Loose, unsightly bulges in the waist and tummy area are a common problem in women, especially after child birth. Abdominoplasty also called “tummy tuck” can resolve contours of the abdomen by surgical removal of excess skin and underlying fat. The final result is a flatter, firmer belly with desirable waist contours.
Stretch marks in the lower abdomen can also be reduced greatly by this procedure. It also strengthens the abdominal musculature which becomes lax following pregnancy.
Skin excess following massive weight loss is also managed with abdominoplasty.
The procedure involves excision of excess skin along with underlying tissue and repositioning of the umbilicus. Depending on the extent of laxity, the procedure can be a mini – abdominoplasty where the umbilicus is not repositioned or a total abdominoplasty with recreation of the umbilicus. The final scar following surgery is hidden in the panty line as in a caesarean section.
The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthesia.
Duration: Short duration, no admission required.
Post Operative Care: Drains are left in place for half-a-week and the patient requires a rest of a week to a fortnight. Exercise and weight lifting are contraindicated in the initial few weeks. A compression garment must be worn at all time for this period.
Am I a candidate for liposuction or abdominoplasty?
Liposuction is beneficial for people who have fat deposits in their abdomen or other parts of their body. It is not effective for restoring skin tightness. So a person who has an issue of loose skin in the tummy following childbirths or massive weight loss requires an abdominoplasty and not liposuction alone. However ,these procedures are often performed in conjunction to achieve optimum body contouring.
Does tummy tuck leave scars?
Tummy tuck requires excision of loose skin mostly below the level of the navel. To achieve this, the surgeon needs and incision which is almost along the entire bikini line in front. However, the placement of the incisions is discussed extensively with the patient pre op so as to remain hidden even in their most revealing garments.
What is the recovery time?
You will require a hospital stay overnight after the procedure. Depending on the extent of the surgery and the comfort of the patient, the hospital stay may extend to 2 days post op. Drains are placed during the surgery which will be removed 3-4 days post op. In the initial week to 10 days, you will be advised to avoid standing up straight and walk with a slight stoop to avoid strain on the suture line.
When can I resume my normal activities?
The recovery period for abdominoplasty is a minimum of 2 wks. After this period ,most people can return to work. A compression garment needs to be worn for a period of 3 to 6 wks. Strenuous activities like weight lifting, jogging and aerobics are restricted during this period.
How long do the results last?
Results are for the large part permanent. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding fluctuations in weight are important to maintain longevity of results.