What is Abdominoplasty?
An abdominoplasty,also known as a tummy tuck, removes excess fat and skin. In most cases, it repairs weakened or separated muscles to help create an abdominal profile that is more smooth and firm. This procedure helps give that well-toned, flat abdomen that exercise and diet alone can’t give. There are several common reasons why the abdomen can become stretched out. The most common causes of a stretched out abdomen wall are heredity, aging, extreme weight loss, and pregnancy. Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is sometimes confused with panniculectomy. A panniculectomy is strictly removal of excess skin with no added contouring.
What to expect during a tummy tuck surgery:
A tummy tuck is performed under general anesthesia. A full tummy tuck requires a horizontal incision in the area between the pubic hairline and belly button to allow Dr. Payne to access the abdomen wall. The length of the incision will be determined by Dr. Payne, and how much loose skin needs to be removed in the abdominal area. Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired and then a second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin.
Once Dr. Payne completes your procedure, you will be taken to the recovery room where the hospital nurses will help prepare you for your trip home. A post op appointment will be scheduled with our office so that Dr. Payne can see how our body is healing.
What to expect after a tummy tuck:
After your tummy tuck procedure is finished, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions. You will also be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your abdomen as it begins to heal. It is very important to follow the post-operative instructions given by Dr. Payne and our staff, so that you will have the best possible results. Once you are healed, you will enjoy having a flat abdomen and stronger core.
Will I have drains after a Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty?
Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. Drains, along with compression garments will help you achieve your ideal goals.
When can I return to work or daily activities?
Each person is different, but you will need to take it easy during the first 5-7 days after your surgery and you will want to avoid any strenuous activity while you are healing. Your first post op is the day after your surgery, and your dressing will be changed for the first time. Full recovery time takes 6-8 weeks. We do recommend that you walk after surgery to prevent potential blood clots in the legs. Call us to schedule a consultation and Dr. Payne can answer any more questions you may have.
What is a Panniculectomy?
Panniculectomy is often performed on patients who have excess skin from extreme weight loss or from a medical procedure like gastric bypass. When a person loses a large amount of weight, they are often left with excess skin. This excess skin can cause irritation and inflammation, discomfort, and skin breakdown. It can also make certain daily activities difficult to perform.
Panniculectomy Vs. Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty:
So what’s the difference? A panniculectomy mainly removes tissue, as opposed to a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, which also repairs the abdominal wall creating a rejuvenated/tightened shape to the waist and stomach. A panniculectomy is essentially the basic removal of skin with no added contouring.
What does recovery time look like?
Before your operation you will be evaluated by Dr. Payne and our office staff will provide you with any information you may need for the surgery and answer any questions you may have about recovery. You will leave after the operation with compression wraps to protect the area, and you will want to refrain from strenuous activity for at least 2-3 weeks.
Full recovery time can be around 5-6 weeks. To ensure a smooth and fast recovery, we recommend that you follow any instructions Dr. Payne and the staff recommends.