A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical process used to improve the contour of the lower torso by the removal of excess fat and skin from the middle and lower abdomen, as well as tighten muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall. A tummy tuck lift can remove loose skin and tissue after pregnancy or correct sagging skin for individuals who have encountered major weight loss.
Tummy tuck surgery is a highly individualized procedure that may be a good option if you are bothered by a protruding or sagging abdomen caused by pregnancy, weight gain (or loss), natural aging or heredity.
Note: Success in tummy tuck surgery is greater if you are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight, you do not smoke, and you have realistic expectations for your surgery and potential outcomes.
The Initial Consultation
The success of your tummy tuck surgery depends on the quality of your participation in the initial consultation at the Birmingham Cohn Plastic Surgery office. You will need to be prepared to discuss why you want abdominoplasty, your personal medical history, drug allergies, use of medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and any family history of disease.
Dr. Cohn will perform a physical examination and take detailed measurements of your individual physical attributes. Photographs will be taken for your medical record. At that point, Dr. Cohn will be prepared to discuss your surgical options, recommend a course of treatment, and discuss the use of anesthesia during your tummy tuck procedure. The consultation consists of a thorough discussion of the procedural details, anticipated scar patterns, and expected recovery. Dr. Cohn is happy to assist with recommendations while using your personal goals to guide final decision making.
Preparing for Abdominoplasty
Before tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Cohn will discuss where your procedure will be performed – an accredited, office-based surgical center, outpatient / ambulatory surgical center, or in a hospital in Birmingham. Prior to your surgery, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation, receive a prescription for certain medications or adjust your current medications, stop smoking, avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding. Some special instructions you receive will cover what to do on the day of surgery and post-operative care and follow-up.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
Your tummy tuck surgery can be performed through a variety of incision patterns and techniques. The appropriate technique for your tummy tuck will be determined based on the areas of the abdomen that will receive treatment. Dr. Cohn will discuss each option with you during the initial consultation.
I. The tummy tuck surgery begins with anesthesia, where intravenous sedation or general anesthesia will be provided. Dr. Cohn will recommend the best choice for your surgery.
II. After the anesthesia has taken effect, the procedure is initiated:
a. Removal of excess skin through an incision made across the lower waistline. Many tummy tucks also require a small incision surrounding the belly button.
b. Tightening the muscle layer of the abdomen to allow for the skin to be redraped across a flatter, more toned surface.
III. As part of the tummy tuck closing procedures, sutures, tape, clips or skin adhesives close the incisions.
Risks and Complications
The decision to have abdominoplasty is extremely personal and not without risk. Dr. Cohn will fully review and explain the risks associated with your surgery. After you fully understand the procedure, you will be asked to sign consent forms.
Recovery for Tummy Tuck Surgery
Although many factors are involved in your recovery time, you will likely experience an initial post-surgical recovery period of a few days. You may also require a reduced-activity period of a few days. During recovery, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks. Exercise and normal activity can resume at Dr. Cohn’s direction.
Following all of Dr. Cohn’s post-surgery instructions is crucial to the success of your surgery. Surgical incisions should not be subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during healing. Dr. Cohn will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incisions following your surgery, which medications to take, how to reduce the risk of infection, and when to make a follow-up appointment.
As with any elective surgery, the cost of abdominoplasty is a consideration for many patients. Cost may include a surgeon’s fee, hospital or surgical facility costs, anesthesia fees, prescriptions for medications, and any associated medical tests. Birmingham Cohn Plastic Surgery proudly offers patient financing plans, so be sure to ask if such a plan is of interest to you.
For more information about the tummy tuck surgery here in Birmingham, we invite you to call us at (205) 930-1600 – Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm – to schedule an appointment. You may also use the Contact Form page to send us a message.