Mike Hi just wanted to add my few cents in, i have read some place don’t know were but it stated it is possible to lose your belly button during a tummy tuck but it is very rare.
The following post from our forum is from a man who had a tummy tuck 6 days ago and is concerned with all the swelling.
Date: 05/24/2011 Submitted by: MusaTummy Tuck Surgery 6 Days Ago
Hello Tanner long time no talk…I just wanted to say thank you for all the information you gave me about having surgery and to tell you I got my abdomoplasty surgery 6 days ago and it went really well….I felt nervous going into it but after I woke up I felt pretty clear headed and of course, sore. I still feel the soreness and tightness in my stomach but of course I will for another 4-6 weeks. And I took my first shower today I have to say I felt as if the stomach would be more flatter but I realize it was just really swollen and it takes time to heal as I called my doctor and they told me to give it 4-6 weeks and it will look much different. I have my first post-op appt. in a couple days and just wanted to let you know how it went! and one question too did yours look a bit swollen in the begging and how long did it take yours to swell down? Thank you so much for all the info you gave me!
Date: 05/24/2011 Submitted by: Tanner
It’s good to hear from you. I am glad that you had your abdominoplasty and that everything went well. It’s a good feeling and a sense of relief when you wake up in the recovery room and they tell you everything went well isn’t it?
As to the swelling, it’s different for every person and will depend on how fast your body heals, but 4-6 weeks sounds about right for most if not all of the swelling to go down. I think my swelling went down in about two to three months but I had a thigh lift as well so I don’t know how much of a difference that makes. It’s too bad that swelling has to occur. It would be neat to get the operation over with and see the final results immediately. Instead you have to wait and wait while looking into the mirror each day and seeing little of no perceptible change.
I do know that I weighed myself before my operation and a few days after my operation and I was expecting to see a few pounds of weight loss from the skin that they cut off. Instead, I was surprised to see a gain of about 6 pounds. That was somewhat disappointing but the gain turned out to be from all the fluids that they pumped into me (swelling) and the bandages and compression garment that I was wearing.
Now that the operation is over with (the big stressful part of the whole thing) recovery begins. It’s a slow process. Be sure to follow all of your doctors order and do not push yourself too hard. I have received a lot of emails from patients who had complications that probably could have been avoided if they would have followed the doctor’s orders better.
I would be interested to know how your recovery goes and if you have any insights or recommendations that you would like to pass on to others who are considering a tummy tuck.
FOLLOWUP – May 26, 2011
Yes the recovery is crazy and makes it feel SO slow haha im so anxious to see how it will look in a month! But I went to my doctor and he actually wants me to try to wear the binder over my stomach for 2 months! You’re correct on that part he was telling me it takes several months for it to fully heal but you will notice a big difference in the first month. May I ask how long did you wore you’re compression gaurment for?
And yes I herd you actually gain weight from the swelling thats what the nurse told me before my surgery did it happen to go away tho and did you’re weight drop down again?
And as far as my doctors direction I think I am following them Farley well I know he didn’t want me doing to much the only time I left my house in the last 7 days is to go see him. Any tips you have to make sure it heals great like anything to watch out for? Because I been hearing to make sure I listen and follow for the best results and I am pretty sure I am doing that. I have been gentle sitting down and standing up not to much movement but i am moving around the house to stay negative of blood clots.
RESPONSE – Musa,
I wore my compression garment continually for the first few months then only at night for the following 3 – 4 months after that (even though I didn’t have to).
I sleep on my side and It felt better sleeping with the compression garment to keep everything in place through the night (more comforting – just in case I twisted and turned in my sleep).
My weight did drop down again, but I don’t remember how long it took.
Sounds like you are being careful and doing all the right stuff.
The only other things that come to mind would be to elevate your legs while watching TV or in bed, periodically massage your legs, drink plenty of water (hydrate well) , do lots of walking, avoid prolonged sitting or standing still and flex and exercise (pump) your feet while in bed.
FOLLOWUP – May 30, 2011
Yeah the pain is starting to get better but its almost been 2 weeks and my stomach looks a little different if not the same…Do you think it will swell down a lot in the next 2 weeks? I am started to get a little questionable about the whole thing…
RESPONSE – Musa,
I have no idea whether you will be able to see the difference in swelling reduction in the next two weeks. That might be a little optimistic.
I do know that when I looked into the mirror every day looking for changes I didn’t see a thing. It takes a long time and is a slow process. It’s too soon to question the whole thing.
