tuck should wait until weight loss has reached a plateau.
Many risks associated with surgery can be lessened or avoided with careful planning. Risk of excessive bleeding, infection and poor healing can be minimized with avoidance of certain medications before surgery and appropriate antibiotics at the time of surgery. Risk of blood clots in leg veins is greatly reduced with compression leg pumps. In patients at high risk for blood clots a blood thinner may be administered. Patient compliance with all of Dr. Proffitt’s recommendations before and after surgery will diminish many risks.
Your New Look
The scar from your surgery will be pink for one to two months and then gradually fade but never completely disappear. It will also soften over time. Most of the swelling from your surgery should have resolved after six weeks but in some patients may take up to six months.
When you’re ready to discuss tummy tuck surgery in Mobile, Alabama, with a board-certified plastic surgeon, call or email the office of Dr. Randy Proffitt. Use the online email form to get in touch or call 251-344-0322.