Tummy Tuck

Body Contouring

Tummy Tuck in Montclair, NJ with Dr. Caroline Szpalski

Loose, sagging skin and stubborn fat pockets in the abdomen can be frustrating. Factors like weight fluctuations, pregnancy, or genetics can weaken abdominal muscles and cause skin laxity, hindering efforts to tone your belly. Tummy tucks are body contouring procedures that address these concerns and help you achieve a flatter, firmer, tighter midsection, restoring your confidence and overall body image.

Fellowship-trained female plastic surgeon Dr. Caroline Szpalski and her team want to help you accomplish the vision you have for your body. Together, you will develop a customized tummy tuck plan to realize your aesthetic goals, making her your choice as one of the best abdominoplasty surgeons in the tri-state area of NJ.

Contact us today at (646) 777-0170 or complete our online form to schedule your consultation today! We are located in Glen Ridge, NJ and proudly serve patients in the Montclair, Bloomfield, Clifton, The Oranges, Paramus, and Franklin’s Lakes areas.

What is a New Jersey Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure intended to remove redundant skin and fat from the abdominal region as well as repair and tighten abdominal muscles. Pregnancy and/or weight gain can result in baggy and excess abdominal skin, stubborn extra fat, stretch marks, stretched-out abdominal muscles, loss of tone, and a bulging abdomen contour. An abdominoplasty helps reverse the changes of pregnancy and/or weight gain. A tummy tuck can help women and men alike, correcting a protruding, saggy abdomen and creating a slimmer and tighter silhouette with reduced abdominal laxity. Abdominoplasty surgery, in fact, is three-dimensional surgery, addressing both the inside and the outside of the abdominal wall. In the deep layers, the foundation of the abdominal “core” is reconstructed by corseting the fascia overlying the abdominal muscles back together in the midline, known as “rectus fascial plication.” A tummy tuck truly restores the abdomen’s muscle structure to improve posture, strength, muscle tone, and ergonomics, decreasing waist diameter from the inside.

On the surface layers, a tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen, producing a shapely abdominal contour. Baggy skin lying above the belly button is redraped over the reconstructed inner layers, and the belly button is relocated. Abdominoplasty often permanently removes the stretch located below the navel.

In most patients, liposuction is added to remove excess fat deposits in the surrounding areas (upper abdomen, pubic region, flanks (love handles), upper inner thighs, and bra roll. Tummy tucks provide an ideal solution for patients who are near their ideal body weight but are still uncomfortable with the appearance of their abdomen.

Benefits of a Tummy Tuck in New Jeresy

During abdominoplasty, Dr. Szpalski restores the contours and appearance of the abdomen, delivering natural-looking results for healthy patients who have sagging abdominal skin or stubborn belly fat. Abdominoplasty provides many body-positive benefits, including:

  • Firmer, more contoured midsection
  • Improved abdominal tone
  • More proportioned figure
  • Healthy, natural-looking, long-lasting results
  • Renewed self-image and increased self-confidence

What are the Different Kinds of NJ Tummy Tucks?

Traditional Abdominoplasty

Most tummy tucks fall into the category of a traditional abdominoplasty. This procedure removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen, sutures the muscles of the abdominal wall back together in the midline, removes stretch marks that lie between the belly button or navel (“umbilicus”) and the pubic region, and addresses the entire abdominal wall from the xiphoid process below the sternum to the pubic bone. Abdominal skin is pulled downward and all excess skin and fat is removed. A small opening is made to bring the belly button through, allowing for smooth redraping of the abdominal skin downwards. Standard abdominoplasty is the gold standard for abdominal body contouring and achieves all the goals of a tummy tuck.

Mini Tummy Tuck

Some patients have smaller fat deposits and less excess skin, making them candidates for a mini tummy tuck. Mini tummy tucks address the lower portion of the abdomen—beneath the belly button—and leave a smaller scar with less recovery time. A “mini-abdominoplasty” only refers to a procedure that removes only a limited amount of abdominal skin in the lower area only. The navel is not relocated, and upper abdominal skin, fat or bulge are not addressed. The lower abdominal scar is typically the same or slightly shorter than a standard abdominoplasty. Most women seeking rejuvenation of their tummies after pregnancy require the traditional tummy tuck procedure to address recontouring of the entire abdominal wall and to ensure the best aesthetic results.