The main thing should be, is that you had excess skin before the tummy tuck and now it is gone. Getting a flat stomach like you see in those “after pictures” takes a long time and a lot of work (exercising effort). I never put the effort into getting a “washboard stomach” and therefore never achieved one. I was just happy with getting rid of all that excess skin and looking normal.
The swelling will come down on it’s own. I would suggest not checking it every day but rather taking pictures each week and recording your weight so you can do a side by side comparison rather than relying on your memory.
FOLLOWUP – June 2, 2011
Yes I just been too worried about it. I understand it will take take to heal and hopefully it will heal good. I’ll let you know how it’s doing in a month or so. Thank you for all you’re help I really appreciate it!
The following post from our forum is from a man who is scheduled to undergo a Panniculectomy, Gynecomastia & Plication Surgery after losing 100 lbs of weight.
Date: 10/05/2011 Submitted by: MarkUpcoming Panniculectomy, Gynecomastia & Plication Surgery
Tanner – thanks for starting the forum and website. My panniculectomy, gynecomastia and plication surgery is on 10-17. Dropped 100 lbs and am now at 170 @ 54 years old. Your story was VERY helpful. Thanks so much, Mark
Date: 10/05/2011 Submitted by: Tanner
Mark, Good luck with your surgery.
Tanner – was truly inspired by your story. Am thrilled about the long term prospects of enjoying my life after surgery and the physical, medical and emotional changes that should occur. Truly another huge phase in improving my life and being able to more effectively give back to others. Now..just getting through the next few weeks…..yech!!! But….one month of discomfort in exchange for a lifetime of feelng better about myself is a pretty good trade in my mind. Thanks again. Mark
Mark, I know what you mean by “getting through the next few weeks”. Before my surgery I distinctly remember thinking to myself “Wouldn’t it be great to jump through time to a day or two after the surgery!” That way you can bypass all the anticipation and worry that happens before surgery.
At least you have all the hard stuff behind you (losing the weight, making the decision, finding a surgeon and scheduling the surgery).
You are right to anticipate the all the changes that occur after the operation. That one month of discomfort (maybe not even that long) in exchange for the next 30 or so years is a good trade-off.
I do have a question for you, if you don’t mind. I have never heard of plication surgery before and can’t find much about it on the internet. Is that Gastric Plication surgery? If so, are you having it to prevent weight gain in the future?
Actually the plication procedure is simply a tightening of the rectus abdominus muscle (diastasis recti) down the center of the chest/stomach that got stretched out from the weight gain. It is supposed to help with the overall feel and look of my front. Insurance considers it a purely cosmetic procedure unless they find the muscle is herniated when they go in to repair it. The surgeon tells me that it will help my gym routine and allow me to continue building a better shape. I figured that as long as the hood was open….why not repair everything in the engine! Mark
MARK HAD IS OPERATION
See how his surgery went.
The following post from our forum is from a woman wants a tummy tuck but has existing scars in here belly area. She went to a surgeon for a consultation but her surgeon won’t perform a tummy tuck on her because the scars add complications to the surgery and increase the risk of the operation. She wants another opinion and advice.
Date: 10/17/2011 Submitted by: JackieTummy Tuck Surgeon Won’t Operate Because Of Existing Scars
I have a questions in regards to existing surgical scars. I am a 49 year old female who has three daughters, including a set of twins.
I have gone for one consultation so far and am not sure if I was very happy with the doctor.
As I have an old horizontal gall bladder scar next to my belly button, I was told by the surgeon, that he would not be able to do a full tummy tuck as when the skin would be pulled down, it would restrict the flow to this scar and could let the skin / scar die off, resulting in skin grafts etc. He was unwilling to do the surgery and after asking him if he could do a mini tuck as I have a lot of loose skin in the lower part of my belly, he grudgingly agreed to do this. I also have a vertical scar from my c section.
I am not expecting to look like a 20 year old again and am ok with some scarring as I have plenty now. I just would like a professional opinion on the risk of existing scars, and tummy tuck surgery with these. The doctor i saw had so many negative things to say, that I have reservations. I am seeing another surgeon in a few months from now. Looking forward to some answers or help.
Date: 10/17/2011 Submitted by: Tanner
Sorry, but I have no personal knowledge of existing scars and tummy tucks. I didn’t have that problem when I had my tummy tuck.
It sounds like your surgeon didn’t give you any good news concerning your scars, but at least he/she seems to be willing to tell you how it is, in his opinion. If the surgeon isn’t willing to perform the operation, the risk to your health and the success of the operation may be too high.
You are doing the best thing to do, getting a second opinion (and maybe even a third). Only surgeons who can see and evaluate your scars can tell you how they will effect your tummy tuck.
