The New Age of Tummy Tuck
Who Wants a Tummy Tuck?
A firm well-toned stomach is desired by both men and women. Neither women nor men want a bulging stomach with skin hanging over their jeans. This appearance creates a loss of self- confidence. Because of this both women and men avoid wearing clothing and outfits they would like to wear. Despite diet and doing crunches and sit-ups it is disappointing that the excess skin, the loos and hanging appearance, and bulging stomach does not improve.
There are many conditions that result in this problem.
One of the most common causes is pregnancy and childbirth. With weight gain and increasing size of the baby there is not only stretching of the skin but also stretching and separation of the stomach muscles. After childbirth the skin has often lost its elasticity with the development of stretch marks. The muscles of the stomach that have been tight and in the midline are now stretched out and separated.
Large changes in weight also causes a similar condition. This is very common after Bariatric (weight loss) surgery. With excessive and large gains in weight there is similar stretching of the of the skin and stretching and separation of the stomach muscles. After weight loss the skin has lost is elasticity. Patients are often disappointed to see a large amount of hanging and sagging skin.
Hereditary factors well as age can also result in this same problem.
Recovery with Less Pain
Whenever anyone thinks about a Tummy Tuck one the very first thoughts is how painful it is. The painful part of the Tummy Tuck is the repair of the stretched and separated stomach muscles. Recent advances have put the anxiety and worry about that in the past.
During surgery the stomach muscles are injected with Exparel—a time release long-acting anesthetic. Exparel is a unique high-tech medication. This is made up of multiple microscopic spheres of Bupivacaine—a long acting anesthetic that is wrapped with multiple layers of fat. As the fat dissolves over time the long acting anesthetic is released into the tissue. This extended pain release occurs over about three days after surgery.
Additionally, the newest concept for continuous pain relief is to add the anesthetic Bupivacaine in addition to the Exparel injection. Since Exparel has an extended time release the addition of Bupivacaine separately provides pain relief immediately after surgery.
This new injectable pain reduction decreases the need for additional pain medications that often have undesirable side effects. Many patients develop or have allergic reaction to pain medication such as rash and itching. Nausea and vomiting with pain medication are common. Nausea and vomiting as a result of pain medication in addition to making you feel awful increases the pain of a Tummy Tuck. Pain medication makes most patients drowsy and unsteady. Because of this feeling, patients limit their activity and walking. This known to increase the chance for blood clotting in the legs.
Safety of a Tummy Tuck
The safety of having an elective surgery like a Tummy Tuck is always a concern. A problem that can happen is the development of a blood clot. This most often is in the legs. A blood clot can travel to other parts of the body. The reason for developing a DVT is when blood is not moving in the blood vessels.
Several advances are now used to decrease the chance of this happening.
Throughout surgery SCD’s (Sequential Compression Devices} are placed on the both legs. These are inflatable sleeves that are put around the legs. A pump is attached to the sleeves that periodically inflates and deflates the sleeves. This pumping action imitates walking and helps prevent the formation of blood clotting.
A major cause of developing a blood blot is when not moving and walking after surgery. Because Tummy Tucks are painful patients have limited their activity and walking after surgery. The lack of movement increases the risk of developing blood clots. With the use of the anesthetics patients now have less pain. Patients are able to move and walk immediately after surgery that minimizes the development of blood clots.
An additional factor to prevent a blood clot is the use of Lovenox—an injectable blood thinner. This keeps clots from forming. Lovenox comes in a syringe and is injected under the skin. It may be given before surgery and usually for several days after surgery. Use of this medication makes the Tummy Tuck a safer procedure and helps to ensure our patients have the best results possible.
A New, Better, and Faster Recovery
The new injectables and the measures taken to ensure safety has created a new era for Tummy Tucks. The recovery is now far better and faster. It has taken away the anxiety and apprehension about the surgery, and allowed our patients to get the body they have always dreamed of. The Tummy Tuck will not only make you look better but also helps you feel better about yourself. You will regain your self -confidence and enjoy life more fully.