An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a procedure that:
- Removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen
- Tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall
- Slims and tones the midsection of the body
Abdominoplasty can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen and restore a more defined and attractive appearance to the stomach, hips, and waist. Call Genesis Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa today at 405-340-9949 for a consultation with Dr. Jayesh Panchal at our Oklahoma City area offices in Edmond, Lawton or Norman.
- Am I a Good Tummy Tuck Candidate?
- Preparing for Tummy Tuck Surgery
- The Abdominoplasty Procedure
- Tummy Tuck Recovery
- Your New Look / Maintaining Results
- Abdominoplasty Risks
- Why Choose Dr. Panchal?
- Contact Genesis Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa
Am I a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty?
If you are unhappy with the way your midsection looks and feels, you may be a good tummy tuck candidate. While not a good method of weight loss, this body contouring procedure is ideal for men and women with localized fat deposits who are otherwise in good shape. Good candidates for this procedure need to be close to their ideal BMI for optimal results. If your BMI is over 30, some steps will need to be taken prior to abdominoplasty to improve your candidacy.
Tummy tuck surgery may be ideal for women who have had multiple pregnancies that have left them with loose muscles and excess skin. It is often included in the mommy makeover procedure. Abdominoplasty may also be ideal following excessive weight loss, such as occurs following bariatric surgery.
The best candidates for tummy tuck are:
- Nonsmokers who are in good physical and emotional health
- Able to take time to recover before returning to work or family obligations
- Willing to closely follow all pre and postoperative instructions
You should wait to have an abdominoplasty if you:
- Intend to lose a lot of weight
- Plan to have more children
- Have a BMI that is greater than 30
- Cannot commit to a healthy lifestyle to maintain results
The best way to learn if you are a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery is through a one-on-one consultation at our Edmond, Lawton, or Norman, OK location. During this consultation, Dr. Panchal will listen to your concerns, carefully assess your frame, and help you decide if tummy tuck surgery is the best fit for your needs.
Preparing for Abdominoplasty
During your initial visit, Dr. Panchal will ask about your medical history, which may impact your ability to have this surgery. For example, if you are a smoker, it is very important that you stop smoking prior to and after your abdominoplasty. Nicotine, even in vaped forms, slows the healing process and encourages the development of thick and highly visible scars. What’s more, smoking during recovery increases the risk of infection, oxygen depletion, and skin necrosis (death) in the surgical area, all of which will drastically impact your final results.
If you have a minimum or mild amount of excess skin, Dr. Panchal will recommend a mini-abdominoplasty, allowing for a shorter incision and reducing the risks of visible scars. If you have maximum excess skin, you will require a regular abdominoplasty which will require a larger incision. Every effort is made to minimize risks of scaring. Dr. Panchal will discuss proper incision care during your time with us to make sure you are equipped with the information you need to reduce risks and improve your healing response.
It is not unusual to combine an abdominoplasty with liposuction to your love handles, thighs, or abdomen to further enhance your outcome. During your initial consultation, Dr. Panchal can help you determine if additional contouring services will help improve your outcomes and produce a look more in line with your ideal.
You will need to wear a compression garment for around 6 weeks to reduce pain and swelling following surgery.
Tummy Tuck Procedure
Abdominoplasties are performed under general anesthesia, which means you’ll be asleep during the surgery. Dr. Panchal performs both mini and complete abdominoplasties in an outpatient surgical center to help protect your safety and ensure your comfort. You will most likely spend one night at the outpatient center following surgery allowing observation to help guard against unforeseen complications.
A complete abdominoplasty usually takes 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours, depending on the extent of the liposuction required. A mini-abdominoplasty only takes one to two hours.
Tummy tuck incisions are commonly made from the right to the left hip bone just above your pubic area so that the final scar is very well hidden. An abdominoplasty involves lifting the skin and the fat from the underlying fascia on the abdomen all the way up to your ribs. The skin around your navel is released, allowing Dr. Panchal to tighten the muscles (your abs) and contour them by suturing them together. This dramatically changes the contour of the abdomen.
If you have some skin laxity in your flanks or on the outside of your thighs, Dr. Panchal may extend the incision towards the flank. Any excess skin and fat are then trimmed so that there is no excess or wrinkly skin following surgery. A new navel is created for you and the incision is closed in many layers. You will have two drains at the incision site that will be left for around 3-5 days.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
You will have some discomfort for the first few days following surgery. At the end of your surgery, Dr. Panchal will inject a long-acting local anesthetic called Exparel. This local analgesia/numbing treatment is administered during the tummy tuck procedure. It is a single-dose medication and will last for up to four days after surgery. Exparel is not a narcotic, so it won’t impair you after the procedure.
