Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty)
What is the goal?:
The goal of a tummy tuck is to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen, reshape the belly button, and restore the separated abdominal muscles to create a flatter abdominal profile with good contours.
Who is a good candidate?:
Good candidates for a tummy tuck have a stable weight, are under a BMI of 33 with no serious medical conditions, and have excess skin in the lower abdomen region. Tummy tuck candidates can be male or female. Additionally, women with either vaginal births or c-sections are candidates if they notice stretch marks around the belly button or on the lower abdomen, excess skin or fat of the abdomen, "pooch" of the lower abdomen, skin hanging over the c-section scar, or a pannus.
How is the procedure performed?:
These procedures usually take 2-3 hours to perform under general anesthesia. Dr. Kalaria makes an incision from hip to hip and dissects up to the bottom of the breast bone underneath the skin of the abdomen. She sews the abdominal muscles back together and pulls down and cuts off the excess skin and fat, which usually hang over the c-section scar. She creates a new belly button using her own technique to give a natural and hidden appearance. She also uses advanced techniques to prevent infection and to close the incisions meticulously to produce minimal scarring. In 90% of tummy tuck patients, liposuction will be done to create sculpted lines and contours. You will go home the same day after surgery and will recover at home until your next follow-up appointment in 1-3 days.
What is the recovery time?:
Patients should walk in the bent-over position for 2 weeks after tummy tuck surgery. Dr. Kalaria recommends 2 weeks off of laborious work and 4-6 weeks off of physical exercise. Lymphatic massages are also extremely helpful and can be started 1 week after surgery. You will have 2 drains which will be removed in 1-2 weeks post-operatively. Half of the swelling will resolve in one month, and by 3 months, most of the swelling will resolve. During this time, a compression garment is essential.