Tummy Tuck Surgery
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Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures at Edina Plastic Surgery in Minneapolis. While there are many types of body contouring procedures to choose from they are all useful to achieve an improved body shape. The important thing is to perform the correct procedure on the correct patient.
What is it?
Body contouring is just a general category that includes tummy tuck surgery, liposuction, and body lifts. It is useful to correct the changes that have occurred from pregnancy and weight loss. At Edina Plastic Surgery in Minneapolis our tummy tuck surgeons have vast experience with these procedures. The surgeon's job is to perform the best procedure for the patient's needs. That is why experience matters.
A large portion of our patients wish to have a "mommy makeover" in which a tummy tuck is an integral part. The results can be dramatic and immediate although there will be improvement over time. The unfortunate part is that the scar (usually concealed by clothes) will be permanent.
Candidates and Preparation
The ideal candidate is one who is in relatively good shape who has a degree of fat/skin that will not respond to diet and exercise. For those who have lost a large amount of weight it is important for your weight to stabilize prior to completing our Minneapolis tummy tuck surgery procedure. Women who plan on future pregnancies should wait although some options may be available.
Previous abdominoplasty procedures and a large degree of intra abdominal fat may make improvement difficult. You should discuss this with your surgeon. In addition you should stop smoking well prior to the procedure. Elimination of aspirin and other "blood thinning" agents is also important. You will need a physical exam performed by your regular physician prior to the tummy tuck surgery. It is best to be well hydrated going into any operation but we at Edina Plastic Surgery have found our body contouring patients recover better if well hydrated.
You must arrange for someone to drive and care for you after the abdominoplasty procedure. Rarely is someone admitted following the operation, and if admission is required the cost of the hospitalization will likely not be covered by your insurance. It is a good idea to arrange help at home for a few days following the operations.
Finally it is important to have realistic expectations regarding what body contouring can do for you. This must be discussed in the pre-operative visit with your surgeon. Ask questions and discuss your concerns.
Risks of surgery
Most Minneapolis tummy tuck and abdominoplasty procedures, performed by the board certified plastic surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery, recover without any complications. However, there are risks associated with any surgery and some specific to this one.
Rare complications such as blood clots or severe allergic reactions are extremely rare but can occur. Also rarely seen are things such as excessive bleeding, wound healing problems, or abnormal scarring. Other, less severe complications may occur and your surgeon should discuss these with you during the initial consultation.
What operation is best for me?
It is important that the correct procedure is performed based on your individual anatomy and your expectations. The surgeons at Edina Plastic Surgery have the experience and judgment to recommend the best options for you. Options range from liposuction alone, mini or modified tummy tucks, full tummy tuck with or without adjacent liposuction, or in extreme cases a full body lift. Talk to your surgeon and discuss your goals.
About the surgery
Most body contouring procedures are done under general anesthesia at our state licensed, fully accredited outpatient surgery center. The majority of patients go home the same day. You should arrange for someone to care for you for a minimum of 24 hours and to have some help off and on over the next few days. The surgery can take anywhere between one and five hours depending on the exact procedure.
Your surgeon will again discuss the surgical plan and mark the proposed incision before you go to sleep. With a full tummy tuck an incision extending from hip to hip and an incision around the belly button will be made. For mini and modified tummy tucks the incision is much shorter and none is made around the belly button.
The skin and fat is lifted off the abdominal wall. The muscles are usually tightened, then excess skin is removed. A new opening for the belly button is made, drains are placed and the incisions are then closed.
A body lift combines a tummy tuck with a buttock lift. As more gastric bypasses are being performed in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and elsewhere in Minnesota, Edina Plastic Surgeons have been performing more and more of these procedures. While it is a much greater procedure to recover from and has a higher chance of needing a stay in the hospital, the results can be extremely dramatic.
An incision in made all the way around the body to remove skin both in the front and the back. Improvement in the buttock, back, lateral thighs and abdomen can be dramatic.
You will have swelling and a variable degree of discomfort afterwards. Edina Plastic Surgery in Minneapolis uses local anesthetic infusion pumps (pain pumps) that work to diminish your pain. Pain medication is also prescribed. Post operative care will be taught by our recovery nurses. You should expect to feel tired and sore when you leave. On rare occasions (more frequent with body lifts) a hospital stay will be needed. Edina Surgery Center is connected to Fairview Southdale Hospital by tunnel and a well established protocol is in place to get you there.
While you may not be able to stand straight you should be walking some in the days following. Frequent post op visits will be required to check on your incisions and to remove your drains. Light activities may be allowed a few weeks after surgery but it may be six weeks before full activity is allowed. Return to work for desk type activities is usually in about two weeks although some recover faster and some slower. If your job requires lifting and straining, it will certainly be longer.
You can expect some swelling to last weeks to months and the scar can take a year or more to completely mature. You will be advised on how to improve the appearance of your scar. As with any cosmetic procedure touch ups may be needed.
You will be responsible to control your weight and exercise after fully healing. Your results will be long lasting as long as you take care of yourself. While the body contouring procedures may be some of the harder ones to recover from we at Edina Plastic Surgery find that they are the patients that are the most happy.
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