Top Questions to ask before Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck By James E. Murphy, MD on August 27, 2019





Am I a candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

If you have loose skin and excess fat around your abdominal area, you may be a good candidate.   You also need to be in good all around health.  For instance, individuals with autoimmune disorders can have trouble with healing.  Dr. Murphy will assess your health thoroughly before proceeding with surgery.  In addition smokers are not good candidates for Tummy Tuck as smoking constricts the blood vessels and inhibits proper healing.  If you are planning on having (more) children it is best to wait to proceed with Tummy Tuck. Unfortunately a pregnancy can re-stretch the skin and muscle in the abdominal area causing the need for a secondary surgery. 

How painful is a Tummy Tuck?

The down side to Tummy Tuck surgery is that it’s one the top most painful surgeries a plastic surgeon performs.  The upside is that we have non-narcotic ways to control pain immediately after surgery.  One of which is a pain pump.  This device delivers local anesthetic to the surgical area.  This definitely makes the initial days of recovery more tolerable.

Do I have to have drains after surgery?

Although there are techniques to suture down the tissue to basically seal the tissue together Dr. Murphy will still place a drain for a week or so.  A drain in conjunction with the special techniques reduces the drain from two to one as well as the amount of time the drain has to stay in place. 

How long is the recovery after a Tummy Tuck?

The short answer is “a couple of weeks”.  Remember every patient recovers differently.  Most patients can drive in about a week as long as the pain medication has been discontinued.  At two weeks post-op, you will most likely be able to return to work.  Just keep in mind that healing will continue for the next several months. 

Will a Tummy Tuck take away all my stretch marks?

This depends on where the stretch marks are located.  If the majority of your stretch marks are located on the lower abdomen, then yes.  If you are the patient who has stretch marks in the upper abdomen, these will not be helped with tummy tuck surgery.

Will my results last?

Tummy Tuck result will last as long as your weight is stable and there and you do not become pregnant.  As we age there are changes in the skin but with that being said the abdominal skin will not return to what is was prior to surgery.

What are the risks of a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck is a safe procedure when performed by a board certified plastic surgeon, but all surgeries have risks. The problems that can occur with a tummy tuck include bleeding, infection, numbness and scarring. Some people have persistent pain after they've healed.


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Dr. James Murphy

Murphy Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa

Dr. James Murphy is a highly trained, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has been in practice 25 years. He serves patients throughout Reno and Lake Tahoe and is affiliated with several prestigious organizations, including: 

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons 
  • American College of Surgeons 
  • American Medical Association 
  • Reno Surgical Society

Schedule your consultation today by contacting us online or call (775) 322-3446. Se habla español. If you would like to text us during business hours, we can respond via text to you. You can also send pictures to us with questions.

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