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   home > Obesity Surgery > Tummy Tuck
  Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)  
  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 extent of the original problem and the surgery required to correct it, can extend from hip to hip. The scar is horizontal and is placed very low down so that it would be hidden under a bikini.

 
    

 
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A quick look at your queries...
 

AM I THE RIGHT CANDIDATE FOR THE TREATMENT ?

The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are relatively in good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won't 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 preferably get operated after the weight loss. A hernia from a previous surgery can be treated at the same time.

WHAT ARE THE UNCERTAINTIES AND RISKS INVOLVED ?

Thousands of abdominoplasties are performed successfully each year. When done by a qualified plastic 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, blood clots and poor healing are rare, but can occur. 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 your surgeon's instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when and how you should resume physical activity.

HOW DO I PLAN MY SURGERY ?

In your initial consultation, your 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 your surgeon if you smoke, and if you're taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs. Be frank in discussing your expectations with your surgeon.

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 known 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, your surgeon should 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, your surgeon would also explain the anesthesia 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 if you have an abdominal hernia which is being operated at the same time, some part costs may be covered. You should check your policy to be sure.

HOW DO I PREPARE MYSELF FOR THE PROCEDURE ?

Your 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.

HOW LONG WOULD I NEED TO STAY IN THE HOSPITAL?

You may be required to stay in a hospital for about 2 to 5 days depending on magnitude of surgery. Some patients of mini-abdominoplasty can go home the same day.

IS THE PROCEDURE PAINFUL?

The procedure is usually done under epidural anesthesia, the type of anesthesia used for normal painless child birth. It may be combined with a sedative to make you drowsy. You'll be awake but relaxed, and your abdominal region will be insensitive to pain. For some patients, who are very anxious, general anesthesia can be used, wherein an injection would be given and you would fall off to sleep.

WHAT IS THE SURGICAL TECHNIQUE USED ?

Complete abdominoplasty usually takes two to three hours, depending on the extent of work required. Partial abdominoplasty may take an hour or two.

Most commonly, the surgeon will make a long horizontal incision 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.

Next, the 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. A hernia if any, is repaired.

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.

A liposuction may be done to fine contour the tummy.

WHAT CARE DO I NEED TO TAKE AFTER TREATMENT ?

For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you're 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.

Your doctor 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.

The stitches will come out in two to three weeks. The dressing on your incision may be replaced by a support garment.

WHEN CAN I RESUME MY DAILY ACTIVITIES AND JOIN MY DUTIES ?

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. Most people return to work after one week to ten days.

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.

YOUR NEW LOOK

Abdominoplasty, whether partial or complete, produces excellent results for patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. You may be amazed to see the large protruding tummy change overnight to a washboard abdomen. And in most cases, the results are very long lasting.

 

 
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 After the delivery of my first child, my tummy sagged and I missed wearing my favourite outfit i.e. jeans. Tummy tuck surgery at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Centre brought that happiness back.
Reena (Office Executive)
     
 

 

 

 
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