Your Guide to Tummy Tuck Surgery
The tummy tuck is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures for men and women struggling with loose skin and excess fat on the abdomen. Here’s what you need to know if you are planning for a tummy tuck in Pittsburgh, PA.
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty surgery) is a surgical procedure that eliminates sagging skin on the stomach and tightens the abdominal muscles to create a more toned, flattened stomach. Liposuction is often included to remove excess fat for a more sculpted appearance. During the procedure, an incision will be made vertically along the bikini line where it can be concealed by swimwear or underwear.
Dr. Falcon will remove excess skin, tighten the muscles in the abdominal wall, and then pull the remaining skin down, suturing it along the bikini line for a tightened appearance. Tummy tuck procedures are performed under general anesthesia, meaning patients are asleep during surgery and will not feel any pain. On average, the procedure takes about 2 hours.
Before a tummy tuck, patients should be in good health so that their bodies can safely undergo the physical stress of surgery and recovery. If you are currently overweight or obese, Dr. Falcon will recommend that you lose weight before surgery. You should also stop smoking and avoid blood-thinning medications, including some herbal supplements since these can worsen bleeding and impair your recovery.
Making a recovery plan is also important in preparation for surgery. Before scheduling your procedure, consider the best time to take a work vacation so that you do not fall behind on large projects or important deadlines. Patients often need to take 1-2 weeks off work to recover. You should also arrange for someone to drive you to and from your surgery and stay with you for a few days. A family member or close friend can help you prepare meals, pick up medications, and do other activities that should be avoided during the initial recovery period.
Complete tummy tuck recovery will take about 4-6 weeks, but most of the healing occurs during the first 1-2 weeks. Moderate swelling, bruising, and discomfort are expected but will improve significantly after the first week. Dr. Falcon will prescribe pain medications and give you a compression garment to keep you comfortable and limit swelling. Your stomach will be bandaged, and drainage tubes will be placed to prevent fluid buildup. These are removed a few days after your procedure at a post-operative appointment with Dr. Falcon.
Although strenuous exercise should be avoided for several weeks, patients should take short walks around the house to prevent blood clots. Dr. Falcon will give you detailed instructions on when you can gradually resume more strenuous activities. Make sure to attend all your post-operative appointments so that he can monitor your healing for a smooth recovery and the best possible results.
Patients who have undergone significant weight loss, either after pregnancy or as part of a diet and exercise program, are often great candidates for tummy tuck surgery. Ideal patients should be at a stable, healthy weight and in overall good health. Excess skin poses cosmetic concerns and impacts your overall health. Large flaps of abdominal skin that hang over the groin and upper thighs can impede mobility and make it difficult to exercise or perform daily tasks.
Weak abdominal muscles are another condition targeted with the tummy tuck procedure. Women often have weakened or overly stretched muscles after childbirth, which is why this cosmetic surgery is so popular among women. It’s often included in the mommy makeover, a combination of procedures that restores women’s pre-pregnancy bodies.
If you are considering tummy tuck surgery in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, schedule a consultation today with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christopher Falcon. He will assess your condition and discuss your cosmetic goals to determine the best technique for your tummy tuck.
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