Ask the Expert: Gillespie Plastic Surgery Q&A Topic: Abdominoplasty

Are there any steps you recommend your patients take before the procedure that can improve the overall outcome of a tummy tuck?

As is usually the case with surgeries, eating a healthy diet and controlling other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure can improve outcomes. For a tummy tuck, losing as much weight as possible before the procedure will result in a tighter abdomen. I advise my patients to quit smoking before a tummy tuck and start taking a daily multivitamin, which improves wound healing. Prior to the procedure, I discuss all medications my patients are currently taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and herbal remedies. In some cases, I may advise a patient to temporarily stop taking certain medications before the procedure.

What is the recovery time for an abdominoplasty?

In my practice, a tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure that typically takes two to three hours. I include free flank liposuction with all tummy tucks, which further improves the appearance of the abdominal area. Patients go home the same day. The recovery time depends on the overall health of the patient before the procedure. For all abdominoplasties, I use a long-acting anesthetic analgesic, EXPAREL, or an on-Q pain pump. It dramatically improves postoperative pain control – we are one of the few practices that use it exclusively. I want my patients to walk around the same day of surgery, and most patients start doing light exercise again after three weeks. The main limitation is a restriction on heavy lifting for about two months after the procedure. I work closely with lymphatic massage therapists to treat postoperative swelling and improve the contour of the abdomen after surgery.

Gillespie Plastic Surgery is dedicated and committed to providing exceptional plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery and cosmetic services. Dr. Gillespie is a dual-certified, award-winning surgeon who strives to achieve the goals of each of his patients. Gillespie Plastic Surgery wants its patients to be as comfortable as possible and offers free consultations to learn more about the procedure you are considering and how Dr. Gillespie can help you achieve the look of your dreams.

2383 Limestone Road, 2nd Floor, Wilmington
(302) 274-2996

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Jessica C. Bell