Post pregnancy or after dramatic weight loss, the abdominal muscles become weak and the skin around the abdominal area becomes loose or saggy. Even individuals with normal body weight and a proportionate body structure can develop this issue. What’s even worse is that this loose or sagging skin is resistant to diet and exercise and can cause physical discomfort as well as social embarrassment.
Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery gives the abdomen a contoured appearance by removing extra fat and skin, and tightening the abdominal muscles. The abdomen appears more firm and flat after a tummy tuck or Abdominoplasty. In cases where there is only a small amount of excess skin in the lower abdomen, a mini tummy tuck, or partial Abdominoplasty, may be a suitable option.
The tummy tuck surgery is carried out under general anesthesia in the hospital. The procedure can take anywhere from 1 to five hours and the patient may be required to stay overnight at the hospital.
At the start, the surgeon makes an incision from hip to hip in the lower (hidden) part of the abdomen. Next the skin and fat is separated from the muscles, and the excess of it is removed. If required, it can be followed by tightening of the muscles, and then the skin is stretched over the new, firmer muscle.
A tummy tuck leaves scars which are placed low in the abdominal area, and are usually hidden under normal underwear and standard swimwear. Though the scars may fade slightly, they will never completely disappear and there will be a small circular scar around the belly button.
Is a Tummy Tuck the right choice?
Suitable candidates for Abdominoplasty are men and women in good health.
Those who are suitable candidates for a tummy tuck are:
- Men and women who have had a drastic weight loss and have excess sagging skin
- Women who have had several pregnancies and are left with loose or sagging skin
Recovery from Tummy Tuck surgery
In both partial and complete Abdominoplasty, the operated area is stitched and bandaged. For six weeks post-surgery, the patients are advised to wear a compression garment. Two weeks after the surgery, the wounds will be checked. After 6 weeks, a follow-up assessment will be arranged with the surgeon who performed the operation. Assessments can also be scheduled as often as required until the patient has fully recovered.
To ensure a quicker recovery, it is vital to attend all necessary post-operative appointments. Two to three weeks off from work and no physical exercise for six weeks, is advised for all patients. In addition to this, patients should avoid driving for 2 weeks.
Tummy Tuck & Liposuction
Often a Tummy Tuck procedure is combined with Liposuction by many of our patients, to get better results. This combination results in a flatter and firmer stomach, and a more contoured appearance.
Who is a suitable candidate for Abdominoplasty?
Men and women who are in a good physical condition but have pockets of fat that are hard to shift and do not respond to diet and exercise are the best candidates for Abdominoplasty. This surgery is particularly suitable for women after pregnancy, when they find that their abdominal muscles and skin have stretched beyond the point from where it can return to normal. Abdominoplasty can also help improve the tummy in cases where the skin loses its elasticity.
How long does an Abdominoplasty usually take?
An average Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery can take from 2 to 5 hours to perform.
What type of anesthesia is used in performing an Abdominoplasty?
Usually, general anesthesia is used to perform the surgery.
Is Abdominoplasty an outpatient surgery?
Depending on the individual extent and circumstances of the surgery, Abdominoplasty may at times require an overnight stay at the clinic. Mini-abdominoplasty, performed to improve the contour of the lower abdomen can be performed as an outpatient procedure.
Is abdominoplasty covered by medical insurance?
No. Like any other cosmetic surgery, abdominoplasty is not covered by medical insurance.
What is a mini-abdominoplasty?
Also called a mini tummy tuck, partial abdominoplasty is a similar surgery that requires a smaller cut and the cut around the belly button is altogether avoided.
How long does it take to recover from an abdominoplasty?
After an abdominoplasty, individuals may return to work after 2 to 3 weeks. However, jobs that require significant physical strain may require some extra time off.
What are the risks associated with abdominoplasty?
Some common risks of abdominoplasty may include the development of fluid collection under the skin flap, bleeding, infection, or blood clots. Other less common risks include poor healing, major scars, or ski loss. Wider scars and poor healing are more common in people who smoke. Sometimes, patients may require a second surgery to correct any resultant complications and to improve the skin contour.
Are there any scars after an abdominoplasty?
Every surgical procedure results in some scars. In abdominoplasty, efforts are made to make the scar as less visible as is possible. The appearance of any scars can continue to improve for up to 12 months after the surgery. Patients may employ a number of non-surgical scar reduction techniques for improving the scar’s appearance.
Where will the scar of the abdominoplasty be?
Generally, for this type of surgery, a long cut is made over the pubic region. This scar runs across to each hipbone. Another cut, around the belly button is also made. For partial abdominoplasty, the belly button is not cut and the pubic region opening is much shorter. The scars that form, over a period of time, become smoother and paler.
Do the results of an abdominoplasty last?
Yes. As long as the patient’s weight remains stable as time passes, an abdominoplasty will not require repetition. Over time, the skin will of course age, but it generally does not go back to the looseness that one may have experienced before the surgery.
Can a tummy tuck also help with stretch marks?
This generally depends on the location of the scars, but a full tummy tuck also removes a lot of the skin of the lower abdomen. So if there are any scars in this area, they will be removed with the loose skin. Any stretch marks that are outside the zone being operated, will not be affected.
Does an abdominoplasty hurt?
Generally, a surgeon uses anesthesia for the procedure, which means that the abdominoplasty will not hurt the patient. However, there will be some discomfort and tenderness afterwards, for which the patient is prescribed medicines.