Abdominoplasty (Tummy tuck)

Many men and women are annoyed by a too large abdomen, caused by loose skin and abdominal muscles. Abdominoplasty is an operation which helps you to get rid of an unsightly drooping abdomen and excess fat deposits in this area.

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a “tummy tuck” is a major surgical procedure which flattens your abdomen by removing extra fat and skin and tightening abdomen muscles. Abdominoplasty can dramatically reduce the appearance of a dropping or protruding abdomen.

The reason of a drooping or protruding abdomen is mostly a big change of abdomen weight or volume after pregnancy or weight reduction in case of obesity, when the skin is often damaged by striae, it does not adjust and remains in excess. Rectus muscle of the abdomen is loose. A gap (disatasis) in this muscle develops and causes the aforementioned drooping or protruding abdomen. The surgery reduces the gap between rectus muscles, removes excess skin and moves navel.

Tummy tuck is also an alternative for men who were obese at one point in their lives and after weight reduction still have excess skin in abdominal area.

When is liposuction sufficient and when do I need a tummy tuck?

Liposuction is sufficient when the skin is in a good quality without striae, there is not much excess skin and muscle diastasis. In this case liposuction can be successful.

What includes abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)?

Abdominoplasty is a surgery under general anesthesia with muscle relaxation. It is forbidden to eat at least 12 hours before the surgery. It is an abdomen surgery with higher risk of embolism, that is why an adequate intake of fluids is necessary, together with bandage of lower limbs to prevent trombembolism. The patients have to stay in hospital at least two days after the surgery when they have drains. The pain is reduced by opiates.

Surgery

Complete abdominoplasty usually lasts two or more hours, depending on the extent of work required.

Most commonly, the surgeon will make a long incision from one hipbone to the other, just above the pubic area. Next, the surgeon is going to separate the skin from the abdominal wall all the way up to the ribs and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles. These muscles are tighten 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 pulled down and excess skin is removed. A new hole is cut for the navel, which is then stitched in place.

Finally, the incisions will be stitched in several layers, mostly with absorbable stitches, drainage is inserted under the skin and the abdominal wall is relieved by compressing bandage which is recommended to be worn for a month.

Your surgeon may elect liposuction as a part of abdominoplasty for the best results.

Partial abdominoplasty

Partial of Mini-abdominoplasty is often performed on patients whose fat deposits are located below the navel and require shorter incisions. Mini-abdominoplasty takes approximately one hour.

Who is a suitable candidate for abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty is suitable for men and women with a good general state of health. Their fat deposits are caused mainly due to genetic and hormonal disposition. Even relatively slim people can have big fat deposits in abdominal area. Patients who intend to loose substantial part of their weight should postpone the surgery.

This surgery is particularly helpful for women who, after multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where it can return to normal. Women who still plan to have children are recommended to postpone the operation until childbirth, however the operation does not impede them to be pregnant and give birth to a child.

Even elderly clients with loss of skin elasticity can improve substantially the look of their abdomen.

Through the operation, you can get rid of scars (after Cesarean section etc.) after previous surgeries in lower part of abdomen. Abdominoplasty causes a long scar which is the price to be paid for a flat abdomen. The scar is usually hidden under underwear.

Before abdominoplasty

During you initial consultation, the surgeon will evaluate your state of health, determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal area and carefully assess your skin tone. Be sure to tell your surgeon if you smoke or take any medications, vitamins or other drugs.

Be open when discussing your expectations with your surgeon. He/she mus be able to describe you all possibilities and risks, including the limitations of each procedure. Abominoplasty is a major surgery, therefore take your time and do not rush with your final decision.

Your surgeon will give you instructions to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating, drinking, smoking and taking or avoiding certain medications and vitamins. You may be asked not to use any medications containing acetylsalicylic acid (such as Aspirin, Acylpirin, Alnagon, Mironal etc.). They can increase bleeding during and after surgery.

It is assumed that no acute illness occurred in the period of at least three weeks before the planned operation (viral illness, cold etc.). Report any illness to your surgeon. Avoid overexposure to sun before surgery, especially to your abdomen and do not go on a strict diet, both can inhibit your ability to heal.

After abdominoplasty

The operation is painful. Abdomen pains while breathing in or coughing, it requires a strict diet. First few days, your abdomen will be bandaged and you will receive painkillers. Biggest problems causes sitting up from lying position.

How long will the effect of abdominoplasty last

The results of either complete or partial abdominoplasty are  usually excellent. In most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Having tummy tuck does not mean never increase yourweight again.