Duke's expert physicians offer abdominal wall surgery, commonly known as a tummy tuck, at our state-of-the-art Duke Aesthetics Center in Durham, North Carolina.
Abdominal wall surgery treats flabby, stretched-out abdominal muscles and skin to improve appearance and strength.
Excessive fatty tissue and loose skin are removed from the middle and lower sections of the abdomen and the abdominal muscles may be tightened.
This procedure is perfect for removing stubborn abdominal fat that will not respond to diet or exercise. It is commonly used by women whose abdominal muscles have endured multiple pregnancies and can no longer return to their prior, firm shape.
An incision is made across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. Excess skin and fat are removed from the abdominal wall, from the pubic area to the rib cage, around the umbilicus and the abdominal muscles are tightened. The incision is stitched (sutured) closed.
Small flat tubes (drains) may be inserted and used for a few days to allow fluid to drain out of the incisions.
The surgery typically takes two to four hours. A firm elastic garment is worn postoperatively.
For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you will feel some pain and discomfort which can be controlled by medication. There will be numbness of the abdomen that will slowly resolve in a few months.
Some people return to work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate.
Surface stitches will be removed in about seven days.
Expect it to take six months to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color. While they'll never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, even under bathing suits.
In most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare, but can occur. Infection can be treated with antibiotics. You can minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around, as instructed by your physician, as soon after the surgery as possible.
Smokers are advised to stop, as smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing.
Physicians offering this service include:
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