A Tummy tuck,
also known as abdominoplasty, is a
surgical procedure that removes excess
skin and fat from the middle and lower
abdomen. The procedure also tightens
the loose abdominal muscles, giving
the appearance of a flat and tight
abdomen. An abdominoplasty can create
a dramatic difference in the appearance
of the abdomen, but the surgery does
leave a horizontal scar extending
from hip to hip just above the pubic
area. However, this scar can usually
be hidden under the bikini line. Both
men and women are candidates for this
surgery. While this surgery is particularly
helpful in women with previous pregnancies
and stretched out abdominal skin and
muscles, an abdominoplasty also dramatically
improves the appearance of those who
have undergone successful weight loss
surgery. (Figure A,B,C,D)
takes approximately 3-5 hours depending
on the size of the patient. It is
performed under general anesthesia
and usually requires an overnight
stay in the hospital. Recovery time
after surgery is usually between 10
days to 2 weeks. Most people are back
to work by 2 weeks and back to full
activity including exercise by 3 weeks.
Dr. Lee's postoperative
instructions for tummy tuck
- Your abdomen
is bandaged with abdominal gauze-pads,
and the abdominal binder. Leave
them on for 48 hours after your
go home. Then, you can take the
abdominal binder and all other dressings
off and get in the shower. You can
take the yellow gauze out from the
belly button. Leave your Steri-strips
(surgical tape along the incision
line) on for the shower. You can
take the drains into the shower
as well. After showering, pat dry
all of your incisions and wrap your
abdomen with the abdominal binder.
If there is drainage on the abdominal
binder, place clean pieces of gauze
on the incision line and wrap the
abdominal binder over the gauze.
Absolutely no baths or swimming
for 2-3 weeks. Showering is OK.
- Empty and record
your drain output daily. The markings
are on the side of the drain bulb
in increments of 25cc. The drains
will be pulled out in the office
when the total daily output is less
- Call and make
a follow-up appointment for 7 days
- Keep your abdominal
binder on at all time for 3 weeks.
Do not pick up objects greater than
5 pounds (i.e. phone book = 5 pounds).
- If the abdominal
binder is too tight, you can rewrap
it to a comfortable level, but the
binder has to be situated over the
lower abdomen and your hip area.
- Do not apply
a heating pad over your abdomen.
Portions of your abdomen will be
numb and you may get a burn from
the heating pad.
- Scar therapy
for your incisions will start at
2 weeks following surgery. Dr. Lee
will instruct you regarding scar
- Stay out of the
sun. Sun exposure will make your
scars red, raised, and persistently
irritated for a long period of time.
Make every effort to avoid the sun
for up to 1 year following surgery.
You can cover up the incision with
sun screen (SPF 15 or above) or
- Make every effort
to walk around the house and sit
in a chair starting on the day that
you are home from surgery. Staying
in bed for long periods of time
can lead to blood clots in your
legs or your lungs. Also, parts
of your lung can collapse and cause
- You may return
to normal activity and exercise
in 3 weeks following surgery.
- You may feel
“funny”, tingling sensations
over your abdomen a few weeks after
surgery. This is normal recovery
of some sensory nerves in your abdomen.
- If you are constipated,
take over-the-counter laxatives.
You do not want to strain over the
toilet. This will place pressures
over the suture line which may result
in loosening of the inner layer
of sutures within the abdomen.
- Call with any
questions or concerns. Dr. Lee is
available through the office phone
number 24/7. Don’t ever feel
badly about calling.
For a tummy tuck in Newport Beach, Orange County California contact this board certified plastic surgeon.