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Abdominoplasty (tummy tucks)

Tummy Corrections - Cosmetic Surgery

Abdominoplasty commonly known as tummy tuck is a major body contouring plastic surgery that removes excess fat and skin, restore weakened or separated muscles and tighten abdominal muscles to create a smoother and firmer abdominal profile and in some cases can improve the appearance of stretch marks below the naval.

Tummy tuck and liposuction are not the same but one can choose to get liposuction and other cosmetic procedures like Breast Lift, Rhinoplasty etc; along with tummy tuck. Insurance companies mostly do not cover cosmetic surgeries and therefore, cost of the surgery is one of the prominent factors to be considered.

While considering the costs, it is important to consider the quality of the surgery. Therefore looking for an experienced plastic surgeon is of utmost importance and plastic surgeons in India are well qualified Board Certified Physicians who work in well-equipped Clinics with latest technology.

Who Can and Who Should Not Consider a Tummy Tuck?

This procedure is suggested in both men and women in good health and also in those with normal body weight with sagging abdomen. Those who are obese in the past with excess fat and loose skin around the belly, women with multiple pregnancies, aging, significant weight fluctuations, hereditary and prior surgeries etc; can get a tummy tuck.

Any woman trying to get pregnant should wait until done with their family. Those planning to lose lot of weight should understand that Abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss or exercise programs and should always be a last option after everything else (diet, exercise) fails to lower the weight.

Preparing for Tummy Tuck Surgery

Since it is a major surgery, one should understand the risks, consult a surgeon and discuss your risks, goals, costs involved and surgical options available. Though major costs involved with the surgery is surgeon’s time and effort to perform the surgery, anesthesia fee, medicine expenses during procedure and stay, hospital facilities charges for up to two days and pressure garment charges will sum up to the final cost in addition to the travel expenses for those coming from different place. Abdominoplasty costs less than one third the cost in Western countries ($2,500- $4,500 in India).

Smoking increases post-operative complications and slows the healing process. Therefore one should completely quit smoking at least two weeks before and after the surgery. One should not go on a drastic diet before the surgery and should be on well-balanced diet to enhance the healing process after the surgery. Discuss about any supplemental medicines or prescription drugs and follow the suggestions made by your surgeon.

Your surgeon may suggest a Complete Abdominoplasty where the skin tissue and muscle are contoured as needed and belly button is moved and for few days will be left with drainage tubes under the skin or Partial or Mini Abdominoplasty done in those with fat deposits below navel and do not involve moving the belly button Circumferential Abdominoplasty done in those with excess fat in abdomen and back.

Performed under general anesthesia, Abdominoplasty can take 1-5 hours and might need overnight stay at the hospital. Just before the surgery get your home ready with ice packs, loose comfortable clothing, petroleum jelly and arrange for help to drive you back home, and stay at home for a day or two.

What to expect after surgery?

Like any other surgery, risks and complications should be anticipated. While pain and swelling following the surgery will need pain medication as prescribed by the surgeon, soreness, numbness, bruising and tiredness should be expected for several weeks or months after the surgery.

Anesthesia related risks, infection, bleeding under skin flap or blood clots are some rare complications that needs due attention and those with co-morbid medical conditions like poor circulation, diabetes, heart, lung or liver disease are more likely prone to such complications. Insufficient healing can leave the person with significant scarring or loss of skin requiring a second surgery. Though the scars may fade slightly, they are not completely invisible and your surgeon might prescribe some creams and ointments to be used after complete healing.

The operated area, in the case of complete or partial tummy tuck is stitched and bandaged with a firm elastic band for proper healing. Patient can stand and walk the next day, generally recover in a week after which the person can resume normal activities, while following the surgeon’s instructions - taking care of the bandage and better positioning while sitting or lying down, and restricting strenuous activity for at least six weeks.

One can get back to work within a week after surgery, but is advisable to take off from work for at least one month to allow proper healing and recovery and should wear the compression garments (can be worn under normal dress) for at least 6 weeks after the surgery. Though many people love their look after the surgery, it is important to remember that it takes several months to feel normal after the surgery and that regular diet and exercise will help maintain those results.