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Tummy Tuck

Surgical procedure that aims to remove excess flaccid and oily skin found in the abdomen. 

It is called abdominal lipectomy or tummy tuck. In this case the excess skin is removed and the muscles are treated to improve the contour. It produces a transverse scar at the lower abdominal level that can go from hip to hip, so that it is hidden inside the bathing suit or underwear. Some scars and stretch marks below the navel may disappear in the segment of skin and fat that is removed Once you get a new appearance of your abdominal contour, your physical appearance will look better, in most cases the result will be excellent and will be maintained for a long period of time as long as you have adequate dietary care and exercises.

It is important to inform your Plastic Surgeon about the use of medications (contraceptives, aspirin etc.), as well as diseases (phlebitis in the legs, digestive disorders, recent flu-like conditions, etc.), which may influence the procedure. Your plastic surgeon will give you a series of pre-surgical instructions about the foods you should consume, avoid alcoholic beverages and drugs. If you smoke, avoid it at least 2 weeks before surgery. It should not be exposed before and after surgery to the sun as this favors inflammation and accumulation of pigment in the scar.

The average surgical time is 2 to 4 hours depending on each case. In the tummy tuck an incision is made at the pubic level (where the scar will be left), due to the lower abdominal fold, the skin and excess fat are lifted and resected; at this time the exposed muscles are treated with points to define the contour and return the tone to the abdominal wall. Finally, the skin is sutured, leaving drainage tubes to prevent the accumulation of fluids. Usually the patient is hospitalized 1-2 days. It is usually performed under general anesthesia.

Avoid lying down (or), walk a little frequently and take a deep breath from the chest to avoid pulmonary complications (accumulation of secretions and infection). The abdomen is inflamed, you will feel discomfort that is controlled with analgesic medication. Your plastic surgeon will recommend a lycra girdle and schedule the removal of stitches and drains. You will be able to return your daily activities towards the 1st to 2nd week and progressively present the full recovery. During the first 3 months the scar will be thick and red, with proper management it will improve its appearance. The final result of this can be seen after 6 months.

There are many successful tummy tuck surgeries performed by plastic surgeons, however there is a risk of postoperative complications such as infection, seromas, bruises, which can be controlled with the use of antibiotics and drainage. Asymmetries: Dog ears. Inadequate healing that may subsequently require new interventions to improve it. Smokers have a great predisposition to poor healing. Pulmonary complications such as bronchopneumonia, thrombus embolisms etc. You can reduce surgical risks by strictly following the recommendations of your plastic surgeon.

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Dr. Juan Esteban Vargas
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