A tummy tuck is not a substitution for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, significant fluctuations in your weight can significantly diminish the positive results. If you are planning 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.
A full tummy tuck requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and navel. Dr. Vartany takes extra care in positioning the incision just below the bikini line to make the healed incision less visible. The length and shape of the incision will be determined by the degree of correction necessary. Through this incision, Dr. Vartany will repair weakened abdominal muscles and remove excess fat tissue and skin. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to maximize removal of the excess skin in the upper abdomen.
A modified, or mini-tummy tuck, also requires a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and navel. This incision is typically shorter in length than the full abdominoplasty incision and does not include an incision around the navel. Only the skin between the navel and pubic hairline is pulled down and excised. The abdominal muscles are not tightened during this modified procedure; therefore, it is only the ideal procedure for someone with the stubborn “pooch”. A full tummy tuck is the recommended procedure to optimize your results for flattening and contouring your 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. 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 Abdominoplasty. You will be asked to sign a consent form to ensure that you fully understand potential risks and complications.