Tummy Tuck

Also referred to as “abdominoplasty,” the tummy tuck procedure is performed to decrease excess fat and skin on the abdomen due to weight gain, pregnancy, prior surgery, or genetics. A slimmer physique is achieved with this procedure by tightening the abdominal muscles and removing excess fat and skin. Many people who are unable to lose weight in this trouble zone opt for a tummy tuck to achieve the flatter stomach they desire.

Tummy Tuck Candidate

The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck procedure:

  • Has finished having children
  • Has realistic expectations of the surgery
  • Does not smoke
  • Maintains a healthy weight

The outcome of tummy tuck surgery can be significantly impacted by fluctuations in weight. It is advised that you postpone tummy tuck surgery if you plan on losing or gaining a significant amount of weight or if you plan to become pregnant. Patients should also note that a tummy tuck is not guaranteed to remove stretch marks unless they are located on an area of skin that will be removed during surgery.

Tummy Tuck Procedure

The tummy tuck procedure begins with either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia to manage pain during surgery. A horizontal incision is made in the area between the pubic hairline and the navel, and an incision can be made around the navel to remove excess skin from the upper abdomen if necessary.

Any weakened or separated abdominal muscles are brought closer together to make a tighter framework for the abdomen. Excess tissue and skin are then removed. Sutures or skin adhesives are used to close the incisions.

Tummy Tuck Recovery

It is recommended that you wear a compression garment after tummy tuck surgery to minimize swelling and help your body take on its new shape. Bandages will cover your incisions, and drainage tubes will be temporarily placed to remove any excess fluid that collects due to swelling. Dr. Thompson will prescribe medication to ease any pain and give you specific instructions on how to care for your dressings. For the days immediately following surgery you should arrange for someone to assist you with daily activities. Tummy tuck patients can expect to be away from work and strenuous activities for at least two weeks after surgery.

Many patients are concerned about postoperative pain, this is a normal concern. 

At the Thompson Center for Plastic Surgery we offer our patients Exparel, which is administered before you wake up from surgery.  Dr. Thompson applies Exparel during your surgical procedure while you are still under anesthesia.  Exparel works by numbing the area around the surgical site and lasts for up to 72 hours.  Exparel is non-narcotic and may allow for less of a need for pain medications after surgery.

Ensuring the comfort of our patients before and after surgery is a top priority at the Thompson Center for Plastic Surgery.  During your consultation Dr. Thompson will discuss Exparel and your pain management options to provide you with a comfortable experience.

Results from Tummy Tuck

Your body will feel noticeably different after surgery, but swelling may disguise your results for a few weeks. The final results of tummy tuck surgery may not be apparent for one to four months, depending on how extensive the surgery is and how your body responds to the procedure. Whether they heal quickly or their bodies take longer to heal, the majority of patients are very happy with the final results of the procedure.

Risks and Side Effects of a Tummy Tuck

As with any surgery, there are some risks associated with a tummy tuck. Dr. Thompson will review these risks in detail and make sure that you understand all risks involved before you proceed with surgery. Possible risks include:

  • Unfavorable scarring from the main incision line
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Excess swelling
  • Blood clots
  • Changes in skin sensation
  • Skin discoloration
  • Fat necrosis
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Nerve damage
  • Possibility of the need for revisional surgery

Tummy Tuck Consultation

During a consultation with Dr. Thompson, you will find out if you are an ideal candidate for tummy tuck surgery. You and Dr. Thompson will review your expectations for the results of surgery, your health history, surgery risks and techniques, and how to prepare for surgery and recovery. Dr. Thompson will see to it that you are fully educated about the procedure before you agree to the surgery. Feel free to call 732-410-4789 today or fill out our contact form to request an appointment.