Chicago Abdominoplasty FAQs
What is an abdominoplasty?
An abdominoplasty is a procedure that removes excess fat and skin, and in most cases restores weakened or separated muscles creating an
abdomen that is smoother and firmer. The most common causes of excessive skin and sagginess include: Pregnancy, Aging, Significant fluctuations in weight, Heredity and Prior surgery. An abdominoplasty generally takes between 3 to 4 hours of operative time.
It should be noted that an abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Also an abdominoplasty cannot correct stretch marks that are not located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised.
Who is a good candidate for an abdominoplasty?
The best candidates for an abdominoplasty are persons who are at a stable weight, are physically healthy and do not smoke. Abdominoplasty surgery is not for someone who constantly fluctuates in their weight or is considering getting pregnant.
How do you prepare for an abdominoplasty?
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to refrain from smoking, avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding. You may also be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation and take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
Special pre operative and post operative instructions will be provided to patients prior to their surgery with detailed instruction as to what to do the day before the surgery, the day of surgery, and the days following the surgery.
It is recommended that patient allow 2 weeks after the surgery to heal before returning to work or any type of strenuous activity.
How much does an abdominoplasty cost?
The cost of an abdominoplasty ranges between $8,500 – $12,000. The cost of the surgery depends on whether one is having a full abdominoplasty or a mini-abdominoplasty. It also is dependent on the size of the area to be excised. Patients vary in severity of excess skin and sagginess. The price of an abdominoplasty includes the surgeons’ fee, the facility fee, anesthesia fee, post surgery garments and post operative office visits.
What can you expect during your abdominoplasty consultation?
Complete candidness by patients during their consultation is imperative during an abdominoplasty consultation. Be prepared to discuss a variety of questions about your lifestyle, overall health, expectations and desired outcome. The surgeon may inquire about previous surgeries, allergies, use of current medications/ vitamins, herbal supplements, tobacco, alcohol and drug use.
Risk factors and potential complications with regard to abdominoplasty surgery will be discussed in addition to a recommended course of treatment. Pictures for medical records may or may not be taken at the initial consultation. You will also have the opportunity to view before and after pictures of previous abdominoplastys performed by the Doctor.
What risks are associated with abdominoplasty surgery?
All potential abdominoplasty complications will be discussed by your surgeon at your pre-operative visit. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
Amongst the many possible complications the most common abdominoplasty risks include:
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Fluid accumulation
- Blood clots
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
- Anesthesia risks
- Persistent swelling in the legs
It should be noted that patients will need to arrange transportation to and from surgery and also make allowances to have a family member or friend to stay with the patient the first night following the surgery.
What happens during an abdominoplasty surgery?
Although your doctor will recommend the best choice for you, generally, patients have the choice of intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.
Generally, a full abdominoplasty procedure requires two incisions: a) a horizontally-oriented incision in the area between the pubic hairline and navel and 2) around the navel. Weakened abdominal muscles are repaired and sutured and excess tissue is removed through the horizontal incisions.
The navel is repositioned once all excess fat, tissue and skin are removed. A drain (A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect to minimize swelling) will be placed along the horizontal incision.
The incisions are closed by sutures. It should be noted that the length of the incision will depend on the amount of tissue removed.
What can I expect immediately following my surgery and during my recovery?
Dressings, bandages and compression garments are applied immediately following surgery to minimize swelling and provide support for the abdominal incision while it heals.
Patient is moved to the recovery room where a registered nurse administers all post operative pain medications and antibiotics. Patient is monitored until patient fully recovers and feels well enough to go home.
Patient is seen the following day for Doctor to examine incisions, drains, and swelling.
Immediately after your abdominoplasty your ability to stand fully upright is compromised. In addition you should anticipate some swelling. Within a few days, you should be standing upright. The drain will be removed within a week following the surgery. Sutures are generally removed within 10-12 days after surgery.
It is suggested that patients allow 2 weeks after the surgery before returning to work or any strenuous activity.
How does previous abdominal surgery affect the results of an abdominoplasty?
Generally women that have undergone cesarean sections and or have undergone a previous abdominoplasty surgery can have their existing scars incorporated into their new incisions. It should be noted; however, that due to previous surgery and formation of scar tissue the results of a secondary procedure could be compromised.
Choose a surgeon you can trust
Plastic surgery involves many important choices outside the cost of the procedure. The first and most important is selecting a surgeon you can trust and one that is Board Certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. It is also imperative that the surgeon has staff and operating privileges at one or more hospitals. If in fact the procedure is being done in a surgical facility that is NOT a hospital you need to make sure that the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency.