Tummy Tuck Common Questions
Preparing for an abdominoplasty
At Crystal Clinic Plastic Surgeons, our experienced staff works to deliver the results you want, while making your surgical experience easy and comfortable. Prior to surgery, patients should stop smoking and avoid certain vitamins or drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and vitamin E, that affect blood flow.
Additionally, prior to surgery, we provide patients with preoperative instructions and postoperative prescriptions to make aftercare convenient. We recommend filling your prescriptions several days before surgery, so medication is available and ready in advance.
When abdominoplasty is performed, patients receive this procedure at an outpatient surgery center or hospital and typically require an overnight stay. If your surgery is performed at an outpatient center, arrange for someone to take you home and stay with you the first night.
What should I expect before tummy tuck surgery?
You see your doctor before the procedure—sometimes the day before—where you will get ink marks to map out incisions. Check with your doctor to make sure the incisions can easily be covered with panties or swimsuit.
At the time of the surgery, a surgeon administers general anesthesia to put you under and antibiotics to prevent infection. The procedure takes two to six hours, depending on your size and other procedures being performed. Tummy tuck patients often combine lipoplasty, breast augmentation, and breast reduction procedures.
How is abdominoplasty performed?
The abdominoplasty procedure consists of making a horizontal incision in the pubic hair area. The incision extends toward the hip bones. Lipoplasty, which is usually performed in conjunction with abdominoplasty, is performed first. The surgeon corrects abdominal muscle separation, then removes excess fat and skin. After skin is removed, the doctor creates a new site for the navel. Finally, a drain under the skin and the incision is closed with several layers of dissolvable stitches. A gauze dressing is placed over the incisions to protect stiches, absorb discharge, and prevent infection.
Following surgery, you move to the recovery area for close monitoring. The surgical staff administers pain medication to keep you comfortable. If you choose to get a pain pump placed, pain medication is continuously delivered for three to four days after surgery. Most patients opt to stay overnight and go home the next morning. However, if permitted, the doctor discharges you to go home.