Watch Dr. Sasmor's video on Abdominoplasty
Surgery of the Abdomen--Abdominoplasty
What To Expect:
If you're considering abdominoplasty…
Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a "tummy tuck," is a
major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle
and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdomen wall. The
procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen.
But bear in mind, it does produce a permanent scar, which, depending on
the extent of the original problem and the surgery required to correct
it, can extend from hip to hip.
If you're considering abdominoplasty, this will give you a basic understanding
of the procedure - when it can help, how it's performed, and what results
you can expect. It can't answer all of your questions, since a lot depends
on the individual patient and the surgeon. Please ask your surgeon about
anything you don't understand.
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in relatively
good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal
skin that won't respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly
helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their
abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal.
Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with
slight obesity, can also be improved.
Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the surgery.
Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as vertical muscles
in the abdomen that are tightened during surgery can separate again during
pregnancy. If you have scarring from previous abdominal surgery, your
doctor may recommend against abdominoplasty or may caution you that scars
could be unusually prominent.
Abdominoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence,
but it won't necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause
other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery,
think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.
Visit The American Society of Plastic Surgery website to learn more: click here>
ALL SURGERY CARRIES SOME UNCERTAINTY AND RISK
Thousands of abdominoplasties are performed successfully each year. When
done by a qualified plastic surgeon who is trained in body contouring,
the results are generally quite positive. Nevertheless, there are always
risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with
Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare,
but can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics,
but will prolong your hospital stay. You can minimize the risk of blood
clots by moving around as soon after the surgery as possible.
Poor healing, which results in conspicuous scars, may necessitate a second
operation. Smokers should be advised to stop, as smoking may increase
the risk of complications and delay healing.
You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon's
instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when
and how you should resume physical activity.
Prior to surgery, your will need to obtain: Hibaclens or Phisoderm cleanser
(no prescription required, ask your pharmacist). Multivitamin with iron.
Vitamin C 500 mg. tablets.
TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO SURGERY: We recommend that you be on a well balanced
diet with adequate protein. Take one multivitamin with iron and two 500
mg. vitamin C tablets every day. Do not take any aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil,
Aleve or similar type drugs Do not take vitamin E, gingko biloba, ginger,
echinacea, ginsing, black cohash or any other herbal substances. If necessary,
use Tylenol for pain. No red wine for at least one week prior to surgery.
If you are going home directly after your operation, please make sure
you have arranged transportation and that there is someone who will stay
with you (family or friend) the night after your operation. Walking up
stairs will be uncomfortable after your operation. If you have lots of
steps into or within your home, consider staying with family or friends
until you are comfortable enough to negotiate your steps.
NO SMOKING FOR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS BEFORE YOUR SURGERY THE EVENING BEFORE
SURGERY: Shower with the Hibiclens or Phisoderm cleanser. These do not
suds very well; they work best with a sponge or wash cloth. Please soap
and rinse twice. No alcoholic beverages the night before surgery. Do not
eat or drink anything after midnight. Please confirm that you have a ride
home and a person to stay with you after your operation. You will not
be allowed to drive after surgery.
THE MORNING OF YOUR SURGERY: Shower again with the Phisoderm or Hibaclens
cleanser. Again soaping twice, and rinsing well. Do not apply any moisture
cream or topical lotions. Do not wear any make-up, especially lipstick.
Please remove all jewelry including wedding rings and earrings, and leave
them at home. Wear loose comfortable clothing, preferably something that
buttons in the front.
IF YOU HAVE EXCESSIVE PAIN, BLEEDING, OR NOTICE REDNESS AROUND YOUR SURGICAL
SITE, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY.
If you are going home, a family member or friend must drive you because
you have been sedated, or have had general anesthetic. Someone should
stay with you overnight as you may need assistance due to sedation and/or
MEDICATIONS REGULAR MEDICATIONS: At home, you should be taking all medications
that you were taking before your operation.
PAIN MEDICATIONS: Post surgical pain is expected after any major surgery
procedure. Use your pain medication, as you need it. You will find as
you go further out from your surgery, your need for medications will slowly
decrease. When pain has become minimal, you may want to change to using
Tylenol or Advil instead of your narcotic pain medication. Please contact
our office if you are having any nausea or vomiting, bad dreams,
sweats, itching or rashes related to taking your pain medication.
