Monday, February 6, 2012

FAQs about Tummy Tuck in India

FAQs about Tummy Tuck in India

Travelling abroad for cosmetic surgery, especially for a procedure like tummy tuck is a major decision and it requires a lot of your queries and questions be properly answered before you embark on the journey. We have compiled the frequently asked questions about tummy tuck by our clients coming from various countries across the world. 

This is the second of the two parts of FAQs about tummy tuck in India. 

When will I be able to see the results following tummytuck?


You will start to see a difference after the swelling subsides and the drains are taken out i.e 3-4 days after the procedure.  The final results shall be apparent in about 4-5 weeks. 

How long do I need to stay in India for tummy tuck? 


Once discharged from the hospital, you would be asked to follow up on OPD basis after 3 days and 7 days for dressings and suture removal (sutures around the belly button only..... main incision sutures are absorb-able).  If you are from abroad, then you would have to be in India for a total of approximately 10-12 days in all.

I want to know if abs really becomes like a wash-board after tummy tuck as advertised?


To have a washboard tummy, the original tummy must be a small tummy. One can achieve a washboard tummy in patients who generally undergoes only liposuction for body contouring. In general cases, the tummy will become considerably flatter and tight as a result of the tummy tuck and liposuction.  Once the tummy is made flat, it is upto you to exercise vigorously and control your diet to ACHIEVE a "wash-board" tummy if you wish. 

Are the abs tightened during tummy tuck or is it only the removing of excess skin? If you do put on weight again, will your skin naturally regenerate? Or will it cause tightness of the skin?


Whether the ab muscles need tightening is determined before surgery by physical examination to assess the tone of the muscles and presence of any weakness in the midline or sides or presence of any hernia. During surgery, once the fat apron is raised for the tummy tuck, we re-assess the muscle tone while the patient is completely relaxed under anaesthesia and decide whether tightening will benefit the patient.

It is important for the patient to know that both unnecessary as well as too much tightening of the muscles can cause respiratory problems after surgery which necessitate ICU stay and ventilatory support (Bi-PAP). Therefore we are always careful about the tightening the muscles and do it only when it appears to be necessary and would benefit the patient. 

The skin stretches out nicely over the first 7-10 days and then the tightness decreases gradually over the next 2 weeks or so. There is no need for any skin to regenerate, all the excess skin is removed and the skin remains nice and tight for a long time unless the patient completely forgets all the advice about regular exercise and healthy diet.

 Where the incision is actually and if it is done well below the pubic area? 


The incision is from the hip prominence on one side to the other side and it is quite low, parallel to the groin creases on the sides and just at the upper limit of the pubic hair in the centre.

I am scared about the recovery. I have heard it is too taxing. What can I expect during recovery after the tummy tuck?


There is nothing to worry about. With a  good surgeon and good post operative care, your recovery shall be made quite easy. 

You would be encouraged to walk a few steps on the evening after surgery itself, while being instructed to slightly bend forward at the hips to reduce the stress on the stitches. This is done at least 4-5 times a day while you are in the hospital. Once you are relieved from the hospital, you would be advised to walk with the same slight flexion for 3-4 days more, following which the skin starts to relax and you can walk normally. Activities of daily living are allowed immediately after discharge. Lifting weights is not allowed for 4 weeks, especially if the tummy muscles have been tightened. 

The incision heals usually in 10-12 days time and the acute recovery is over in approximately 2 weeks. Thereafter it would take about 3-4 more weeks for the swelling to settle and the tummy to become soft and supple again.

I already have a scar from my C-section.  Will the surgeon cut on the same scar or I shall have another scar after tummy tuck?


You will have only one scar stretching from one hip to the other slightly below the level of the present C-section scar.  The entire ellipse of skin from the C-section scar to the level of the belly button would be removed and the skin above the level of the belly-button would be brought down and sutured to the lower edge of the incision at the level of the bikini line.

Will my belly button be reshaped and re-positioned? 


We will also modify the belly button because it is cored out at the time of a tummy tuck with the stalk staying fixed to the muscles. When the excess fat apron is excised and the remaining skin brought down and sutured, the belly button is brought back to the surface at the same level as before through a vertical incision in the midline which is then sutured to the edges of the brought-out stalk. This converts the stretched out horizontal belly button to a youthful vertical narrow one.

My stomach muscles were cut and separated vertically due to an emergency c-section.  Would you suture them while performing tummy tuck? 


The rectus muscles are situated on either side of the midline (the proverbial six-pack !!!!). Due to pregnancy stretching the tummy wall, the muscles separate and a gap appears in the midline which stretches out this area and weakens it. As a result, the abdominal contents (intestines etc) tend to bulge through this gap creating the protruberant appearance. 

Once the fat apron is raised from below right up to the level of the ribcage, we take 2-3 layers of strong stitches in the rectus fascia (which is stretched out in the midline creating the gap) and bring it together folding the excess inside in a keel fashion, so that the muscles which were separated out are brought back to the midline closing this gap. The multiple layers are to strengthen this repair. This is done vertically from the top at the junction of the two ribcages right down to the level of the pubis. Sometimes we also take additional oblique stitches on either side to tighten the bulges/laxity in the side muscles as well.

 My C-Section scar is currently on my pubic bone.  Will the tummy tuck scar remain low around my pubic area but not on the bone.


The scar will be slightly lower than the present c-section scar at the level of where the pubic hairs start. It will be a gently curving scar from one hip to the other (hip prominence which is felt as a bone near the flanks) with the centre very slightly convex over the pubic fat pad.


How do I decide who the right surgeon is for my tummy tuck in India?

Deciding the surgeon is a very important decision as the results of your surgery are dependent on that to a great extent. You must ask the company you are travelling with to share the profile of the surgeon with you, before after pictures of tummy tuck operated on patients by him. A good and reputable company should always give you references of patients who underwent the procedures with them. If you are travelling with a reputable and professional company, they would help you make an informed decision as they would have seen the surgeon’s work and would be regularly in touch with cosmetic surgeons in India. They should be able to guide you who is the right surgeon for your specific requirements.

What is the cost of tummy tuck in India?


The cost of tummy tuck in India varies with the surgeon, facility and city where you choose to get the surgery done. On an average, tummy tuck at a decent facility with a qualified and experienced surgeon costs from USD 2900 onwards inclusive of everything. You should ask for fine details if someone is offering a tummy tuck at lower than this- there may be a catch.