Tummy tucks or abdominoplasties are performed to rid excess skin and fat folds on your abdomen. The procedure removes any stretch marks located below the belly button. A tummy tuck will enhance your shape by making your stomach firmer and flatter. Prior to surgery, Dr. Haywood will assess how much excess fat and loose skin you have in your abdomen as well as the condition of your stomach muscles.
The standard abdominoplasty incision is made above the pubic area, extending in a horizontal line toward the hip bones. Effort is always taken to keep the incision below the line of a bathing suit or undergarment. The fatty tissue and skin between the belly button and the pubic area is removed. The skin above the belly button is stretched down to close the incision. The belly button is moved to a new appropriate position on your abdomen. Often liposuction is performed with the tummy tuck to improve the contour of the belly.
Risks of surgery include developing an infection or tissue loss. Tissue loss may involve loss of the belly button or an opening of the incision just above the pubic area. Thankfully this risk is not frequent but if you are a smoker or have diabetes the risks of these complications are much higher.
Other risks include fluid accumulation under the skin. Plastic drainage tubes are usually left in place for about a week after the surgery to help accumulate any fluid that may build up. A support garment is also provided to help minimize swelling. While bruising disappears over a few weeks, numbness or swelling in some areas of the abdomen may persist for a few months.
Most people return to exercising and heavier activities after about six weeks after surgery.