When it comes to tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, many people make their own mind up, often prematurely, about what the procedure involves and how much it hurts.
So we have written this article to explain in detail what a tummy tuck really feels like, based on actual patient experience from start to finish.
The idea is to display clearly the information about what is involved in tummy tuck surgery in an informal way so that patients can better understand the ins and outs for themselves.
This is a good starting point, but should not replace your own research and questions as each case is individual and no two surgeries are ever the same.
The first point to establish is that there are some core differences with every single patient.
Whilst the procedure itself can be considered the same, patients and their life experiences differ. These include; your age, upbringing, social life, work life, and life experiences.
All of these differing factors is what can ultimately lead us to where we are today; considering surgery on the stomach.
One of the most important things to note is that you should only ever consider surgery for yourself and no one else.
Having surgery is a major life experience for any person, especially complete abdominoplasty. Some people may tell you it isn’t, but for the majority of patients it most definitely is.
During the build up to surgery, people often feel very apprehensive and nervous beyond any level of nervousness they’ve felt before. In fact, it is not uncommon to feel like you want to cancel your surgery all together.
A consultation is where you can get everything out in the open and get everything off your chest, but ultimately the nerves and thoughts of doubt will still remain.
Speaking with past patients who have undergone abdominoplasty is a great way to find out truthful events and feelings. Whilst researching online is a good addition to enhancing your knowledge of the procedure, it can be off-putting, especially if you already have doubts. Often people find the results they want to find, so if they are thinking they should cancel their surgery, they will find the information to back this up.
Abdominoplasty is considered one of the most discomforting cosmetic procedures from a list of common surgeries. However, with the correct planning and aftercare it can also be one of the most rewarding with long term results.
Some patients undergoing tummy tuck surgery sometimes opt for multiple surgeries at the same time, especially when looking for a body transformation after drastic weight loss or pregnancy.
It has been reported that a tummy tuck often overshadows any side effects of other surgeries, such as breast augmentation / breast uplift, due to its nature.
Whilst the entire process of having abdominoplasty can be painful, it is something that can be managed and a procedure that is possible to recover from, even with a busy lifestyle such as parenting.
Following a full abdominoplasty procedure, it is reported by many patients that you will be in pain, along with feeling very uncomfortable at times.
Medication can be used to minimise these feelings.
If you have children, depending on their age, it is a good idea to lend a helping hand.
If your children are under the age of 7, help is advised for up to two weeks post surgery. This can include, helping around the house, picking up children from school and doing household chores.
You will be surprised just how many tasks require you to use your stomach muscles. Therefore, it is a good idea to adjust your home so that you can do as little as possible, especially in the immediate 3-4 days that follow.
Some people say that it is painful to squat, bend, get up out of bed, laugh and go to the toilet.
A bed that is low can come in handy as you can roll yourself out, rather than lifting yourself up, which puts a lot of strain on the stomach muscles.
A daybed or sofa can be a useful tool for recovering from abdominoplasty for the first 2 weeks.
Taking pain relief medication is strongly advised following a tummy tuck.
Most patients report very painful episodes during their recovery.
However, it is also something that many patients say they forget after a year or so has passed and what they do remember is that the pain and discomfort is manageable.
In the immediate recovery phase, many patients found it helpful to stay medicated around the clock. This means for the first 7-10 days, take pain relief every four to six hours, even when you sleep. Set an alarm so that you do not miss your dosage for that period. Pain can feel like it catches up with you if you skip your medication until you wake.
Due to the nature of abdominoplasty, your cosmetic surgeon may also advise you to take additional medication to reduce the risk of blood clots. Tummy tuck procedures have a slightly higher risk factor for blood clotting than some other procedures.
In addition, it is not uncommon, especially in complete abdominoplasty, for you to have drains inserted under your skin, which you will need to empty for the first seven to ten days. Getting a family member or partner to do this for you is recommended as it can be awkward on your own.
As with all cosmetic surgery that requires incisions, your body will heal and leave a scar.
Depending on the extent of your tummy tuck, you will have one or multiple scars that are visible. However, these will fade over time and are often hidden by items of clothing.
Common areas for scar location include; hip to hip – either high hip or straight across and around the belly button.
During the healing process, some patients find it comfortable to wear a belt for up to three months post surgery. This is in addition to any compression garment. However, always check with your surgeon for specific advice.
If you have any questions or doubts about tummy tuck surgery, pick up the phone and speak with us direct on 0800 007 5860. We will always provide advice and guidance in a pressure free tone with absolutely no obligation to proceed with surgery.
We understand that abdominoplasty is not for everyone, and the procedure is reported by many patients as being very uncomfortable, however; the results can be amazing and last long term in to the future.