Sorry I couldn’t help or address your concerns better.
I will post your comments in the forum and if anyone responds with helpful information I will forward it to you.
The following post from our forum is from a man who just had a Panniculectomy, Gynecomastia & Plication Surgery after losing 100 lbs of weight. He is just starting the recovery phase of his operation.
Date: 10/20/2011 Submitted by: Mark48 Hours Post Surgery: Panniculectomy, Gynecomastia & Plication Surgery
See what Mark said before the surgery.
AFTER THE SURGERY
Hi Tanner. 48 hours post surgery. Not too bad. Can’t wait for the next few weeks to get over with!
Date: 10/20/2011 Submitted by: Tanner
Well you made it through those “next few weeks” BEFORE the operation. Were they as bad as you expected or did they pass by quickly?
Either way, it’s good to have them behind you, I imagine.
Glad to hear that all went well with the surgery (or at least not too bad). Did you (or do you) have any pain or complications?
I would be interested to hear what you consider to be the “worst” part of your experience or what things are different to what you expected.
Barring any complications, the next few weeks shouldn’t be too bad. Hopefully, it should be all down hill from here.
Don’t expect too much when you remove the compression garment and bandages (if you haven’t already). The swelling takes a long time to go down and for the incisions to heal, but at least you get to see the extra skin “GONE”.
I assume that you are all trussed up in your compression garment and can only move in slow motion.
Just take it real easy for the next few weeks.
Good luck with your recovery.
Hey Tanner…good to hear back from you. You were right – the best days are ahead of me now There is a large amount of swelling and retained fluid (I can hear it gurgle when I move around!) but I can already figure out what things will eventually look like and I am thrilled. The pain and discomfort is not too bad – I took the pain meds for the first 48 hours and dozed off for the most part. The only negative of the pain meds is they cause constipation – – BIG TIME!! lol Today was the med to get rid of the constpation…..and I thought the surgery was bad!!!
I am feeling surprisingly well…a bit tender, but that is to be expected. Turns out that the best decision I made before the surgery was renting an electric la-z-boy lift chair. It only cost $50 per week and has made a huge difference in my comfort.
Being that I had both the chest reduction and tummy tuck I can see a huge difference. Pretty amazing. I’ve though about looking like this all my life. In fact – I am looking forward to the scars. Got another story to tell!
OK – so far the worst part of the process was gaining all the weight that I had to lose!
Realistically – the procudere was not that bad….just getting through the next few weeks and hoping that everything goes smoothly.
Thanks again for all your help.
The following post from ourforum is from a woman who is having a Fleur De Lis Tummy Tuck with Liposuction and Hip Contouring. She is getting nervous and is looking for more information.
Date: 11/02/2011 Submitted by: AmandaFleur De Lis With Liposuction And Hip Conturing
Hi. Fleur de lis with liposuction and hip contouring scheduled for 3 weeks from now. Please help I am in desperate need of any info or pictures. I am starting to get really nervous. I have lost over 200 lbs. due to the placement of a lap band in 2007, so I have about 20lbs of excess skin and fat deposits hanging off. I refer to it as my spare tire, it literally goes all around my body.
Date: 11/02/2011 Submitted by: Tanner
Sorry, but all the information that I have was on the Fleur De Lis Tummy Tuck web page that you visited.
I looked though my old emails to try to find the email address of the man who had the Fleur de lis tummy tuck to see if he would be interested in answering any questions that you may have, but I was unable to retrieve it.
The weeks before surgery are the most nerve racking weeks. Your mind keeps focusing on things like “will the surgery go well, will there be much pain, did I choose the right doctor and how will the recovery go?”.
If you have done a good job in choosing your doctor then looking at more graphic pictures of fleur de list tummy tucks may feed your nervousness instead of easing it. Keeping busy and doing activities should help keep your mind off of it and make the time fly faster.
Just think what it will be like without all that extra skin hanging around. You’re going to feel “free”.
If you have any general questions regarding tummy tuck surgeries (from the patients point of view) I’ll be glad to try to answer them if I can.
The following post from our forum is from a woman who has an epigasstric hernia and needs to have it surgically repaired. She is debating whether to have a tummy tuck done at the same time but is afraid of the increased risk from the combined operation.
Date: 11/25/2011 Submitted by: ManizaCombining Epigasstric Hernia Surgery With Tummy Tuck
I have epigasstric hernia and need to have it surgically repaired. I have been suggested to have a tummy tuck done at the same time but I am terrified at the prospect of two things: the 3 hour operation and the accompanying anaesthesia and the pain post the operation.