Vertical Abdominoplasty

Patients who have had massive weight loss are candidates for a vertical abdominoplasty. This procedure removes skin in a horizontal direction (standard abdominoplasty) and in a vertical direction (to decrease the abdominal circumference). An additional vertical scar extending upward from the low horizontal incision to above the belly button is required, and the excision pattern is similar to a “Fleur du Lis” shape. Occasionally, the entire torso is addressed by way of a circumferential lower body lift. 

Is Liposuction Part of a Tummy Tuck in New Jersey?

Liposuction helps remove excess fat in the abdomen and flanks to deliver smoother contours with an abdominoplasty. It is often added to a tummy tuck to help contour the waist and additionally de-fat the upper and lower abdomen, flanks, and pubic region, providing the very best shape to the tummy. When done in the hips and flank areas, liposuction can often enable the shortening of the abdominal scar. Liposuction alone will not address excess skin or stretch marks and will not help to tighten abdominal tone. Combining the procedures is cost-effective as it eliminates the need for two separate surgeries and recoveries and helps patients achieve their aesthetic goals quicker.

Depending on your particular situation, either abdominoplasty or liposuction (or both) may be recommended to achieve your specific goals. If liposuction is planned together with an abdominoplasty, it is usually done immediate after the tummy tuck to further contour these regions in one operation.

Liposuction can also be done on other body areas (outer or inner thighs, buttocks, arms, back rolls, neck) at the same time as a tummy tuck to further compliment the procedure. Your surgeon will examine these areas to determine whether liposuction is an appropriate addition to your procedure.

Is a New Jersey Tummy Tuck Part of a Mommy Makeover?

A tummy tuck is often the very foundation of a Mommy Makeover! Because the muscles of the abdominal wall can be permanently separated after having children (particularly after multiple children or twin pregnancies), a tummy tuck and/or liposuction of the abdomen, flanks, and pubic fat region is often recommended to bring the abdominal muscles back together in the midline, and to recreate a flat belly and waist contour.

Please see our Mommy Makeover section to learn more.

Meet Caroline Szpalski, MD

Female Plastic Surgeon in New Jersey

Rediscover your identity with the help of Dr. Caroline Szpalski, a board-certified and fellowship-trained plastic surgeon in New Jersey. With a unique multicultural upbringing and a European flair, Dr. Szpalski crafts elegant sophistication into every natural-looking patient transformation. Dr. Szpalski takes a less-is-more approach to plastic surgery to help patients maintain and appreciate their unique appearance and cultural beauty. No matter your aesthetic goals, start your journey toward a more confident you by scheduling your consultation with Dr. Szpalski and her expert team today!

Why Choose Dr. Caroline Szpalski as Your New Jersey Tummy Tuck Provider

Fellowship trained in microsurgery and the most complex cases in the world at MD Anderson, Dr. Caroline Szpalski is a female plastic surgeon born into a family of caregivers. She knew from an early age she wanted to become a surgeon. With a unique multicultural upbringing from growing up in Africa and Europe, Dr. Szpalski brings an international flair and sophisticated European sense of style to her practice. With this distinct perspective and a unique Ethnic identity, Dr. Szpalski recognizes that, across multiple continents, there are many recognized standards of beauty, identity, color, and culture, so she doesn’t offer a single approach for all patients.

As a busy surgeon, wife, mother, and New Yorker, Dr. Szpalski understands the diverse challenges many of her patients face. With a less is more philosophy, Dr. Szpalski tailors her approach for each patients’ needs with meticulous detailing to provide natural-looking, long-lasting results for a sense of timeless elegance.

