Abdominoplasty, sometimes referred to as a tummy tuck, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the world. We proudly offer it at The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery in Orlando, FL, Celebration, FL, and Altamonte Springs, FL due to its safety and efficacy. To help you figure out if this body contouring procedure is right for you, keep reading to learn more about it, including how long you can expect the results to last.
Is a Tummy Tuck Permanent?
Abdominoplasty results are generally considered permanent. During your procedure, any excess skin will be removed, and a small amount of fat will be excised. Furthermore, any loose skin you have will be tightened. You can generally expect the excess skin and fat removal to last forever. Your body can’t grow new fat cells once you reach the age of 25. If your abdominal region does not expand significantly after surgery, your body won’t grow any new skin cells.
Note, in some cases, a follow-up tummy tuck is required. For example, if you get a full tuck, your abdominal muscles may be tightened with internal sutures. These are designed to last a lifetime, but other improvements made to your abdominal muscles may fade with time. For example, you may get another ventral hernia after your existing ventral hernia is corrected with this procedure.
How Should I Prepare for Surgery?
To prepare for your procedure, you will need to come in for an initial consultation to verify that a tummy tuck will be safe and effective for you. To make this determination, we will verify that you can follow all preparation and post-op care guidelines, discuss your health history, and review your current health.
Another very important preparation step you must take prior to surgery is to cease the consumption of nicotine, alcohol, and blood-thinning drugs and supplements. It is very important that your blood pressure is normal and your blood can clot normally at the time of your procedure. Yet another important preparation step is to arrange for someone to drive you to your procedure and stay with you for the first 24 to 72 hours post-op.
Is This Procedure Appropriate for Me?
You will need to attend an initial evaluation to verify that abdominoplasty will be appropriate for you. If you are in relatively good health, there is a strong possibility that you will be considered healthy enough to undergo this procedure, especially if you are a non-smoker and only consume alcohol in moderation. However, regardless of your health, we will need to review your goals to verify this procedure will be effective.
There is an excellent chance that you will qualify for a partial abdominoplasty if you are concerned about the appearance of your lower abdomen. If you are also worried about the appearance or functionality of your abdominal muscles, there is a good chance that you will be considered a good fit for a full abdominoplasty.
What If I Have a Lot of Excess Abdominal Fat?
If you have a lot of excess abdominal fat, you may be considered a good liposuction candidate. To find out for sure whether liposuction will be appropriate for you, an evaluation is essential. Even though liposuction is appropriate for the removal of a moderate to severe amount of excess subcutaneous fat, it may not be extremely effective in areas with too much or too little subcutaneous fat. We need to verify that your abdominal fat is subcutaneous rather than visceral in nature.
We also need to verify that there is an appropriate amount of excess fat to ensure you can get satisfactory results from liposuction. It is important to understand that when liposuction is used to target a large area, like the upper and lower abdomen, you can expect a bit over a quarter of the localized fat to be removed. It is when subcutaneous fat is removed from a smaller area, like the backs of the knees, that around 80% of localized fat can be removed.
What Can I Expect After My Procedure?
You should expect to feel no pain or discomfort immediately after surgery. This is due to the anesthetic administered to keep you comfortable during your procedure. However, you should not feel surprised if you feel extremely groggy post-op. Anesthesia is known to make people feel tired for several hours.
Will I Be Able To Drive Myself Home?
No, you will not be able to drive yourself home after your procedure. In fact, you should not plan on driving within four days of your procedure. How soon you can drive safely after your procedure depends on what medications you take. You cannot drive within 24 hours of receiving general anesthesia or a sedative in conjunction with local anesthesia.
If you take prescription analgesics that can affect your reaction time, you will not be able to drive until 24 hours after the last time you took the drug. We strongly recommend making a list of all the food, beverages, medications, and other supplies you will need during the first week of your recovery. If possible, acquire all of those items prior to surgery sop
How Much Time Will I Need To Take Off From Work?
Several factors affect how long you will need to take off from work after your tummy tuck. One factor is the scope of your procedure. You can expect the first stages of your recovery to take longer if you had many long incisions than if you had a couple of short incisions made. You can generally expect to need to take only one week off from work if you only get a mini tuck.
On the other hand, you may need to take a couple of weeks off from work if you get a full tuck and liposuction. Another factor affecting how much time you will need to take off from work after surgery is the nature of your job. You will not be able to engage in vigorous physical activity for six to eight weeks post-op. Therefore, you should not expect to return to a physically demanding job just a week or two after surgery.
What Can I Do To Shorten My Recovery Period?
To recover from surgery as quickly as possible, it is vital that you make caring for yourself your top priority. One reason it is advisable to have someone stay with you for at least 24 hours post-op is that you will not be able to bend over, lift anything that weighs over 10 pounds, or engage in strenuous physical activity. If something around your home needs to be done and you do it yourself, you will put too much strain on your body and slow your recovery.
Another important step you will need to take to recover as quickly as possible is to prioritize sleeping as much as possible. If you feel groggy after your procedure, do not fight the urge to doze off. Also, do your best to get nine consecutive hours of sleep every night. You will also benefit significantly from ensuring that you remain well-nourished and hydrated. Between REM sleep and proper nutrition, your body will have everything it needs to heal itself.
Can I Exercise at All After Surgery?
Yes, you can absolutely exercise after surgery. You just have to be careful that you don’t sweat or work your heart too hard. For the first few days after your procedure, you may not feel like walking too much. However, starting the day after your procedure, it is important that you get up and walk around regularly. Don’t worry if you don’t feel up to walking for 30 minutes at a time at first.
Remember that your body requires a lot of energy to heal from surgery. Additionally, anesthesia can make you feel very tired. It is more important that you avoid being sedentary than you get half an hour of exercise every day. To support your cardiovascular system and facilitate a rapid recovery, do your best to get up and move around every hour. Walk as far as you can and take as much rest as you need.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that abdominoplasty results are generally considered permanent. However, to maintain your ideal contours, you will need to keep an eye on your diet and exercise routine. If you think this procedure is right for you, contact us today at The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery in Orlando, FL to schedule your initial consultation.