Abdominoplasty Beverly Hills
A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery is designed to correct excessive skin and fat as a result of weight gain or pregnancy. Obesity causes the skin to lose its elasticity. These conditions may not respond well to diet or exercise if the skin and underlying muscles have been stretched. Even some of the thinnest patients have excessive skin that they just can’t remove that a tummy tuck can help with.
Before Your Tummy Tuck
We will take a complete medical history and conduct a careful examination to evaluate your general, overall health. Patients on a weight-loss plan should be close to their target weight before having tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery. Women planning future pregnancies should delay their tummy tuck, as pregnancy may promote further abdominal stretching. I consider age, obesity and smoking habits when evaluating a candidate for this procedure. Patients who are obese or who smoke are a significantly higher risk of wound healing problems. To minimize the possibility of excess bleeding, you will need to avoid taking drugs containing aspirin or any teas, alcohol, or herbal medications. You will also be advised to bathe with an antiseptic soap for several days prior to surgery.
Abdominoplasty surgery is performed using general anesthesia. The surgery may take 4-5 hours.
Abdominoplasty surgery is most commonly performed by making a gentle curved shaped incision below one hipbone, across the pubic area and under the other hipbone. I encourage my patients to bring an underwear or bikini bottom they wear so I can try to hide the incision under it. A second incision is made around the belly button to free it. The skin is then separated from the abdominal wall and lifted up to the hipbone, exposing loose tissue covering the abdominal muscle.
Loose, stretched out muscles are tightened with sutures, and excess skin and fat are removed. The skin is lowered over the abdomen and the new belly button is reconstructed. I consider the belly button to be one of the most important parts of the tummy tuck. I take extra time to make a beautiful oval shaped depressed belly button – this involves several sutures that tether the belly button to the underlying muscle as well as thinning the fat around it to make a nice dip above it. The incisions are then sutured together. Drains are placed for 1-2 wk.
Recovery: What to Expect
You may experience some discomfort immediately following your abdominoplasty surgery that can be controlled with pain pills. Some swelling is normal. You will wear an abdominal binder or compression garment to support your abdomen. Most of my patients feel back to normal at around 1 week after their tummy tuck.
The speed of recovery depends on your physical condition prior to surgery; those with stronger abdominal muscles usually recover faster. Allow at least 2-4 weeks to recuperate before returning to work. Wait at least 4 weeks to start any strenuous exercise and 6 weeks to do abdominal exercises. However it is EXTREMELY important to start walking immediately after your tummy tuck. One of the few but most serious complications after abdominoplasty surgery is a blood clot in the legs that can travel to the lungs. Prior to your tummy tuck, please make plans to have someone help you ambulate after surgery. Scars take about 12 months to fade.
Though the recovery period is longer for abdominoplasty surgery than that of other cosmetic procedures, the rewards are great for a patient who are distressed by their excessive skin and fat. My patients feel that they can finally fit into clothes that they like. They feel much more confident in a bathing suit or bikini. The extra hanging skin that kept them from getting dressed up in their favorite dress before pregnancy is no longer there. It is rewarding for me to call my tummy tuck patients the first summer after their surgery to hear about the new summer clothes and bathing suits they are looking forward to wearing.