Your NJ Tummy Tuck Consultation with Dr. Szpalski

Patient consultations are a critical element of Dr. Szpalski’s practice. During each consultation with Dr. Szpalski, she identifies your goals and realistic expectations to determine if she is the right surgeon for you. Dr. Szpalski understands that for many patients, seeing a plastic surgeon is an exciting time, but she knows it can also cause anxiety or apprehension. With a focus on providing patients with exemplary care, Dr. Szpalski has created a warm, welcoming, nonjudgmental environment, making it safe to share your concerns.

With great honesty and compassion, Dr. Szpalski loves answering patient questions and thoroughly explaining procedures. By educating patients about possible complications, risks, and outcomes, Dr. Szpalski empowers each patient to make educated, informed choices about their cosmetic procedures.

Am I an Ideal Candidate for a Tummy Tuck in New Jersey?

Good candidates for New Jersey tummy tucks are generally healthy but want to address redundant skin and fat in the abdominal region. These patients are looking to take charge of their overall health, enhance their physique, and become comfortable in their own skin.

A tummy tuck is a body contouring procedure rather than a weight loss substitute, so candidates should be near their ideal weight. During your consultation, Dr. Szpalski will discuss your anticipated results to ensure your expectations are anatomically accomplishable.

Candidates interested in a Montclair tummy tuck should: 

  • Be in good physical and mental health and living a healthy lifestyle
  • Not smoke, or be willing to quit at least six weeks prior to and after surgery
  • Be at a healthy, stable weight for at least six months
  • Have no conditions that impair healing
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Understand the surgical risks and benefits

As a female Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Szpalski intimately understands how a woman’s feelings about her body can influence her self-image, self-esteem and her femininity, and we aim to give you the result you are looking for. At your abdominoplasty consultation, your surgeon will spend a great deal of time with you to get to know you personally and take a complete medical history. We will explore your reasons for seeking a tummy tuck, examine your abdomen, and if you are an appropriate candidate for surgery, your options will be described in detail.

Preparing for Abdominoplasty in Montclair, NJ

Prior to your tummy tuck, it is essential to be in good physical and mental health. While each abdominoplasty will be unique, here is some general information to help you get prepared.

  • Before surgery is not a good time to diet. You should be at a stable weight and avoid crash dieting or weight fluctuations. Stick to a consistent exercise regimen and well-rounded diet.
  • Proper nutrition supports a successful recovery. Eat healthy, balanced meals with plenty of proteins to optimize results and recovery.
  • Stay well-hydrated before and after your procedure.
  • See your primary physician for a full examination and appropriate testing, such as bloodwork or a mammogram (if you are getting breast surgery at the same time) , to ensure you are medically fit for surgery.
  • For two weeks prior to and after surgery, refrain from medications, vitamins, and supplements that increase bleeding or bruising risks.
  • If you currently smoke, vape, or use nicotine products, you should quit. Patients should stop smoking at least six weeks before surgery and until recovery is complete.
  • Prepare your home and schedule for recovery. Take time off work, purchase necessary supplies, fill pain medication prescriptions, freeze meals for easy preparation, and arrange a clean, comfortable place to rest.
  • Arrange for a trusted friend or family member to drive you home from your procedure and assist you with household management or childcare.

Tummy Tuck in New Jersey Procedure Overview

Dr. Szpalski performs all abdominoplasty procedures in fully accredited facilities at Freedom Surgical Center, St. Joseph’s Health University Medical Center, or Hudson Regional Hospital.

On the day of your procedure, you’ll arrive approximately an hour prior to your scheduled surgery to meet with Dr. Szpalski and your anesthesia provider. Dr. Szpalski will review your surgery details and answer any final questions you have.

During your consultation, Dr. Szpalski will determine the appropriate abdominoplasty technique based on your anatomical needs. If Dr. Szpalski concludes liposuction in conjunction with your tummy tuck will help you achieve optimal results, she will perform this procedure first.

