Enjoy the Tummy of Your Dreams

While it’s important to note that the tummy tuck is not a weight loss solution, it is a highly effective way to address frustrating bulges and troublesome pockets of fat that simply won’t respond to proper dieting and consistent exercise. A tummy tuck with Dr. Cappuccino can help you enjoy a flatter, more toned abdomen that is free from those frustrating trouble spots that just don’t seem to want to go away. 

When you’re ready to learn more about what Dr. Cappuccino and his dedicated staff can do for you, reach out to our Mount Airy, Maryland location and set up your consultation today.

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Tummy Tuck Surgery with Dr. Guy Cappuccino

Dr. Guy Cappuccino describes tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery including what it can address, how long the procedure takes, expected downtime, and more. Tummy tuck surgery removes excess fat and skin while addressing loose muscles, and can provide transformative results.

Is the Tummy Tuck Right for Me?

You’re likely right for the tummy tuck surgery if you’re in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won't respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved.

Women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as vertical muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during surgery can separate again during pregnancy. It’s important to recognize that this is not a weight loss solution. To be right for this procedure, you should be at or near your target weight.

Associated Risks and Uncertainties

Thousands of abdominoplasties are performed successfully each year. When performed by a highly trained plastic surgeon like Dr. Cappuccino, the results are consistently quite positive. Nevertheless, there are always risks associated with any surgery, and specific complications associated with this procedure.

Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare but can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics but will prolong your recovery.  Dr. Cappuccino will do a careful preoperative assessment of blood clot risk factors using the Caprini Assessment and optimize your treatment plan.  You can also minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon after the surgery as you’re able to.

Poor healing, which results in conspicuous scars, may necessitate a second operation. Smokers should be advised to stop, as smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing. Dr. Cappuccino will provide you with specific preparation instructions to ensure that your experience is as smooth as possible.

Before & After

The Drainless Tummy Tuck Surgery

Following your tummy tuck in Maryland, fluid may collect under the skin, necessitating the insertion of drainage tubes. Drains are easy to manage at home after surgery, but patients are often concerned about having drains. Using the latest surgical advances, Dr. Cappuccino reduces the time drains are required and in some cases doesn’t leave drainage tubes at all. 

Tummy Tuck Variations

If your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a partial abdominoplasty—also known as a mini-tummy tuck—which can often be performed on an outpatient basis. You may, on the other hand, benefit more from partial or complete abdominoplasty done in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips, for a better body contour. In some cases, liposuction alone can create the best result.

ERAS Protocol, Ultrasound Blocks, and Exparel

Dr. Cappuccino believes that great surgical outcomes begin before surgery.  Dr. Cappuccino employs the ERAS (enhanced recovery after surgery) protocol which involves preoperative electrolyte drinks and non-narcotic medications to optimally prepare your body for surgery.  After induction of anesthesia, Dr. Cappuccino places ultrasound guided nerve blocks using Exparel, a long acting local anesthesia which can numb the abdomen for up to 72 hours.  This can decrease the amount of general anesthesia and narcotic required during surgery which facilitates a smooth wakeup with less chance of postoperative nausea.  Most significantly, these nerve blocks greatly diminish postoperative pain and most patients do not require narcotics for pain management.   

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Preparing for Your Abdominoplasty

During your consultation, you’ll get specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins, and medications.

If you smoke, plan to quit at least one to two weeks before your surgery and not to resume for at least two weeks after your surgery.

Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your abdomen, and do not go on a stringent diet, as both can inhibit your ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, your surgery will probably be postponed. Whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two after you leave the hospital, if needed.

How Long Does the Surgery Take?

Complete abdominoplasty procedures usually take two to five hours, depending on the extent of work required. Partial abdominoplasty procedures may take an hour or two.

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About the Procedure

Most commonly, Dr. Cappuccino will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision will be made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the incision will be much shorter and the navel may not be moved, although it may be pulled into an unnatural shape as the skin is tightened and stitched.

Next, Dr. Cappuccino will separate the skin from the abdominal wall all the way up to your ribs before lifting a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. These muscles will be tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position providing a firmer abdominal wall and narrowing the waistline.

The skin flap will then be stretched down and the extra skin will be removed. A new hole will be cut for your navel, which will then be stitched in place. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and a temporary drainage tube may be inserted to remove excess fluid from the surgical site. Dr. Cappuccino usually does not need to place drainage tubes for every patient. This represents the latest advances in drainless tummy tucks.

In partial abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.

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After Your Surgery

For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you're likely to feel some pain and discomfort which can be controlled by medication. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may be released within a few hours. 

You’ll be given very specific instructions for postoperative care.  You will shower the day after surgery and will wear your compression garment at all times when not in the shower. Though you may not be able to stand straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible to help with the recovery process.

Surface stitches around the belly button will be removed in five to seven days, and deeper sutures will dissolve.  

Your Recovery Process

It may take you weeks or months to feel like your old self again. However, Dr. Cappuccino wants to get you back to normal as soon as possible and will advise you on specific activities for each week of recovery.  Many patients return to work about 2 weeks after their surgery.

 If you start out in top physical condition with strong abdominal muscles, recovery from abdominoplasty will be much faster. Some people return to work after one week, while others take two or three weeks to recover.

Exercise will help you heal better. Even people who have never exercised before should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided until you can do it comfortably.

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Patient Testimonial

Enjoy a Flatter, More Toned Tummy

Typically all we need to enjoy a slim and toned physique is a steady commitment to healthy eating and consistent exercise. If you’re finding that your chest and abdomen just aren’t responding to these healthy habits, however, a tummy tuck may be the perfect procedure for you. To learn more about how Dr. Cappuccino can create your ideal results, reach out to our Mount Airy, Maryland location and set up your consultation today.

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