What is abdominoplasty?
It’s a surgical procedure to flatten the abdomen by removing excess skin and fatty tissue while tightening abdominal muscles. Upper abdominal contour sculpting also characterizes Dr. Rand’s unique results.
How long does a tummy tuck take?
Abdominoplasty typically takes between 2 to 2.5 hours to perform. Most patients are ready to go home an hour after surgery. Due to preparation time and the recovery period, it’s best to keep your schedule clear the day of the surgery and the two weeks after so you can make a complete and comfortable recovery.
What should be done to prepare for a tummy tuck?
In preparation for your tummy tuck:
- Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the surgery and be with you 24/7 for 2 days.
- Make sure you also have someone to take care of you for 5-7 days after surgery.
- You’ll want to avoid taking anti-inflammatories and other medications Dr. Rand will list out in your pre-operative instructions.
- Be sure to fill prescriptions you will need in advance.
- You also may want to buy laxatives to help minimize with constipation. Metamucil is a good choice and it also comes in pill form.
- It’s a good idea to pre-prepare enough soft food for two weeks, since your stomach will not be up to regular food and you will likely not feel like cooking or going anywhere.
- A shower-chair and a hand-held shower head may help with showering for the first few weeks after surgery.
- Wear loose, easy to remove (and put on) clothing to your surgery.
- Last but far from least, follow Dr. Rand’s instructions closely!
What type of anesthesia is used during a tummy tuck?
Patients are placed under general anesthesia for all abdominoplasty surgeries. If you have medical issues that can cause complications while under anesthesia, be sure to discuss them with Dr. Rand. You have a board-certified physician anesthesiologist who will be there from before surgery begins to the recovery period immediately afterward.
Are there possible side effects of abdominoplasty?
Some of the most common side effects of a tummy tuck include temporary pain, swelling, numbness of the abdominal skin, bruising, and fatigue. All of these should go away after a few weeks. We will give you a timeline of what to expect as you recover. There are always some side effects for a time after the surgery and the effects of the procedure will not be immediately obvious. You probably will not see the final results of your tummy tuck for a few months until after the swelling goes down.
Are there any serious risks?
As with any surgery, there are rare but possible serious complications. Blood clots can dislodge and travel to the lungs. Also, bleeding can occur under the skin flap cut during the surgery, while poor wound care can cause infection. Poor healing can result in conspicuous scarring or skin loss. We place the utmost priority on patient safety, health, and comfort, so please bring up any concerns you might have. Dr. Rand will discuss all possible complications with you before you move forward with your tummy tuck.
How long does it take to recover from a tummy tuck?
Most people are ready to go back to work about 2 weeks after their Seattle abdominoplasty surgery. Returning to more strenuous activity usually takes 8 weeks or more. Your scars will be raised and dark for a while but will start to fade, a process that lasts between 3 months and 2 or more years. You will be given emu oil to apply to scars starting at a week after surgery.
Your abdomen will need to stay bandaged for around a week, which is around the time when your drain will be removed. Pain and swelling can be controlled using prescribed pain medication. The incisions will need to stay covered with surgical tape for around 2 weeks to ensure they heal properly.
You can help your recovery around in several simple ways. For the first week, keep your hips gently flexed to help keep the sutures from being strained. Walk around every few hours during the first 2 weeks to help prevent blood clots from forming in your calves. Wait to shower until your drain is removed and take sponge baths instead. Feel free to shower for the first two weeks after the drain is removed but hold off on baths or swimming until given medical approval from Dr. Rand. If anything causes discomfort, limit that activity. Most importantly, follow our instructions and you should recover quickly.
As part of our preparations, we provide you with a timeline for your recovery before you undergo the procedure. Dr. Rand and his team will also be helping you through the process to ensure that your Bellevue tummy tuck looks and feels great.