To remove excess skin, tissue, and fat, Dr. Szpalski will create a horizontal line across the lower abdomen in an area easily concealed by undergarments or swimwear. That low horizontal incision is made in the lower abdominal crease above the pubic hair, similar to a C-section incision. The length of the incision depends on the amount of skin to be removed and whether liposuction will be added to the procedure (which often enables the shortening of scars). 

Excess skin and fat are permanently removed from the lower abdomen, creating a smoother, flatter abdominal contour. An incision around the navel allows for loose skin around the umbilicus to be pulled down and tightened as well. Internal corseting (“rectus plication”) of the separated abdominal muscles sutures them toward each other in midline to tighten the abdomen internally as well.  Drains are placed under the skin, exiting from the pubic region.

Individual factors and personal preferences will determine the specific technique selected to smooth and flatten your abdomen specifically. If an abdominal bulge or hernia is present, this is also routinely repaired in a standard abdominoplasty.

Depending on the extent of the procedure, an abdominoplasty may last for 1 hour 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Abdominoplasty Recovery in Montclair, NJ

Typically, tummy tuck surgeries are outpatient procedures, so you will need someone to drive you to and from the surgical facility and stay with you for at least 24 hours.

Following your tummy tuck, incision sites will be sutured and dressed. You may also be fitted with a compression garment to minimize swelling and support your new contours. You should wear this support garment for six weeks. For several days following your procedure, you should expect swelling, bruising, tenderness, or numbness in the treated areas.

Some moderate discomfort and swelling are expected for a few days following abdominoplasty surgery. You will be given oral pain medication for a week or two postoperatively. Short walks and deep breathing exercises are encouraged immediately after surgery to promote circulation in the legs and lungs. Please see our Postoperative Instructions section for additional information pertaining to recovery from an abdominoplasty.

Drains will be in place for a week or two after abdominoplasty surgery to remove wound fluid while healing and promote the flattest contour possible. Numbness, bruising, and overall tiredness are common for 2-4 weeks after surgery. It can take 3 months up to a year for all surgical swelling to subside and for the very final results of a tummy tuck to be evident.

A tummy tuck is a major operation and has significant downtime and recovery. Approximately 6 weeks off exercise and heavy activities that raise heart rate or blood pressure (including carrying children and pets) are recommended. You will need to enlist help with some activities during the immediate postoperative period. 

Abdominoplasty is often combined with liposuction or other breast procedures, and is a common component of a mommy makeover. However, a tummy tuck is not an alternative to weight loss and should be postponed if additional weight loss or other pregnancies are planned for the best possible results.

Timeless Elegance

How Soon Will I See My NJ Tummy Tuck Results?

Following abdominoplasty, some patients may notice immediate enhancements to their overall figure. However, patients should expect swelling and bruising that may temporarily obscure their results. Depending on the extent of a tummy tuck procedure, it may take three to 12 months for residual swelling to subside, revealing full aesthetic results.

Tummy tucks permanently remove excess skin, tissue, and fat; however, weight fluctuations can impact fat cells, affecting your results. You’ll experience long-lasting results from your Montclair, NJ abdominoplasty by maintaining your healthy diet and exercise routine and following post-operative instructions.

How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost in New Jersey?

Glen Ridge, NJ tummy tuck costs are based on each patient’s anatomical needs and aesthetic goals and the type of abdominoplasty performed. During your consultation, Dr. Szpalski will determine the scope of your procedure and estimate your abdominoplasty cost.

Get Ready for a Slimmer Figure with a Glen Ridge, NJ Tummy Tuck!

Restore your slimmer figure and boost your confidence when you partner with one of the best tummy tuck surgeons in Montclair, NJ—Dr. Caroline Szpalski! Learn about tummy tuck near me options in Glen Ridge, NJ, by calling (646) 777-0170 or completing our online form to schedule your consultation today!

Glen Ridge, NJ Tummy Tuck FAQs

When looking for a plastic surgeon, find a plastic surgeon who has completed an accredited plastic surgery residency and is board-certified.
It is also important to find a surgeon who takes the time to understand your needs and preferences. A great tummy tuck surgeon will help you get the results you want rather than what they want. To accomplish the best results possible without compromising safety, the surgeon of your choice should be thoughtful, detail-oriented, and have a keen sense of aesthetic artistry.

