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If you’re considering a tummy tuck
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. Dr. Shah has found this procedure can dramatically improve the appearance of a protruding abdomen.
The best candidates for a tummy tuck
The best candidates for a tummy tuck are men or women who are in relatively good shape 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.
If you feel that you desire to have a flatter abdomen and desire to look more attractive in your slacks and form-fitting clothes then a Tummy Tuck may be the procedure for you.
Dr. Rajendra Shah will meet with you in a personalized private consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Please contact our Oak Lawn and Orland Park offices in the Chicago area to set up an appointment to meet with Dr. Shah.
Complete tummy tuck surgery usually takes two to five hours, depending on the extent of work required. Partial tummy tucks may take an hour or two.
Most commonly, Dr. Shah will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With a mini tummy tuck, the incision is shorter and the navel is not moved, however, excess skin above the navel is not tightened.
The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. A new hole is cut for navel, which is then stitched in place. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressing will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.
It does produce a permanent scar which, depending on the extent of the original problem and the surgery required to correct it, can extend from hip to hip.
For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you’re likely to feel some pain and discomfort, which can be controlled by medication. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may be released within a few hours or you may have to remain hospitalized for two to three days.
Dr. Shah will give you instructions for showering and changing your dressing. And though you may not be able to stand straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible.
Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days, and deeper sutures, with ends that protrude through the skin, will come out in two to three weeks. A support garment may replace the dressing on your incision.
It may take you weeks or months to feel like your old self again. If you start out in top physical condition with strong abdominal muscles, recovery from a tummy tuck will be much faster. Some people return to work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate.
Exercise will help your heal better. Even people who have never exercised before should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided until you can do it comfortably.
Tummy tucks, whether partial or complete, produce excellent results for patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. And in most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.