What is a Tummy Tuck?
The skin over the abdomen area can become stretched out after childbirth or weight loss. This skin does not retract to its original tightness and can be loose and saggy. The abdominal muscles also have stretched out and have not regained their normal position, giving the appearance of a “pot belly” no matter how many sit-ups a person does. An abdominoplasty of “tummy tuck” will correct both of these problems. The excess skin is removed and the muscles are tightened to firm up the abdomen. For more information about having a tummy tuck in Dallas, Texas contact us today.
The patient below had a full tummy tuck 1 year ago:
There are different types of abdominoplasty surgery. Dr. Adams generally performs 2 types: “full” tummy tucks and modified mini-tummy tucks. Depending on the amount of skin looseness, fat distribution, and muscle wall bulge some patients may be bet suited for a modified mini-abdominoplasty (shown below).
A modified mini-tummy tuck takes out less skin and has a slightly shorter scar; however the entire muscle wall is tightened and flattened exactly the same as a full abdominoplasty.
What does Abdominoplasty accomplish?
This plastic surgery procedure will flatten the abdomen, the excess, loose skin will be gone and the muscles will retain their flattened look.
What happens during the first consultation?
The first consultation allows you to meet with Dr. Adams and staff to discuss your needs and concerns. You will learn about your surgery, the risks and complications, recovery time and look at before and after pictures. Your discussion with Dr. Adams covers all aspects of the surgery and you discuss with him your expectations of the surgery. He will be able to examine your body and talk about the procedures necessary to meet your expectations.
Dr. Adams will individualize your treatment plan with you and discuss with you what type of abdominoplasty will give you your best results (ie. mini-abdominoplasty vs. full abdominoplasty vs. extended abdominoplasty). You will have before pictures taken, which allows the physician to plan your surgery and also allows to have a before and after picture. Dr. Adams assistant will discuss fees and schedule your surgery at a time convenient to both schedules.
How is it done?
A tummy tuck is done under general anesthesia and usually takes between three and fours hours. Before you are put under anesthesia Dr. Adams will have you stand and your incision line will be marked. The incision is a very long one and goes from hip to hip or longer in some cases. Once you are asleep, your skin is prepped and your are positioned for surgery. The incision is made and the skin is lifted up from the abdominal wall, all the way up to the xyphoid process. The umbilicus is released from its position in the skin and stays attached to the abdominal wall. The muscles are then tightened and the skin re-draped over the abdomen. The umbilicus is marked for a new position and the excess skin is removed. The skin is sutured in place with a combination of absorbable and non-absorbable sutures.
Two drains are placed under the incision that will remain for a week to ten days. These drains will remove the normal healing fluid that the body produces when it has had surgery. Dr. William Adams, a plastic surgeon in Dallas also injects a three day pain relief medication called Exparel during surgery to significantly reduce the post-operative pain after the procedure. After the incisions are closed and dressing placed over your incision, you will be positioned in your bed slightly flexed and bent in the middle. For the next one to two weeks you will walk slightly stooped over, or lay in bed flexed bent in the middle. You will spend one night in the hospital and be released to limited activity.
What can I expect after surgery?
Plan on 2-3 weeks to full recovery. The first ten days you are stooped over and walking carefully. As the skin stretches and gets used to its new position you slowly straighten up. The drains may be removed within 10 days, this depends on the 24-hour output. While the drains are in you are draining and recording the amount twice daily. Wound care around the drain sites and incisions is easy and you will be taught how to care for these areas before you leave the hospital. While at home you will have medications for pain and prevention of infection. You will take these as directed. The pain medication will be taken as you need it for pain and the antibiotic will be taken as directed until all medication is gone. You will also wear a compression garment or binder for two weeks day and night and then during the night for the next two weeks. You may wear your compression garment day and night for the next two weeks to add support to your new tummy.
How many visits do I have after surgery?
You will return several times over the next few weeks. You will return to have the drains removed in 7-10 days. Dr. Adams and your nurse will see you weekly for the first month and then will extend time between visits as you progress.
Am I a good candidate for abdominoplasty?
Your visit with your surgeon will determine if you are a good candidate. If you are in good physical and mental health with reasonable expectations you should be an appropriate candidate for tummy tuck surgery.
What does the surgery cost?
You will be quoted a price to include the surgeon’s, hospital, and anesthesia fees.
How do I pay for surgery?
The costs are discussed with you following your visit with your surgeon. You will be given an estimate for the surgeon’s, hospital, and anesthesia fees. For your convenience the fees will be paid in one sum to William P. Adams, Jr. MD, PA prior to your surgery, at least two weeks in advance.
Are there scars?
Yes. Whenever this plastic surgery is performed on your body a scar will result.
If you are a candidate for a mini-abdominoplasty your scar can be limited to the width of your pubic hair. For more severe laxity, the standard abdominoplasty incision extends at least from hip to hip, right over your pubis area. This leaves a long scar that usually heals very well but is always present. It will take at least a year for the scar to mature and fade from pink/red to pale. It is usually not visible in your swimsuit or underwear. Dr. Adams will discuss the placement of your incisions during your first visit. Dr. Adams continues to use the latest techniques to minimize scarring and make your existing scar look as best as possible. Starting 1 week after surgery Dr. Adams will begin your post-operative scar therapy to make your optimize the appearance of the scar.
Does it hurt?
You will have some discomfort following your tummy tuck surgery. Dr. Adams uses a small pain pump for all tummy-tuck procedures and this significantly decreases the pain post-procedure. This is the best pain relief for this initial time. When you are discharged you will be given prescriptions for pain medication tablets. This medication controls your discomfort very well and should be taken as ordered.
Will I be awake during the tummy tuck?
Abdominoplasty is best done under general anesthesia for control of pain and nausea if they develop post surgery. You will be entirely asleep for your surgery.
Where is the surgery performed?
The tummy tuck is performed at a fully accredited facility, Park Cities Surgery Center. Once examined Dr. Adams will determine if an overnight stay is required.
Are medical photographs taken?
Photographs are taken at your first visit for Dr. Adams and then after surgery. Medical photographs are essential to help Dr. Adams better assess your body’s contours, to assist in planning your surgery. View before and after abdominoplasty photos of tummy tuck surgery here.
What medications should I avoid?
You should avoid or be off all diet or over the counter weight medications. The only homeopathic medications are those recommended by Dr. Adams. It is especially important to be off St. John’s Wort and Ginseng, which can cause adverse effects during anesthesia. Please stop taking all aspirin-like products, Advil, and ibuprofen as these medications can cause bleeding problems. Please tell Dr. Adams what medications you are on ( prescription or non-prescription) to ensure the safety of any surgery. For more information about having a tummy tuck Dallas Texas contact us today.