All You Need To Know About Abdominoplasty Or Tummy Tuck Surgery
Procedures like abdominoplasty are becoming more common in India. It may be done as an elective/cosmetic procedure or as a medical necessity. If you or someone you know is planning a tummy tuck, you must have all the facts available to you. Here are the most important frequently asked questions about the procedure.
What is abdominoplasty?
It is a surgical procedure that is done to flatten the abdomen by removing extra skin and fat in that area and by tightening the muscles in the abdominal wall. The procedure removes excess weight and stretch marks on the skin making it desirable and often essential for those who have had children or have undergone gastric bypass and similar surgeries.
How does the process start?
At the initial consultation, the surgeon will do a physical examination and order any tests that may be required. The different types of abdominoplasty will be explained to you. Your expectations from the procedure and the benefits and possible risks will also be discussed.
What are the different types of abdominoplasty?
If only a minimal amount of fat and skin needs to be removed, it will be what is called a “mini tummy tuck.” If a larger amount is to be removed, a regular tummy tuck will be advised. In cases where there is an excessive amount of loose skin to be removed, a “fleur de lis” tummy tuck that involves both vertical and horizontal incisions will be recommended.
How is abdominoplasty different from liposuction?
A tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin and reconstructs the muscles under the area. Liposuction only removes (sucks) out fat but does not remove excess skin or reconstruct the underlying muscle.
How do you prepare for the surgery?
Preparation for the surgery may vary from person to person. That said, you will be asked to:
- Stop smoking (if you are a smoker). Smoking causes tissue damage and reduces blood flow both of which can slow recovery.
- Provide a list of any medications you are taking. You may be told to stop taking any that may have an adverse effect on the surgery. Your doctor may advise alternative medication if they are required.
- If you are severely overweight, you may be asked to lose some of it before the surgery so that the amount of fat to be removed surgically is reduced. If your weight regularly fluctuates, you will be asked to maintain it at a steady level for a few months before the procedure is done.
- Make arrangements for your safety and comfort after you return home. Your movements will be restricted for a time and you will need to rest and avoid strain. You may need to have someone available to help you during the recovery period.
What happens during the surgery?
- Depending on various medical parameters, the tummy tuck could be either an outpatient procedure or require you to be admitted to the hospital for a day or two.
- The procedure is done under general anesthesia.
- In a typical procedure, the surgeon will make incisions to remove the excess fat and skin between the belly button and the pubic area. The connective tissue over the abdominal muscles is tightened with sutures.
- The amount of fat and skin to be removed will determine the size and shape of the incision. Typically, the main incision is made above the pubic hair so the scar falls into the natural skin crease above the pubic area.
- The skin around the belly button will be repositioned to give a natural look. The belly button will be brought out through a small incision and sutured into its normal position.
- Antibiotics may be administered to prevent infection.
- The duration of the surgery will depend on the extent of the fat and skin to be removed, but it normally takes between 2 and 3 hours.
What happens after the surgery?
- Before leaving the operating theater, the incisions will be covered with surgical dressing. Small tubes may be placed in the incision site to drain off any accumulated blood or fluids.
- Normal post-surgical swelling will be present.
- You will be given pain and other medications prescribed by the surgeon.
- You will be asked to start walking as soon as possible, often on the day after the procedure. This is to prevent the formation of blood clots.
- The drain placed in the incision sites may be left in place for a few days.
- You may be asked to take blood-thinning medicines for a few days.
- You will need to wear an abdominal support garment for approximately 6 weeks after the surgery. This will help to protect the abdomen during the healing period.
- You will be given instructions on what you can do and what you cannot during the recovery period. This is to prevent the wound from reopening and to allow the muscles to heal completely.
- Regular follow-up visits to the doctor will need to be done until you are completely recovered.
Are the results of an abdominoplasty lasting?
Tummy tuck results are usually long-lasting as long as you are able to maintain a stable weight, get a reasonable amount of exercise and avoid unhealthy activities.
Abdominoplasty, while becoming increasingly common, is still a major surgical procedure. If it is being done out of medical necessity, the surgeon will give you all the information you need before the surgery. If it is an elective procedure, you must be completely sure that you want it before starting on the tummy tuck journey. What is given here is a general outline of the abdominoplasty procedure. Before going any further you must consult the doctors at the cosmetology department of a leading multispecialty hospital. The specialists here will answer all your questions and, after examining you and getting any required tests done, tell you all you need to know about the procedure and the results you can expect. Only the best cosmetic medicine specialists can give you the best results.
- Dec 29, 2022