Phone 717-741-9914 – Serving Plastic Surgery Clients In York PA since 2003.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
When weight gain or pregnancy stretches the abdomen past its ability to return to its original shape, the result will be lax stomach muscles, a protruding abdomen, and saggy skin. Unfortunately, no diet or exercise program can reverse this problem. Dramatic improvement can be achieved, however, by undergoing an Abdominoplasty; a procedure also called a Tummy Tuck. A Tummy Tuck can give patients the flat, tight midsection they’ve always wanted by trimming away any excess skin and strengthening the muscles beneath the abdominal wall. If you have tried diet and exercise but still have significant amounts of excess skin and fat around your abdomen, surgery may be the best option.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Kenna will discuss your particular concerns regarding your abdomen and the changes you hope to achieve. She will work with you to determine which approach can be taken to accomplish your unique cosmetic goals.
Tummy Tuck FAQs
Where will I have Scars?
Typically, a horizontal incision is placed just above the pubic area that extends toward each hip. The length of the incision will be determined by the amount of skin to be removed. In addition, there is typically an incision around the belly button (navel). Some patients may be a candidates for mini-abdominoplasty in which there is no incision around the belly button. Redness and a raised texture are normal during the three to six months following your tummy tuck, but both traits begin to subside during the healing process. In order to help this process, patients are advised to protect their incisions from direct sunlight (especially in the first year after surgery) as this can cause adverse pigmentation changes. There are gels and silicone sheeting that can help make scars less noticeable. Dr. Kenna will provide you with instruction on how to minimize scarring.
Where will my procedure take place?
Abdominoplasty may be performed on an outpatient basis or as a short hospital stay. Dr. Kenna has hospital privileges at York Hospital and Memorial Hospital. If surgery is being performed as an outpatient, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you for at least the next day or two.
What are the potential complications?
Fortunately, significant complications from abdominoplasty are infrequent; however, all surgery has risks. Dr. Kenna will discuss with you, the risks, benefits and alternatives and answer all your questions.
Some potential complications include infection, bleeding, delayed healing (loss of tissue), fluid accumulation and bad scarring. A complication, which delays healing and prolongs recovery, is much more common in those who smoke. Preoperative and postoperative instructions will be given to you by Dr. Kenna in attempt to reduce the likelihood of complications and make you as comfortable as possible with the whole process. Smokers will be instructed to stop smoking 4-6 weeks prior to surgery and not resume smoking to reduce the risk of delayed healing, wounds, infections and compromised outcome. Aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications as well as agents that cause bleeding should be discontinued two weeks prior to surgery (or as otherwise instructed by Dr. Kenna and your primary physician) to reduce the likelihood of bleeding.
What happens after the surgery?
You will be instructed to get out of bed for short walks to promote blood circulation and decrease the risk of blood clots. In bed you should be positioned with pillows behind your back and under your knees to decrease tension on the abdomen. When sitting you should have your legs elevated. You may not be able to stand up completely straight for the first several days because of the tightened belly wall. Straining, bending and lifting must be avoided, since these activities might cause compromised results including but not limited to, swelling or bleeding. You may also be instructed to wear a binder for approximately 4-6 weeks.
You will have swelling and bruising, which will resolve with time. It is common to have some numbness involving the belly skin that may persist for several months. The incisions will be initially be reddish and then slowly fade over months resulting in permanent scars. It is important to realize, however, that the incision lines will be permanent usually concealed by bathing suits and underwear.
When can I go back to work?
Depending on your physical condition, you may be able to return to non-strenuous work anywhere from one to three weeks after surgery. There is to be no heavy lifting for approximately 4-6 weeks. During healing you may experience some mild, periodic discomfort and swelling, such feelings are normal. Severe pain should be reported to Dr. Kenna. Healing from your surgery is a process that takes up to a year for final result. You will be instructed to return to Dr. Kenna’s office for follow-up care at prescribed intervals to monitor your progress and optimize your outcome.
If you have any questions or concerns prior to surgery or during your recovery, you should contact Dr. Kenna.