Tips for Achieving the Best Results
There are a number of things that can be done during and after abdominoplasty to ensure the lowest complication rate, the speediest recovery, and the best results. Explained below are a number of the steps Dr. Vennemeyer and Dr. Loftus take. Ask your doctor if he or she takes these extra steps. If the answer is no, ask why.
Reducing Seroma (fluid collections): Your doctor will most likely place a drain or two at the time of surgery to prevent this. However, another very effective maneuver is for your surgeon to place internal stitches between your fascia (gristle) and undersurface of your fat. This will prevent fluid collection before they start, and often makes it possible to remove your drains within 2-3 days of surgery rather than a week or more. Many surgeons choose not to place these sutures because they are not experienced with them – they find that these sutures cause irregularities, because they are not skilled at placing them. Be certain that your surgeon has experience placing them and that irregularities are not a concern.
Reducing Pain: The greatest source of pain following this operation is related to the rectus muscle, which underlies the fascia (gristle) which is tightened as a part of this procedure. If your plastic surgeon simply injects long-lasting numbing medicine in the muscle, it will markedly reduce your pain and expedite your recovery. Every surgeon should do this, because it is so simple, yet few take the time. Dr. Vennemeyer and Dr. Loftus have found that doing this has enabled their patients to go home
the same day, with markedly less pain, even after the numbing medicine wears off.
Reducing Nausea: One of the most common causes of nausea is pain. Dr. Vennemeyer and Dr. Loftus have found that taking the above steps to reduce pain has markedly reduced the incidence of post-operative nausea and vomiting, even in those who are prone to it. Further, Dr. Vennemeyer and Dr. Loftus advocate a number of simple medications which are very effective in reducing nausea. All of their patients receive decadron (a steroid which reduces nausea), Zofran (an anti-nausea medication that is so effective that it is
routinely prescribed for cancer patients), and Pepcid AC (this over-the-counter medication is a fabulous drug which further inhibits nausea in surgical patients). By taking all of these steps, Dr. Vennemeyer and Dr. Loftus have found that very few feel nauseated after tummy tuck.
Reducing scarring: Dr. Vennemeyer and Dr. Loftus have found that scars can be reduced by applying topical steroid cream after surgery. If done consistently for about 4-6 weeks, scars fade fast and become much less noticeable.