Tummy Tuck Scottsdale

Email Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon Dr. Lille

The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity or extensive weight loss can also be improved.

Abdominoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.

All Plastic Surgery carries some uncertainty and risk

The risks are very small, nevertheless, there are always risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.

Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare, but can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics. You can minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon after the surgery as possible.

Poor healing, which results in conspicuous scars, may necessitate a second operation. Smokers should be advised to stop at least 6 weeks before, as smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing.

Planning your Abdominoplasty surgery

In your initial consultation, Dr. Lille will evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal region, and carefully assess your skin tone. Be sure to tell Dr. Lille if you smoke, and if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs.

If, for example, your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a partial abdominoplasty, also known as a mini-tummy tuck. You may, on the other hand, benefit more from a complete abdominoplasty done in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips, for a better body contour. Or maybe liposuction alone would create the best result.

In any case, Dr. Lille will work with you to recommend the procedure that is right for you and will come closest to producing the desired body contour.

Preparing for your Abdominoplasty surgery

Dr. Lille will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins, and medications.

If you smoke, plan to quit at least six weeks before your surgery and not to resume for at least three weeks after your surgery. Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your abdomen, and do not go on a stringent diet, as both can inhibit your ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, your surgery will probably be postponed.

Whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two.

Types of anesthesia for Abdominoplasty

Dr. Lille prefers general anesthesia, so you’ll sleep through the operation.

The Abdominoplasty Surgery

Complete abdominoplasty usually takes 2 – 3.5 hours, depending on the extent of work required. Mini abdominoplasty may take 2 hours.

Most commonly, the surgeon will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved, although it may be pulled into an unnatural shape as the skin is tightened and stitched.

Next, Dr. Lille separates the skin from the abdominal wall all the way up to your ribs and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. These muscles are tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.

The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. A new hole is cut for your navel, which is then stitched in place. Finally, the incisions will be stitched below the skin, dressings will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.

In partial abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.

After your Abdominoplasty Surgery

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.

Dr. Lille will give you instructions for showering and changing your dressings.

The dressing on your incision may be replaced by a support garment.

Getting back to normal after Abdominoplasty

It may take you weeks to feel like your old self again. If you start out in top physical condition with strong abdominal muscles, recovery from abdominoplasty will be much faster. Most people return to work after two to three weeks.

Your scars may actually appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Expect it to take nine months to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color. While they’ll never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, even under bathing suits. Dr. Lille will recommend certain treatments to help facilitate the progress of the scar.

Your new look after Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty, whether partial or complete, produces excellent results for patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. And in most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

If you’re realistic in your expectations and prepared for the consequences of a permanent scar. Abdominoplasty may be just the answer for you.

Abdominoplasty(Tummy Tuck) Questions and Answers

Are there different types of tummy tucks?

There are three different tummy tucks. Mini-tummy tuck, full-tummy tuck and extended tummy tuck. The mini tummy tuck addresses lower abdomen laxity and skin looseness from the belly button down. The mini tummy tuck involves making an incision along the bikini line extending between the hip bones. The lower abdominal skin is elevated and the muscles are tightened in the lower abdominal wall ONLY. There is no elevation of the skin and tissues above the belly button and there is not an incision around the belly button.

The full tummy tuck addresses both the lower and upper abdominal looseness and excess skin. The incision is like that of the mini but extends further from hip bone to hip bone. It involves elevating the lower abdominal skin and also above the belly button. There is also an incision around the belly button. The extended tummy tuck procedure is for patients that have a more extensive amount of looseness of the abdominal wall and skin. This incision extends past the hip bones. The full and the extended abdominoplasty equally address the looseness of the abdominal wall with permanent sutures that plicate the muscle and the fascia surrounding the muscles. The excess of fat in the upper abdominal area is also addressed by removing the lower layer of fat.

How long is the scar from the abdominoplasty?

The length of scar depends on the type of abdominoplasty procedure being done. It also depends on the amount of extra skin and weakness of the abdominal wall. The length of the scar usually extends from the upper pubic area to the front of the hips in a mini tummy tuck and extends just past the hip bones in a full abdominoplasty where an extended abdominoplasty the scar extends past the hip bone.

Do scars disappear from an abdominoplasty?

No scars disappear. It takes a full year or two for scars to fully mature. Everyone heals scars differently but typically scars are red and then fade to pink. At final maturity we hope for fine white scars but they will always be different from the surrounding skin. Dr. Lille places them in the most inconspicuous area along the bikini line in a banana shape to help conceal the scar in the most optimum way.

Are drains used in abdominoplasty?

Dr. Lille uses one drain for a mini tummy tuck and two drains in a full or extended tummy tuck. They usually are left in for one to two weeks depending upon the amount of drainage in a day.

Does Dr. Lille use anything to speed up healing in the operation?

Dr. Lille performs meticulous closure with all sutures below the skin except for those in the belly button. He also uses a tissue glue spray in the abdominal opening before closure which facilitates healing and decreases the amount of drainage from the drainage tubes. He also utilizes a tissue glue tape on the exterior of the incision which has proven to decrease wound dehiscence (opening) and create a nicer scar.

What is the recovery for an abdominoplasty?

Patients usually return to work in 8-10 days for a mini and 2-3 weeks for a full or extended tummy tuck. Patients will spend one night in the recovery care center with a full and extended tummy tuck.

What are the activity restrictions during recovery?

Generally any exertion activities are prohibitive. The concern within the first two weeks after surgery is that it may induce bleeding, in addition sutures may be stressed and broken during core exertion. Core exertion must be delayed for at least six weeks. Light exercise can be resumed at about 6 weeks whereas strenuous exercising such as running and hiking may be resumed at about 8-10 weeks.

Are there any techniques I can do to help heal the scar?

Dr. Lille performs meticulous closure and does not stress the abdominal tissue to help optimize blood supply to the area and thereby minimize scarring. He also utilizes a tissue glue tape which helps diminish the inflammation stage of the scar. Following the tape which is usually removed at three weeks various lotions can be used or a silicone gel sheeting which is available at Dr. Lille’s office. In addition, avoidance of sun to the scar for at least six to nine months will help decrease the redness and improve the pale progression of the scar.

What medicines are available to help decrease the discomfort?

Dr. Lille prescribes each individual the medicines required to help discomfort. Usually narcotics are commenced immediately after surgery and are discontinued in a week or so. Dr. Lille also utilizes a pain reducing pump which infuses numbing medicine for the first two days after surgery.

How is the belly button treated?

Dr. Lille places special attention to create the most natural looking belly button possible. The belly button is created with the goal to make it an attractive “inny” belly button. Sutures in the skin and to the abdominal wall help create this as well as a special designed incision.

Do I have to wear a binder after surgery?

Dr. Lille prefers compression during the first two months after surgery to help with support of the abdominal repair, help the skin retract to the new surface and reduce swelling.

What are some of the risks of abdominoplasty?

Risks include bleeding, infection, excessive scarring, wound separation, necrosis, nerve entrapment syndromes as well as deep vein clots of the leg or lung. Dr. Lille has done extensive surgery with over close to 400 of these types of procedures. His complication rate is less than ½ %. His team is available at any time to address any concerns.