FAQ Abdominoplasty

FAQ: Abdominoplasty

If you are concern about changes to your abdomen and like to improve the loose skin and fat (panus), stretch marks, and weakness of abdominal muscle after pregnancy or excessive weight gain, abdominoplasty may be an option for you.

It will remove excessive skin and fat at the inferior (lower half) of your abdomen. It will also tighten the abdominal muscle to strengthen the weaken abdominal wall from pregnancy

There are general and local complications from the procedure. The general complication includes anesthesia risks, respiratory and airway risks such as pneumonia, aspiration, blood clots and pulmonary embolus. The local risks include infection, skin necrosis, scar

Weight loss, exercise and some non-invasive procedure such as RF, ultrasound and freezing device. None of these devices can give the procedure result comparable to the abdominoplasty procedure.

Liposuction and mini-abdominoplasty are procedure similar but usually give lesser result.

My usual procedure is a combination of liposuction tissue at the lateral portion of the abdominal incision and the epigastric region. The excessive abdominal panus (fat) is then removed and the abdominal wall muscle is then tightened. The abdominal wall is then closed.

Surgery involves the anterior and lateral abdominal wall as well as deep abdominal wall muscle (rectus muscle).

This usually involves the right to the left anterior superior iliac spine over the pubic region.

You can see the surgical result the morning after the surgery. The final result usually takes 6 weeks to 6 months after surgery.

You can see pre and post-operative result in our office.

The surgery usually takes 2 to 3 hours.

Liposuction is usually done together with the surgical excision of the abdominal wall.

Abdominoplasty should be done after one completes their family. If you got pregnant after the procedure, the procedure can be repeated again.

The cost of the procedure starts at 6,000 – $6500

Yes, you will have bandages around the incision site.

One usually fines the postoperative pain uncomfortable for the first two to three days after surgery. After the initial two to three days, the discomfort is usually very tolerable.

In general, you should have less fatty tissue, skin and tighter abdominal wall and muscle.

You will receive injected pain medication into your abdominal wall during surgery and the evening of your surgery, you will be very comfortable. I usually prescribe Tylenol 3 and Percocet for a few days to a few weeks after surgery depending on your pain tolerance.

Because of the technique that I use to close the abdomen, drains and tubes are usually not necessary unless it is of extraordinary situation.

I usually recommend using an abdominal binder for 6 weeks after the procedure.

There will be scar around the umbilicus and at the lower abdominal region from the iliac crest over the pubic region to the other iliac crest.

I usually perform this surgery as an outpatient and everyone is able to go home the same day. You will be seen the following day or 2 days later.

You should be able to get back to 80% of your daily activities within one week. I encourage my patients to ambulate and resume light activities within a few days after surgery. You are encouraged to lean over when you are walking. We recommend that you do not do any heavy exercise or weight lift for four to six weeks.

In general, you should not drive the first 48 hours after surgery. Also, if you are taking heavy narcotics, one should not be driving. Most of my clients are usually driving after 3 to 4 days.

This depends on the type of work. For people who are doing desk job and love to go back to work, return to modified work after 1 week is very common. For one who has a more physical intense job, one may take 6 to 8 weeks before one returns to modified work.

My procedure is usually done under general anesthesia but spine and region with sedation are also possible.

All my patients see the anesthesiologist before but usually on the day of surgery. For one who has special needs, I frequently arrange for consultation with anesthesiologist a few days before surgery.

I review all patient medications on initial consultation, pre-operative appointment and day of surgery.

In general, all medication that may cause bleeding or prolong bleeding time may need to be stopped or altered. One should not stop any medication without consulting with your family physician and the specialist that put you on these drugs.

For my patients, general lab tests such as CBC, electrolytes, liver function, INR, PTT, cardiogram are fairly routine. Other tests may be ordered if one has a special medical condition.

My anesthesiologist and I prefer that one stop eating and drinking 6 hours before surgery. One can take medication with a small sip of water if the medication is indicated before surgery

We recommend that you arrive on the time indicated on your pre-operative instruction sheet before your surgery. We will also try you on your mobile phone if the time of surgery has been changed.

You can call my office for direction. Our address is available online and one can also use mobile app for direction

You need someone to take you home after surgery as driving is not permitted.

Arrange for personal items you might need during your hospital stay
N/A

Arrange for someone to take care of responsibilities at home and work
It is a good idea to have someone take care of responsibilities at home and at work until you are ready to take care of these.

Arrange for someone to take you home from the hospital
See above

Arrange for someone to stay with you the first night after surgery
It is important that someone stay with you on the first night after surgery.

Call your doctor if you think of other questions
You are given a number to call and /or text me after surgery.

Notify your doctor if you get sick within 10 days of your surgery (even minor illnesses like a cold)
I like to have close contact with our patients. If you have any concern before and after your surgery, please contact our office.

