WHAT IS A TUMMY TUCK (ABDOMINOPLASTY) PROCEDURE?
Abdominoplasty is a specialist aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery procedure performed to permanently remove excessive abdominal fat ands skin.
The ultimate objective of an Abdominoplasty is to improve and flatten the abdominal contour, tighten abdominal muscles and remove all loose and overhanging lower abdomen fat and skin.
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM ABDOMINOPLASTY SURGERY?
- Men and women who have excessive loose skin and fat on their abdomen that will not respond to normal diet and exercise.
- Women who loose skin elasticity following significant weight gain, weight loss or pregnancy.
HOW IS AN ABDOMINOPLASTY PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
Abdominoplasty involves the surgical removal of surplus fat, tissue and skin through a conventional incision method. This incision usually runs across the top of the pubic hairline and extends from one pelvic bone prominence to the other. Although techniques for Abdominoplasty vary slightly between surgeons, a standard procedure usually involves detaching the loose abdominal skin and tissue from the umbilicus (belly button), permanently removing all the excess skin from beneath the umbilicus, making a new umbilical hole in skin that was once part of the upper abdomen and then re-draping and suturing that skin in place over the umbilicus and lower abdominal area. This repositioned skin from the upper abdomen is then firmly sutured (stitched) or clipped in place along the lower abdomen and pubic hairline incision.
Following surgery the incision wound is covered with an absorbent dressing and the new surgery is supported with a firm elastic compression garment, which helps control swelling and bruising and supports the new wound as it is healing. It is common for two or more surgical drains to be left in place for a day or two following surgery to drain away any early discharge.
This procedure is performed under general anaesthetic (you will be asleep) and takes around 1 - 2 hours to perform, dependant on the size and complexity of each case.
Patients usually stay in hospital for two nights post-operatively to recover.
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY LIKE?
Abdominoplasty is classified as major surgery and the operated area is usually tender, bruised, tight and painful for several weeks following surgery. Analgesic tablets (painkillers) are always provided for any discomfort and patients are encouraged to stay as mobile as possible during their early recovery stage to help improve their circulation and avoid post-operative complications such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) from developing. This in turn will also help diminish residual swelling and bruising and aid a more speedy recovery.
Any post-operative drains are removed before discharge and stitches or clips are removed around 10 - 14 days after surgery. In the early days following discharge, patients are strongly advised to avoid any excessive level of impact activity that would put undue strain on the operated areas, although gently walking progressive distances is actively encouraged.
In order to help the newly shaped abdominal tissues and skin bond firmly together, patients are usually advised to wear their elastic support garment day and night for one week and then for a minimum of a further six weeks during the daytime.
Patients will be advised to take a specific amount of recovery time away from work, dependent on the type of work they perform, but it is usual to take least a fortnight off to rest and recover at home.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH ABDOMINOPLASTY SURGERY?
Risks such as bleeding, infection, delayed healing, DVT, alteration in sensitivity and scarring will all be discussed openly at consultation, as well as our scrupulous efforts to manage and minimise these risks to their lowest possible potential.
Due to the additional healing and infection risks experienced with patients who smoke, smokers may be precluded from having surgery until they cease or substantially reduce their daily cigarette intake.
Although Abdominoplasty is regularly performed without any complications, it is very important that all candidates are fully aware of both the benefits and risks of undertaking this type of major aesthetic surgery.
All surgery, no mater how expertly or carefully it is performed, carries risks and the importance of a full evaluation and consultation to discuss your understanding and expectations in relation to these risks cannot be over emphasised.
HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I AM A SUITABLE CANDIDATE FOR ABDOMINOPLASTY SURGERY?
At Classic Hospital's our surgeons will carry out a full evaluation of your individual needs and circumstances and provide you with a comprehensive verbal and written explanation of any recommended treatment or surgery.
Our Expert Consultant Plastic Surgeons understand the importance of the decision you are making when contemplating Abdominoplasty surgery. Throughout your consultation you will be encouraged to ask as many questions as you wish and to take your time in making a decision to proceed with any treatment.