||Why should I be considering
Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a "tummy tuck," is a major
surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and
lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The
procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding
abdomen. But bear in mind, it does produce a permanent scar, which
depending on the original problem and the surgery required to correct
it, which, depending on the extent of the original problem and the
surgery required to correct it, can extend from hip to hip.
If you are considering abdominoplasty, this will give you a basic
understanding of the procedure-when it can help, how it is performed,
and what results you can expect. It cannot answer all of your questions,
since a lot depends on the individual patient.
Please ask our surgeon about anything you do not understand.
||Am I a good candidate for
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in
relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose
abdominal skin that will not respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is
particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have
stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they
can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which
frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved.
Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the
surgery. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as
vertical muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during surgery can
separate again during pregnancy. If you have scarring from previous
abdominal surgery, our surgeon might recommend against abdominoplasty
or may caution you that scars could be unusually prominent.
Abdominoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence,
but it will not necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or
cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have
surgery, think carefully about your expectations and feel free to
discuss them with our qualified surgeon.
||Are there any risks
All surgery carries some uncertainty
Thousands of abdominoplasties are performed successfully each year.
When done by our qualified cosmetic surgeon who is trained in body
contouring, the results are generally quite positive. Nevertheless,
there are always risks associated with surgery and specific
complications associated with this procedure.
Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are
rare, but can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and
antibiotics, but will prolong your hospital stay. You can minimize the
risk of blood clots by moving around as soon after the surgery as
Poor healing, which results in conspicuous scars, may necessitate a
second operation. Smokers should be advised to stop, as smoking may
increase the risk of complications and delay healing. You can reduce
your risk of complications by closely following our surgeon's
instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to
when and how you should resume physical activity.
should I consider when planning my surgery?
In your initial consultation, our surgeon will evaluate your health,
determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal region, and
carefully assess your skin tone. Be sure to tell our surgeon if you
smoke, and if you are taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs.
Be frank in discussing your expectations with our surgeon and be
assured that our qualified surgeon will be equally frank with you,
describing your alternatives and the risks and limitations of each.
If, for example, your fat deposits are limited to the area below the
navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a partial
abdominoplasty, also know as a mini-tummy tuck, which can often be
performed on an outpatient basis. You may, on the other hand, benefit
more from partial or complete abdominoplasty done in conjunction with
liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips, for a better body
contour. Or maybe liposuction alone would create the best result.
In any case, our surgeon would endevour to work with you to recommend
the procedure that is right for you and will come closest to producing
the desired body contour.
During the consultation, our surgeon should also explain the anaesthesia
he will use, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed,
and the costs involved. In most cases, health insurance policies do not
cover the cost of abdominoplasty, but you should check your policy to
||How should I prepare for my
Our surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for
surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and
taking or avoiding certain vitamins, and medications.
If you smoke, plan to quit at least one to two weeks before your
surgery and not to resume for at least two weeks after your surgery.
Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your
abdomen, and do not go on a stringent diet, as both can inhibit your
ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, your
surgery will probably be postponed.
Whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you
should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to
help you out for a day or two after you leave the hospital, if needed.
||What types of anaesthesia
will be used?
Our surgeon may select general anaesthesia, so you will sleep through the
operation or depending on the patient’s history our surgeon
might use local anaesthesia, combined with a sedative to make you
drowsy. You will be awake but relaxed, and your abdominal region will be
insensitive to pain. (However, you may feel some tugging or occasional
||What will be my new look?
Healing is a gradual process, and your scars may remain slightly pink
for six months or more after surgery. Eventually, though, they will fade
to a thin, nearly invisible white line.
||What happens during the
Complete abdominoplasty usually takes two to five hours, depending on
the extent of work required. Partial abdominoplasty may take an hour or
Most commonly, our surgeon will make a long incision from hipbone to
hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free
the navel from surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the
incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved, although it
may be pulled into an unnatural shape as the skin is tightened and
Next, our surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall all the
way up to your ribs and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical
muscles in your abdomen. These muscles are tightened by pulling them
close together and stitching them into their new position. This
provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.
The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. A
new hole is cut for your navel, which is then stitched in place.
Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and
a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the
surgical site. In partial abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only
between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched
down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.
||What happens after my
For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and
you are likely to feel some pain and discomfort which can be controlled
by medication. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may be
released within a few hours or you may have to remain hospitalized for
two to three days.
Our surgeon will give you instructions for showering and changing your
dressings. And though you may not be able to stand straight at first,
you should start walking as soon as possible.
Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days, and deeper
sutures, with ends that protrude through the skin, will come out in two
to three weeks. The dressing on your incision may be replaced by a
||How long before I get
back to feeling normal?
It may take you weeks or months to feel like your old self again. If
you start out in top physical condition with strong abdominal muscles,
recovery from abdominoplasty will be much faster. Some people return to
work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and
Exercise will help you heal better. Even people who have never
exercised before should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling,
lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise,
however, should be avoided until you can do it comfortably.
Your scars may actually appear to worsen during the first three to six
months as they heal, but this is normal. Expect it to take nine months
to a year before your scars flatten out and lighten in color. While
they'll never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under
most clothing, even under bathing suits.
||What will be my new look?
Abdominoplasty, whether partial or complete, produces excellent results
for patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. And in
most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet
and exercise regularly.
If you are realistic in your expectations and prepared for the
consequences of a permanent scar and a lengthy recovery period,
abdominoplasty may be just the answer for you.