Tummy Tuck - Abdominoplasty

What is it?

  • removes hanging skin and fat from middle & lower abdomen
  • tightens the abdominal muscles
  • a major surgery that can greatly improve abdomen
  • does leave a permanent scar

Who should consider it?

  • women and men in good physical condition
  • those who have a protruding abdomen that won't go away with diet and exercise
    • persistent fat deposit
    • excess drooping skin
  • women with loose muscles and skin from multiple pregnancies
  • older people whose skin has lost elasticity

How do I know if I am a good candidate? Back to Top

  • you are healthy
    • be honest with Dr. Culbertson about medications, including over-the-counter, vitamins or supplements, drinking alcohol, and smoking cigarettes
  • you are at your goal weight and have maintained it for several months
  • you are not planning any more pregnancies
  • you are psychologically stable
  • your lifestyle will allow for recovery from major surgery
  • your expectations are realistic
    • you expect a change in the appearance of your abdomen that will make it look better and give you more confidence
    • you do not expect it to transform your looks, your life, or how people treat you

How do I prepare for a Tummy Tuck - Abdominoplasty? Back to Top

  • consult with Dr. Culbertson
    • have your complete medical history ready, she will need to review it
    • you and she will discuss your expectations and desires very carefully
      • talk about what technique(s) will help you attain your desired body contour
      • recommend the procedure that will help you get the closest to that goal
    • Dr. Culbertson will explain her technique, the type of anesthesia, the facility where the surgery is done, and the risks and benefits of the surgery
  • instructions on eating, drinking, medications to avoid or that you must take
    • please follow these guidelines carefully, they are there to keep you safe
  • if you smoke, plan to quit for at least four weeks before and two weeks after your surgery
  • continue to eat healthfully, proper nutrition and calories are essential for good healing
  • notify your surgeon if you develop an illness of any kind
  • arrangements for your postoperative care
    • transportation from surgery
    • help for the first days after surgery
    • nursing care for the first two nights

What do I expect from a Tummy Tuck - Abdominoplasty? Back to Top

  • the surgery will take three to five hours for a full tummy tuck, from one to three hours for a mini tummy tuck
  • your abdomen will feel very tight, due to stretching of the skin and possible tightening of the muscles
  • in a complete abdominoplasty you will have a long incision from hip-to-hip just above the pubic area and around your navel which has been repositioned
  • in a partial abdominoplasty you may have a shorter incision and you won’t have any around your navel

What can I expect after a Tummy Tuck - Abdominoplasty? Back to Top

  • your abdomen may feel tight and sore, you will have pain medicine prescribed by Dr. Culbertson to alleviate the discomfort
  • you may require nursing care for the first days after surgery and you will have arranged this in advance through Dr. Culbertson
  • even though you may not be able to stand up straight, you will need to begin walking as soon as possible

When will I feel like myself again? Back to Top

  • the better shape you are in before surgery, the more rapid your recovery
    • it will be two to four weeks before you are up to returning to work
  • it will take weeks or longer before you are completely back to normal
  • exercise will help in your recovery, even if you never exercised before
    • however, avoid strenuous exercise until at least six weeks after surgery

How will I look? Back to Top

  • the surgery will significantly improve the appearance of those patients with lax abdominal muscles and or excess skin
  • if you eat healthfully and exercise regularly, the results will last you a long time
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