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Tummy Tucks (Abdominoplasty)

Binghamton Tummy Tuck Surgeon

Once stretched by pregnancy or weight gain, the abdomen often fails to return to its original shape. Stretched beyond the capacity to return to normal, these tissues will also fail to respond to exercise or diet programs. In these cases, abdominoplasty can provide a long-lasting solution. Abdominoplasty (commonly called a tummy tuck) is a frequently performed procedure used to tighten overly stretched abdominal muscles and skin for a smoother, flatter appearance. For more detailed information about how a tummy tuck may help you, we recommend that you call our Binghamton office for a consultation with Dr. Walker.

Common Benefits Of Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty can dramatically tighten the abdominal muscles, as well as the sagging, excess skin and accumulated fatty tissue. Not only will the abdomen be firmer and flatter, but the waist will be smaller as well.

The amount of improvement depends upon the extent of surgery and the patient's skin tone, body build, and healing process. Most people are happy with the results, and report a better body image after the surgery.

Initial Consultation

During the initial consultation, you and Dr. Walker will discuss the changes that you would like to make in your appearance. He will explain the different options available to you, the procedure itself, the risks and limitations, and the type of anesthesia that will be used. Dr. Walker will also evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal region, and carefully assess your skin tone.

Also see: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/surgery/abdosurg.htm for more info.

Tummy Tuck FAQ

How is Abdominoplasty done?

There are several different abdominoplasty techniques. The most common procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The full abdominoplasty procedure starts with liposuction of the abdomen and into the flank areas.  A curved incision is then made across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. Another incision is made around the belly button to free the surrounding skin, and the all of the skin is lifted from the abdominal wall. Dr. Walker then draws the abdominal muscles from the left and the right sides and sutures them together in the midline. This tightens the muscles to create a stronger abdominal wall and a smaller waist. Excess skin is removed, and a new opening is made for the belly button at the proper position. The incisions are closed with sutures (stitches) and/or staples, and gauze is placed over the incision area.

If your only problem area is below the belly button, you may benefit from a less complex procedure called a partial or mini abdominoplasty, which can often be performed as an outpatient, under local anesthetic. Or, Dr. Walker may recommend either a partial or complete abdominoplasty done in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips, for a better body contour. Sometimes liposuction alone offers the best results. Dr. Walker uses liposuction in all of his abdominoplasty procedures to some extent.

How long does the surgery take?

Abdominoplasty generally takes about 2-5 hours, depending on the extent of the repair. A partial abdominoplasty takes 2 or 3 hours.

Do I have to stay in the hospital?

This depends on the extent of the repair.  A one night hospital stay after the full abdominoplasty surgery is most common. If the area of repair is minimal, you may be able to go home the same day. This is usually discussed and decided during the initial consultation.

How much pain is there?

For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you're likely to feel some pain and discomfort which can be controlled by medication.

What can I expect after surgery?

Bed rest for two to three days is recommended. While in bed, your legs should be bent at the hips in order to reduce the strain on the abdominal area. You will be provided with a firm abdominal binder to offer support to the tightened areas. You will be given instructions for post operative care, medications and activity.

Though you may not be able to stand straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible. Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days. If drains are placed they are also removed in the office during this time.

What is the recovery period like?

It may take you several weeks to feel completely back to normal. If you are in top physical condition, recovery will be much faster. Some people return to work in ten days to two weeks, while others take four weeks to recuperate. After about five days, you may begin light activities.

Your scars may appear to worsen during the first few months, but this is normal. It may take up to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color. While they'll never disappear completely, these scars will be placed so that they'll be covered by your clothes, including most bathing suits.

What is the long-term outcome like for most people?

As long as you keep your weight relatively constant, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and follow instructions about how to resume physical activity, the long-term results from this procedure are generally excellent.

What are the Potential Risks?

All surgery has some potential risks, including the risks of bleeding, reaction to the anesthetic, and infection. Scars are to be expected, but they will become lighter and flatter with time. Dr. Walker will discuss these issue at the time of your consultation.

Smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing. This could result in larger scars, and a second surgery. You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following Dr. Walker's instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when and how to resume physical activity.

Will drains be used?

Dr. Walker often uses drains in abdominoplasty, but recently has added a "no drain" technique to his regimen.  You may be a candidate to not have a drain.

Take Your First Step to a New You

Are you ready to take your first step to a new you?  Start by scheduling an initial consultation with Dr. Walker and his staff by calling 607-729-5085 or by filling out the form at the top of this page and we will call you to schedule a convenient time for your visit to our office.

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