Tummy Tuck FAQ’s

Q: Does the surgery need to be done in the hospital?
A: No, it does not. While some surgeons might recommend doing an abdominoplasty in the hospital, many surgeons, including myself, routinely do abdominoplasties in a certified office outpatient setting.
Q: Is general anesthesia necessary?
A: This is a matter in which I disagree with virtually every other surgeon in the area. I have routinely performed a large number of abdominoplasties under a sedation type of anesthesia for the last fifteen years, and find this to be a better method than general anesthesia. There are effective techniques to provide adequate analgesia and anesthesia to the abdominal region without needing inhalation anesthetic gasses delivered through a breathing tube. I feel that sedation anesthesia, while more work for me and my anesthesia provider, is safer and better for my patients. My patients have absolutely no pain, discomfort, or awareness during their procedure.
Q: Are drainage tubes needed after surgery?
A: Here again, I have a completely different approach than every other plastic surgeon in the area. The reasoning behind placing drainage tubes after an abdominoplasty is twofold. One reason is to prevent a seroma or hematoma (fluid or blood collection in the operative site). The other reason is that the suction from the drain will promote adherence of the abdominal wall. Studies have shown that placing a drain does little or nothing to prevent hematomas or seromas. The abdominal wall will adhere whether or not a drain is placed. Also, after only a few days, a tract forms around the drain, and it is only draining a very small part of the abdomen. Patient can find the drains to be uncomfortable, messy, and annoying to manage. They also can require extra scarring, and while they are draining, need to remain in place. They also are a possible source of infection. I find that placing my patients in a compression garment is both more comfortable and more effective than using drains.
Q: Will I be in a lot of pain after surgery?
A: Again, this is dependent on the surgeon and his technique. I do a pain control technique after my abdominplasties, which dramatically reduces and in some cases eliminates post operative pain. My average abdominoplasty patient can return to work and drive within 5 to 7 days after surgery.
Q: Can liposuction be done at the same time as an abdominoplasty?
A: Yes. Liposuction is an excellent adjunct to an abdominoplasty. It is excellent for improving the waistline and hip regions.
Q: How do I know whether I need liposuction or an abdominoplasty?
A: If your problem is mainly fat bulges or areas of unwanted fat, liposuction is probably the operation of choice. If your problem is loose skin and poor muscle tone, the abdominoplasty is the procedure of choice. In most cases, patients can and do benefit from a combination of the two procedures.

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