During your first visit, Dr. Szpalski will review your medical history. So, be prepared to answer questions about current and past medical conditions. Talk about any medications you’re taking or have taken recently and any surgeries you’ve had. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications. If your desire for a tummy tuck is related to weight loss, your doctor will likely ask detailed questions about your weight gain and loss.

Dr. Szpalski will examine you. To determine your treatment options, she will examine your abdomen and might also take pictures of your abdomen for your medical record. Be prepared to discuss your expectations. Explain why you want a tummy tuck and what you’re hoping for in terms of appearance after the procedure. Ensure you understand the procedure’s benefits and risks, including scarring. Keep in mind that previous abdominal surgery might limit your results.

Ideally, you’ll have several months to prepare for your tummy tuck surgery. Dr. Szpalski recommends most individuals give themselves three to six months to prepare, giving them time to find the right surgeon, achieve or maintain their ideal weight, and get a plan for aftercare in place.

As soon as you start thinking about a tummy tuck, it’s time to get serious about your diet and exercise habits. Eating well, drinking more water and staying active should be your focal point. If you smoke, start the process of quitting and limit your alcohol intake if you drink. These two factors can affect the way your body heals and fights off infection. Stress management is also a good thing to implement, as chronic stress can affect your health and immune response.

During your third month of preparation, you should be scheduling leave from work, making arrangements for child and animal care, and setting up your support system to help with transportation and care during the post-surgery recovery phase. This is something you and your surgeon should discuss and prepare for. By now, you should completely quit smoking. You are continuing with your health and wellness regimen and hopefully feeling great about life and excited for the transformation ahead.

The last few weeks before your surgery should be used to stock up on supplies needed for recovery and finalizing the details of your procedure. Staying as comfortable as possible in the initial stage of recovery is going to be your ultimate goal for home care, so now is the time to begin assembling your supplies. Your surgeon should provide you with a list of supplies to buy. Some extra supplies that people have found to be useful and aid in the recovery process are:

  • Extra pillows
  • Gauze pads
  • Comfortable clothing and underwear that is easy to remove
  • Ice packs and over-the-counter medication for discomfort
  • Compression clothing, if prescribed

Create a meal prep plan to make and freeze food for later. Eliminating the worry of what to eat is going to reduce stress, keep you from grabbing unhealthy foods, and help you maintain your new and improved eating habits. On the day of surgery, dress comfortably and make sure you’ve followed the pre-surgery checklist your surgeon provided. You should have time to check in with your surgeon on the day of your procedure, so if you have any last-minute questions, make sure to bring those along, too.

A tummy tuck is done in a hospital or an outpatient surgical facility. During a tummy tuck, you’ll be under general anesthesia — which makes you completely unconscious and unable to feel pain. Most tummy tucks will be scheduled as outpatient surgeries (home the same day), but an overnight stay or several nights in the hospital may be recommended for complex breast reconstruction surgeries. Once asleep, your abdomen or other body areas (are prepped and draped using a sterile technique. Your head and arms are gently secured to enable changes in position from lying down to sitting upright during the procedure, helping to ensure the best possible result in all positions. At the end of your procedure, one or two drains will be inserted if necessary. Incisions are closed using dissolving “sutures” (stitches), and soft dressings or garments are placed while you are asleep. When you become aware, you will be in the recovery room and your procedure will be complete.

Please see the specific detailed information about each surgical procedure you are considering to learn more about what happens during surgery.

In general, a tummy tuck surgery should take around two hours to complete. However, each and every case is different, so ask your surgeon how long they expect the surgery to take, barring unforeseen complications. This information will also help you communicate with friends and family how long your tummy tuck will take.

