Are you unable to get a flexed tummy with exercise and diet? If you have too much fat on your abdomen, you may consider getting an abdominoplasty.
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What is Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty, commonly called a tummy tuck, is a major surgery for removing excess fat and skin from the abdomen. It is used to improve the shape and appearance of the abdomen by creating a more toned look of the remaining skin. Moreoever, it tightens the muscles in your abdominal wall.
What are Benefits of Abdominoplasty?
- Improves the posture
- Reduces Urinary Incontinence
- Reduces back discomfort
- Helps in correcting Ventral Hernia
- Aids in weight loss
- Cosmetic benefits like reducing stretch marks and removal of excess or aging skin
Who needs Abdominoplasty?
Primarily, abdominoplasty surgery removes the excess fat and skin to improve the abdomen’s appearance. There are several reasons for having extra weight and weakened connective tissue in the abdomen, which includes:-
- Significant changes in weight
- Abdominal surgery, like C-section
- Natural body type
Abdominoplasty surgery can remove this extra fat and tighten the weak fascia. It can also help to remove stretch marks in the lower abdomen under the belly button
How is Abdominoplasty done?
Depending on the results you want, abdominoplasty can be of 3 types:
- This option is most suitable for patients who need the most correction.
- First, the surgeon will make a cut at the bikini line, just above the pubic area.
- The surgeon will then remove the fatty tissues and loosen the skin in your abdomen to make it flatter.
- They will also make an incision around your navel to free it from the surrounding tissues.
Partial or Mini Abdominoplasty
- Mini abdominoplasty is done with shorter incisions for people with less excess skin.
- The procedure takes about two hours.
- The surgeon does not move your belly button in this procedure.
- They will separate your skin between the line of incision and your belly button.
- This surgery includes the removal of excess fat in the back area.
- You may either have liposuction or a circumferential abdominoplasty when excess fat is on both the abdomen and the back.
- The cuts will then be closed with stitches and a bandage. The surgeon may also place drainage tubes under your skin which are removed after a few days or as the surgeon seems fit.
Please Note: The selection of the abdominoplasty procedure is based on your condition and the doctor’s opinion.
What Can You Expect Before the Surgery?
- Before the surgery, the doctor will advise you for a pre-anaesthetic checkup.
- Inform your doctor about your medical history and the medicines you are taking, including drugs, herbs, and supplements.
- You would need to stop smoking from at least two weeks before the surgery to two weeks after the surgery.
- They will provide you with dietary advice, including well-balanced, complete meals to accelerate the healing process.
- Plus, your surgeon will instruct you to stop taking blood thinners like aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories.
- They will briefly inform you about the surgical procedure, duration of the surgery and the hospital stay, estimated cost, and other insurance formalities.
What Can You Expect on the Day of Surgery?
- On the day of the surgery, you’ll be asked to sign the consent formalities.
- The staff will inform you to change your clothes and remove every piece of jewellery from your body.
- They will also shave the surgical site.
- The doctor will record your last meal and give a specific medicine with a sip of water.
- After monitoring your vitals, like blood pressure and breathing, the team will shift you to the OT room.
What Can You Expect During the Surgery?
- Once in the OT room, you will be made to relax on the operating table.
- The medical team will start an IV (intravenous) line for anaesthesia, fluids, and medications in your arms.
- Next, you will receive general anaesthesia to make you sleep during the procedure.
- Someone from the team will clean the surgical site with an antiseptic solution.
- Your vitals, including blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing, will be monitored throughout the procedure.
- Then, the surgeon will make the cuts and remove the excess fat.
- After the procedure is done, the surgeon will close the incisions with staples or sutures and put a bandage on the wound.
What is Recovery and Post Op. Care after Abdominoplasty?
Recovery at Hospital
- After the abdominoplasty surgery, you’ll be shifted to a recovery room where the team will monitor your vitals.
- Once your vitals stabilise, they will shift you to a hospital ward or room.
- Members of the medical team will help you walk the first day after the surgery to prevent the formation of blood clots.
- The doctor may also prescribe pain medications and antibiotics to relieve the pain and prevent infections.
- Someone from the team will show you how to empty and care for the drains left in place to drain excess fluid.
- You’ll have to wear an abdominal garment or belly binder for around six weeks after your abdominoplasty.
- Depending on the surgery, your doctor will discharge you from the hospital 1 to 3 days after the surgery and provide home care and follow-up instructions.
- You may need someone to take you home.
Recovery at Home
- Abdominoplasty recovery can take around 6 to 8 weeks.
- Use an ice compress to minimise the pain and swelling.
- Stay lightly bent at the waist.
- Avoid any exhausting physical activity or exercise for 4 to 6 weeks, or as the doctor suggests.
- Do not forget to follow all the instructions provided by the doctor.
First Follow-Up Appointment
Your first follow-up appointment will be 7 to 14 days after the surgery to remove the drains. Your doctor will examine your tummy during the visit to check the healing process and remove your stitches. Moreover, they will provide you with further follow-up and care instructions.
What are Risks and Complications of Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty recovery can take several weeks. However, there are some risks of the surgery. You may be more prone to complications if you smoke or have lung, heart, or liver diseases. Risks of the surgery can include:-
- Hematoma (blood outside the blood vessels)
- Seroma (accumulation of fluid)
- Blood clots
- Poor wound healing
- Fat necrosis (injured fatty tissue)
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some Myths and Facts about Abdominoplasty?
- Myth: Liposuction and abdominoplasty are the same.
Fact: Many people believe that liposuction and abdominoplasty are the same procedure or that they need to be performed simultaneously. But, the truth is that they both have different concerns. While liposuction removes only the excess fat, abdominoplasty removes excess skin and reconstructs the abdomen muscles.
- Myth: Abdominoplasty is a weight loss procedure.
Fact: Though abdominoplasty helps remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen, it is not a weight-loss procedure. Abdominoplasty will not cause you a drastic drop in your weight. In fact, you need to be close to your ideal weight to qualify for the surgery.