Tummy Tuck FAQ

How long do tummy tucks last?

Tummy tuck results are permanent. Once the fat cells and skin are removed, they do not grow back.

Is a tummy tuck painful?

There is moderate pain, which is easily controlled with a sophisticated system of advanced wound healing protocols, homeopathics, integrative medicine and pain medications. Many patients have an unrealistic fear of the pain associated with a tummy tuck, but rest assured that we take exceptional measures before, during, and after surgery to give you the results you desire with the comfort and ease you deserve. Many of our patients have thanked us for our compassionate regard for their comfort and expressed surprise at how little pain they have experienced.

How long does tummy tuck surgery take?

As an experienced surgeon specializing in tummy tucks and assisted by highly talented technologists in my own surgical center, a tummy tuck can be performed efficiently and with excellent results in a very short surgery time.

How long is the recovery from a tummy tuck?

After tummy tuck surgery, we advise patients to take two weeks off work. Work from home can resume immediately. Patients may return to work but may not engage in any strenuous activity at two weeks. At two months, the patients start low impact cardio. At three months, they can engage in more strenuous physical activity. We ask them to back off if anything hurts or causes swelling. If you exercise or do some particular action that results in pain or swelling, you are doing too much for your recovery. Not everyone heals the same. You need to make sure that you don’t cause more swelling. Fighting the swelling or working through the pain will undoubtedly backfire.

Is swelling after a tummy tuck normal?

Swelling after a tummy tuck is typical. What is clear, however, is that if you listen to your body, the inflammation will resolve faster. If there are activities that cause swelling, you must hold off on them until they no longer create an issue. Trying to work through the swelling will prolong the process because you are not allowing your body to heal. Everyone is different. People want to return to their routines and see quick results. The tummy tuck is a significant operation that must be respected. If you can exercise without swelling, then you are doing well. If you have inflammation at the end of a day at work at a desk job, then you must be very careful with your choices and get plenty of rest. After a month, compression also helps. If you have questions, contact our office. Caution is always the best option.

When will I see a difference?

It takes time for the swelling to resolve. It may be 6 to 9 months or more before the shape has reached its final look. Be patient. Limit your physical activity. Everyone is different.

Do you use drains?

There are multiple techniques for a tummy tuck. Traditionally this operation is performed with drains. The skin is elevated off the abdominal wall, the excess is excised, and the skin is draped over the abdomen. This procedure leaves a large area that needs to heal by sticking back down to the abdominal wall. Drains provide a way for the fluid to be evacuated and speed the process of the abdominal skin re-attaching to the abdominal wall. The elevation of the skin generates fluid. Those of us who use drains do not believe that quilting the skin to the abdominal wall will prevent fluid accumulation. Instead, the liquid could accumulate in isolated pockets. Drains are a very useful tool in an abdominoplasty. They are a valuable, temporary solution to prevent fluid accumulation. Pick your surgeon based on their results, professionalism, experience, training, and ability, not on whether they use drains.

Do you use compression binders during the healing process?

We do not use compression or binders after a tummy tuck until the wounds and flaps are stable after one month, and only if they are needed. If the binder is tight before then, it can collapse the veins. If the veins are collapsed, then there is no outflow. If there is no outflow, there can be no inflow. No inflow from the arteries means no oxygen. Without proper oxygen flow, wound healing is inhibited.

To learn more about the tummy tuck procedure and how it is performed at Lawton Plastic Surgery, contact us at 210-496-639 to schedule a free consultation.

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