1. What is it?
Abdominoplasty is the removal of excess skin and fat from the abdomen to improve contours and tighten the muscles.
2. Why is it popular and what are the benefits?
It is normal for the skin of your abdomen to sag downwards with the passage of time, and for it to bulge outwards as muscles lose their strength and tone. For women, the problem is most frequently a consequence of multiple pregnancies, but in men and women, it can also be a result of weight loss, weak abdominal muscles or a hernia. Once these changes have occurred, many people are unable to restore their youthful shape even with diet and exercise. A tummy tuck flattens and tones a saggy, protruding abdominal area and gives the abdomen a flatter, more attractive contour and – for women – a more shapely, feminine waistline.
3. What does the procedure involve?
The procedure chosen to achieve a flat abdomen depends on the amount of skin and fat to be removed. Patients with good muscle tone and minimal excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen may benefit from a “mini-abdominoplasty” procedure. An incision is made across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area, and another below the navel to free the surrounding skin. The navel is not disturbed, and liposuction is usually carried out at the same time to reduce the thickness of fat in the abdominal wall. Loose muscles in the lower abdomen are then pulled together and tightened, repairing any slackness or a hernia. For those with a greater area of skin and fat, and looser muscle tone a “full abdominoplasty” is usually necessary. This removes all surplus skin and fat from the abdomen and loins and the scars will, therefore, be longer.
The technique used depends on your needs; your surgeon will discuss these with you at your consultation. The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthetic, and depending on the extent of the surgery and the technique used, you may remain in the hospital for 1-2 days.
LINIA’S WAISTLINE ABDOMINOPLASTY
This s a special technique in which emphasis is placed upon tightening in such a way to emphasise the waistline. Linia specialises in this technique.
4. What are the risks and likely after-effects?
Cosmetic surgery, like any other surgery, involves a “trauma” to the human body and there are risks associated with any procedure. Each person’s body is different, and your general health, level of fitness, age and genetic profile will all have an effect on the speed of healing and also on the risk of side-effects.
If you smoke, drink alcohol, are overweight and/or take drugs for medical or other reasons, the risk of complication during and after surgery can be greatly increased. Smoking, in particular, is discouraged because it increases the risk both of wound breakdown and thrombosis (blood clots).
After abdominoplasty, it is normal for all patients to experience some pain and discomfort, tiredness, swelling, numbness and bruising. Some may also experience bleeding around the scar area and small healing problems are quite common. These can be treated with antibiotics and dressings.
A degree of scarring is a normal and unavoidable consequence of this procedure and will vary in appearance and severity, depending on the extent of surgery and on your body type. Your scars may appear to worsen during the first few months but this is normal. It may take up to two years before your scars flatten out and lighten in colour. Whilst they will never disappear completely, they will certainly reduce and fade. Your surgeon will be careful to position them as discreetly as possible so that they will be covered by your clothes, including most bathing suits.
5. What will happen after the operation?
Your surgeon will see you when you have come round from the anaesthetic to check that all is well, and you will be fitted with a firm abdominal garment to provide support and reduce strain. As soon as you are fit to return home (usually a maximum of two to three days) you will be discharged and given medication and post-operative instructions along with appropriate telephone numbers in case you need to contact us at any time.
Bed rest for two or three days after surgery is recommended, whether you remain in the hospital or at home. However, gentle mobility is encouraged as it helps to speed the healing process. Deep breathing exercises are also recommended.
Between 7 and 14 days after surgery, you will also see our nurse for a check-up and you can gradually build up your level of non-strenuous activity after this time.