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Tummy Tuck Surgery and Post Operative Care

Oct 11, 2007
A Tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen. The procedure also tightens the loose abdominal muscles, giving the appearance of a flat and tight abdomen. An abdominoplasty can create a dramatic difference in the appearance of the abdomen, but the surgery does leave a horizontal scar extending from hip to hip just above the pubic area. However, this scar can usually be hidden under the bikini line. Both men and women are candidates for this surgery. While this surgery is particularly helpful in women with previous pregnancies and stretched out abdominal skin and muscles, an abdominoplasty also dramatically improves the appearance of those who have undergone successful weight loss surgery.

An abdominoplasty takes approximately 3-5 hours depending on the size of the patient. It is performed under general anesthesia and usually requires an overnight stay in the hospital. Recovery time after surgery is usually between 10 days to 2 weeks. Most people are back to work by 2 weeks and back to full activity including exercise by 3 weeks.

Your abdomen is bandaged with abdominal gauze-pads, and the abdominal binder. Leave them on for 48 hours after your go home. Then, you can take the abdominal binder and all other dressings off and get in the shower. You can take the yellow gauze out from the belly button. Leave your Steri-strips on for the shower. You can take the drains into the shower as well. After showering, pat dry all of your incisions and wrap your abdomen with the abdominal binder. If there is drainage on the abdominal binder, place clean pieces of gauze on the incision line and wrap the abdominal binder over the gauze. Absolutely no baths or swimming for 2-3 weeks. Showering is OK.

Empty and record your drain output daily. The markings are on the side of the drain bulb in increments of 25cc. The drains will be pulled out in the office when the total daily output is less than 30cc.

Call and make a follow-up appointment for 7 days following surgery.

Keep your abdominal binder on at all time for 3 weeks. Do not pick up objects greater than 5 pounds.

If the abdominal binder is too tight, you can rewrap it to a comfortable level, but the binder has to be situated over the lower abdomen and your hip area.

Do not apply a heating pad over your abdomen. Portions of your abdomen will be numb and you may get a burn from the heating pad.

Scar therapy for your incisions will start at 2 weeks following surgery. Your plastic surgeon will instruct you regarding scar creams.

Stay out of the sun. Sun exposure will make your scars red, raised, and persistently irritated for a long period of time. Make every effort to avoid the sun for up to 1 year following surgery. You can cover up the incision with sun screen or clothing.

Make every effort to walk around the house and sit in a chair starting on the day that you are home from surgery. Staying in bed for long periods of time can lead to blood clots in your legs or your lungs. Also, parts of your lung can collapse and cause fevers.

You may return to normal activity and exercise in 3 weeks following surgery.

You may feel a funny, tingling sensations over your abdomen a few weeks after surgery. This is normal recovery of some sensory nerves in your abdomen.

If you are constipated, take over-the-counter laxatives. You do not want to strain over the toilet. This will place pressures over the suture line which may result in loosening of the inner layer of sutures within the abdomen.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com. Learn more about liposuction at NewportCosmeticSurgery.com or LookingYourBest.com
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