ME PLASTIC SURGERY
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Mommy Makeover? Having an Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck in Atlanta
A tummy tuck or an abdominoplasty is the ideal procedure for patients who desire to remove the excess fat and skin from the abdominal (stomach) area. The result is a flatter and smoother abdominal area. This procedure is mostly sought after by patients who have had pregnancies or desired weight loss, but the skin has been stretched too far and does not bounce back anymore, leaving a fold in the lower abdomen, loose skin and stretch marks. A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty can be part of the “mommy makeover” procedure, when the abdomen and the breasts are improved during the same procedure.
An abdominoplasty is commonly combined with liposuction of the waistline for a more curved silhouette.
What is Improved with a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck improves the excess abdominal skin (abdominal folds), it removes the stretch marks in the lower abdomen, it improves excess abdominal fat, it tightens the abdominal muscles and improves the bulging and laxity of the abdomen. It is commonly combined with liposuction of the waistline for a more curved silhouette.
Where are the Tummy Tuck Incisions?
There is a transverse incision line usually placed at the natural abdominal crease above the pubic area, and another incision around or inside the belly button. Those incisions are important because through them we are able to remove all the excessive skin causing abdominal folds and bulging.
What is the Abdominoplasty recovery like?
Right after the abdominoplasty, the patients are up and walking with assistance. Some patients are able to drive in 3-5 days after surgery, but for some it takes longer. It is not a procedure where the patient should be completely immobile, since ambulation speeds up healing and improves residual swelling. Usually, it takes about 2-3 weeks of downtime to recover from an abdominoplasty, and the body will need some time to be able to go back to normal activities. Depending on how much work needs to be done (liposuction of multiple areas, muscle plication…) the recovery can be very easy or take longer. Ideally, if a patient is not obese, has a good BMI (body mass index), exercises routinely with good fitness level, the recovery is fast and uneventful. Most patient can return to light activities such as a desk job or running daily errands at 7-10 days after surgery. We recommend 6 weeks to go back to the gym or back to more intense activities such as running.
Tips before your tummy tuck surgery (from one of our lovely patients!)
Here are some suggestions that helped me A LOT before and after my surgery:
- Do not pick your doctor based on price alone. Do your homework!
- Lose all (or almost all) the weight you need before your surgery
- Exercise regularly and eat healthy
- Get your body AND mind ready
- Take at least two weeks off. Have someone taking care of you (and your kids) during that time
- Do all your grocery shopping and get your medication from the pharmacy before the surgery day
- Get your house cleaned and organized
- Get a couple of lose dresses that you can open in the front (along with some comfortable underwear)
- Invest in a good/medical grade “spanx”
- Get some cough drops (and water) next to your bed at all times. Believe me, you don’t want to cough! If you do cough (sneeze), hold your stomach with a pillow. Try not to laugh (or cry) right after the surgery either lol
- Don’t worry, be happy! You are about to do something AMAZING for yourself!
- Follow ALL of your doctor’s recommendations and don’t skip follow up visits
- Take all medications around the clock, even if you’re not feeling pain. That’s how you will keep the pain under control
- Eat healthy and drink plenty of water
- Get up as much as you can, as fast as you can after surgery. Walk around your house often, even if it hurts!
- Add lymphatic drainage massages to your budget. They are wonderful (expensive!) but TOTALLY worth it!
- I rented an electric recliner for a month at R.A.C – the BEST thing ever! It was only about $100 and it was a lifesaver. They deliver it and pick it up for free. I spend most of my time on that chair during my recovery.
- I also got a folding walker. Great helper to get out of the bed, couch…and in the first showers!
- Start exercising as soon as your doctor gives you permission
- Stay POSITIVE and have patience. The pain will improve and you will stand up straight again! I promise 🙂
- Enjoy your new amazing body! You deserve it!
If you are interested in improving you abdominal contouring come see us for an evaluation, so we can discuss your goals and make a plan tailored to your needs.
GABRIELE C. MIOTTO MD, MEd., is a Brazillian-American plastic surgeon specialized in aesthetic surgery and minimally invasive procedures, specially of the face, eyes, breast and liposuction.