During a traditional tummy tuck, a small incision is made around the belly button to help release it from the surrounding skin. This allows Dr Szpalski to pull the remaining skin following excision tightly to ensure the stomach is flat. The belly button is then repositioned on the stomach and made to appear as natural as possible. For some patients, it is possible to use the same navel after re-draping the remaining skin over the midsection. A new opening is created, and the original belly button is stitched into place. However, in some rare instances, a completely new belly button must be reconstructed to help keep it looking natural. When large amounts of skin are removed, the original belly button can appear almost too large for the newly contoured abdomen.

While a tummy tuck is a transformative body contouring procedure, it cannot create a six-pack. Instead, it removes excess loose skin, which has often been stretched out as a result of pregnancy or weight gain, and tightens the abdominal muscles. If you have abs and a low percentage of fat and thin abdominal aft tissue, the abdominoplasty will reveal your abdominal muscles.

Many people like to get tummy tucks because they correct areas that are stubborn and hard to tighten on your own. While it isn’t a weight-loss surgery, tummy tuck surgery is ideal for both men and women who want to shape their mid-section. Many people wonder, however, if a tummy tuck is suitable to give them better-looking abs. Because there tends to be excess fat and skin in the abdominal area, the tummy tuck is an ideal procedure to reveal your abs and look fitter.

While it can take up to 6 months to fully recover from a tummy tuck, you will make good progress after 2 to 3 weeks. Most people can return to work at the 2-week mark and resume their usual workout routine after 4 or 5 weeks. Remember, you need to recover at your own pace, so give your body time to heal.

The short answer is yes. In fact, these common cosmetic plastic surgery procedures are performed together. When you will meet with Dr. Szpalski, she will evaluate your needs and design a personal surgical plan for you. If you are a good candidate for the procedures and you do not have any medical condition that would make a longer surgery unsafe, combining liposculpting and a tummy tuck might be the best procedure for you!

Additionally, having one combined surgery means you’ll have a:

  • Reduced risk of blood loss, blood clots, and seromas (pockets of fluid beneath the skin)
  • Reduced recovery time
  • Reduced cost

Ultimately, one procedure means you only have to put your body through surgery once to get twice the benefits.

You can walk on the day of surgery. In fact, Dr. Szpalski encourages patients to walk three times the day of surgery to improve blood circulation to keep the risk of blood clots in the legs to a minimum. However, running or lifting should be avoided for six weeks after the procedure.

Patients typically return to work in approximately two weeks. The bruising will subside in a couple of weeks, and the swelling will continue diminishing until approximately three months post-procedure. The scars will continue to heal and will become thinner and lighter in color at around 12-18 months.

Yes, you can get pregnant after a tummy tuck. The procedure does not impair your ability to get pregnant. We usually recommend being done with having children to ensure long lasting results since pregnancy can negate the benefits of the tummy tuck procedure.

In general, patients who plan on getting pregnant in the future are advised to avoid tummy tuck surgery. Getting pregnant after a tummy tuck will not necessarily negate the results of the procedure; however, as your pregnancy progresses, your skin and muscles will continue to stretch and may not return to their previous contour after giving birth. It is recommended that you are finished having children before undergoing a tummy tuck for longer-lasting results.

After tummy tuck surgery, you cannot lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for six weeks. This includes lifting babies, children, or pets. Dr Szpalski will clear you and let you know when it will be safe to do so.

After your surgery, if Dr. Szpalski has inserted a drain, you will empty the drain fluid and record the amount in cc’s (also known as milliliters, or mL) on the drain log. You will be given a small measuring cup at the hospital to measure the fluid produced by your body as you heal, and you will record this amount on the log each time you empty the drains. You must empty and record the fluid 2-3 times daily.

Your drains will be ready for removal when the total output is less than 20cc to 30 cc in a 24-hour period. The fluid should be light and clear yellow rather than opaque and red. Your surgeon will determine when your drains are ready for removal. They usually stay for about 1 to 2 weeks, depending on how much fluid your body is producing after the surgery.

No, Dr. Szpalski uses self-dissolving sutures.

