Tummy tuck surgery
Tummy tuck surgery
Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or seperated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer. During the process a small amount of skin is cut, the belly button is diconnected to be repositioned and the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired. The skin is then pulled down and stitched.
This procedure is for people in good physical shape but with excess or loose abdominal skin, a protruding belly. weakened abdominal muscles due to pregnancy or ageing or excess fatty tissue in the abdominal skin.
If you are planning to have children or lose a lot of weight you should inform your surgeon. Any scars from previous procedures may limit the results of the tummy tuck although in some cases an old scar may be used to make new incisions. This is the case with scars from caesarian operations.
During the first appointment, the surgeon will evaluate your physical and emotional state and analyse your cosmetic objectives. You must be prepared to give the following information.
- Previous surgical procedures.
- Medical history.
- Medications that you are taking including herbal medicines or nutritional supplements.
The surgeon will study your abdomen and look at:
- The quality of the abdominal skin.
- Any scars from previous procedures.
- Quantity and location of excess fats.
- State of muscles.
Your surgeon may recommend other treatments which may be more effective in your case such as liposuction or a minor tummy tuck.
A full tummy tuck requires a horizontal incision in the area between the pubic hairline and the belly button. The shape and lengh of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin. For women, the incision will be done in the groin. Once the abdominal skin is lifted the underlying weakened abdominal muscles are repaired. A second incision around the naval may be necessary to remove excess skin from the upper abdomen. The upper abdominal skin is pulled down.
The excess skin is pulled tight and trimmed and then stitched together again. A new opening for the belly button is created and the belly button is popped through to the surface and stitched into position.
The tummy tuck is not the best option for everybody and your surgeon will advise you about alternatives.
The mini tummy tuck: This procedure may be sufficient if you are unhappy with the appearance of your abdomen below the belly button. It only requires a small horizontal incision.
This procedure will not correct loose skin above the belly button.
It is very important that you discuss any possible complications with your surgeon at the beginning of the process. These may include accumulation of liquid or blood or ulcers on the wound.
When the date for surgery is set, the surgeon will give you instructions for the days prior to surgery.
These will include the taking or avoiding of medications, no smoking before or after surgery and the need for help and special care after the procedure.
The procedure will be done in a hospital or clinic and you will be in hospital for 2 days. The procedure will be done under general anaesthetic.
Normally the abdomen will remain flat but the shape of the waist will be lost and the trunk will resemble a tube.
Yes, but this procedure is preferable for women who do not wish to have more children.
After the procedure small drainage tubes will be placed under the skin to prevent the accumulation of liquids. Any discomfort can be controlled using the prescribed medication. Adhesive bandages will cover the wound and on top of this there will be an elastic skirt.
At first you will not be able to stand but it´s advisable to do so as soon as possible to improve the blood circulation. Any sudden movement must be avoided. The best position for sleeping is on your back with knees raised.
Although each patient will be slightly different the healing process will follow certain stages:
During the first week:
- Drainage tubes and stitches will be removed.
- Swelling and bruising will be at their worst.
After a few weeks:
- After 5 – 6 weeks the corset will not need to be worn (consult with surgeon).
- Gradually, daily activity and exercise can be increased.
- Return to work (in the first 3 weeks).
- Bruising and swelling will disappear and results will start to be seen.
After a few months:
- The figure will begin to look like expected.
- The feeling of swelling and tightness wiill fade. The scar will slowly change colour although the whitening of the scar will take a year or more.
- In the months after surgery it is important to take great care of your skin, this means no exposure to sunlight and no wearing of black clothing outdoors. Black clothing absorbs heat and can interfere with the healing process.
Relatively soon after the procedure you will notice an important change in body shape. Patients are very satisfied to see that their abdomen is firmer and flatter, and they feel more comfortable when they dress.
The incision line will, over time, fade but there will always be a slight scar.
The results of the tummy tuck are long lasting and barring an important change in weight, the figure will last for many years. Over time the skin will lose rigidity and if this occurs your surgeon will be able to recommend an additional treatment to regain your stomach shape.
After the procedure you will have to continue seeing your doctor so that he or she can evaluate your progress. Your doctor will advise you on the frequency of these visits but usually they will be at 1 week, 4 weeks, 3 months and a year.
One of the most important factors in the success of the operation result is the surgeon that you have chosen to carry out the intervention.
Candidates: Patients without excess weight and with excess skin on the abdomen and/or weakened abdominal muscles due to pregnancy or weight loss.
Type of pain: Sense of stiffness in abdomen, feeling of torn muscle especially when sneezing, coughing or laughing. Pain similair to that of caesarian procedure.
Scars: From the belly button and in the pubic area extending towards the hips. In the mini tummy tuck the scars are in the pubic area.
Consequences: Numbness in the area between belly button and pubis.
VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO SMOKE
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