Female Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss with Gastric Bypass
By Kaye Bailey
It took me a long time, 3 years, about 1-million ab-crunches and a few thousand miles on the treadmill before I
gave in and decided to have a tummy tuck. After having lost weight with gastric bypass I was left with an apron of
loose abdominal skin. A tummy tuck was my last hope to get rid of it.
No matter how thin I appeared, how many compliments I received, I always believed the belly bulge was the
equivalent of a wart on the tip of the nose. I was certain it entered the room before me and people stared at it. I
loathed how I looked naked.
A tummy tuck, abdominoplasty, is a procedure that flattens your abdomen by removing extra fat and skin, and
tightens muscles in your abdominal wall. But be cautioned: This is a major surgery, it is not the easy way out
I had the tummy tuck last fall. The surgeon cut me hip to hip: I have a 20" scar to prove it. He removed the
flap of skin, gave me a new belly button and did some body sculpting with liposuction on my hips and waist. Like
the breast surgery, it was done in his surgical suite and I went home that evening heavily medicated. I rested in a
reclining chair for several days. Everything was painful and exhausting: sitting, standing, showering, eating. I
slept a lot for two weeks. I wore a surgical girdle to keep everything in place.
The surgeon closed the wound with tape and I wore a surgical drain for 10 days (sound familiar?) My body was
quite swollen and this messed with my head - - I expected to wake from surgery swimsuit model perfect. Not so. In
fact, my measurements after surgery were actually greater than prior to surgery. The swelling lasted, to a lesser
degree, for about a month. The good news, within 3 weeks I was back to my walking program on the treadmill.
Now, six months post-op I’m happy to report a firm flat tummy. Who me? The Little Fat Girl!! The incision is
still wicked ugly red and tender: wearing jeans is uncomfortable. Still, I’m happy I had the surgery, but don’t
even consider asking me if I want any more surgery. I hope I’m done with that forever!
Who Are the Best Candidates For a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is suitable for both men and women who are in good general health overall.
It should not be confused with a liposuction (the cosmetic surgery used to remove fat deposits), although your
surgeon may elect to perform liposuction as part of a tummy tuck.
Women who have muscles and skin stretched by multiple pregnancies may find the procedure useful to tighten those
muscles and reduce that skin. A tummy tuck is also an alternative for men or women who were obese at one point in
their lives and still have excessive fat deposits or loose skin in the abdominal area.
How a Tummy Tuck is Done
Depending on your desired results, this surgery can take anywhere from one to five hours. The complexity of your
particular situation also will determine whether you have it completed as an in-patient or outpatient
You will receive general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep during the operation. It's important to have
someone with you who can drive you home. If you live alone, you also will need someone to stay with you at least
the first night after the surgery.
There are two options for a tummy tuck. You and your surgeon will discuss your desired results, and he or she
will determine the appropriate procedure during your consultation.
Your abdomen will be cut from hipbone to hipbone in this procedure, the option for those patients who require
the most correction. The incision will be made low, at about the same level as your pubic hair.
Your surgeon will then manipulate and contour the skin, tissue and muscle as needed. Your belly button will have
a new opening if you undergo this procedure, because it's necessary to free your navel from surrounding tissue.
Drainage tubes may be placed under your skin and these will be removed in a few days as your surgeon sees fit.
Partial or mini abdominoplasty
Mini-abdominoplasties are often performed on patients whose fat deposits are located below the navel and require
During this procedure, your belly button most likely will not be moved. Your skin will be separated between the
line of incision and your belly button. This type of surgery may also be performed with an endoscope (small camera
on the end of a tube). The procedure may only take up to two hours, again, depending on your own personal situation
and the complexity of your needs.
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