I was making my rounds Thursday morning and overheard two gynecologists talking about a patient we operated on stating how “bad” a tummy tuck is, especially when added to a hysterectomy. This is a huge misperception leading to this blog titled Tummy Tuck in Birmingham: Myths Dispelled.
As in any surgery, it is dependent on the surgeon performing it and the patient. There has to be a competent, experienced surgeon and a patient who is a good candidate for an abdominoplasty: Let’s look at the surgeon. Anyone seeking a tummy tuck needs to find a board certified plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If he/she is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Surgery it signifies that this surgeon meets the aformentioned criteria plus has proven enhanced skills in aesthetic surgery, sort of an “elite” aesthetic surgeon. Once you established this, you need to assure the plastic surgeon has vast experience with tummy tucks. Surgeons are not masters of every procedure, some specialize in facial procedures, breast surgery, liposuction, etc. As with any skill, the more one does, the better they should be at it. You should seek answers to the following to make sure you found a good Alabama plastic surgeon:
- Board Certified
- ASPS member
- ASAPS member
- how many procedures performed/year
- how long does procedure take
- see several result photos
A competent surgeon should perform over 30 tummy tucks a year and be able to readily provide result photos of at least 10 cases. An abdominoplasty should not last more than 2-2 1/2 hours, if the surgeon takes 4-6 hours to complete these, this should raise concerns.
Patients need to be good candidates for a tummy tuck. You should be of good health, should be within 15% of ideal body weight, be under the age of 65, and a non smoker. Meeting these criteria should enhance safety and improve the chances of a good outcome. This is NOT a weight loss procedure!
Tummy tucks can be performed with other procedures as long as the total operative time is over 4 hours. As with the Birmingham plastic surgeon, the other specialist has to meet similar criteria for selection.
An abdominoplasty is not a terribly painful procedure and is often performed on an outpatient basis, patients discharged same day or within 23 hours. On a scale of 1 to 10 ( 10 being most painful) patients usually rate a tummy tuck in the 5-6 range. With new non narcotic pain management these numbers are trending towards 3-4!
So, a tummy tuck is not all that bad, is not terribly painful, should not take all day to perform, and can be combined with other surgeries. As long as you find a qualified plastic surgeon and are a good candidate, the chances of a safe procedure and nice result are very good.