Who is a candidate?
Men and women who have excess fat or skin in the lower or mid-abdomen which will not respond to diet and exercise may be good candidates for a tummy tuck. Women who have had one or more pregnancies or who have had previous weight gain or loss are particularly helped by this surgery. Stretch marks on the lower abdomen are often removed during the procedure as an added side benefit. The stomach muscles are tightened to help produce a flatter abdominal contour.
How is a tummy tuck performed?
A low incision is made in the pubic region extending toward the hips on each side. Every effort is made to conceal the incision within the "bikini line." The excess skin and fat are carefully removed and the stomach muscles are tightened. Normally, the umbilicus (belly-button) needs to be repositioned also. The stomach muscles are also tightened to help produce a flatter abdominal contour. Surgical drains are used to collect any fluids that may accumulate after the procedure.
The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic and it can be done as an outpatient procedure; an overnight stay can be arranged if preferred. The surgery takes approximately three hours.
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A tummy tuck can be performed with other procedures at the same time, such as liposuction and/or breast surgery.
What is the recovery period like?
You will be up and about immediately after surgery. The drains are left in place for about a week and are easily removed in the office. Swelling, bruising and discomfort after surgery are normal for a few days. Dr. Hynes will prescribe pain medication for you, as well as antibiotics to minimize the chances of infection. You will be able to shower within a week. The stitches are hidden below the surface of the skin and will be absorbed by the body.
Depending on your type of work, you may return within two weeks of surgery. Although the skin will be healed within a week or so, it will be three or four weeks until full activities can be resumed (i.e., sports or heavy lifting). A support garment is required for one month after surgery to give you the best possible result.
What are the risks?
All surgery carries certain risks and abdominoplasty is no exception. These include bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation, delayed healing and minor asymmetries. Blood clots can occur, but this is rare and steps are taken to minimize this risk. There is a visible scar following a tummy tuck, but this is hidden in clothing or bathing suits and usually fades with time.
Smoking increases the likelihood of complications and it is therefore strongly recommended that you stop smoking before undergoing a tummy tuck. Dr. Hynes will review all the risks of the surgery with you in detail during your cosmetic consultation.
How can I obtain more information?
It’s important to have realistic expectations and to be properly informed about expected results and potential side effects, with any procedure.
If you would like to book a cosmetic consultation with Dr. Hynes at our office in Hamilton, ON, please call us at (905) 645-5640 or book an appointment.
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