Seattle Tummy Tuck
Often, exercise and diet, while helpful and healthy overall, can’t completely affect change in certain areas of the body, such as the tummy. Body contouring and reshaping in this area through surgery is highly effective, and Dr. Peters can discuss various options with you to help you choose the best results for you individually.
What is Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is cosmetic surgery for reshaping the abdomen. Sagging abdominal wall skin and relaxation of the abdominal wall muscles can happen after pregnancy or with weight fluctuations. Stretch marks in the skin may be the result of pregnancy. Exercise may be unhelpful in restoring a flatter abdomen or more proportional shape.
Most abdominoplasties remove skin and fat in the lower abdomen between the belly button and pubic region and extending hip to hip. The underlying muscles are tightened for better internal support. Liposuction can be combined with the surgery to remove excess fat on the hips or thighs.
Tummy Tuck Techniques
- A mini-abdominoplasty has a shorter scar and is best used for the select group of patients whose problems are limited to the lower abdomen and have a lesser amount of skin and fat to be removed.
- An extended abdominoplasty is used for patients that have excess skin that continues from the front to the backside of the trunk. This is particularly common after losing large amounts of weight.
Different names are given to this operation, including lower body lift, belt lipectomy, flank lift, and buttock lift. The operation needs to be individually tailored to achieve the best outcome, no matter what name is given to it.
How long will I have drainage tubes?
The amount of time the drainage tubes are in depends on how much drainage you have in a 24-hour period. The drains are typically removed five to ten days after surgery.
When will my stitches come out?
Your stitches are internal and dissolvable and can take three to four months to completely dissolve. If you have any stitches on the surface of your skin, i.e. around the belly button, they typically are removed in seven to ten days.
When can I shower? Can I shower with the tape on?
You may shower after your first dressing change. Avoid allowing the stream of water to come directly down on the area of your surgery. You should shower with the tape on. The tape should only be changed every four to five days to avoid skin irritation.
Can I clean my belly button?
You may gently clean your belly button after your first dressing change. Use cotton swabs and hydrogen peroxide to remove old skin and dried drainage once a day.
How long do I have to wear the compression garment? When can I wash the garment and how long can I have the garment off per day?
The compression garment should be worn for one month. You may wash the garment after your first follow up visit with Dr. Peters. Try to limit the amount of time out of your garment to one hour per day.
How long will the loss of sensation last around my incisions/ abdomen?
Sensation loss around incision lines returns gradually and can take several months.
How long does the swelling last and when will I be at my final shape?
Normal swelling takes time to resolve. In the first month, 70 percent of the swelling should go down. It can take an additional three to six months for the rest of the swelling to go away and for you to be at your final shape.