A traditional tummy tuck addresses loose skin and fatty tissue of the stomach, both above and below the belly button. One goal of tummy tuck surgery is to remove stubborn fat and excess skin from the abdominal area. It’s also common during pregnancy or weight gain for the underlying abdominal muscles to stretch and separate to accommodate fat or a pregnancy. This is called diastasis recti. The size of this gap between the abdominal core muscles varies between individuals. Unfortunately, it cannot be reversed through diet and exercise. In addition to creating a bulge of the abdomen, it may also lead to decreased core strength and potentially other symptoms, including back pain and urinary incontinence in postpartum women. During a tummy tuck, these muscles can be tightened and sutured back into position for long-term benefits.

Pregnancy or weight gain are not always indicators that you’ll need muscle repair. Dr. Szpalski usually determines the need for muscle repair after reviewing your history and clinical examination. Postpartum women are generally candidates for muscle repair, although this is not always the case. Your candidacy depends on the amount of muscle separation, regardless of the cause. A tummy tuck can still address lax skin and stubborn fat, regardless of whether muscle repair is required or not.

A normal side effect after a tummy tuck is swelling, which is temporary and usually disappears within the first few weeks. As with any other type of plastic surgery, recovery after a tummy tuck takes time. Tummy tuck surgery causes changes to the patient’s lymphatic drainage system. In particular, the plastic surgeon pulls tight the abdominal skin and relocates it to a new position. As a result, the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels in the area that used to drain fluid upwards are now divided.

New lymphatic connections will form with time, but fluid cannot be drained through the lymphatic drainage vessels until then. Instead, it flows down with gravity. In addition, scar tissue stops the fluid from migrating. This fluid buildup that makes the tummy area grow larger is known as swelling or edema.

The extent of swelling may also depend on the type of tummy tuck surgery. A mini tummy tuck usually results in less swelling and recovery time than a traditional tummy tuck. Moreover, combining a tummy tuck surgery with liposuction in the abdomen or other parts of the body often produces more swelling in the affected areas.

Another thing to keep in mind is that pain medications also play a part in producing swelling in the abdomen. Pain medications may slow down the gastrointestinal tract and cause constipation and bloating. This is only temporary, though, and resolves when the patient no longer needs the medication. Minor swelling continues to exist in the area for around two months, but its extent depends on the patient’s aftercare routine and daily activities. For example, standing up for long hours will probably cause the abdominal muscles to grow large again. However, a good night’s sleep will help reduce swelling and speed up recovery.

Wearing a compression garment as directed by the plastic surgeon is one of the most crucial steps of post-operative care that speeds up the recovery process and helps relieve feelings of discomfort. Lymphatic massages help as well.

It is normal to experience abdominal tightness after tummy tuck surgery. This tightness is often caused by the muscle being sutured in an attempt to repair diastasis recti (separated abdominal muscles). Patients can also experience abdominal tightness as a result of the loose skin being removed and the remaining skin being stitched back together. You will have to walk while hunched over for a week or two. Your incisions will likely feel sore over the first week. Although this tightness may seem alarming, it is a natural part of the healing process and will gradually dissipate after 6-12 weeks during the recovery process. You may need to lie in bed at an angle, and you likely will have problems with standing, lifting things, and general movements.

Every surgical procedure comes with some inherent risk. Some of the most common risks associated with the surgery include excessive bleeding, the possibility of infection, skin loss, numbness, poor scar healing, recurring discomfort, or an accumulation of fluid near the incision point. While these risks should not necessarily make you too scared to continue with the surgery, you should make sure you hear directly from the surgeon regarding all the risks associated with a tummy tuck.

Tummy tucks are invasive procedures that involve some degree of discomfort during recovery. While pain levels vary for each individual, both procedures can cause mild to moderate pain depending on individual factors such as age, health condition, and lifestyle habits. In the beginning, you will be fatigued, swollen, and sore. It is normal to have moderate pain during these first several days, although this will steadily improve. It is vital to allow yourself time to focus on rest and healing. More than simply taking time off from work, abdominoplasty patients will need assistance with household chores and children. Strenuous physical activities will also need to be postponed for at least four to six weeks.

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