Abdominal Lipectomy (Tummy Tuck)
Wrinkling and bulging over the abdominal region can be caused as the result of weight gain or reduction.
Pregnancy can have an effect on the shape of the abdomen and many women suffer from what is termed “Post Baby Body” as the muscles separate during pregnancy and the skin stretches. To return the youthful look to the abdomen, a tummy tuck may be required and can also be assisted by Liposuction.
The Surgical Plan
This operation should be performed in hospital under a general anaesthetic and may require one to two nights stay. The operation will take 2 to 4 hours, sometimes longer if extra Liposuction is required.
During the operation the excess fat is removed from between the skin and muscle. The abdominal muscles are tightened and the belly button is repositioned. The incision to access this region should sit along the bikini line and be barely noticeable when completely healed.
Some patients will require drain tubes for 2 to 4 days and there is some discomfort in recovery requiring medication.
The wound site is closed with dissolving stitches and is usually checked by the nursing staff for 1 to 10 days post operatively. A compression garment is worn for up to 6 weeks and the patient is advised to rest for 2 weeks and take 4 to 6 weeks away from strenuous exercise.
Is Abdominoplasty painful?
The surgery is performed under a general anesthesia so there is no discomfort during the operation. Afterwards, most patients find that there is the discomfort for a period of about 10 –11 days. During this time you are able to straighten up. Any pain is well controlled with medication.
What if there is no fat but the lower tummy sticks out?
This is a very common problem with women who have had children and are thin and fairly athletic. A mini-tuck is the solution here, which is much simpler operation with a smaller incision and a faster recovery time.
If there are other scars on the abdomen from Caesarian section, appendicitis or a gall bladder operation, can they be removed?
Frequently, the scars from previous operations are removed at the time of the Abdominoplasty, which is a nice added benefit. However, previous upper abdominal scars may seriously interfere with wound healing and this will be discussed with you at the time of your consultation.
Will this assist after weight reduction?
Patients who have been obese and then lose weight, frequently have a large apron of skin and fat and this is seen in men and women alike. This can be corrected with a procedure called an abdominal lipectomy which removes, not only the excess tummy, but the love handles and excess skin on the back.
What if there is fat, but the skin is smooth and has good tone?
In this case you are probably a candidate for liposuction. While some liposuction is done in almost all Abdominoplasty, the big question is whether liposuction alone can solve the problem. Only a consultation and examination can provide you with that answer.
How long does it take to recover?
Whilst vigorous activities are limited for 6 weeks, many patients are able to return to work within 10 –14 days.
This information is not intended as medical advice.
Any medical questions should be discussed with your surgeon as part of the decision making process.