Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, allows many women and men to return their abdomens to the shape they remember when they were young. Now with Avelar or Awake Tummy Tuck, this process can be done in the office, under local anesthesia, and with only a few days of time off work. The Awake Tummy Tuck technique makes abdominoplasty a great option for many patients who would not consider a traditional abdominoplasty.
How Safe is Awake Tummy Tuck?
In order to address safety, we must address the safety of both tumescent liposuction and of Avelar Tummy Tuck. Tumescent liposuction is an extremely safe technique. Several studies have shown only minor complications. This means there have been:
- NO pulmonary emboli
- NO organ perforation
- NO other major complication
- NO Deaths
In the study groups for tumescent(awake) liposuction. Performing the tummy tuck portion of Awake Tummy Tuck has also been shown to be extremely safe. In fact, the original technique was developed to reduce complications from standard tummy tuck procedures. Complications from freeing the skin of the upper abdomen are reduced when this is done using tumescent liposuction and the upper abdomen can frequently be better reduced, resulting in improved cosmetic results.
Who should consider Awake Tummy Tuck?
The best candidates for Awake Tummy Tuck are:
- Women who have a moderate to large amount of loose skin in their abdomens after childbirth.
- Women or men who have a large amount of loose abdominal skin after weight loss or aging.
- Women or men who have gained weight in their abdomen and have a moderate or large amount of extra skin present.
- Women or men who do not like how the lower part of their tops or upper part of their pants fit.
Those who are NOT good candidates for Awake Tummy Tuck are:
- Women or men who have medical problems that would preclude elective surgery. Dr. Johnson can help evaluate this at you pre-operative evaluation.
- Women or men who are greatly overweight and should consider diet or weight loss surgery first.
- Women or men with a moderate amount of abdominal fat that and minimal loose skin that could be improved with liposuction alone.
- Women or men with a small amount of loose skin for which other procedures would produce good results.
Is the Avelar Tummy Tuck Right For Me?
What should I expect after having Awake Tummy Tuck
While many of our patients have returned to work or gone shopping the day after the procedure without any problems, we prefer for you to take 2-3 days off of work. After that, unless the work involves strenuous activity or a large amount of standing, most people can return to work. You will be given an antibiotic to take for a few days. You will also be given some pain medication. We strongly recommend taking the pain medication at bedtime on the day of the surgery. After that, you need only take it if needed. Many people use ibuprofen post-operatively. Some swelling and bruising can be expected. This typically lasts for 2-3 weeks but can be longer. Greater activity post-operatively and older age tend to prolong the swelling. The drains are typically removed in 2-3 days, but can remain in place for a week or so. After the drains are removed most patients are able to return to most normal activities. We recommend you wait at least 2 weeks before resuming exercise. We strongly recommend that you not lift anything weighing more then 5 pounds for 6 weeks. Initially, you will be seen in the office every few days. After about 2 weeks, you will only be seen about once a month until 3 months and again at 6 months.
How well does Awake Tummy Tuck work?*
Awake Tummy Tuck gives similar results to standard abdominoplasty procedures. Some advantage to Awake Tummy Tuck are:
- Awake Tummy Tuck liposuctions the entire abdomen. Standard abdominoplasty can leave fat in the upper abdomen because it can be hard and time consuming to reach. This can lead to a chesty look.
- The umbilicus in the preferred position. Some standard abdominoplasty procedures pull the umbilicus downwards and give a lower look to the abdomen.
During Awake Tummy Tuck, we do not place sutures or plicate the abdominal muscles. This can limit the results in women with loose abdominal muscles. However, much of the down time from standard abdominoplasty procedures comes from plicating the muscles. Not plicating the muscles shortens the downtime and simplifies the procedure and recovery.
*Results may vary.
Learn more about how the process works
Check out Dr. Johnson’s recent article that outlines the entire tummy tuck process here.