Stop eating and/or drinking as advised by your doctor
My anesthesiologist and I prefer that one stop eating and drinking 6 hours before surgery. One can take medication with a small sip of water if the medication is indicated before surgery

Stop smoking several weeks before your surgery
I like having our clients stop smoking one week before surgery and two weeks after. If you cannot stop completely as least try to decrease the amount you smoke.

Do not drink alcohol 24 hours before your surgery
It is a good idea to abstain from alcohol 24 hours before surgery.

Make sure you have the doctor’s contact information
The postoperative sheet has my office and cell number so you can contact us as needed.

Make sure you have directions to the hospital/office for visitors
You find my address on the web but it is printed on the postoperative sheet.

It is a good idea to have someone take care of responsibilities at home and at work until you are ready to take care of these.

It usually takes two to three hours.

Our clients usually wake up within 10 minutes at the end of the procedure.

You usually wake up within 10 minutes from the procedure, and your family can see you within an hour from the procedure.

If you have significant risks of DVT or pulmonary embolus, you will need to take blood-thinning medication.

I usually start antibiotics in the operating room, and you may take oral antibiotics for another 48 hours.

Make sure your identity has been confirmed with name and date of birth
My OR nurse will check and confirm this before and just before surgery.

Make sure your procedure has been confirmed
My OR nurse will check and confirm this before and just before surgery.

Make sure the correct site of your surgery has been marked
My OR nurse will check and confirm this before surgery.

Confirm any allergies and side-effects you might have
My OR nurse will check and confirm this before and just before surgery.

Make sure you understand and have signed the informed consent forms
You will have time to review the consent and I like to make sure you understand and have asked all the questions that you may have.

Make sure you understand and have signed the informed consent forms
You will have time to review the consent and I like to make sure you understand and have asked all the questions that you may have.

I usually talk to you in the recovery room as well as with one to two days after surgery in your postoperative visit to explain how your surgery went.

This depends on your medical conditions and I will discuss this with you at your pre operative consultation.

I usually like you to continue with your usual medication with exception of medication that can cause bleeding. I will discuss this with you further.

I use device such as support hose, venous pump during the procedure. For patients with increase risk of blood clot, pharmacological treatment may be used.

My usual protocol does not use drains, tubes or catheters because I use special closure technique to decrease the needs of these devices.

You can drink water and liquid shortly after the procedure.

Breathing exercises after the procedure is improvement and my patients start in the recovery room after they are awake.

My procedure is usually as an outpatient and you will be staying for a few hours after. I only let my patient go home if they are ready.

You need to meet all the discharge criteria before you can go home.

You will be given intra-operative medication; local block and oral and parental pain medication to make sure you are comfortable.

This depends on your medical conditions and I will discuss this with you at your pre-operative consultation.

It will be a line at the lower portion of your abdomen and also around your umbilicus (belly button)

I usually send you home with oral pain medication and some antibiotics.

You should get out of bed and ambulate. It is a good idea to be leaning over when you are walking.

You should have the medication filled before the day of surgery.

Any mediation that can cause bleeding or alternate your medical condition need to be stopped or changed before surgery. I will be discussing with you in detail at pre-operative visit.

There will be steristrip applied over the wound. There is usually minimal care needed post-surgery.

Because there is no drain usually, my patient can shower the next day. You should use a blow drier to dry the steristrip after shower.

Our patient can do light activities at home. It is improve to walk slowly and also may need to lean forward for the first week or so.

I usually like to see my patients the first one to two days after surgery.

The sutures are usually removed about 10 days after surgery.

I like my patients to wear support binder for up to six weeks after surgery

For clients that do light office work, return to work within the first week is possible. For clients who work in more physical demanding jobs, you can take up to 6 weeks after surgery.

You can usually drive 48 hours after surgery as long as you are not any narcotic medication.

I suggest that you should avoid sexual activity for a few weeks.

Make sure your care providers wash their hands before and after your care
Do not wait until your pain is severe before you ask for pain medication
Make sure the call button is within reach before medical staff leave the room
Delete
Sit on the edge of the bed for a few minutes before you stand up to prevent getting dizzy

Do not get out of bed without help if you feel weak or dizzy

You have a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
You have shortness of breath or chest pain
You notice increased redness, swelling, warmth, or pain around your surgical incision
You notice that your incision is separating or you have infected discharge from your incision
Your bandages are repeatedly soaked with blood
You have persistent numbness/tingling on your abdomen
You have pain that your existing pain medications cannot control

Take pain and other medications as prescribed
Do not drive when you are on prescription pain medications
Do not soak in a bath or go swimming for ten days after your surgery
Keep your incision clean and dry
Follow your doctor’s instructions on wearing any supportive equipment for your belly
Avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting as long as your doctor advises
Follow your doctor’s instructions to reduce pressure on your abdomen when lying down by keeping your hips and legs bent

Follow your doctor’s instructions on resuming normal daily activities
Follow your doctor’s instructions on resuming sexual activity

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