Dr. Borko Djordjevic on Tummy Tucks

January 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

By Dr. Borko Djordjevic

Technically known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck tightens the abdominal muscles while removing excess fat and skin found in the middle or lower abdomen, reducing the appearance of bulges and fat deposits. Tummy tucks provide the most benefit for relatively fit individuals who have been unable to reduce loose skin or fatty areas through diet and exercise, as well as women who have experienced multiple pregnancies and lost skin and muscle elasticity in the abdomen. Those who plan to lose weight or become pregnant in the future should wait before undergoing abdominoplasty. In fact, many of the best tummy tuck candidates are post-bariatric patients.

As with all major surgeries, tummy tucks present several risks to patients, including scarring, infection, and blood clots. Some patients opt for a second surgery to reduce the appearance of scars, which may stretch from thigh to thigh depending on the extent of the initial procedure. By following the surgeon’s aftercare advice, patients can minimize the risk of complications. Importantly, individuals must remain inactive while healing and should refrain from smoking to maximize the body’s mending abilities.

Before the surgery, patients will receive specific instructions about eating, drinking, and taking medications to avoid interactions with anesthesia. The procedure requires anywhere from two to five hours depending on the extent of the operation. Generally, surgeons make an incision between the hipbones below the waistline. A second incision frees the navel from surrounding tissue to prevent unnatural distortion and pulling. The surgeon next separates the patient’s skin from the abdominal wall and stitches the revealed muscles closer together, tightening them and narrowing the waistline. Afterward, the surgeon pulls the skin flap back down, removing any excess, and stitches the navel back into a natural position. Some individuals may return to work after only two weeks, while others may require a month or more for full recovery.

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