Abdominoplasty is a major surgery which removes excess skin and fat from the stomach while tightening abdominal muscles. It typically requires general anesthesia and may take anywhere between one to five hours for completion.

After any procedure, expect pain, swelling and numbness to follow. Your physician will prescribe pain medications to help ease this discomfort.

The procedure

Abdominoplasty (or “tummy tuck”) is a surgical process designed to tighten abdominal muscles and eliminate any excess skin on the abdomen. It is often recommended for women after giving birth multiple times or for men who have lost significant amounts of weight; but can also benefit those whose abdominal muscles have become weak due to weight loss or pregnancy.

Your surgeon will typically administer general anaesthetic for this procedure. Following surgery, someone must take you home and remain with you overnight for support and protection. A pressure garment on the abdomen must also be worn to aid recovery and avoid complications.

During surgery, video images are projected onto a large screen while tiny surgical instruments are inserted through small incisions on the abdomen. A surgeon will separate a section of skin from the abdominal wall and lift it up to near rib level before tightening abdominal muscles by drawing them closer together and stitching them back in place. He may also employ liposuction to eliminate extra fat deposits.

If a doctor performs a complete abdominoplasty, he or she will create a new belly button from the remaining skin. Otherwise, when performing partial or mini-abdominoplasty he will create shorter incisions without moving the belly button itself. For both types of procedures it is essential that post-op instructions from physicians be adhered to; especially while engaging in any intense physical activities until all incision sites have healed completely.

After your procedure, you may experience discomfort in the stomach area, for which medication will likely be prescribed by your physician to ease. Numbness or tingling in this region will typically resolve with time.

Abdominoplasty may not be the answer to obesity, but it’s an effective way to address excess body fat in the abdomen and restore firmness to abdominal muscle groups. Furthermore, diastasis recti surgery may also be performed – this occurs when pregnancy or substantial weight loss has caused abdominal muscles to separate or weaken due to pregnancy or significant weight loss, and can result in back pain, poor posture and bloating symptoms.

The recovery

Once surgery has taken place, it is essential to remember that recovery will take time. There will likely be pain and swelling after your procedure; these should pass in weeks. You may also experience some numbness or tingling in the area which should go away over time; scars will take some time to fade as well. In order to expedite this process as much as possible, any strenuous activity such as working an exercise-intensive job or having certain medical conditions that could impede this recovery should be avoided until this period passes.

An abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), performed by your surgeon, involves creating a long incision along the entire hipbone from one side of your waist to the other. They will remove any extra fat and skin from your middle and lower abdomen as well as tighten muscles of the abdominal wall with sutures; any stitches may need to be removed later according to instructions from your physician.

As soon as your surgery has concluded, you will be taken to a recovery room and monitored for several hours or possibly days depending on your condition. Antibiotics will be prescribed and care instructions from your surgeon will be issued; it is vital that these instructions are strictly adhered to so you can heal properly.

As soon as you return from surgery, arrange to have someone drive and assist around the house for at least the first two days post-surgery. They should be available to change bandages and deal with drainage tubes – it would also be wise to wear compression garments during this timeframe.

Your surgeon should discuss when it is safe for you to resume physical activities, since everyone’s recovery differs. Strenuous activities may include lifting heavy weights, exercising excessively or swimming. After about one week of resting your surgeon should provide advice about when light walking and other low-impact exercises may begin again; always consult him/her first though as every case differs.

Smoking should also be avoided to speed the healing process and your doctor may suggest that certain medications such as aspirin and NSAIDs that thin blood should also be avoided.

The cost

Costs associated with abdominoplasty vary based on its extent. According to Healthline, basic panniculectomy procedures typically cost $8,000-$15,000. Abdominoplasty surgery should not be considered cosmetic; rather, it serves purely medical needs – often performed after extreme weight loss when excess skin creates medical complications like back pain or ulcers and skin irritations.

Surgeons will use incisions to remove extra skin and fat from the abdominal region, tighten muscles, repair separated abdominal muscles if necessary and close them using sutures before placing drains at the site of surgery to drain away fluids or blood that accumulates during recovery.

Some individuals opt for partial or mini abdominoplasty procedures. This procedure uses smaller incisions and involves extracting pockets of fat from beneath the belly button while usually relocating it as well. According to RealSelf, such an abdominoplasty could cost anywhere between $3,500 and $8,000.

Full abdominoplasty removes excess skin from the entire abdomen. While this procedure is costly, its costs have been proven to be worth their while with 96% positive reviews on RealSelf. Popular among women who have given birth and experience excess skin post-baby, as well as those who had undergone C-section, this procedure can also help.

Selecting an experienced plastic surgeon for your procedure is paramount to its success. Look for one with specific training in abdominoplasty procedures as well as an unblemished malpractice record; additionally it would be prudent to ask how many tummy tucks they have performed in total.

Your tummy tuck may be covered by insurance, especially its hernia repair component. However, cosmetic surgery, in which excess skin from above the belly button is removed and tightened may not.

Searching around is key to getting the best value when it comes to tummy tuck prices; whether that means browsing online or calling around different plastic surgery offices and offices for cosmetic procedures, or asking whether there’s financing options available through your surgeon.

The results

Most patients are extremely satisfied with the results of abdominoplasty; however, this procedure may not be appropriate for everyone. It should not be performed on those planning on having more children, smoking heavily or taking medications which alter blood clotting as this could delay healing and increase risks.

If you are considering this surgery, the first step should be scheduling an initial consultation with your surgeon. At this meeting, they will evaluate your abdomen area, take measurements and photographs for medical records purposes, discuss goals with you and conduct a physical exam on you. When discussing expectations from surgery it’s best to be honest as this could have a dramatic impact on outcomes.

At your consultation, your doctor will also conduct a physical health exam to make sure that you are healthy enough for this procedure. They may ask about your lifestyle, any preexisting conditions that could impact recovery and which medications or physical activities you regularly engage in.

Initial pain and swelling will likely subside within a week of surgery. Your physician will provide pain medication. Most activities should resume within a month, though rest and not overdoing things should still be encouraged for at least the first two to three weeks after your procedure.

After an abdominoplasty, your skin should continue to heal and any remaining scar should gradually fade away. Once your incision has completely healed, most physical activities, including strength training and manual labor jobs should resume; it is also important to maintain a stable weight so as not to risk reaccumulation of fat cells in the abdominal region. A tummy tuck is an excellent solution for men and women who have pockets of excess fat or loose skin that do not respond well to diet and exercise alone.

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