Most Commonly Asked Questions
About Tummy Tucks in Denver, Colorado
The tummy tuck procedure is one of the most complex and intense plastic surgery procedures that Dr. Broadway’s Denver cosmetic surgery patients can choose to have. There is a difference between what surgeons offer when performing the abdominoplasty procedure, and when consulting with different surgeons be sure ask yourself “do I want a good tummy tuck or a great tummy tuck? And how can I tell the difference when I consult with surgeons?”
Below are the top ten questions that Dr. Broadway and his staff receive in regard to the tummy flattening procedure, the abdominoplasty.
- What does a tummy tuck consist of?
The abdominoplasty procedure is really three surgeries in one. It’s complex, and it’s 3 components should be tailored toward the patients specific needs. Typically a full tummy tuck will include abdominal muscle repair, fat removal and skin removal. How each of these is addressed will determine the outcome of the procedure. A tummy tuck surgery takes time, and typically you should be quoted anywhere from 4-6 hours for the procedure, depending on the size of the patient. This is not an in-and-out procedure, and if you are quoted less than 3 hours, really make sure you ask the appropriate questions as to what your surgery will entail.
- How long is the recovery after a tummy tuck?
Typically Dr. Broadway requests his Denver tummy tuck patients do very light activity for the first 1-2 weeks after surgery. This can vary however depending on the length of the patient’s procedure, as well as the patient’s individual pain tolerance. We don’t want you completely sedentary after your surgery, but we also don’t want you lifting a full laundry basket, or vacuuming the house. Be good to your body, be compliant with Dr. Broadway’s post operative instructions, and your recovery time will be reduced. We encourage patients to avoid intense exercise and lifting very heavy objects for the first 6-8 weeks after surgery. Although you can begin to perform light exercises 3-4 weeks after surgery, you always want to ease back into it, and listen to your body.
- What does the tummy tuck incision look like?
The incision placement and length will be determined by you and Dr. Broadway during your Pre-Op appointment. However, we like patients to understand the longer the incision, meaning from hip to hip, most likely the more aggressive Dr. Broadway can be in removing extra skin. The incision heals very nicely over time but expect up to a year for it begin to turn into a less noticeable incision. This is another reason to choose a plastic surgeon who takes their time during your tummy tuck. Slower surgeons are more precise, and their incisions are much straighter. Please also be aware that a patients ethnic background can play a role in the color and texture of the incision.
- What can tummy tuck patients do to help their incision heal faster?
Patient-dependent factors will play a role in how well your incision heals after surgery. These factors can include genetics and the patient’s overall health. The healthier the patient, the quicker the incision will heal. We encourage patients to eat lean protein, stay hydrated, and get good sleep before and immediately following their tummy tuck surgery. One of the most important factors that the patient can control is to STOP smoking more than 1 month prior to surgery. This is a requirement by Dr. Broadway. If you are smoking before and after surgery, you have a very high chance of developing skin necrosis, and potentially ruining the overall result of your tummy tuck.
- What is Skin Necrosis?
Skin Necrosis is the loss of skin usually due to poor blood supply. This can occur in any patient but typically is seen in patients who are smokers. Dr. Broadway requires patients to stop smoking four weeks prior to surgery and 4 weeks post-operatively however, the most appropriate length of time can be debatable. Even patients who quit smoking before their surgery can experience skin necrosis because they have damaged the delivery of their blood supply to areas of the body. This skin loss continues to produce wounds that open, and take a long time to heal. This can play a significant role in widening the incision, and again overall affecting the outcome of your surgery. Skin Necrosis is much less common in nonsmokers.
- Does Dr. Broadway utilize drains after his tummy tuck procedures?
Dr. Broadway will place 2-3 drains in your abdomen after surgery. These drains will help to reduce swelling, and assist your body so it doesn’t have to work as hard to eliminate fluid build up. Patients whose tummy tucks are more extensive, or where more lipo is performed, should expect more fluid build up, swelling, and having their drains in longer. The recovery is not a perfect science and can vary significantly depending on the patient. Typically the drains are in for 1-2 weeks post op, however it’s not out of the question to have a remaining drain 6-8 weeks after surgery.
- Should I loose weight before my tummy tuck procedure?
The outcome of your surgery can be more positive the closer you are to your ideal weight. Dr. Broadway encourages patients to reach a weight that they feel they can maintain after surgery. If patients have a lot of excess abdominal fat, Dr. Broadway is limited as to how much lipo he can do and how aggressive he can be, while keeping the patient safe.
- Does Dr. Broadway encourage massage therapy after a tummy tuck?
With most of his cosmetic surgery procedures, Dr. Broadway will encourage post op massage therapy with one of our bodevolve massage therapists. Your first treatment, at your two-day post-op check up, is complimentary from Dr. Broadway. Post op massage therapy will help to increase blood flow, reduce swelling and, and speed up the recovery process. We encourage tummy tuck patients to repeat these sessions for the first week after surgery.
- What are “dog ears” in reference to a tummy tuck?
Dog ears are folds in the skin and fat and usually appear at the end of the incision around the hip area. These can flatten on their own, or may have to be repaired with a significantly easy in office procedure. If this occurs after surgery, Dr. Broadway will watch the incision for up to a year. If at that point the dog ear does not flatten by itself, Dr. Broadway will revise the incision. This can be a common occurrence after any tummy tuck, and one in which every plastic surgeon has experienced.
- Can you repair a hernia during the tummy tuck surgery?
Hernia repair in conjunction with a tummy tuck is very common. Dr. Broadway will feel for a hernia during your consultation, and if one is found, he will refer you to one of the general plastic surgeons that has privileges at Renewal Surgery Center, so that this can be fixed during your tummy tuck surgery.
Abdominoplasty surgery is one of the most popular procedures that Dr. Broadway offers his Colorado cosmetic surgery patients. Although the surgery is more complex and requires a good commitment from the patient in terms of recovery, the outcome can change how you feel about yourself. Patients that have been through pregnancy or dramatic weight loss often feel discouraged because even after all the hard work in the gym, and watching what they eat, they still can’t get their tummies as flat as they once you used to be.
With the help of one of the best and more experienced plastic surgeons in the business, you can achieve that pre-baby or pre-weight gain stomach. We look forward to meeting you during your initial consultation and helping you to fully understand your upcoming tummy tuck surgery.