FAQPatient Spotlight abdominoplasty FAQ for tummy tuck plastic surgery

Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am a good candidate for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery?
Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a "tummy tuck," is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure can dramatically improve the appearance of a protruding abdomen with wrinkles and skin folds.

The best candidates for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) are men or women who are in relatively good physical condition but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won't respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved. Body contouring procedures such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) are not intended as a substitute for losing weight via diet and exercise. Excess abdominal skin and fat can be removed from the middle and lower abdomen following bariatric weight loss surgery.


What is the length of a typical abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery?
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery generally requires 2 to 5 hours to perform.


What type of anesthesia is used for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)?
Generally, a general anesthetic is used to perform abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery.


Is abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) performed as an outpatient?
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery sometimes requires an overnight hospital or surgical hospital stay, depending on individual circumstances and the extent/complexity of the surgery. Mini-abdominoplasty, improving the contour of the lower abdomen below the belly button, may be performed as an outpatient.


Where is abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery performed?
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery is performed at a surgical hospital or at a hospital. Mini-abdominoplasty, improving the contour of the lower abdomen below the belly button, may be performed at an outpatient ambulatory surgery center.


What is the cost of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)?
The total cost of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery ranges from $3,500 to $7,500. The variability in cost is related to the time and complexity of the surgery required in each individual, as well as the number of nights spent in the hospital. Mini-abdominoplasty, improving the contour of the lower abdomen below the belly button, would be the least expensive procedure.


Is abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) covered by insurance?
No, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and other cosmetic surgeries are not covered by insurance.


How long will it take to recover from abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery?
Individuals usually return to work within 2 to 3 weeks. Jobs that require significant physical activity may require additional time off work.


How will I feel and look immediately following abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery?
There is temporary soreness, swelling, and possibly some bruising. An abdominal binder is worn for several weeks following abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery. Soft drains under the abdominal skin flap are removed in the office approximately one week after surgery. Tiredness may persist for several weeks. Numbness of the skin of the abdomen may last for several months.


Is abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) a painful procedure?
There is discomfort for several days following abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) that is controllable with the use of pain medications. Dr. Mayfield also uses the ON-Q pain pump system for postoperative pain relief. ON-Q is a small high-tech balloon that holds local anesthetic (a pain numbing medication) and delivers it through a tiny specially designed tube directly into the surgical site. The medication is delivered continuously and slowly for several days after surgery.


What are some of the risks of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)?
Potential risks of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) include blood clots, infection, bleeding or development of a fluid collection under the skin flap. Other risks include poor healing resulting in conspicuous scarring or skin loss. Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers. A second operation may be needed to correct complications or to improve the contour of the abdomen or the appearance of the scars.


Are there scars that result from abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery?
Yes, every surgical procedure is associated with scarring. Every effort is taken to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible. Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers. The appearance of the scars may continue to improve for 6 to 12 months after surgery. A variety of non-surgical scar reduction techniques are utilized after surgery to improve the final appearance of the scars. In the case of abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), the scars may be located around the belly button, as well as across the lowest part of abdomen. The lower abdominal scar can often be concealed by undergarments, a two-piece bathing suit, etc.


 
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