At Dr. Bohley Cosmetic Surgery in Portland, Dr. Michael F. Bohley and his staff often hear the following questions from patients who are interested in undergoing abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery.

What is tummy tuck surgery?

Dr. Bohley performs tummy tuck in Portland to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal region. During the procedure, he can also use stitches to repair weak or separated abdominal muscles, resulting in a flatter profile throughout the midsection.

What are the differences between tummy tuck surgery and liposuction?

Pregnancy, substantial weight loss, older age and other factors can leave individuals with loose, sagging skin that has lost its elasticity. Pregnancy can also wreak havoc on a woman’s abdominal muscles, greatly weakening them or even causing them to separate. Dr. Bohley’s tummy tuck procedure is intended to address both lax skin and weakened stomach muscles.

With tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Bohley first repairs weakened stomach muscles then removes excess skin from the lower abdomen, repositioning the navel as needed. This procedure leaves patients with a horizontal scar that runs from hipbone to hipbone just above the pubic area. However, Dr. Bohley positions his incision so it is hidden by an underwear or bikini line.

On the other hand, liposuction simply eliminates excess fat from an area without addressing skin laxity or muscle weakness. This surgical procedure is designed for individuals with good skin pliancy. Good candidates for liposuction have skin that will bounce back following treatment. Because of this, Dr. Bohley can minimize the scars needed with liposuction, and the liposuction recovery period is typically easier and quicker than with abdominoplasty.

Who are suitable tummy tuck candidates?

Suitable tummy tuck candidates include those who:

  • Have recently lost a major amount of weight and have loose, sagging skin in the abdominal area
  • Have lax skin and / or poor abdominal muscle tone due to pregnancy, older age or other factors
  • Feel that they can maintain a stable weight
  • Are women who are finished having children
  • Are in overall good mental and physical health

However, individuals who need to lose a significant amount of weight, plan to get pregnant again or are just looking for a way to tone their stomach region are not suitable candidates.

To find out if you are a suitable tummy tuck candidate or to schedule a personal consultation, please contact the Dr. Bohley Cosmetic Surgery office by calling (503) 253-3458 today.

What is the tummy tuck recovery period like?

Immediately after tummy tuck surgery, patients may feel groggy as the effects of the general anesthesia subside. Those undergoing this outpatient procedure should be sure to have a responsible adult drive them to and from the surgical center. Patients should have someone stay with them the first night after surgery.

After tummy tuck surgery, individuals will feel tender or sore in the treated area. Dr. Bohley may prescribe oral pain medication to ease any discomfort during tummy tuck recovery. Patients may also notice that the abdominal region is swollen, numb, bruised or red, but this is normal and will go away with time.

The treated area will be bandaged after the procedure, and Dr. Bohley will provide patients with instructions about how to care for this area.

Thin drainage tubes may be present to prevent fluid accumulation. This also minimizes swelling. Dr. Bohley will remove these tubes during a follow-up visit a few days following surgery.

Most of the stitches that Dr. Bohley uses will dissolve by themselves, but he may need to remove some of them a week or so after the procedure.

Binding garments should be worn for several weeks after surgery. They provide added support while the abdominal muscles heal, and they help ease pain and swelling.

Total recovery time varies, but the initial recovery phase usually lasts a few weeks. Tummy tuck patients should request about two weeks off from work. Patients must not perform any strenuous activities or heavy lifting during this initial phase. They must gradually return to their normal activities as advised by Dr. Bohley.

Although the complete aesthetic outcome may be noticeable in about six months, it can take longer for some individuals to see the full results. Also, results may be compromised if the patient gains a lot of weight or becomes pregnant. Finally, most individuals feel completely back to their usual, more svelte, self within six months to a year and a half.