CONSTIPATION: Reduced activity, decreased dietary intake, and pain medications
can all lead to constipation. Please take an over-the-counter stool softener
beginning on the day that you return home. Dr. Sasmor suggests two to
three tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia at bedtime if you have not had a
bowel movement by the second day you are home after your surgery.
VITAMINS: Take one multivitamin with iron and two vitamin C 500mg tablets
a day for the first month after your surgery.
ANTIBIOTICS: Please take antibiotics on a regular basis if prescribed
by Dr. Sasmor. If you have any nausea, vomiting, itching or rash related
to taking your antibiotics, please call the office at once. SMOKING: No
smoking for at least two weeks afdter your surgery. Smoking reduces blood
flow in your skin. Necrosis (dead tissue) and poor healing can result
DRESSINGS: You may change the gauze pads under your surgical garment
to keep them clean and dry. Some oozing of bloody drainage and subsequently
pinkish yellow serous drainage is expected after all surgery.
DRAINS: The drains are important and are in place to prevent collections
of serrous fluid under the tissue in the areas of your surgery. The tubing
should be “stripped” and the bulb emptied at least 4 times
during the day, especially before going to bed at night. Output from each
drain should be recorded separately. We know that the drains are uncomfortable,
they will be removed as soon as possible. If you have any problems with
the drains please call the office.
YOUR SURGICAL GARMENT: You will go home in a surgical garment.. These
act as a sort of dressing to hold the tissues in the proper position.
Try to keep your garment in a natural position. If your garment feels
too tight or hurts, please contact Dr. Sasmor's office immediately. A
garment that is too tight can cause ulceration or blisters of the skin.
You will wear a surgical garment for one to three weeks after your surgery.
Dr. Sasmor will give you specific instructions for removing your garment
to shower and to wash the garment.
SHOWERING AND BATHING: You may shower as directed by Dr. Sasmor. Allow
the water and soap to run over the Steri-Strips, rinse, and pat the Steri-Strips
dry. Leave the steri stips in place.
SLEEPING POSITION: During the first two weeks post surgery, please attempt
to sleep on your back instead of on your sides or stomach. This allows
the tissue to stay in the perfect position during the initial healing
processes. This is not a “life and death issue”. If you cannot
sleep on your back, sleep in another comfortable position.
ACTIVITY: Take it easy and pamper yourself. Avoid heavy activity, straining,
bending or lifting. You may walk around in your house and outside.
NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU FEEL, DO NOT CLEAN THE HOUSE, REARRANGE THE FURNITURE,
etc!! Excessive activity may cause bleeding, increased swelling and bruising.
VIGOROUS EXERCISE/AEROBIC EXERCISE: Dr. Sasmor will instruct you when
you can return to vigerous aerobic activity. Return to vigerous activity
is usually in 3-6 weeks, depending on the type of surgical procedure.
SEXUAL ACTIVITY: If you are comfortable, you may resume sexual activity
at three weeks after surgery. Breasts should be treated gently until they
are completely pain free.
NUMBNESS: Small sensory nerves to the skin surface are injured during
breast and reconstructive surgery. This will result in numb areas on the
skin. The sensation in these areas will gradually return, usually within
three to six months after surgery. Sensation returns as the nerve endings
heal spontaneously. Occasional shooting pains or tingling may be noted
as the nerves are healing.
ITCHING: Itching and occasional pulling or shooting pains may occur in
your scar tissue as the incisions heal. This is due to maturation of the
scar tissue itself, and to healing of the small sensory nerves. Ice, skin
moisturizers, and massage are frequently helpful. The symptoms are common
during the first several months of recovery, and will resolve spontaneously
over three to six months.
REDNESS OF SCARS: All new scar tissue is red, pink, or even purplish
in color. With massage and proper attention, scars tissue will slowly
soften and fade. Scars on the breasts or body may take up to one year
or longer to completely fade.
DRIVING: Dr. Sasmor will advise you when you may return to
driving. Before driving, sit in the car with seat belt and shoulder harness
on. Turn fully to the right and left to make sure you can see out the
back window without pain. If you have pain—wait 2-3 more days then
try again. You should not drive at all if you are taking pain medicine.
QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS: If you have other questions, please call the
office at any time. You can also write down your questions and bring them
with you to your follow-up visits.
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