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Ask the Expert: Gillespie Plastic Surgery Q&A Topic: Tummy Tuck

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What is a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes extra fat and skin from the abdominal region. A tummy tuck can address abdominal laxity due to weight gain/loss or previous pregnancy, where the skin had to grow and stretch and is hard to reduce later on. When the loose skin and fatty deposits are removed, the surrounding muscles are tightened, resulting in a more flattened and contoured appearance.

Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?

Someone who is in relatively good physical shape but who finds that exercise and dieting are not addressing loose abdominal skin in a satisfactory way can benefit from a tummy tuck. The overall goal is to tighten and reinforce the abdominal muscles, remove excess skin, and achieve a better contour. The first step for any new patient is a complimentary consultation to discuss their overall health, their goals, and the treatment options available to them.

Are there any measures that you recommend your patients take prior to the procedure that can improve the overall outcome of a tummy tuck?

As is generally the case with surgeries, eating healthy and controlling other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure can improve the outcome. For a tummy tuck, losing as much weight as possible prior to the procedure will result in a tighter abdomen. I advise my patients to stop smoking prior to a tummy tuck, and to begin taking a daily multivitamin, which improves wound healing. Before the procedure, I discuss any medications my patients are currently taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and herbal remedies. In some cases, I may advise a patient to stop taking certain medications, temporarily, before the procedure.

What is the recovery time for a tummy tuck?

At my practice, a tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure that usually takes two to three hours. I include a free liposuction of the flanks with all tummy tucks, which further improves the appearance of the abdominal region. Patients go home the same day. Recovery time depends upon the patient’s overall health before the procedure. For all tummy tucks, I use a long-acting, numbing pain medication, EXPAREL, or an on-Q pain pump. This significantly improves postoperative pain control—we are one of the few practices that use this exclusively. I want my patients to walk around the same day of the surgery, and most patients are back to doing light exercise after three weeks. The main limitation is a restriction on heavy lifting for approximately two months after the procedure. I work very closely with lymphatic massage therapists to address postoperative swelling and improve contour of the abdomen after surgery.

Gillespie Plastic Surgery is dedicated and committed to providing exceptional plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, and cosmetic services.  Dr. Gillespie is a double board certified, awarded surgeon that strives to achieve the goals of each of his patients. Gillespie Plastic Surgery wants their patients to be as comfortable as possible, and offers free consultations to learn more about the procedure you’ve been considering and how Dr. Gillespie can help you achieve the look of your dreams.

2383 Limestone Road, 2nd Floor, Wilmington
gillespieplasticsurgery@gmail.com
(302) 274-2996

  Gillespie Plastic Surgery Top Doctor 2021 Gillespie Plastic Surgery Top Doctor 2020

*What’s this? This content is made possible by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the attitude, views, or opinions of the Delaware Today editorial staff.

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