Age 40, 2 Children. Tummy Tuck Questions? (photo)

I am 40 years old and have 2 children. I a few questions: 1. The incision, just how big will the scar be? 2. Pain after the procedure, how it will be controlled, and how long it lasts? 3. How long before I could drive? 4. Is there an overnight hospital stay involved? 5. What happens if I were to lose 20lbs after the tummy tuck? 6. How long is the actual surgery? 7. What is the rate of post op infection? Are antibiotics routinely given? 8. What are the most common bad outcomes? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 9

You are great candidate for the procedure

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I tell my patients that the length of the scar is not important because it is hidden in your panty line. From your side photograph, you see where the overlapping skin ends. That is where the incision will end. About 80% of my patients stay in the hospital overnight so that they can receive IV pain medicine. I also use a pain pump catheter which injects local anesthetic into the incision site for five days. Studies show that this cuts down the amount of pain medicine required by about 40%. Patients can usually drive and 7-10 days. Losing 20 pounds is probably not going to make that big a difference in the skin laxity. The surgery takes 2-4 hours depending on Lipo suctioning and other procedures added. Postop infection rate is less than 1%.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

There are many things to consider before a tummy tuck

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Thank you for the question and photos.  All of the questions you have posted are excellent and the right questions to be asking.  You should take into consideration that every patient and every plastic surgeon is different and therefore the outcome will be unique for each tummy tuck.  If there is good communication between you and a well trained board certified plastic surgeon your overall outcome will be positive.  In general, the incision should be as long as it needs to be to accomplish your goal, most tummy tucks are performed as an outpatient surgery with the patient being sent home on oral pain meds, you will be fairly sore for the first week but you will make it, although complication can occur if you and your plastic surgeon do a good job preparing then the chance of complications will be very small.  Last but not least, losing weight is always a good idea.  If you think you can lose the weight before the tummy tuck then that would be ideal if not, 20lb weight loss should not be a big factor in he long run.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Abdominoplasty is a big procedure and should be discussed with a plastic surgeon

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You appear to be a good anatomic candidate for a 'full' abdominoplasty - the questions that you have are good ones - and best answered by a board certified plastic surgeon in your community that does a lot of body contouring work. Good luck !


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Those a very common questions for tummy tuck. Going in for a complementary consultation all your questions will be answered....

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck questions

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Thank you for your question and posting your photos.   Based on your photos alone, you would likely benefit from a tummy tuck with liposuction of your waists.   However, a formal physical exam would be needed to make any recommendations.   You are asking the right questions.  I would like to suggest you visit my website for video clips that I have made that will address most of your concerns.  I've placed the link for you below.  Scroll down to the tummy tuck section.  I've tried to address the most frequently asked questions on tummy tuck procedures.  I hope this helps.  Please visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to learn more about your options and get your concerns addressed.

Best wishes,

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Questions about Tummy Tuck

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You have asked a lot of good questions regarding tummy tuck and I will try to address them for you. 1. the incision typically is hip to hip and I like to place the incision as low as possible. 2. The first 3 days after your tummy tuck are the most uncomfortable and I routinely use post-op indwelling pain pump catheter to provide pain relieve at surgical site. 3. Driving is usually allowed after 3 weeks provided that you can move comfortably without limitation or restriction. 4. You can arrange for overnight stay with your plastic surgeon. I will utilize recovery care services to provide aftercare support and arrange overstay as needed. 5. It's preferable that you maintain your weight stable after your surgery. If you lose 20 lbs then you may have a little skin laxity of the abdomen but it shouldn't be severe. 6. The actual tummy tuck surgery can vary depending on whether liposuction is also performed. Typically about 2.5 to 3.5 hours. 7. There are many factors that will increase risk of post op infection. Across the board it's about 1 to 2 percent. 8. The most common complication encountered with tummy tuck is seroma which is a build up of fluid collect under the skin flap. It looks like you are carrying a "water" bag and typically appears at lower abdomen. The treatment is by aspirating the fluid out with a needle and may need to be repeated.


Stewart Wang, MD FACS, Wang Plastic Surgery

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tummy tuck questions

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Thank you for your question and for the photos. While not a substitue for an examination, the photos would indicate you to be a candidate for a tummy tuck combined with liposuction. This would give you the maximal improvement of your torso as a whole.

Going through your questions:

1. The incision would extend from hip to hip placed low where it can be covered by your underwear. 

2. The pain is controlled with a combination of oral pain meds and anti-inflammatories. Tummy tucks do hurt, but the pain should be reasonable with proper pain meds.

3. Most people can drive after 10 days, or when they no longer require pain meds.

4.Most tummy tucks can be done as an outpatient procedure, where you are able to go home following the surgery without staying overnight.

5. If you were to lose weight after a tummy-tuck, the skin might be a bit loose. However, 20 lbs shouldn't cause too much of an issue. It is still best to be at your desired weight before having the tummy tuck done.

6. The length of the surgery varies by surgeon. My estimate would be 2 hours.

8. The rate of post op infections is fairly low. It is higher in people who smoke and in patients with high BMI (over 30). Prophylactic antibiotics are routinely given.

9. Bad outcomes are uncommon fortunately, though tummy tucks are not without potential complications.

Hopefully this was helpful. Make sure to address any specific concerns with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes with your tummy tuck.

Jeff Rockmore


You are a candidate for a tummy tuck

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I think you are asking all of the right questions.  It would appear from your photos that you wopuld benefit from a tummy tuck.  If you plan on losing weight then I ask my patients to do that first.  I see them back a a designated time period and see how they are doing.  If it is not working out fo them then we re-evaluate their surgery needs.  Most folks who have a tummy tuck go home that day.  The pain is controlled with pain pills by mouth.  The driving bit is limited o how long you need pain pills.  I have my patients have someone else drive them when they are taking narcotic pain pills because your reaction time can be slower when taking pills.

Tummy tuck answers

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1. the scar usually goes hip to hip 2. You will be given anti inflammatories and pain killers, the pain killers will be decided by your doctor. 3. you can drive in 2 to 3 weeks, as long as you are well enough to wear a seat belt and have the ability to slam on the brake if needed 4. Yes, you will stay one night in the hospital 5. if you lose weight after, there is a chance of skin flacidity but it depends on your skin type 6. the surgery lasts around 2 to 3 hours. 7. yes, antibiotics are given for a week after 8. bad outcomes are mainly caused by patients not following instructions but could include infection, hematoma, and seromas

Alejandro Enriquez de Rivera, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.