The correct term for a full tummy tuck is an abdominoplasty. This is major surgery and can take upwards from 2-4 hours to perform. A mini-tummy tuck takes less time. Here are the stages you can expect if you’re undergoing a tummy tuck.
- The consultation
You first meet with the plastic surgeon to discuss your needs. He/she does a full evaluation of how best to proceed with surgery that will provide the desired outcome. During this time, Dr. Augusto Rojas prefers marking out on the patient’s body the areas he will work on. It helps him to explain to the patient what will be happening during the procedure.
- Arrival at the hospital
When you arrive at the hospital, you will be weighed and measured. Your vital signs will also be checked. This is to make sure that your body can endure the rigors of the surgery to come.
- Meeting with surgeon
Prior to the commencement of any procedure, the plastic surgeon will meet with you in your room. He will draw the final markup on your body so that he knows exactly where to start during the operation. You have this opportunity to ask any final questions that you may have.
- The waiting game
While you’re waiting to be taken to the operating theater, your nerves will start getting the better of you. Nurses will give you a mild sedative to keep you calm while you wait your turn.
- The operating theater
Once you’re wheeled into the operating theater, an anesthesiologist will administer an anesthetic. It is usually administered via an IV drip. It continuously introduces anesthetic into your bloodstream. The anesthetist monitors your vital signs throughout the procedure to make sure that your heart continues beating, your blood pressure remains constant, and your breathing is regular.
- The surgery itself
The theater staff sterilizes your abdominal region. A local anesthetic is injected into the area to be operated on. The incision is made laterally across the stomach. If it’s a full tummy tuck, the incision will be from hip to hip. If you have a mini-tummy tuck, the incision will be smaller. Pockets of fat are then removed from the area using liposuction. Drains may be inserted to remove excess fluid from the area after the surgery is complete.
The surgeon will suture the muscles in your stomach and the skin to ensure they stay attached. Sutures aim to repair the damage done by the incision. They make sure that the desired effect is achieved.
- Post-operative care
The drains in your body will remain there for 3-14 days. You will be taught to care for them yourself once you go home. The wound will be dressed and bandaged. The nurses will show you how to care for it. You will be given strict instructions on the restrictions imposed on movement after the surgery to make sure the sutures don’t rupture.