How does Abdominoplasty differ from Liposuction?
Unlike liposuction surgery, which only removes fat by suction, abdominoplasty involves surgical removal of skin and fat, with tightening of the abdominal muscles. For this reason, the procedure is more extensive than liposuction. The actual extent of surgery will depend on the amount of excess skin and the laxity of the abdominal muscles. In many cases a Lipoabdominoplasty, ie liposuction in conjunction with abdominoplasty is performed.
If marked weight loss has occurred, large skin folds may make skin care and quality of life very difficult. In this case a procedure called a panniculectomy may be more appropriate. Body contouring procedures are not designed to totally correct obesity and a stable weight must be achieved before undertaking either of these procedures.
Am I an ideal Candidate for AbdominoplastySurgery ?
- Adults with the above abdominal problems, of any age who are in good health, moderately fit and overall have good muscle tone are ideal candidates for a tummy tuck.
- Candidate should not have any serious medical conditions.
- Non smokers have an increased risk of complications.
- Previous abdominal surgery may limit the potential results of tummy tuck.
- Women who have undergone Caesarean section have the opportunity to have the existing scar revised.
- Patients whose weight has been stabilised after weight loss program or feel they are at their ideal weight are also good candidates for a tummy tuck.
When not to proceed with an Abdominoplasty
A tummy tuck will enhance your figure and your self-confidence, it is not likely to change your life or the way people treat you. A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or exercise program. Patients who are planning substantial weight loss or women who are considering future pregnancies may be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.
- Abdominal scars above the umbilicus (restricts blood supply to abdominalflap)
- Severe Obesity
- Likely or planned future pregnancy
- Medical conditions prohibitingelective surgery
- Unrealistic expectations
Types of Abdominoplasty
Where excess skin and fat both below and above the umbilicus has to be removed a full abdominoplasty is performed and then the umbilicus is re-sited. Once the skin and fat of the abdomen is lifted up, the muscles of the abdomen are tightened to improve the contour.
When excess skin and fat below the umbilicus is removed without disturbing the position of the umblicus.
Fleur delis Abdominoplasty
Where abdominoplasty involves excision of excess skin and fat from the abdomen both in a vertical and horizontal dimension it is known as Fleur delis Abdominoplasty. This surgery is indicated for severely obese patients or for those after massive weight loss.
When excess skin and fat above the umbilicus is removed without disturbing its position.
When liposuction is combined with a tummy tuck to improve contour. Liposuction will help remove excess flank or hip fat with the objective of providing a flatter and more ‘hour glass’ shape figure.
The First Consultation
The first consultation will help to understand your goals and expectations from your surgery and determine if they can be achieved realistically. All details of the surgery and risks or complications involved will be discussed and explained.
It is important for you to provide complete information about your past medical history, any medical illness, drug allergies, previous surgeries including breast biopsies, and medications that you currently take. It is recommended that you stabilize your weight prior to surgery.
General Guidelines prior to a Tummy Tuck
- Pre-Operative Photographs will be taken.
- Obtain laboratory testing or a medical evaluation
- Pre-operative Anaesthetic assessment for fitness for surgery
- Agreement to proceed with the surgery by signing an informed Consent Form
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they increase risk of bleeding.
- Maintain a stable weight for 2 months prior to the date of surgery.
Your abdominoplasty operation should ideally be performed in an accredited major hospital under general anaesthesia . Abdominoplasty is a procedure in which the protruding, loose, sagging or pendulous skin of the abdomen is corrected by surgical excision. The area to be treated usually addresses the lower and central abdomen but occasionally may extend to the rib cage sides. A low transverse incision, similar to a caesarean incision is used to lift the excess fat and skin off the abdominal muscles. The length of the incision, which extends laterally toward the pelvic bones, depends largely on the amount of skin to be removed. The incision scar is hidden within the bikini lines, but please note that this may not always be possible.
Patients are sent home 1-2 days after the procedure, to follow up at around the 5th day for removal of any drains.
Bruising, swelling and discomfort after surgery usually subsides in 2- 4 weeks. Your abdominal skin will be tight after surgery and you may have to walk stooped for a few days till the existing skin stretches. Wounds normally heal in 1- 2 weeks. It is recommended to wear an abdominal support for the first 6 weeks. Once all swelling and bruising has subsided you should expect a flatter, more shapely abdomen.
Typically patients can return to work approximately 2-3 weeks after the surgery and can start light walking exersizes in 3 weeks but should wait for approximately 2 months before heavy exercising/lifting weights. Patients will experience a numb feeling in their abdomen for a few months after their surgery. Abdominoplasty scars normally take 3 months to a year for healing, and usually heal well. The extent of scarring depends on the extent of the surgery that is performed. The scars are kept hidden well within the bikini line in most cases barring rare exceptions. At times, the scar may get thickened and itchy (hypertrophic scar) for which treatment is given.
The removal and re-draping of abdominal skin sometimes requires the permanent repositioning of the belly button. This may leave a scar around the belly button.
For most patients the final results of the abdominoplasty will not be apparent for up to 4 to 6 months after the procedure. During this period it is important that scars are not exposed to excessive sunlight, which could lead to darkening and increased visibility of the scar tissue.