To My Patients and Prospective Patients:
From Alisa G. Rekow, M.D.
Tummy Tuck - Abdominoplasty in Seattle, Washington
The best candidates for abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck ) are individuals who are relatively close to their ideal sustainable body weight and in good physical condition but are concerned about excess skin,
potentially some localized fat (outside of the abdominal cavity) and / or laxity of the abdominal wall some or all of which will not respond to further diet or exercise.
Women who have been pregnant will likely benefit significantly from a tightening of the tissue around the rectus muscles, as doing so will diminish the space between this paired muscle of the abdominal wall.
In many women these muscles (the recti) may have been spread apart during their pregnancy giving rise to a condition termed diastasis recti.
(You recognize it as a tummy that is looser than it was before the pregnancy and no matter what you do it just does not get any tighter!)
Planning your Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck Seattle):
At the time of your consultation you will have the opportunity to tell Dr. Rekow what it is you want changed and discuss the operative procedure.
A focused physical examination will be performed and following this recommendations will be made, including if applicable the possibility of staged liposuction, completion belt lipectomy and any other procedures which may complement your abdominoplasty.
Important Note: Most people are not perfectly symmetrical (actually it is normal not to be); therefore in most people the belly button (umbilicus) is not precisely in the midline.
As much as possible Dr. Rekow will centralize your belly button but it will likely remain slightly to whichever side it tends to presently.
Abdominoplasty may be combined with augmentation mammaplasty in most patients.
Abdominoplasty if combined with a breast lift or breast reduction operation generally necessitates an overnight admission to hospital for monitoring and pain management.
Due to reports of complications when liposuction of the torso is performed in conjunction with abdominoplasty Dr. Rekow does not currently perform abdominal or hip suction lipectomy at the same time as abdominoplasty; limited liposuction of other areas are considered on a case by case basis.
Incisions may be modified to some extent depending upon your personal preference and the style of clothing which you are most accustomed to wearing.
Please make Dr. Rekow aware of any preferences which you might have in this respect.
Your Tummy Tuck Procedure:
Most people benefit from a full abdominoplasty; while some individuals advocate a more limited “mini” abdominoplasty it has been my observation that there exists in most people following this procedure some disparity between the upper and lower abdomen which is not present following full abdominoplasty.
Therefore I tend only to offer the full abdominoplasty.
For most individuals the actual operative time for this procedure is approximately 2 and one half to three and one half hours.
This procedure entails creating a flap of tissue up to the rib margins, tightening of the tissue between the recti and then bringing the free edge down to the lower abdomen.
An ellipse of skin and fat is removed from the lower abdomen to permit the tissue to be advanced.
The result of these maneuvers is a tighter abdominal wall and decreased skin laxity.
It is possible in some cases significantly reduce or remove stretch marks.
The belly button is inset into a new opening made in the flap (it remains attached down below).
Two drains are generally placed at the time of operation and will in most patients remain for one week following operation.
For most people this procedure can be performed on an ambulatory basis, i.e. they can be discharged to home into the care of a responsible adult care-giver.
This person or another responsible care giver should be prepared to stay with you for 24 hours and return with you to the office for a scheduled check up the day following your operation.
For approximately 3 – 5 days you will be walking with a bent posture. By day 5 you should be fairly erect when ambulating.
You will be expected to get up (with assistance) and walk around on the day of your operation.
You will be expected to cough and deep breath following your operation as well.
Your diet should be light the day of operation and advanced to a full diet by the day following your operation.
Prescriptions for pain medication, something for nausea and vomiting (only if needed and it rarely is) as well as antibiotics which were provided pre operatively should also have been filled prior to operation and available for your use post operatively.
If you reside a considerable distance from Seattle it is sometimes better to make arrangements to stay with family, friends, in a hotel or (last resort generally) in hospital; as you will need to be seen the day following your operation.
Following Your Tummy Tuck in Seattle:
You are restricted to a moderate level of activity for six weeks post operatively and you should advance this only as it is comfortable.
After this there are no long term restrictions in activity level anticipated.
You will likely feel “tight” and pulling especially when you stretch for up to about one year (this is “normal”).
Depending upon your occupation and its demands as well as your personal requirements for pain medication, it is frequently possible for patients to return to work one week following their operation.
Remember you have had a major procedure and should afford yourself the opportunity to heal – so even if you do return to work one to two weeks following your procedure, take a nap, get plenty of rest, eat well and maintain a consistent moderate activity level (do not just sit at a desk all day) during your convalescence.
Routine visits to see Dr. Rekow will occur on the day following your operation, one week, two weeks, six weeks, six months and one year post operatively.
If you are seeking a cosmetic surgeon in the Seattle area for breast augmentation surgery, breast lift, breast reduction, or other cosmetic procedure such as a “tummy tuck in Seattle” (abdominoplasty), facelift, browlift, eyelid surgery, labiaplasty or liposuction we would be delighted to see you in consultation.
Alisa Rekow, MD - 1221 Madison St., Suite 1102 - Seattle, Washington 98104 - 206.682.2200
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