Dr. Makhlouf has created a list of tummy tuck frequently asked questions (FAQs) from his patients and others. Please keep checking back often since this page is updated regularly. If you have any questions about the tummy tuck procedure, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Makhlouf's office at 847-297-8001.

Q: Can you explain your post-operative care after a tummy tuck procedure?

A: At the end of the tummy tuck procedure, bandages are placed and are reinforced with an abdominal garment.

There are two drains and the patient records the output twice a day. These drains are frequently removed by the 4th to 6th post operative day. The patient can take a shower after the drains are removed painting the incisions with an iodine based antiseptic. When the skin tapes are removed, silicone strips are to be used to help in providing the best scar possible. The scars tend to be at their worse at six weeks after surgery and go on to flatten and soften up in the ensuing months. On occasion, as the hair grows through the scar a little irritation is experienced.

Return to exercise and sexual activity is allowed at three weeks and the ability to do sit-ups at six weeks. It is important to note that we encourage the use of the support garment for six weeks.

Q: Out of Town Tummy Tuck: How Many Follow-up Appointments would I have?

A: Post tummy tuck visits I personally see my patients frequently after surgery. At 3 to 5 days post op, one week, one month, 3 months, 6 months, and one year. One of the biggest concerns after abdominoplasty is clots in the legs and pulmonary emboli. You should be aware of the symptoms and be able to get medical care expeditiously. The chances of having one decrease as the post op days go by. This is why it is recommended that all patient stay within reach of our office for the first few days.

Q: Can I Work from Home at a Desk 3 Days After a TT?

A: Yes you can work from home. You need however, to take frequent brakes and walk around the house so you do not get clots in your legs, and please drink ample fluids. You will have pain for 48 hrs after surgery. After that, Motrin should be enough during the day, some patients take a stronger medication at night.

Q: Is It Normal to Have Almost No Swelling After Full tummy tuck W/ MR? I'm Not Complaining! Just Curious.

A: no swelling Patients who are healthy and skinny do not have much visible swelling, but expect to go through all the phases of healing.

Q: I Have a Large Scar Above my Belly Button is it Dangerous to Do a Full Tummy Tuck?

A:Tummy Tuck is frequently performed after previous abdominal surgery. The most frequent ones are C-section and appendectomy. For more serious abdominal procedures, it is possible to have a tummy tuck, but one need to be ready for an increased chance for wound healing problems. Depending on the condition of your abdomen some variations are possible including a min-abdominoplasty. This is where a consultation is crucial.

Q: How Much Rest Do I Need After a Tummy Tuck?

A:  Rest means taking an afternoon nap when tired, and not working more than eight hours a day. Walking - no running or jogging for the first 3 weeks. No Sit ups no heavy lifting more than 15 to 20 lbs. Remember however that lying in bed all day is a set up for decreased circulation and increased chances for clots.

Q: Do I Need my Binder Any More?

A: I recommend to my patients the use of some support for 6 weeks after surgery. Early on the support keeps the skin against the abdominal wall muscles and helps in reattaching the skin to the muscles and minimizes seroma formation. Later on the patients become more mobile the role of the "binder" is supports the muscles and help with the swelling. I place a garment at the end of the surgical procedure. At two weeks,  I recommend the patient use a girdle of their choice. The garment needs to be tight and secured from above and below so as not to roll. An ace wrap is not good, it will roll and create bands of tightness that may result in creases in the skin and deter from a good surgical result.

Q: Tummy Tuck Belly Button Technique?

A: An esthetic umbilicus should be devoid of visible scars, should rest in a peri-umbilical depression, and have a small hood on top through which some women place a piece of jewelry. I have worked on the design of the incision for some time  presented the work six years ago. I believe that the ultimate goal of a tummy tuck is to allow a women to wear a two piece bathing suit. The umbilicus is the center of the abdomen and deserve the extra care I give it.

Q: Orgasm After Tummy Tuck?

A: There is no data to suggest that orgasm is decreased after tummy tuck and anecdotal data suggests otherwise. Achieving orgasm is more than just genitalia stimulation! There are a multitude of emotional and psychological issues with cosmetic surgery, and there is undeniable incidence of short term depression after cosmetic surgery that could be the explanation for decreased pleasure. As far as the tummy tuck per se, for many women, it is a landmark event, a celebration of passage from baby making phase of life to an "I am the owner and in charge of my body phase". That has usually a positive impact on many aspect of life including the ability to give and receive pleasure.

Q: Does surgery only close the gap or does it improve muscular function too?

A: Muscle function will be improved with tightening of the fascia but it is not a guarantee that the patient will be able to feel the difference. There have been studies documenting the improvement of the back pain and discomfort after abdominoplasty.

Q: Losing Weight After a Tummy Tuck?

A: Many of my patients set a goal for the weight they want to lose before undergoing surgery, and I encourage them to do that, because I feel that if they can get a handle on their eating habits they are likely to maintain the surgical result . Some patients continue to loose weight after tummy tuck without any negative result on the esthetic outcome. Some of my best before and after photos are of patients who lost weight after their tummy tuck.