Abdominoplasty Procedure – Recovery and Results

revised tummy tuck imageAn abdominoplasty procedure (tummy tuck) yields dramatic results. Unlike liposuction, abdominoplasty doesn’t just remove fat from your tummy, it also removes excess skin and repairs loose muscles—making a significant improvement to a person’s appearance and self-confidence. That’s why it’s always been a popular cosmetic surgery choice.

Reasons for considering a tummy tuck vary widely. Often, the need for an abdominoplasty procedure is due to life changes that can affect the shape of your midriff, such as childbirth, significant weight loss or aging. But there’s also a small percentage of patients who haven’t experienced any of these life changes and are still unhappy with stubborn fat in their abdominal area that doesn’t improve with diet and exercise.

Regardless of your reason, deciding on an abdominoplasty procedure is now an easier choice than ever. While tummy tucks used to come with a long, difficult recovery (causing some to shy away from the procedure), recent surgical advancements have made that a thing of the past—and tummy tucks are increasing in popularity. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 130,000 are performed every year.

Improved techniques for less pain and quicker recovery

Breakthroughs in surgical techniques and pain management have significantly improved the recovery experience of abdominoplasty patients:

Progressive tension sutures (PTS)

Progressive tension sutures are probably the biggest game-changer. PTS is a deep suturing technique that eliminates the need for postoperative drains. Before PTS, patients had tubes (drains) that came through their incision to the outside of their body for up to three weeks. The drains required daily care and were certainly not comfortable or conducive to daily activities.

New pain control methods

New methods of pain control, like pain pumps and long-lasting injections of local anesthetic, make it easier to get comfortable and to move around much sooner following surgery. They also reduce or eliminate the need for oral medications that can cause unpleasant side effects like constipation.

Are you a good candidate for an abdominoplasty procedure?

Ensure you’re a good candidate for an abdominoplasty procedure by keeping yourself healthy and in good physical condition. You must be in good physical shape to tolerate the surgery—it will also serve you well as far as your recovery. Here are some other considerations:

  • Are you a smoker? If so, you should consider quitting. Smoking will slow down the healing process and increase your risk of serious complications during and after surgery.
  • Is your weight stable? If not, you should first work on achieving a healthy weight and maintaining it over time. Aside from helping you enjoy a speedier recovery, being at a healthy weight will ensure the best results. It’s also important you’re able to keep your weight off as your results will be affected by weight gain.
  • Are you finished having children? If not, your results from the procedure will be affected by future pregnancies.

What you can expect during abdominoplasty recovery

Everybody’s different, and that means no two people will heal the exact same way. However, most people who have a tummy tuck can expect to be able to:

  • Drive within a week of surgery
  • Return to work within three weeks
  • Engage in light exercise, like walking just a few days post-surgery

It may take a few months for all your swelling to dissipate, but most of it will be gone within the first few weeks. Your scar will continue to improve for at least a year.

Emory Aesthetic Center

If you’re ready for a change and a tummy tuck seems right for you, contact the Emory Aesthetic Center to schedule a complimentary consultation with one our expert cosmetic surgeons.

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Or call us at 404-778-6880 to schedule your personal consultation.