The Procedure

Abdominoplasty improves the contour of the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat and tightening the underlying muscles. Pregnancy and significant weight loss can significantly impact the appearance of the abdomen. There is frequently stretched skin and muscles that will not improve despite exercise.

Your Surgical Experience

Abdominoplasty is often performed on an outpatient basis. If this is the case, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery. When abdominoplasty is performed at the same time as a hernia repair or hysterectomy, a short hospital stay may be required.

Small drains will be placed to remove excess fluid. These will be removed in the office approximately one week after surgery. Dressings along with an abdominal binder will be put in place. The binder will be worn for 4-6 weeks.

If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery, as cigarette smoking before or after abdominoplasty can significantly hinder the wound healing process. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery.

Good Candidates for Abdominoplasty

– Excess abdominal skin and / or fat

– Protruding abdomen giving the appearance of being overweight

– Weakened abdominal muscles that have become stretched

Incision Placement

Dr. Simon will place the abdominoplasty incision as low as possible, typically in the same location as a c-section scar, to keep it hidden under clothing and bathing suits. The length of the incision usually extends across the lower abdomen but the length varies between patients depending on how much laxity they have. The navel is preserved and brought out through a new opening so the position of the navel stays the same. The excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen is removed and the muscles of the abdomen and tightened to improve the waist line. Dr. Simon frequently performs liposuction at the same setting to improve the overall contour.

Certified

  • The Consultation Process

    Dr. Simon and his office staff will make your surgical experience as easy and comfortable for you as possible. You will discuss with Dr. Simon your areas of concern and your goals from abdominoplasty surgery. Dr. Simon will examine your abdomen specifically checking the skin and muscle tone as well as for excess fatty deposits. The most effective procedure will be determined and any alternatives will be discussed. Dr. Simon will spend as much time as necessary with you to make you feel comfortable and answer all of your questions about the procedure. Women planning on future pregnancies should delay abdominoplasty until they have finished having children.

  • What to Expect After Surgery

    You will see Dr. Simon for a follow up appointment 1-2 days after the surgery. The dressings will be removed at that time and further instructions will be given. You will be permitted to shower after this visit.

    Some discoloration and swelling will occur initially, but this will subside over the following days to weeks. There will be a tight feeling of the abdominal muscles which will be present for several days to weeks. Some patients cannot stand completely upright for several days after surgery. Most residual swelling will resolve within a month. It is very important to walk around as much as possible after surgery to promote the circulation.

  • Post-op Activity Restrictions

    The general recommendation is to take two weeks off from work to recover. There is great variability in the recovery period between patients, but a period of 2-3 weeks is typical to return to normal activities and work, although some patients return sooner.

    Strenuous activity must be avoided for several weeks following surgery and Dr. Simon will inform you when it is safe to resume certain activities and exercise.

    Dr. Simon typically places all sutures internally which has several benefits for his patients. The scars are of the best quality possible and there is less discomfort as there is no need for painful suture removal.

Risks

The subject of risks and potential complications of abdominoplasty is best discussed on a personal basis between you and Dr. Simon at the time of your consultation. Some of the potential complications that may be discussed with you include bleeding, infection and reactions to anesthesia. Following a tummy tuck you may have areas of temporary numbness which rarely may be permanent. Wound healing problems are uncommon but can lead to increased scarring which may necessitate additional revisional surgery.

Long Term Results

The improved contour of your abdomen after abdominoplasty will be long lasting. Significant weight gain / weight loss or pregnancy after surgery can alter the shape of the abdomen and may necessitate another procedure.