In some cases, Exparel reduces the need for heavy pain medications, which also eliminates their nasty side. Fewer oral narcotics mean less nausea and less disorientation. However, pain medications may also be prescribed by Dr. Panchal to help deal with any unexpected discomfort during the recovery phase.
One of Dr. Panchal's patients recently had a tummy tuck and was very pleased with the results of Exparel. She has been almost completely pain-free for an entire week after her surgery. You can listen to her testimonial below:
You will have some swelling and bruising after the surgery. This should subside on its own within two weeks. You will wear a compression garment for four to six weeks after surgery, which will help keep swelling under control. The stitches are under the skin and do not need to be removed. You will have drains at the incision sites that will be removed three to five days post-surgery.
You will need someone to assist you with getting up and walking around the house for the first two days after surgery. It generally takes two to three weeks to get back to normal. You can drive one week to ten days after surgery.
It may take you two to three weeks to feel like yourself again. Younger patients tend to return to normal life faster slightly faster than older patients. You should be able to walk briskly and swim after three weeks and perform aerobic exercises in six weeks.
During the recovery phase, it is important that you take time to rest. Dr. Panchal will provide you with detailed instructions to help ease the recovery process. During your follow up visits, he will answer any questions that have arisen to make sure you remain as comfortable as possible while you heal.
Your New Look
After three weeks when the swelling has gone down significantly, you will start to see the final results of your surgery. Keep in mind that you will need to continue to exercise and eat a balanced diet if you wish to maintain your new body. A tummy tuck can act as a springboard for a healthier lifestyle, but some effort will be needed to maintain your results. It can be helpful to work with professionals, such as a nutritionist and personal trainer, to make sure you are on the right path.
A proper diet should include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, nuts and seeds, legumes, and complex carbohydrates. Try to avoid food that comes in a box. Boxed food is not good for you.
The CDC recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise weekly in addition to high-intensity muscle strengthening exercises on each major muscle group twice a week. These steps will help you maintain your results. Upping your activity to higher levels will enhance your results, adding tone, definition, and ideal contours to the entire body.
How much and how intensely you exercise is entirely up to you. However, failure to exercise and eat a healthy diet will likely diminish or undo your results within a short period of time.
See what abdominoplasty has done for our patients.
Visit our before-and-after gallery!
There are always some risks and complications associated with any surgical procedure and tummy tuck is no exception. Rarely, blood can collect at the incision site, which requires additional surgery to remove the clot that is causing the blood to collect. In a few cases, an infection at the incision site may occur.
To reduce this risk, Dr. Panchal will prescribe you antibiotics to take before your tummy tuck surgery and for a few days following. This can help the incision heal with a scar line that is not overtly visible. Proper incision care, such as keeping it dry and clean, will further aid in scar reduction.
It is possible to have a small seroma after your surgery, but these will generally resolve on their own. If not, a small needle may be needed to remove the collected fluid. Finally, the skin on your abdomen may be numb for four to six weeks after your procedure, but this will also resolve on its own.
Smoking before or after surgery certainly increases the risk of complications, so it is recommended that you do not smoke before or after any surgery. Certain medications, herbs, and supplements can thin the blood as well. These may need to be stopped before and for a short time after your surgery to reduce risks. Before your procedure, Dr. Panchal will review all medications and supplements you are taking to help you determine which are safe to continue during the body contouring process.
Why Choose Dr. Panchal
Dr. Panchal uses the latest technique and equipment to perform liposuction and abdominoplasty. This unique technique allows Dr. Panchal to use a hollow tube (liposuction cannula) which vibrates very rapidly to easily break up fat cells, enabling the removal of large amounts of fat through a small incision. He uses special cannulas to prevent rippling in the skin, helping produce a more natural look.
After a tummy tuck and liposuction, other surgeons may leave your tummy looking flat, but without a contoured shape. A natural-looking tummy always has some areas that are convex (bulging) and some areas that are concave (hollow). Typically, the area around the upper part of the belly button is hollow but the area under the belly protrudes just a little. There is often a line that runs from the rib cage to the belly button further enhancing the shape of the abs.
After a tummy tuck, some people look great from the front, but they don’t see the same contour from the sides or back. To solve this problem, Dr. Panchal turns you on your tummy and on your sides during the surgery, so he can specifically address the fat in these areas.
After liposuction, Dr. Panchal can then re-inject the cleaned and purified fat back into areas where you lack definition. The most common area to re-inject fat is into the outer and central buttocks to further enhance the shape. This final step helps produce the most pleasing contours to help you maintain an appealing yet completely natural look.
Contact Genesis Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa
If you are considering tummy tuck surgery in or around Oklahoma City, call the Edmonton and Norman offices of Genesis Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa at 405-340-9949 or our Lawton office at 580-353-8200.