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A Consumer Guide to Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty in Orlando, Florida

Tummy Tuck

It's no surprise that, in terms of popularity in Orlando and beyond, tummy tuck is consistently in the top five among surgical procedures. That's because it's so common for both men and women to experience laxity of skin, muscles and fat around the abdomen over time. For women, pregnancy often results in muscles and skin that just can't rebound to their former shape, no matter how devoted a mom may be to a sensible diet and exercise program following childbirth. And for some, extensive stretch marks and the aftereffects of a c-section contribute to an unsightly lower belly. For both men and women, the effects of gravity and time take their toll on the torso just as they do on other parts of the body.

Many people in Orlando seek abdominoplasty to regain the flat, youthful stomach they once had. If you have decided you want to change your appearance with a tummy tuck, there are some important considerations ahead of you. Spend a little time gathering information about the credentials of your surgeon, their staff and the operating facility you'll be using. You'll then be in a great position to enjoy a smooth, safe experience that produces the outcome you're hoping for.

Florida Credentials

Regulations governing physicians vary from state to state, so it's important to consider your physician's standing in the State of Florida when planning an abdominoplasty in the Orlando area. The Florida Board of Medicine is a good place to start; you can visit the Web site at www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/medical/me_home.html. It's also a good idea to understand in which hospitals the physician has surgical privileges since these facilities most often have very rigorous screening procedures.

Florida's Truth in Medical Education (TIME) bill, house bill 587, was signed by the governor in 2006. All health care providers are now required to let patients know—either orally, in writing or on their name tag—the license under which they operate.

Board Certification

The American Board of Plastic Surgery is another resource for you. This nationwide organization is the only major board authorized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify plastic surgeons to operate on the entire body. Certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery tells you your doctor has at least: a four year college degree, a degree from an accredited medical school, successful completion of a five year (minimum) surgical internship and residency, at least two years in practice and a passing score in exams and peer reviews.

Membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is an indication your surgeon has appropriate education and training and is in good standing with their peers. These organizations are focused on continuing education for plastic surgeons and accept only ABPS-certified physicians for membership.

Facility Accreditation

The safety of the facility is of the utmost importance; this includes everything from anesthesia to sterility. It is preferable that the facility be fully accredited by a state or national accreditation agency. Accreditation facilities undergo interval inspections and are held to a certain standard to ensure sterility, proper functioning of equipment and your safety.

Staff Training

When you have a tummy tuck procedure with an Orlando surgeon, he or she will be assisted by a team of professionals outside and within the operating room. These will include nurses, an anesthesiologist (or anesthetist) and a variety of support staff, all of whom must be properly trained. Ask questions about their qualifications just as you would ask questions about your surgeon's background. It's important to know, for example, if members of your operating room team are certified in resuscitation techniques such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

Pre and Post Surgical Care for Abdominoplasty in Orlando

A good plastic surgeon will work with you both before and after your procedure to ensure your safety and comfort. You should ask about your physician's approach to caring for you both pre and post surgery.

For his tummy tuck patients, Dr. Spence recommends a variety of precautionary measures to help limit the risk of blood clot formation in the legs, including:

  • A walking program starting 3 days before surgery
  • Hydration by mouth prior to surgery
  • Anti-clotting medication, such as Lovenox
  • The use of sequential compression devices during surgery
  • TED hose worn after surgery
  • Early and frequent walking after surgery to help return blood flow to the legs

Scars are an inevitable result of surgery but they can be minimized with a scar management program. Ask about this when you're evaluating prospective surgeons. The program may include compression garments, silicone sheeting and lasers or light-based devices to minimize scars after surgery.

Other questions to explore with surgeons you are considering include the cost of the procedure, which will involve separate charges for the surgeon, anesthesiologist and other staff, the cost of the facility and charges for accessories like surgical garments. Though cost is always a factor, your health and comfort are the most important aspects of plastic surgery. Consider it an investment in your future.

Finally, make sure you are completely comfortable with your surgeon's follow-up plan. Your doctor and their staff should be available to you whenever you need them. Read more about Abdominoplasty in Orlando, view our Frequently Asked Questions and see some of our Orlando tummy tuck patient photos in our photo gallery.