Tummy Tuck FAQs
Dr. Pugash answers the following tummy tuck questions:
Liposuction is purely a fat-removal technique. Liposuction can be used to remove a small area of fat. However, if you have other issues such as loose skin or separated abdominal muscles, you will need tummy tuck surgery. Dr. Pugash will perform a physical examination during your consultation and advise you of the best approach for your personal needs and goals.
Every surgical procedure leaves some degree of scarring. Dr. Pugash will place the incision as low as possible on the abdomen so it will usually be hidden beneath underwear or a bathing suit (but not necessarily a bikini!). Also, he uses advanced techniques to minimize scarring and will provide a scar treatment product that you will apply after your surgery.
In general, tummy tuck patients return to work after approximately three to four weeks if they have a sedentary job. Patients with physically demanding jobs that require bending or lifting may need to recover for longer before they can return to work.
As long as you maintain your weight with healthy diet and exercise habits, you will be able to enjoy your tummy tuck results. If you gain a significant amount of weight or become pregnant, your abdominal muscles will stretch, your skin will loosen and you will develop excess fat.
Dr. Pugash’s website has a good deal of information on the procedure, including animated videos. His office will already have sent you a brochure before your consultation.
Dr. Pugash and his staff will have educated you fully on what to expect. You will arrive at the clinic 90 minutes before your procedure, having fasted since the previous midnight. Surgery will take 2 ½ to 3 hours. You will then spend 2 to 3 hours in recovery before being taken home by a family member or friend.
Dr. Pugash usually does not place drains for abdominoplasty.
Nearly every patient needs muscle repair to get the best result from the surgery. Occasionally, Dr. Pugash and the patient may agree not to do a repair if the main problem is excess skin and fat, and if a muscle repair would not add much to the result. Muscle repair is also often not required in males.
It may be possible to increase muscle definition in already relatively fit individuals. However, heavier patients should not expect to see their “abs” after surgery.
Abdominoplasty is meant to change your shape, not your weight. The tissue removed during the surgery, even when impressive to look at, rarely weighs more than a few pounds.
Dr. Pugash uses dissolving sutures, so none will have to be removed manually.
A pleasing abdominal shape, a pretty umbilicus, and a symmetrical scar.
There will be generalized swelling affecting the abdomen and the rest of the body for two weeks or so. Areas that have been liposuctioned can be subtly swollen for a number of months. Lastly, there will be a bit of swelling just above the scar that can take up to a year to settle.
You can get pregnant after a tummy tuck, but you may lose some or all of the improvements gained from the procedure.
Most people go back to most normal occupations about 4 weeks after surgery. Dr. Pugash advises his patients that muscle repair can take 2 months to heal, and that they need to avoid exercise during that time. Moms should be allowed 2 to 3 weeks without family responsibilities in order to heal, wean off pain medications, and develop mobility.
The most common complications would be areas of delayed healing due to suture exposure or small areas of tissue loss. Dr. Pugash will ensure you are familiar with a complete list of risks and complications, both frequent and uncommon.
Adding a full-body sculpting means the risks of surgery increase, along with the length of the procedure. It may be possible to add other sculpting, depending on your overall medical condition and the additional procedures’ complexity. More prolonged operations may require an overnight stay in the clinic.
You may exercise two months after surgery. Before then, patients are encouraged to walk as much as possible.
Most patients will not be comfortable picking up a child before 2 to 3 weeks after surgery.
Your abdomen is supposed to feel tight – that was the point of the surgery! However, it is essential to avoid stressing the muscle repair by pushing or straining against your tummy muscles.
Patients should make no mistake about it: abdominoplasty is a major operation with an uncomfortable recovery. That said, Dr. Pugash has not heard patients say they regret the procedure. However, moms with very young families need to consider how they will manage their recoveries.
The patient’s own belly button is preserved— it is brought out through a new opening in the skin, once the extra skin has been removed.
A tummy tuck generally takes 2 ½ to 3 hours, depending on the patient.
Nearly every potential patient today will consult surgeons’ websites for actual surgical results, as well as patient review sites. At a minimum, patients should expect their surgeon to be certified in Plastic Surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada or the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Most patients understand the value of a surgeon’s experience and the fact that a long waiting list is usually a good sign.