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Tummy Tuck Surgery with Dr. Jason Cooper
After pregnancy or massive weight loss, the abdomen may have excess, sagging skin and muscle laxity, which can only be repaired with an abdominoplasty, also called a tummy tuck. In South Florida, Dr. Jason Cooper specializes in tummy tuck surgery for individuals who want slimmer, flatter abdomens and improved waistlines. During his years as both a student and an instructor in the Harvard Plastic Surgery program, he gained knowledge and experience that helps him to create exceptional, natural-looking results from procedures like a tummy tuck.
What is a Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck is a procedure that improves abdominal contours by removing excess skin and repairing separated muscles. Patients considering a tummy tuck usually share one or more of the following concerns:
- A protruding abdomen, caused by overstretched muscles
- Excess, sagging skin and stretch marks
- Lack of a defined waist
In a tummy tuck, a horizontal incision is made by Dr. Jason Cooper as low as possible, just above the pubic area and below the bikini line. The scar should be hidden even by very small bikini bottoms or underwear. A full abdominoplasty procedure includes tightening abdominal muscles and removing excess skin above and below the navel, with aesthetic repair of the belly button. A full tummy tuck operation typically takes 2 to 3 hours.
Am I Good Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?
A good candidate for a tummy tuck is at a stable weight, a non-smoker, with no plans for future pregnancies.
Your Customized Tummy Tuck Procedure
During your consultation with Dr. Cooper, he will perform a thorough evaluation to assess your specific needs. Some patients have only moderate skin excess in the area below the navel and may be candidates for a mini tummy tuck, which requires only a short incision along the pubic area.
Most patients require a full tummy tuck, which repairs overstretched muscles and removes excess skin from above and below the navel. Dr. Cooper often incorporates liposuction to improve the shape of the flanks and improve waist and hip definition.
What to Expect from a Tummy Tuck Procedure
An abdominoplasty is a significant surgical procedure that often involves muscle plication and internal and external sutures. It is performed using general anesthesia and occasionally patients opt to stay in the hospital overnight. Dr. Jason Cooper provides detailed postoperative instructions to help his patients heal quickly and ensure satisfying results. Recovery from any surgical procedure will vary from patient to patient, but there are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
When you awake, you will be wearing a surgical compression garment. Your incisions will be bandaged and you will likely have surgical drains to prevent fluid accumulation at the surgical site. You will be discharged into the care of a friend or loved one after you’ve recovered from the general anesthesia. When you return home, you will want to rest in a semi-reclined position and get up to walk around periodically. Prescription pain relief medication can be used as needed to minimize any discomfort.
First Week After
Although you will spend most of the time resting, it’s important to get up and walk around to maintain circulation and promote healing. Your abdomen will be sore and you will need help around the house for more than a week after surgery. Even if you start to feel better in the first week, it’s important to limit your activity and avoid lifting anything. Continue wearing the compression garment provided by Dr. Cooper to control swelling and keep the skin as tight as possible. You will have a follow-up appointment the day after surgery, and another after about a week to remove the drains and monitor your progress.
The Next Few Weeks
Your return to work will depend on the physical nature of your job. Dr. Cooper advises tummy tuck patients to avoid any heavy lifting for at least a month after the procedure (including small children). Physical activity, including exercise, should increase gradually during the first 2 months following surgery. The full results of your tummy tuck may take several months to become apparent.