The tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, is a popular cosmetic surgical procedure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it is the sixth most common cosmetic surgery option in the United States.
In Chicago, IL, Dr. Karol Gutowski expertly performs tummy tuck surgery, offering a no-drain option that can allow you to get back to your life more rapidly. Read more about how this technique differs from traditional abdominoplasties.
What Is a Traditional Tummy Tuck?
An abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that helps eliminate excess fat and loose skin from your abdomen. There can be many reasons why you may have excess loose skin in this area, including the following:
- Significant weight loss
- Abdominal surgery
- Your body type
Tummy tuck surgery can help remove this excess skin while at the same time tightening the abdomen’s connective tissue, the fascia. A tummy tuck can also help remove stretch marks in the lower abdomen.
During an abdominoplasty, we can also repair damaged abdominal muscles. If you have been pregnant or experienced an abdominal injury, the muscles in this area can suffer damage. The tummy tuck can help.
The right candidates for a tummy tuck surgery are people in good overall health who are at a stable weight and who have realistic expectations.
If you smoke, plan to lose weight, are pregnant or want to become pregnant, have diabetes or a heart condition, or have a body mass index greater than 30, you might not be the right candidate for an abdominoplasty.
Traditional vs. No-Drain Tummy Tuck
During a traditional tummy tuck, surgeons insert drains into the abdomen to drain excess fluid from the surgery site. Patients go home with these drains still in place and return after about two weeks to have them removed.
These drains make sleeping, walking, and performing other daily activities somewhat inconvenient. They can also slow down the healing process.
With a no-drain tummy tuck, we use alternative incisions and sutures, eliminating the need for drains.
A no-drain tummy tuck essentially combines liposuction with an abdominoplasty that uses absorbable layered sutures. You do not have to worry about emptying the drain or monitoring fluid output as you recover. For most people, recovery from a no-drain tummy tuck surgery is quicker than from a traditional one.
Preparing for a Tummy Tuck
You will need to schedule a consultation with us so that we can assess the treatment area and see whether abdominoplasty is a good choice. We will ask for a full medical history and a list of any medications and supplements you take.
If we think you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck, you will have to get full medical clearance from your regular doctor. With your doctor’s approval, we ask that you stop taking NSAIDs and blood-thinning medications like aspirin and ibuprofen. If you smoke, you want to stop at least a month before the procedure.
About two weeks before the procedure, make arrangements for the recovery process and find someone who can help you as you heal. You should also stop drinking alcohol.
The night before the surgery, take a shower with antibacterial soap and shampoo. Make sure not to drink or eat anything for eight hours before your procedure. This includes water and chewing gum.
During the Procedure
On the day of the surgery, do not wear makeup, lotions, or perfume. Choose clothing that zips up so that you do not have to pull it up over your head when you leave.
We will place you under general anesthesia and begin the no-drain tummy tuck. Dr. Gutowski will meticulously perform the incisions, peel the skin back, and tighten the muscles and tissue. He will then remove any extra skin. In some cases, we will perform liposuction to remove fat before applying barbed sutures your body will absorb.
After the tummy tuck surgery, we will keep you at our center overnight. Most people can return home the following day.
Because a drainless tummy tuck has a faster recovery time, you will be able to begin light activities after a week or two.
Wear the compression garment we provide and wait two days after your procedure to shower. We will prescribe antibiotics and anticoagulants, so make sure to take those as prescribed.
Avoid drinking alcohol and using all types of nicotine for at least six weeks. It is always a good idea to take regular walks as you heal to keep the blood flowing. Do not drive until we clear you for it.
For many people, several weeks can be all it takes to recover from a no-drain tummy tuck. You can expect to start seeing results after 6 to 12 weeks. By sticking to a healthy eating routine and an exercise regimen, you can enjoy the results of a no-drain tummy tuck for years.
Turn to Tummy Tuck Experts in Chicago, IL
A no-drain tummy tuck can allow you to get all of the benefits that a traditional tummy tuck offers with a shorter recovery process and without the hassle of worrying about drainage. With this innovative abdominoplasty procedure, you can effectively get rid of excess skin and fat in your abdominal area.
In Chicago, IL, you can turn to Karol Gutowski, MD, for some of the most skilled cosmetic surgical procedures. At our plastic surgery practice, we offer many of the latest techniques to help you achieve the look you have always wanted. Learn more about a no-drain tummy tuck by scheduling your appointment today!