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With bariatric surgeries on the rise, patients may be faced with the repercussions of extreme and sudden weight loss. The skin that has been severely stretched often lacks elasticity and cannot conform to the reduced body size. The result is excessive, loose and unsupported skin, affecting many areas of the body. One of the most troubling areas of unwanted skin is the abdominal area. Skin may hang and extend around the sides and into the lower back area, resulting in an apron-like overlap. All of your efforts and hard work are diminished by the excessive draping skin that can barely be tucked into your clothing. You have traded one self-esteem reducing problem for another.
Body contouring with an Abdominoplasty, or Tummy Tuck, after massive weight loss will improve the shape and tone of your abdomen by eliminating the excess sagging skin and fat. The result is a more normal appearance to the body with smoother contours leaving you to look and feel your best. With stabilized weight loss, the effects are virtually permanent.
A Tummy Tuck after massive weight loss is performed under General Anesthesia.
If you have undergone major weight loss, are at a stabilized weight and are bothered by excess abdominal skin and fat, then a Tummy Tuck may be right for you. If you are planning to continue with substantial weight loss or if you are a woman considering future pregnancies, you may be advised to postpone a tummy tuck. As with all cosmetic surgeries, this is a very personal decision and you should only do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
Good candidates are:
Special note: If you rapidly regain the weight, you will traumatically stress your already weakened and thinned skin, causing further stress to the skin, visible stretch marks and wide scars.
A full tummy tuck after massive weight loss requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and navel. The incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed. The incision may extend around the hips and above the buttocks. Dr. Vartany takes extra care in positioning the incision, when possible, just below the bikini line to make the healed incision less visible while wearing most types of clothing. Through this incision, Dr. Vartany will repair weakened abdominal muscles and remove excess fat tissue and skin. A second incision around the navel is necessary to maximize removal of the excess skin in the upper abdomen.
You will need to discontinue the use of Birth Control pills for two weeks prior to surgery. You may resume taking your Birth Control one week after surgery.
Your surgical drains will need to be emptied twice daily. A form will be provided for you to log the amount of fluid being drained from each side, both morning and night. Your drains will be removed, in the office, once the fluid output goes down. This is generally 6-10 days after surgery.
You may not shower while your drains are in place.
You will be provided with an abdominal girdle. Your girdle should be worn for six weeks after surgery, 24 hours a day. Once your drains have been removed, you may remove your girdle just long enough to shower and wash your garment.
You may not sleep on your stomach, or attempt to for 4-6 weeks after surgery.
You may not drive a car until you are given permission to do so. This is generally after all meds have been discontinued and your drains have been removed. Dr. Vartany will assess you at each post-operative appointment and instruct you on your current restrictions.
Avoid getting overheated, sunbathing, exercise and/or any strenuous activity that could potentially elevate your heart rate or blood pressure for 4 weeks after surgery.
Dr. Vartany uses dissolvable sutures. A running steri-strip will cover the incision and will typically come off on its own. Do not attempt to remove or peel off the steri-strip.
Complete resolution of your swelling may take up to 6 months.
Dr. Vartany will explain, in detail, the risks associated with a Tummy Tuck after massive weight loss. You will be asked to sign a consent form to ensure that you fully understand potential risks and complications.