Tummy tuck surgery, or an abdominoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that, in most cases, restores weakened or separated abdominal muscles and removes excess fat and skin. Patients choose this procedure to make their abdominal area smoother and firmer.
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Why would I need a tummy tuck and when is it right for me for me to get one?
There are many factors that can contribute to the need for a tummy tuck that good dieting and exercise won’t take care of. These include pregnancy, aging, significant weight fluctuations, heredity and any prior surgeries.
An abdominoplasty is no substitute for weight loss and a proper exercise program.
And while results are permanent, significant fluctuations to your weight can greatly reduce the positive benefits. This is why we recommend women who are considering losing a lot of weight or becoming pregnant postpone their tummy tucks.
UF Health plastic surgeons cannot employ this technique to eliminate stretch marks, but it is possible that some of these marks will disappear as they are part of the excess skin surgeons remove.
Tummy tuck surgery is an extremely personal decision and should be done for you, not to satisfy someone else’s desires or achieve some perfect image.
But if you are physically healthy, have a stable weight, do not smoke, have realistic expectations and are bothered that your tummy is too big, you are an ideal candidate for tummy tuck procedure
How should I prepare for my tummy tuck surgery and are there any complications?
During your initial consultation, our surgeons will discuss the area of concern on your abdomen and take photographs for your medical records. Be prepared to be absolutely candid as the surgeon will need to know your expectations and why you’re pursuing an abdominoplasty.
They will want to evaluate your general health and need to know about any existing medical conditions. And they will want to know about your medications, and drug and alcohol usage.
If you decide to move forward, there are several things you will need to complete, such as obtaining lab tests or a medical evaluation, and taking certain medications or adjusting your current ones. Stop smoking well before your scheduled appointment and avoid Aspirin, anti-inflammatory and herbal supplements, as they increase the risk of bleeding.
UF Health plastic surgeons also will go over any complications that may arise, including: unfavorable scarring, bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, poor wound healing, blood clots, skin loss and more. While we don’t expect complications, you will be required to sign a consent form acknowledging you fully understand the procedure and risks.
On the day of your tummy tuck surgery, be sure someone can drive you home since it’s an outpatient procedure. We also recommend you ask a friend or relative to stay the night with you to help monitor your recovery.
Before undergoing any procedure, contact UF Health plastic surgeons to discuss your situation.
What should I expect in my recovery from tummy tuck surgery?
Following your abdominoplasty, our surgeons will apply dressing and bandages to the incision areas and wrap you in a compression garment to reduce swelling and support the abdomen as it heals.
A small drain tube may be temporarily added under the skin to drain excess blood or fluid that may collect.
But most importantly, be sure you follow your post-op instructions. Complications arise much of the time when patients do not follow these instructions. As with anything there are risks, but you can greatly reduce the chance of something going wrong by following your surgeon’s instructions.
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains or unusual heartbeats after you return home, seek medical attention immediately
Results from a tummy tuck are long lasting provided you keep your weight under control and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Call 352.265.8402 or contact us today to schedule a consultation.