Tummy tucks are an elective procedure that can be done for various reasons. Whether you’re looking to remove excess skin due to pregnancy, weight loss, or want to tighten up loose skin on your stomach, a tummy tuck is a surgery you need.
But before opting in for the surgery, it’s always advisable to know some of the potential risks involved with this type of surgery. So here are some things you should know before getting a tummy tuck.
About the Procedure
Tummy tucks are typically done under general anesthesia and can be done in a hospital or an outpatient surgical facility. Your surgeon will make an incision that is usually about 5 to 8 inches on your tummy during the procedure. This will allow their hands to reach inside and do their work. They will remove excess skin and fat from your stomach then sew it back together with dissolvable sutures. After completing the procedure, you will have a scar about 4-5 inches near the “bikini line,” which is slightly below where your pants would generally come up to.
Cost of a Tummy Tuck
The cost of a tummy tuck varies depending on where you live, the area in which you live, and whether you choose to have a tummy tuck done by a board-certified plastic surgeon or not. Also, if you want other cosmetic surgeries like breast implants or breast lift surgery, the price will increase. However, considering average cases, the average cost of a tummy tuck is $7100 to $12100.
Risks of the Procedure
Like any other surgery, there is always a potential risk involved if you decide to get a tummy tuck. The risks and complications are usually determined by the size of the incision, how much fat you have, and how tight your stomach is—the more significant the incision, the higher risk of infection and other complications. A tight stomach may also increase blood loss from your incision, which could lead to clotting or a disease.
Complications Associated with a Tummy Tuck
The nature of tummy tucks is that they are open incisions, which means there is a high risk of infection. Sometimes, if the infection goes untreated, it can result in fatal sepsis if not treated immediately.
Infections may also develop at your scars because they are open wounds. These can be treated by rinsing them regularly with a gentle saline solution or using ointments to heal well and have minimal scarring.
Another potential complication involves seroma, which occurs when fluids accumulate under your skin after surgery. This might be treated by draining them or applying pressure to them to subside. However, there is always a risk of the fluids seeping through the incisions and causing infection elsewhere if this happens.
Another complication involves the formation of blood clots which can be potentially fatal. To prevent this from happening, you need to keep moving after your surgery and avoid sitting still for too long.
Another potential complication is when the incision fails and results in a skin collapse that may eventually lead to a wound or an abscess. To prevent this from happening, special dressings need to be changed daily. If no infection is present and no pus is oozing out of your incision, you might not need any antibiotics.
Things to Remember
In addition to precautions that need to be taken during recovery, you should also remember to make sure you are drinking lots of water since fluid loss is a common problem after surgery.
How Much Skin is Removed during a Tummy Tuck?
The amount of skin removed from your belly depends on several factors, including the size of your stomach and the surgeon who is doing the operation. Usually, the amount will be between 10 to 15 centimeters.
Possible Side Effects after a Tummy Tuck
It is expected that you will experience some pain and discomfort throughout recovery and swelling following your surgery. This may last for up to 2 months, but usually, it will last only one month. You may also experience bruising, which is a widespread occurrence. A slight fever or bowel or bladder function changes could also occur.
What activities to Avoid?
There are some activities that you should avoid after having a tummy tuck. These include lifting heavy objects, using alcohol, taking baths in hot water, sitting for long periods, and exposure to direct sunlight. All these activities should be avoided after tummy tuck surgery.
Diet after Tummy Tuck
It is possible to lower your risk of gaining weight post-op by eating right. It is essential to get enough protein in your meals when dieting after surgery. You will usually want to include lean proteins such as chicken or turkey without skin and non-fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese. It would help if you also ate lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Stomach Contractions after Tummy Tuck
If you have stomach contractile dysfunction or even if your stomach muscles are weak after your tummy tuck surgery, you will want to try taking a stool softener like docusate sodium. This medication should be used along with other medicines that help relax the muscles in the intestines, an example of which is Colace. You can also focus on eating light, being easy to digest, and providing enough fiber. These foods include whole grains and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and squash.
You Can Have More than one Surgeries at the Same Time
If you are planning on getting more cosmetic surgeries before your tummy tuck, you can have both of them done simultaneously. Some plastic surgeons recommend doing this only if there is an excellent reason.
Even though getting a tummy tuck can be quite costly, it is one of the most effective procedures to get rid of excess fat, loose skin, and stretch marks. If you consider this procedure for yourself or a loved one, you must find a board-certified plastic surgeon to do the procedure who will help guide you through all the steps necessary to be healthy and happy with what you have accomplished.