Abdominoplasty is a commonly performed body-contouring procedure to improve the shape and tone of your abdomen. This operation is often referred to as a ‘tummy tuck’. The operation is suitable for people with loose abdominal skin following pregnancy or significant weight loss, or if you have fatty bulges in the lower tummy that you just can’t get rid of with exercise. An abdominoplasty removes any excess skin and fat as well as improving the abdominal contour by tightening the muscle layer. Liposuction is often performed at the same time to optimise the result. The surgery results in a firmer abdomen with a more flattering contour. It is not a weight loss surgery (Bariatric Surgery).
PRE OPERATIVE ASSESSMENT
It is important for you to tell your surgeon the specific areas that concern you. These may include loose skin, stretch marks, fatty bulges, loose abdominal wall muscle tone and also other medical problems which can affect wound healing, such as smoking and diabetes, as well as risk factors for deep venous thrombosis (DVT or leg vein clots). People contemplating future pregnancies or significant weight loss are best to defer surgery. The expected scars, as well as the other risks of the operation will be explained.
Abdominoplasty is performed under a general anaesthesia. The surgical scar is at the lower most part of the abdomen thus hiding the scar. There are many variations on the procedure ranging from a mini-abdominoplasty with laparoscopic abdominal wall tightening to a full abdominoplasty involving removal of excess skin and fat, tightening of the abdominal wall muscles and repositioning of the umbilicus (belly button).
AFTER THE SURGERY
After the operation your abdomen or stomach will feel very tight and you may have a slightly flexed posture for a couple of weeks. This means you will be slightly bent over, not able to stand up completely straight. Most patients stay in Hospital for 2-4 days. Recovery times vary with most people being able to return to work in two to four weeks, with no sport or heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks.