Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
What is abdominoplasty?
A flat and well-toned abdomen is considered as a hallmark of a beautiful body.
Accumulation of fat combined with poor elasticity of the skin leads to a saggy and bloated abdomen, which can affect your physical appearance and negatively affect your confidence. Nice clothes no longer fit you well and you can’t wear the clothes you want to wear.
When your sit-ups and diet are no more effective to give you that taut tummy, you might opt for a surgical way out. Sit ups can firm up your abdominal muscles, burn some fat, but cannot correct lax or saggy skin, which has lost its natural elasticity or divarication (separation) of rectus muscle from midline
When you have exhausted all options of correcting by exercise and dieting and still have the problem. Then you can get a surgical procedure called the abdominoplasty to flatten your abdomen.
Abdominoplasty also called as a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure to flatten the abdomen. It involves the removal of excess fat and skin from the abdominal region followed by the tightening of the muscles. It can also efficiently treat the stretched skin of the abdomen which can occur after multiple deliveries or with significant weight loss or weight gain.
Who is eligible for the surgery?
Abdominoplasty is for both men and women who are healthy. Your doctor will decide whether you need an abdominoplasty based on certain factors such as:
- you are bothered about the appearance of your abdomen
- you had several pregnancies and your abdominal muscles have become loose, skin is lax with striae
- your abdominal fat is not responding to diet and exercises
- your sugar and blood pressure are well controlled
How to prepare for the surgery?
Before surgery, you will be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
- Pre anaethesia evaluation by anaesthetist has to be completed.
What are the types of surgeries?
Based on the extent of the fat removal, the tummy tuck surgery is of the following types:
- Lipo abdominoplasty – Here abdominoplasty is combined with complete abdominal liposuction It aims to treat both areas with excess fat and laxity in the same setting. It is both safe and highly effective in treating complicated cases.
- Complete abdominoplasty: The surgery involves cutting of abdomen from one hipbone to the other hipbone and reshaping the skin and muscles as needed. Your surgeon moves your belly button during the surgery.
- Mini abdominoplasty: This is done in patients with fat deposits restricted to the below naval region. Your surgeon may not move your belly button during this surgery. This procedure usually lasts for only 1 to 2 hours.
- Extended or high lateral tension abdominoplasty: It is an advanced technique which is a combination of complete abdominoplasty and a lateral thigh lift.
What happens during abdominoplasty?
A general anesthesia is given before beginning the surgery to prevent painful sensation. Once the effect of anesthesia is produced, your surgeon will make incisions on your skin. Then your surgeon removes the excess fat and skin present between your naval region and pubic hair. The connective tissue overlying the abdominal muscles is tightened with sutures. Your surgeon then repositions the skin around your belly button. The belly button is brought out through a small incision and is stitched in its normal position. The incision between the hip bones is stitched together and covered with a surgical dressing.
The surgery can last from 1 to 5 hours.
What is the aftercare of surgery?
Specific instructions will be given to your post surgery to help you recover faster.
- you will be mobilized early to avoid DVT in your legs
- Walk in a slightly bent fashion for nearly a week to reduce tension on the suture line .
- Avoid smoking if you are a smoker
- Avoid strenuous activity for 6 weeks
- Sleep with your hips flexed.
- Medications and regular dressings will be required.
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon
What are the post-surgical considerations?
You may have to stay for a whole night based on your situation. A drainage tube will be placed to remove the fluid accumulated beneath your skin. You will have a firm, elastic bandage on the operated area to promote healing.
The risks such as infections, bleeding, and clot formation are associated with abdominoplasty like with any other surgical procedure. You will have pain and swelling after the surgery for which your doctor will prescribe medications. You may have soreness for a few weeks post-surgery. The surgery leaves hidden scars on your skin below your bikini line. , which fades gradually. A diminished sensation of the abdominal area can be present for a few months.