Overview of Abdominoplasty / Tummy tuck surgery
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a cosmetic surgery procedure that is used to slim and firm the abdomen. The surgery involves removing surplus skin and overweight from the middle and lower abdomen to make tighter the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall. This type of surgery is generally sought after by patients with loose or flabby tissues after pregnancy or significant weight loss.
Who is a good candidate for abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is appropriate for men and women who are in good quality health. Women who have had multiple pregnancies may find the procedure helpful to tighten the abdominal muscles and reduce the skin. A tummy tuck is also an option for men or women who were once obese and still have excess fat deposits or sagging skin around the abdomen.
Who should not consider a tummy tuck?
If you are a woman planning to get pregnant, she may want to postpone a tummy tuck until after she is done having children. During surgery, her vertical muscles tighten, and future pregnancies may separate those muscles.
Is she planning to lose a lot of weight? So abdominoplasty isn’t for you either. A tummy tuck should be the last resort after you’ve tried everything else. It should not be used as an alternative to weight loss.
You should also think about the look of scars after a tummy tuck. You can talk to your doctor about the placement and length of the scar before surgery.
When should a tummy tuck be avoided?
If you are a woman who is still planning to have children, she may want to postpone a tummy tuck until she is done having children. During surgery, the vertical muscles are tightened. Future pregnancies can divide these muscles and reason a hernia.
Are you still thinking about losing a lot of weight? So, she won’t want to consider a tummy tuck until her weight has stabilized.
It is important to note that a tummy tuck causes scars on the abdomen. This scar is usually long and can be noticed. If this is something she doesn’t want, she may want to reconsider.
Your doctor will discuss all of these options with you when you visit. You and your doctor will discuss the results you desire, and the doctor will conclude the appropriate process during your consultation.
What are the steps of an abdominoplasty procedure?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during surgical procedures. Options include iv sedation and general anaesthesia. Your doctor will propose the best option for you.
Step 2: The incision
A complete abdominoplasty requires a horizontally oriented cut in the area between the pubic hairline and the tummy button. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin. Once the abdominal skin is lifted, the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired.
A second incision around the belly button may be necessary to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen. The skin of the upper abdomen is pulled down like a blind. Overload skin is trimmed and the leftover skin is sutured. A new opening is shaped for the belly button. The umbilicus is opened to the surface and sutured into position.
Step 3: Close the incisions
Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes, or clips shut the skin incisions.
Step 4: View the results
Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate to your body type and weight. Study more concerning the results of a tummy tuck.
Do not opt for abdominoplasty if:
- You are pregnant or plan to have a few more children.
- You are trying to use it as a weight-loss option as it does not work as such. A tummy tuck helps tighten sagging skin and fat in the abdominal region.
Make sure you get a detailed consultation before undergoing surgery so you know what to expect. You must know the risks and the procedure involved so that there are no surprises during or after surgery.
A tummy tuck presents several risks, including:
- Accumulation of fluid under the skin (seroma): Drainage tubes that are left in place after surgery can help reduce the risk of excess fluid. Your doctor can also remove fluid after surgery with a needle and syringe.
- Poor wound healing: Sometimes areas along the cut line heal poorly or begin to divide. You may be given antibiotics during and after surgery to prevent infection.
- Unexpected scars: The incision scar from a tummy tuck is permanent, but it is placed along the bikini line which is easily hidden. The distance end to end and visibility of the mark varies from person to person.
- Tissue damage or death: During a tummy tuck, the fatty tissue inside the skin in the abdominal area could be damaged or die. Smoking increases this risk. Depending on the size of the area, the tissue may heal on its own or require a surgical touch-up procedure.
- Changes in skin sensation: During a tummy tuck, the repositioning of the abdominal tissues can affect the nerves in the abdominal area and, infrequently, the upper thighs. You may feel a reduced sensation or numbness. This usually decreases in the months after the procedure.
Like any other kind of major surgery, a tummy tuck poses a danger of bleeding, infection, and an unpleasant reaction to anaesthesia.
How do you prepare?
Initially, you will speak with a plastic surgeon about a tummy tuck. Throughout your first visit, your plastic doctor will likely:
- Review your medical history: Be ready to answer questions about current and past medical conditions to Doctor while asking. Talk about any medications you are taking or have recently taken, as well as any surgeries you have had.
- Tell your doctor if you are sensitive to any medications: If your desire for a tummy tuck is related to weight loss, your doctor will likely ask you detailed questions about your weight gain and loss.
- Do a physical exam: To determine your treatment options, your doctor will examine your abdomen. The medical doctor may also obtain pictures of your abdomen for your medical record.
- Analyze your expectations: Explain why you want a tummy tuck and what you expect in terms of appearance after the procedure. Make sure you understand the benefits and risks, including scars. Be aware that previous abdominal surgery could limit your results.
Before a tummy tuck, you may also need:
- Stop smoking: Smoking decreases blood flow to the skin and can slow down the healing process. Additionally, smoking increases the risk of tissue damage. If you smoke, your doctor will that you quit smoking before a surgical procedure and during recovery.
- Avoid certain medications: You will likely need to avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and herbal supplements, which can increase bleeding.
- Maintain a stable weight: Ideally, you will maintain a stable weight for at least 12 months before undergoing a tummy tuck. If you are very overweight, your doctor will recommend that you lose weight before the procedure. A significant weight loss after the procedure can decrease your results.
- Take medications to prevent complications: Shortly before your tummy tuck, you will need to start taking a blood thinner to prevent blood clotting.
- Get help during recovery: Make plans to have an important person drive you to the house after you go away from the hospital and live with you for at most the first night of your healing at home.