Tummy Tuck surgery is one of the largest scale operations a plastic surgeon can offer you. My practice is founded on high level direct surgeon: patient contact. My services aren't cheap and this is why. In this practice, your surgeon personally cares for you from your operation to wound checks, drain and pain pump removal. To help those comparing services with Dr "X" as well as those considering coming from a distance for surgery, please refer to our general abdominoplasty care schedule below:
Before Your Operation
Time is taken to assess your health in consultation and pre-operative visits. Previous surgery is reviewed. If appropriate, pre-operative assessment by your primary care doctor is obtained to optimize your health for surgery. If you do not regularly see a physician, I can of course refer you to some great ones. Patients are given an honest assessment of their suitability for the operation. Yes, I actually turn some people away.
During Your Operation
I am not the "Quickie Doctor." Time and care is taken in surgery to provide the best result possible. I do not use an assistant to make the operation faster. There is no rush to get to the next patient. More often than not I do just one of these procedures in a given day. They can take 3-6 hours to perform depending upon the extent. Care is taken to detail the umbilicus (belly button), make the incision as even and low as possible, and minimize irregularities. Any patient having a muscular repair receives a pain pump.
Directly following the surgery
I personally see all my patients in the recovery room as they emerge from anesthesia. My schedule is arranged so that I can stay with the emerging patient for at least 1 hour. The "overnight nurse" meets the patient at the surgical center and wheels her over to the hotel along with a prophylactic compression device to provide leg vein compression.
Post-operative day 1
I personally visit the patient in the hotel room daily while she is there. Most patients are there just overnight. I inspect and change dressings as needed and discuss the particulars of surgery with the patient.
Post-operative weeks 1-2
As long as drains are still in place (1-2 weeks in the average patient), the patient is seen twice weekly in the office for follow-up to inspect and maintain the wounds and the drains. I remove the drains (and pain pump) in the office when they are ready.
Post-operative weeks 3-4
The patient is seen at least once weekly in the office for follow-up.
Post-operative weeks 4-6
The patient is seen at 1-2 times depending upon how she is progressing.
Patients are seen (if available) 3-5 times between months 3-12.
Things to ask your prospective surgeon before surgery:
(1) How soon does your surgeon see you after surgery is actually complete?
(2) How often are you seen in the office after surgery?
(3) Who exactly provides that care? Your surgeon? A technician? A nurse?
(4) Who removes drains? Your pain pump? Your surgeon? A technician? A nurse?
"The "non Dr D" standard of care for tummy tuck is below the level I provide, but then again that is why my patients choose Dr D. Take a look at my results. They are quite good."
To be fair we posed the question of post-operative care at the MakemeHeal Tummy Tuck Site. Read that which the patients of other surgeons wrote about their experiences. You are value shopping when you consider this operation. Surgeons are different in the operating room and different about the level of care they offer afterward.