Tummy tuck: an outpatient procedure?
Tummy tuck: an outpatient procedure?
Abdominoplasty is the procedure recommended on patients with an excess of skin and fat tissue on the inferior part of the tummy that can’t be corrected with physical exercise and diet. Both men and women can suffer from this sooner or later in their lives due to the unsightly appearance of their tummy. A saggy tummy can be the result of a hectic lifestyle, little physical exercise, and an improper diet. At the same time, the appearance of the tummy can also be affected by the changes that occur in the body during pregnancy and with aging due to the decrease in the production of collagen and elastin.
The procedure should only be performed by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon and on a patient with a good health condition and a strong indication for the procedure. There are different types of tummy tucks that can be performed such as the mini tummy tuck, the complete tummy tuck, the extended tummy tuck, and the hourglass tummy tuck. All these procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.
Abdominoplasty can take between one hour and a half up to five hours or more, depending on the type of procedure and the amount of skin tissue to be excised. Also, it is possible for the tummy tuck to be performed with other procedures such as liposuction, breast lift, reduction or augmentation, and this means that the operating time will be longer. So, what happens on the day of the procedure?
The areas of the body to be treated will be marked by the plastic surgeon, then general anesthesia is administered and the patient falls asleep. Incisions are made on the lower part of the tummy (the suprapubic area) and around the navel, required for its reposition. The surgeon will detach the skin and fat from the muscles of the abdominal wall, correct the imperfections, then excise the surplus of skin and suture the incisions. After the procedure, the patient is moved to recovery where he will spend the next few hours until making a complete recovery from the effects of the general anesthesia.
As soon as possible after waking up from the general anesthesia, the patient will be helped by the medical staff to get off the bed and make a few steps. This is essential to avoid the formation of blood clots. Within a few hours provided there are no complications, the patient can go home.
In a vast majority of cases, patients are not required to be hospitalized overnight after the tummy tuck. However, if the patient is suffering due to preexisting health conditions or at a higher risk of developing complication due to age or other factors, the plastic surgeon might decide that performing the procedure as an outpatient is not the best option.
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