Date: 11/25/2011 Submitted by: Tanner
It sounds like “not having” the epigasstric hernia operation is not an option, and the only question is whether or not to include the tummy tuck at the same time.
Overcoming your fears from the surgery can only be accomplished by you but it helps to have the right information and to discuss the situation and your fears with your doctor.
Here are some other things to consider.
– The things that you say you are afraid of; the length of the operation, the anesthesia and the potential pain are going to be there with the hernia surgery that you must have anyway.
– The only real questions are how much will the additional tummy tuck surgery increase the risk and how badly do you want or need a tummy tuck.
– The pain that you anticipate may not be as bad as you think. Most of the people that I hear from don’t complain about the pain (which sometimes isn’t there or can be controlled by medications) but rather from the swelling and the scars. I had a combined tummy tuck and body lift and I didn’t have any pain at all. I wouldn’t worry about the pain too much. Most of the people that do complain about post surgical pain related to a tummy tuck say it’s mostly from the liposuction that they had.
– The increased length of time from the combined surgery under anesthesia may not impose that much of an increased risk as you may think (you need to ask your doctor about that) . Many people (including myself) have had combined surgical procedures with no problems at all and such operations are very common place. (Examples; tummy tuck with body lift, tummy tuck with liposuction, tummy tuck with breast lift..)
– And of course (as you probably already know) the money that you will/may save from combining the operations (with insurance likely paying for the hernia part of the operating expenses).
To ease your fears, you may want to have another meeting with your surgeon and ask the following questions.
1. How much is the risk increased by combining the two operations?
2. Is it safer to have the hernia operation now and the tummy tuck operation later? (It may actually increase the risks because you would be going through everything, including the anesthesia, twice).
If you do decide to include the tummy tuck with your hernia operation, I would suggest that you contact and coordinate with your insurance company ahead of time. There may be additional paperwork that they need from your doctor.
Reply – Dear Tanner, Thank you so much for this informed response. It is such a relief to have a real answer from someone who has undergone similar surgery. Thanks once again for taking the time!
How is fluid removed with a needle?
About 2 weeks after my tummy tuck surgery, during a follow-up visit, the doctor noticed that it looked like I had some fluid retention (drainage) in my midsection and decided to drain it. He inserted a “big syringe” just below my belly button and drained (sucked out) about ½ cup of red drainage fluid from my belly area. He told me not to look, and I told him I did not want to but I wanted to see the syringe and how much it contained after he was done. I was surprised to see so much drainage was still inside me. He said that it was not uncommon and that by draining it the way he did saves my body the trouble of absorbing it and aids in the healing process. Note: When he first brought out the big needle (syringe) needless to say I was a little apprehensive, but because my belly area was still numb I didn’t feel a thing.
Tummy Tuck Stitches and Sutures
When are my stitches removed after surgery?
Stitches are usually removed 1-2 weeks following surgery.
What are absorbable sutures?
Absorbable sutures were originally made of the intestines of sheep (catgut). Today, the majority of absorbable sutures are now made of synthetic polymer fibers which offer ease of handling, low cost, low tissue reaction, consistent performance and guaranteed non-toxicity. sutures made of?
How long does it take absorbable sutures to be absorbed by the body?
Absorbable sutures take anywhere from ten days to eight weeks to be absorbed by the body.
How many stitches will I have?
It varies with each operation. I had stitches on my front, sides and back, but I had a lateral thigh lift as well.
The surgeon puts on your first compression garment while you are still knocked out in the operating room. You wake up already wearing it strapped tightly across your body. More Compression Garment Information.
What is a compression garment and what does it do?
Surgical compression garments provide compression which pushes body fluids away from the skin and reduces swelling. It also helps flush potentially harmful fluids from your body which in turn reduces the risk of infection and bruising. Surgical compression garments help hold skin firmly against the body which aids in body contouring.
Will I have to wear a girdle?
A Tummy Tuck girdle, abdominal girdle, compression garment, binder and tummy tuck supports are all basically the same thing. The come in different sizes and shapes. It will be up to your individual surgeon to determine if you are required to wear one. I understand that most do recommend wearing a compression garment following surgery.
Will I have to wear a compression garment?
A compression garment, abdominal girdle, binder and tummy tuck supports are all basically the same thing. The come in different sizes and shapes. It will be up to your individual surgeon to determine if you are required to wear one. I understand that most do recommend wearing a compression garment following surgery.
How long will I have to wear the compression garment?
Patients typically have to wear compression garments from time ranging from 1 week to 2 months.