What is abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” is a cosmetic surgery procedure used to make the abdomen thinner and more firm. The surgery involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall. This type of surgery is usually sought by patients with loose or sagging tissues after pregnancy or major weight loss.On whom can abdominoplasty be done?
A tummy tuck is suitable for men and women who are in good health.
Women who have had several pregnancies may find the procedure useful for tightening their abdominal muscles and reducing skin. It is done in something called as Divarication of recti. For some women, pregnancy can cause abdominal separation called divarication of recti. It is a condition where the right and left sides of the rectus abdominis, the so called ‘six-pack’ muscles, spread apart at the stomach midline.
A tummy tuck is also an option for men or women who were once obese and still have excess fat deposits or loose skin around the belly.
On whom it shouldn’t be done?
If you’re a woman who plans to get pregnant, then you may want to postpone a tummy tuck until you’re done having children. During surgery, your vertical muscles are tightened, and future pregnancies can separate those muscles.
Are you planning to lose a lot of weight? Then a tummy tuck also is not for you. A tummy tuck should be a last resort after you’ve tried everything else. It should not be used as an alternative to weight loss.
You should also consider the appearance of scars after a tummy tuck. You can talk about scar placement and length with the doctor before the surgery.
How is it done?
Abdominoplasty operations vary in scope and are frequently subdivided into categories. Depending on the extent of the surgery, a complete abdominoplasty can take from 1 to 5 hours. A partial abdominoplasty (mini-tuck abdominoplasty) can be completed between 1 and 2 hours.
In general, a complete (or full) abdominoplasty follows these steps:
An incision is made from hip to hip just above the pubic area.
Another incision is made to free the navel from the surrounding skin.
The skin is detached from the abdominal wall to reveal the muscles and fascia to be tightened. The muscle fascia wall is tightened with sutures.
Liposuction is often used to refine the transition zones of the abdominal sculpture.
A dressing and sometimes a compression garment are applied and any excess fluid from the site is drained.
A partial (or mini) abdominoplasty proceeds as follows:
A smaller incision is made.
The skin and fat of the lower abdomen are detached in a more limited fashion from the muscle fascia. The skin is stretched down and excess skin removed.
Sometimes the belly button stalk is divided from the muscle below and the belly button slid down lower on the abdominal wall.
Sometimes a portion of the abdominal muscle fascia wall is tightened.
Liposuction is often used to contour the transition zone.
The flap is stitched back into place.
You will have pain and swelling in the days following surgery. Your doctor will prescribe pain medicine and tell you how to best handle the pain. You may be sore for a few weeks.
You may also experience numbness, bruising, and tiredness during that time.
As with any surgery, there are risks. Though they’re rare, complications can include infection, bleeding under the skin flap, or blood clots. You may be more likely to have complications if you have poor circulation, diabetes, or heart, lung, or liver disease.
A tummy tuck leaves scars. Though they may fade slightly, they will never completely disappear. Your surgeon may recommend certain creams or ointments to use after you’ve completely healed to help with scars.