Tummy Tuck Abdominoplasty Surgery
By Patrick W. Hsu
Having a baby is a delightful and transforming chapter in a woman’s life, yielding a tiny miracle that forever captures the heart. At the same time, carrying a child may cause enduring external changes to a woman’s body. The most common of these changes are excess tummy fat and loose, sagging skin. No amount of physical activity or dieting will help you lose this excess fat, or get rid of the loose skin. Outside assistance is often needed. Help is available in a cosmetic surgical procedure called a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). The procedure can stand alone, or be part of a combination of procedures called a “mommy makeover” that includes a tummy tuck, breast enhancement, and liposuction. Tummy tucks provide a flatter, firmer tummy, a diminishing of stretch marks and usually a smaller waist. Accordingly, wearing clothes is more rewarding, self-esteem is improved, and you are in general better health. Carrying, delivering and raising children isn’t easy. It is a labor of love but labor nonetheless. You deserve a reward for your efforts. A reward that is personal, and tailored to bring your pre-baby body back, such as a mommy makeover or a tummy tuck.
Considerable weight reduction or childbirth can impact your stomach muscles and skin. A tummy tuck firms these muscles and eliminates excess skin. If at least one of these problems affects you and you are in otherwise good health, you may be a prospect for a tummy tuck:
- Excessive fat in your mid-section
- Sagging skin in your tummy
- An overhanging belly
- Weakened abdominal muscles
If you are planning to have more children, or to lose significant weight, you should delay having a tummy tuck until you are through having babies and/or have lost the intended weight.
Two types of tummy tuck procedures offered by Dr. Hsu: a mini-abdominoplasty or a full abdominoplasty.
The full tummy tuck mends the separated stomach muscles and tightens the skin from underneath the breasts to the lower tummy. The naval will likely have to be repositioned.
In the mini-tummy tuck, the focus is on the area between the navel and the pubic bone, and addresses the “pooch” that is so difficult to lose. Dr. Hsu makes a minimal incision above the pubic area and then removes loose skin. At this point, Dr. Hsu may use liposuction to eliminate unwanted fat. Unlike a full tummy tuck, the navel should not need to be repositioned. The incisions are sutured, and small drains may be inserted to prevent fluid buildup. This surgery requires a shorter recovery time than a full tummy tuck. You can typically return to work within one to three weeks, and simple activity within two to three days.
Even though each surgery produces scarring along the lower tummy, the scar can be hidden with no trouble under panties or swimwear.
All surgical procedures hold the possibility of risks. In a tummy tuck, they are rare. They may include infection, bleeding under the skin flap, and blood clotting. You have a higher chance of complications if you have inadequate circulation, diabetes or heart issues. Dr Hsu will explain these risks in detail.
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You will discuss your expectations for the procedure with Dr. Hsu. He will go over the procedure, including any risks or complications that may be associated with the surgery, and answer any questions you may have. Surgical costs will be discussed. Your overall health will be evaluated, and a detailed medical history will be required.
You will be given guidelines for diet, and alcohol consumption. If you smoke, you will need to stop at least two weeks prior to the procedure. Your current medications may be adjusted, or you may be asked to stop taking certain medications and vitamins before the surgery. You will need to schedule the surgery around work and family. You will need someone to take you home after the procedure and to help you for a few days.
Either a general anesthesia or intravenous sedation is used to improve patient comfort during the procedure. Depending on how much fat and skin is removed, the surgery can take anywhere from two to five hours. During the surgery, Dr. Hsu separates the skin from the stomach wall and tightens the stomach muscles. As soon as everything is in place, he stitches them into the new location. Extra skin is removed, and the remaining skin is stretched down. The procedure can be performed as an outpatient surgery, although some patients choose to stay overnight in the hospital.
To learn more about Tummy Tuck, you can schedule an
appointment online or you can call 713-633-4411
You can anticipate some discomfort, as well as swelling after the operation. Tenderness could persist for a number of weeks, or even months. You may encounter numbness, bruising and general fatigue. Any pain or discomfort can be controlled with medication.
Any demanding physical activity should be delayed for at least six weeks, and you should anticipate missing at least a week of work during recovery. You will have sutures and a bandage after the surgery. It is important to follow Dr. Hsu’s guidelines for caring for the bandage, to ensure proper healing. He will also provide instructions for the best way to sit and lie down to minimize pain. With an appropriate amount of time and proper care, your recovery will be complete, and you will be back to your daily routine.
One of the significant reasons why people elect against the surgery is concern over scarring. The procedure generally leaves a horizontal scar. Scarring is noticeable and will fade considerably over time; however, it will never completely disappear. The majority of bathing suit types and underwear hide the scar. Dr. Hsu is very sensitive to scarring and endeavors to keep the incision as small and hidden as feasible. You will be started on aggressive scar therapy within two to three weeks post surgery.
Most people are delighted with the way they look post tummy tuck surgery. Improvement in image often leads to improvement in self-esteem. It is worthwhile to do something positive for you. To put it simply, you deserve to look and feel your best. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure that your new look remains. This includes nutritious eating habits and regular exercise. Short of considerable weight gain or pregnancy, you will enjoy the results of a tummy tuck indefinitely.
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