Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure in which excess skin and adipose tissue is removed from the anterior abdominal wall. It is often performed concomitant with suction-assisted lipectomy (liposuction) of the anterior abdominal wall and flanks. On occasion, it is also performed concomitant with other procedures such as breast reduction or breast augmentation, in what is commonly referred to as a “mommy makeover.” The purpose is to eliminate the excess skin and the protruding appearance of the abdomen, which often occurs after one or multiple pregnancies. The anterior abdominal wall is made to look flat and tight.
PRE-OPERATIVE – SURGICAL PREPARATION
Preoperatively the patient should have blood testing such as CBC and serum electrolytes, electrocardiogram and possibly a coagulation panel, depending on existing medical conditions. The patient will also be advised to abstain from certain foods and medication, such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Vitamin E, garlic and broccoli, as well as to abstain from smoking or alcohol use, for several days prior to surgery. These precautions decrease the risk of bleeding and circulation complications. Photos of the existing abdominal area will be taken in order to assess the improvement obtained by the procedure. The surgical areas will be marked prior to anesthesia.
This is a major surgical procedure that takes approximately 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours. It is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility in an office, or in the hospital operating room. During the procedure, the predetermined amount of excess skin and adipose tissue will be removed, and liposuction of select areas will be performed, if previously agreed upon. Sutures will be placed, and the area will be bandaged tightly. The patient will typically go home the day of surgery, and on occasion they may remain under observation for 24 hours.
POST-OPERATIVE – RECOVERY
Postoperatively the patient will be seen in the office several times for follow-up examination and evaluation. The sutures are typically dissolvable and do not require removal. Patients can expect some discomfort for the first 24-48 hours. Swelling and ecchymoses (black and blue) can be expected and will subside in time. Swelling in particular takes several weeks (6-10) to completely resolve. The patient will be advised to abstain from salty food which can increase the swelling in the operative site. It will take approximately 3-4 days for the patient to be able to walk upright. It is normal for the patient to feel tired for 3-4 weeks after the surgical procedure. The patient should be able to resume most daily activities within approximately 10-14 days, and be back to their normal selves 3-4 weeks after the surgical procedure. Antibiotics and, if necessary, pain medication, may be prescribed.
Some possible risks and complications can occur with this procedure, including those that could occur with any type of surgery, such as bleeding, infection and, most uncommonly, anesthesia complications. Other possible risks and complications include lack of circulation to the skin or umbilicus, which will delay the healing. Blood clots in the legs are also possible, and the patient would be advised to wear compression stockings and frequently move their legs and feet starting immediately after surgery in order to prevent blood pooling in the legs. Seromas of fluid accumulation are also possible risks and complications, which we attempt to decrease by placing drains at the surgical site to remove any fluid that might accumulate underneath the skin. These and any other less common risks and complications will be discussed with you at the time of surgical consent. It is necessary for the patient to comply with our pre- and post-operative instructions in order to decrease the likelihood of complications.
The fee for this procedure varies depending on the geographic location of your surgeon, the reputation of the surgeon, and the complexity of the individual surgical procedure. Our fees for the procedure range from $12,000-$18,000. You may incur other fees such as anesthesia or operating room fees.