Why consider a tummy tuck?
Anything that dramatically alters the shape of your abdomen can leave lasting changes in your skin and muscles. Pregnancy is a prime example and creates astounding abdominal changes over a very short period of time. Regardless of how well you adhere to a postpartum diet and exercise plan, your muscles and skin can’t fully regain their pre-pregnancy shape and tone.
Weight gain and loss is another process that can stretch your skin and weaken your abdominal walls. Many men and women who lose 80 pounds or more are thrilled with their results but frustrated that their abdomen remains droopy and soft.
A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty can address those concerns by removing excess skin and repairing your abdominal wall muscles. The process also removes stretch marks and creates a perky belly button.
What happens during a tummy tuck?
You’ll receive general anesthesia to ensure you rest throughout your procedure with David M. Godat, MD. Dr. Godat begins by creating a horizontal incision between your belly button and pubic hairline. That allows him to lift your abdominal skin and access your muscle tissue.
Once Dr. Godat repairs your abdominal wall muscles, he determines if an additional incision is needed to remove skin from your upper abdomen. He then pulls the remaining skin down to cover your abdominal muscles and ensures your belly button is properly placed before closing the incisions.
You’ll move to a recovery area and be cared for as the anesthesia wears off. You may be able to return home after your procedure, but if you’ve had massive weight loss or are combining more than one procedure like in a mommy makeover you may need to remain in the hospital overnight.
What can I do to speed the healing process after a tummy tuck?
The best thing you can do to enhance healing is to follow Dr. Godat’s post-operative instructions carefully. Be sure to give your body time to heal before you engage in strenuous activities.
At the same time, engaging in gentle exercise as soon as possible can speed up the healing process. Taking short walks is a great place to begin, then increase the duration and speed of your walks as you heal.
You’ll also need to wear a special compression garment in the weeks after your tummy tuck. Avoid bathing or swimming for a few weeks, although showering can resume the day of your procedure. It’s a good idea to take a week to recover before returning to work, and it can take as long as three weeks before you’re able to resume your normal activity level.
If you have questions or concerns about the tummy tuck process, come in to meet with David M. Godat, MD, to discuss the procedure in more detail. Call the office to schedule an appointment.