A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that is also known as an abdominoplasty. The purpose of a tummy tuck is to remove excess skin and fat in the abdominal area. Part of the procedure also commonly involves restoring separated or weakened muscles to provide an improved abdominal profile. Many people come in for a tummy tuck after trying for years to achieve a flat and toned abdomen through traditional weight loss and exercise. Others seek the procedure after successful bariatric surgery that has led to extensive weight loss.
A tummy tuck will permanently remove a portion of the patient’s skin and fat tissue. However, unless the individual is committed to sustaining positive nutrition and getting regular exercise, weight fluctuations can occur. If a person experiences significant changes in weight after a tummy tuck, additional fat deposits can be made in the abdominal area, and the skin can be stretched once again. For this reason, most physicians suggest postponing a tummy tuck procedure until a patient has achieved a healthy weight and sustained that weight for a period of time.
Immediately following an abdominoplasty, the abdominal area will be covered in surgical dressings or bandages and often wrapped in a compression garment or elastic bandage. In some cases, small drainage tubes may be inserted under the skin and will be removed during the initial post-surgical appointment. Patients are given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site. Prescription medication is often given to assist with any discomfort during the healing process. Patients are advised to refrain from strenuous activity a short time following the surgery to allow the healing process to move forward. Follow-up appointments will lead to customized suggestions and advice concerning ongoing recovery.