Those considering abdominoplasty likely have quite a few questions on their mind. How much are tummy tucks? How long does the recovery take? Is it painful? While the answers to these questions will likely vary from person to person, there are a few common questions where the answer will be the same no matter who is getting the surgery. All of these questions can be asked by a plastic surgeon, but it helps to have a few already answered before going for a consultation.
Perhaps one of the most common questions is whether or not the tummy tuck will last. The short answer is yes, if the patient wants it to. A tummy tuck removes fat and helps the patient achieve a slimmer appearance. There is nothing inherent about the tummy tuck procedure that will make it "wear off" over a period of time. However, having a tummy tuck will not prevent the patient from ever getting weight again. If the patient makes poor dietary choices or avoids exercise, the weight can come back. This is also why most plastic surgeons advise women to wait to have their tummy tuck until they are done having children, as pregnancy will put the weight back on again.
Tummy tuck scars are another popular topic for pre-surgery questions. Many patients want to know where their scars will be and how they may look. The incision is usually made along the bikini line, so the patient can cover them up in most swimsuits. How the scar heals depends on the individual patient. Typically, the scar will appear darker and more noticeable during the first few weeks of recovery, before eventually beginning to fade.
Finally, it's always important for the patient to be well-informed with regards to the risks involved in an abdominoplasty. Complications with tummy tucks are rare, but they do occur. The most common is likely an infection of the incision made on the abdomen. This can be prevented by following the recovery steps closely and cleaning the incision regularly. Any irritation or redness should be reported to the plastic surgeon immediately.
Since the tissue in the body is essentially rearranged in a tummy tuck, it may also suffer from necrosis, which is essentially a death of the tissue. It's not uncommon for this to occur in small, non-threatening places. However, if a large amount of tissue dies, it may have to be removed in a second procedure. A more serious issue is blood clotting. These are quite rare, but do occur. Most blood clots are not life-threatening, but if they occur in certain parts of the body the patient may need to undergo emergency surgery. Talk with your plastic surgeon about any of these concerns before you go for the tummy tuck.