Candidates for Abdominoplasty
A tummy tuck procedure is appropriate for most healthy men and women who want to improve their abdominal contours through surgery at our practice. Unlike liposuction, a tummy tuck can address loose folds of skin, fat deposits, stretch marks, and even abdominal muscles that have been stretched or weakened, leading to a protruding abdomen. Abdominoplasty is popular in combination with body contouring procedures after weight loss as well as in conjunction with breast lift surgery.
A tummy tuck procedure is appropriate for most healthy men and women who want to improve their abdominal contours through surgery at our practice.
As with most other elective procedures, tummy tuck surgery may not be safe for individuals suffering from serious conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, immune deficiencies, and poorly controlled diabetes. As part of our deep commitment to the safety of our patients, Dr. Bendor-Samuel and Dr. Boileau evaluate each patient's health thoroughly at our state-of-the-art Halifax office before performing abdominoplasty.
Your Initial Consultation
Before scheduling a surgery, you will need to meet with one of our surgeons for an in-depth consultation. This comprehensive assessment will allow our surgeons to create a personalized treatment plan to efficiently meet your needs. Our goal is to find the most conservative surgical solution that will offer maximum results.
Our surgeons will speak with you regarding your personal cosmetic goals and the specific results you wish to achieve. To plan your treatment appropriately, our surgeons must determine how much loose skin and fat are present. For an optimal aesthetic outcome, skin tone will also be taken into consideration. During this discussion, Drs. Bendor-Samuel and Boileau will want to know as much as they can about your medical and family history in order to minimize risks, prevent complications, and determine the ideal time for your surgery.
Once they have established this information, they can begin to design a treatment plan and prepare you for what to expect in the weeks after your surgery. Pre- and post-operative instructions will be also reviewed with you in detail, and any questions or concerns will be addressed.
Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
Even patients in excellent overall health can be dissatisfied with certain elements of their appearance. Many times, diet and exercise alone are not enough to completely flatten and tighten the stomach. Patients who struggle with achieving the contours they desire can enjoy numerous benefits with an abdominoplasty. A tummy tuck procedure can:
- Minimize your waistline
- Flatten and smooth your abdominal contours
- Eradicate or significantly reduce stretch marks
- Strengthen and tighten your abdominal muscles
- Eliminate pockets of fat
- Tighten loose skin
- Remove excess skin
- Restore muscle tone following pregnancy and childbirth
- Enhance your confidence
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
If you have qualified for tummy tuck surgery, it is helpful to know what to anticipate the day of your procedure. The most appropriate technique for a tummy tuck varies based on the amount of skin and fat to be removed. In some cases, liposuction may be appropriate for removing significant fat deposits or sculpting around the treated area. When you have abdominoplasty performed at The Landings Surgical Centre, your procedure will include:
- Anesthesia: Abdominoplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia, and most patients spend the night of the procedure recovering at The Landings Surgical Centre with one of our highly trained nursing staff. When a patient is completely sedated, the abdominal muscles are relaxed. This allows the surgeon to complete the procedure with greater accuracy, precision, and speed. General anesthesia is considered one of the safest forms of sedation.
- Incisions: Because each patient is unique, incisions will be placed in areas that will maximize the final result. Typically, a traditional abdominoplasty requires an incision along the abdomen, from one hip to the other. Excess skin is removed in the lower abdomen near the fold of skin at the hairline. If you have requests about the specific locations of your incisions—due to your lifestyle or body type—speak to your doctor about it. Incisions are strategically planned out before the day of surgery so they can be easily hidden by underwear or swimwear.
- Sculpting: Most patients will require an incision around the naval to allow maximal skin excision during the tummy tuck. Occasionally it is necessary to detach the naval from the underlying muscles or even to sculpt an entirely new naval. Fortunately this is very uncommon.
- Tightening the Muscles: In order to narrow the waistline and give your tummy a toned appearance, the muscles will often require tightening. Excess fat deposits can also be removed during this step.
- Skin Removal: Once the muscles have been tightened, the abdominal skin is stretched downward and the excess tissue is carefully removed.
- Eliminating Stretch Marks: Due to the nature of the procedure, any stretch marks located just below the naval are removed with the excess skin. Any remaining stretch marks often fade after a tummy tuck, due to the straightening of the abdominal skin.
- Stitches: Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will close the incisions with sutures. Typically, a surgical drain will be inserted at the same time in order to prevent fluid buildup and alleviate discomfort. The drain will be removed approximately one week after surgery, the stitches are usually dissolving and don't require removal, however, we like to insure that the wounds are healing well during our two week follow-up appointment.
Immediately After Your Surgery
In most cases, tummy tuck patients stay overnight at our lovely waterfront location in Halifax. We perform most tummy tucks under a general anesthetic and provide overnight accommodations at the Landings Surgical Centre. You will rest overnight under the care of a registered nurses who will ensure that you are comfortable during your stay. Before leaving our private surgical facility, our doctors will provide you with a compression garment to reduce swelling, pain medication to ease discomfort. Patients will also receive specific instructions on the best way to care for the incision sites.
You will typically be asked to come back at one week after the surgery and then again one week later to monitor your recovery. Further scheduling will depend on how well you heal. Scheduled appointments are usually at six weeks, three to four months and one year postoperatively.
What to Expect During Recovery
Some degree of discomfort is normal following a tummy tuck procedure. You will be given prescription medications that will help address the tenderness, as well as antibiotics to prevent post-operative infection. Over-the-counter pain tablets can also be taken to alleviate pain and inflammation. As with most surgeries, patients should expect some swelling in the first few weeks of recovery. If your procedure includes liposuction, bruising is fairly common, as well. However, if you notice a notable increase in pain, swelling, or redness, you should contact our office as soon as possible.
Recovering from a tummy tuck can be exhausting, but with thorough preparation, we can help minimize complications and maximize your results.
You will be given a compression garment to wear during your recovery to encourage healing and reduce swelling. Detailed post-operative instructions will also be provided to explain how to properly monitor and empty your surgical drains, as well as how to change your bandages. Showering should be avoided for the first two to three days especially when a drain has been used.
Most abdominoplasty patients are able to return to normal activities within a few weeks, though they must continue to wear their compression bandage for a couple months after surgery. It is a good idea to avoid sitting for long periods in the weeks following surgery, and some light exercise may speed healing. However, it is important to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for about six weeks.
How Long Will My Tummy Tuck Recovery Take?
The length of recovery varies from patient to patient, but depends heavily on the type of procedure and how closely patients follow their post-operative instructions. For example, because a mini tuck focuses on the area below your navel and requires only one set of incisions, patients can return to some activity within three to seven days.
For patients undergoing a standard or a more extensive tummy tuck, recovery is usually longer. Both of these more invasive options require the placement of drainage tubes and weeks of limited activity. While patients who work an office job can usually return after two to three weeks, those with more physically demanding jobs may need up to four to six weeks to recover fully.
Contact Us to Schedule a Consultation
Serving patients from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland, our practice offers wonderful tummy tuck results and compassionate care that meets the highest standards of quality and safety. Contact The Landings Surgical Centre in Halifax to schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated surgeons.