An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is designed to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal area, while restoring the weakened or separated muscles of the abdomen.
Loose skin and sagging in the abdomen can occur for a variety of reasons. The most common causes include natural aging, pregnancy, previous surgeries, significant shifts in weight, and heredity. Unfortunately, exercise and a healthy diet are not always enough to counteract the effects.
It is also common for people who have loose or sagging skin in their midsection to be of normal body weight and present a healthy proportion. When weight control has proven ineffective in remedying the excess fat and skin, an abdominoplasty procedure might offer an appropriate solution.
If you are carrying excess, loose, or sagging skin and fat in your abdominal region, schedule and consultation with Dr. Kuhlman-Wood to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for an abdominoplasty. If you foresee substantial weight loss, gain, or pregnancy, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood may advise against an abdominoplasty procedure until after that time, as major fluctuations in weight can diminish the effect of the procedure.
To be recommended by Dr. Kuhlman-Wood for an Abdominolplasty (Tummy Tuck), you will need to be physically healthy and capable of maintaining a stable weight.
If you are a smoker, you will be required to quit for at least four (4) weeks prior to surgery and remain smoke free until your surgical results have been fully achieved. Smoking has been proven to interfere with the body’s naturally healing process. For your safety and to achieve the desired surgical outcome, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood screens for Nicotine prior to surgery.
At Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™, our entire staff is committed to providing a frictionless surgical experience. It begins with listening to your needs and continues through appropriate education and care across your entire surgical experience. This includes providing you the care you need while you recover.
Dr. Kuhlman-Wood performs all Abdominoplasty Procedures at Northwest Specialty Hospital. It is a Doctor-owned facility with an impeccable record of patient success and satisfaction.
On the day of your abdominoplasty, you will check in at the front desk and be placed in the pre-operative section of the hospital. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will meet you prior to surgery to answer any questions you may have, calm your nerves and verify you are ready for the procedure. During this time, an IV will be placed to delivery the necessary Anesthesia (Anesthesia types vary depending on patient and procedure). Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will have determined an individualized technique for your procedure depending on the amount of excess skin being removed. Using a special marker, she will place marks on your body to serve as her surgical guides.
In surgery, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will most likely make a horizontal incision in the area of your abdomen that lies between your belly button and your pubic hair line. The shape and size of the incision will be determined, again, by the amount of excess skin being removed.
Once the incision is made, the skin can be lifted and the underlying abdominal muscles can be repaired before the incision is closed. If there is excess skin in the upper abdomen too, a second incision may be required around the navel. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will pull the upper abdominal skin down, trim the excess, and suture together the remaining skin. A new hole for your belly button will need to be made, and then the belly button will be pushed to the surface and sutured into place. Lastly, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will use stitches, skin adhesives, surgical tape, or some combination of these materials to close the incisions and end the procedure.
After your abdominoplasty procedure is complete, you will stay the night at Northwest Specialty Hospital. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will wrap your abdomen in an elastic bandage and place you in a surgical garment to minimize post-operative swelling and support your mid-section as it begins to heal. She will also cover your incisions with bandages or dressings.
Small tubes called drains will be placed underneath your skin in order to collect any fluid or blood that may result as a natural part of the body’s healing process. The staff at Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™ will schedule your necessary follow-up visits to have drains or non-dissolving stitches removed. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will prescribe and council you on the appropriate medications to take to prevent infection, aid in your healing, and reduce pain. She will also provide guidance on when it is appropriate to resume your normal daily activities, like exercise and work.
There are many factors that can determine the cost of an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck). However, you should expect to pay between $7,000 and $10,000. This includes Dr. Kuhlman-Wood’s surgical fee, the cost of anesthesia, facility fees for the hospital and/or surgical center, medical tests, clothing and bandages required after the procedure, and prescriptions for pain medication and antibiotics. It also includes 90 days of post-operative care.
Health insurance plans typically do not cover an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Procedure; however, Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™ does offer financing to help break up the cost over time. Although monetary cost is important, it is only one of several factors to consider. It is equally important to find a surgeon who is board-certified by the ASPS, trustworthy, and close enough to reduce travel time between visits – especially after your procedure. Perhaps most importantly, choose a surgeon with whom you are comfortable to share in your surgical journey.