Abdominoplasty – Tummy Tuck
Sequential weight gain and loss and genetic features lead to various deformities in the abdominal region. Apart from these, especially pregnancy can also cause a deformity due to relaxation of abdominal muscles and loss of skin tone.
If your abdominal skin has lost its flexibility and sags, abdominoplasty is performed to remove excess skin and fats.
Abdominoplasty is the most popular surgical procedure in body shaping and it is performed to correct and eliminate sagging abdominal skin, stretch marks, and deformities. With this surgery, the loose and sagging skin of the lower abdomen is removed and the abdominal muscles are concomitantly stretched.
Why is the abdominoplasty procedure done?
The abdominal region is the pioneering body part, where excess fat is stored. Excess fat collection in this area over time causes loss of elasticity in the skin and therefore leads to excess skin formation. The muscles and connective tissue that support the abdominal region weaken and lengthen due to this abnormal load.
In addition to the negative influences of weight gain and loss cycles, pregnancy also has adverse effects on the skin, muscles and supportive tissues of the abdominal area.
As a result of all these processes, abdominal skin sags under influence of the gravity force.
Abdominoplasty is done to remove excess belly skin and accumulated fat. Thus, appearance is improved and your belly looks smooth and firm.
At the same time, the stretch marks, which result from pregnancy and weight loss and gain, are removed.
Although incisions made for the cesarean sections are hidden in the bikini area, incision scars can also be removed during abdominoplasty.
Abdominoplasty can be combined with other cosmetic procedures that target another body part, such as breast augmentation, breast lift (mastopexy), or liposuction. The procedure is called "Mommy Makeover" and performed to restore and improve the appearance of a mother after childbirth, weight gain and breastfeeding.
You should discuss the aim of abdominoplasty with our plastic surgeon in order to get the most realistic and satisfactory outcomes.
As the case for all surgeries, there are some risks involved in abdominoplasty.
Although all possible measures that modern medicine allows are taken to prevent occurrence of risks, it is no means possible to warrant that the risks will be completely eliminated.
Patient selection is also important in tummy tuck. Abdominoplasty may not be performed if a future pregnancy is planned, the volume of fat accumulation in the abdomen is extremely high and overall health does not allow a surgical procedure. Such contraindications will be considered carefully by your doctor.
Potential complications of abdominoplasty are listed below:
- Bleeding and blood accumulation beneath the incision line (hematoma)
- Abnormal scar tissue formation
- Loss or change of sensation (numbness) in the abdominal skin
- Fluid accumulation in the incision area (seroma)
- Unsatisfactory outcome
- Anesthesia-related complications
Our expert surgery team will employ all practices to minimize the risk of complications and our plastic surgeons will preoperatively inform you about risks listed above and all other potential complications and will address all your concerns.
The first phase of preoperative preparation is same in all Medicana Hospitals. After you decide to have a tummy tuck and discuss with our plastic surgeons, following examinations are performed to decide whether you can undergo this surgery:
- Review of health history
- A detailed physical examination
- Necessary laboratory tests and radiology studies
- Assessment by anesthesiologist and other laboratory tests and radiology studies to minimize anesthesia-related complications
After it is verified that the surgery does not pose risk, you will be asked to quit smoking, if you are a smoker, and to stop taking certain medications that increase risk of bleeding. All other prescribed and over-the-counter medications, herbal products and supplements will also be questioned and you will be informed to continue or stop taking them.
A preoperative discussion with your plastic surgeon about abdominoplasty is very important. You are asked to think about a series of issues and you are also informed in detail about the procedure. All details of the procedure, potential risks and healing period are explained.
You will also be instructed to stop eating and drinking at a particular time before the surgery and you should strictly follow this instruction in order to undergo the surgery at the scheduled date.
Moreover, it is reasonable to plan discharge, post-discharge accommodation and travel at this phase in order to manage postoperative period better.
Surgery and early postoperative period
Abdominoplasty is performed by an expert plastic surgery team under general anesthesia. Therefore, you will be unconscious during the surgery and you will feel nothing, including pain. The procedure takes approximately 3 hours.
As various surgical techniques are available, your plastic surgeon will determine the best abdominoplasty technique and you will preoperatively be informed about details.
Excess skin and accumulated fats in the belly are removed. Then, abdominal muscles, supportive tissues and the fascia – a membrane that covers abdominal muscles - are stretched and tightened.
As a result of excess skin and fat removal, the position of your belly button may change and accordingly, the belly button is transferred to or near the original position.
The incisions made for this surgery are hidden through the natural crease of the skin.
When the surgery is completed, small drains are placed as a precaution against bleeding risk. The suture line will be covered with wound dressing. You will be notified about the time the drains will be removed, the dressing is done and the stitches are removed. If absorbable stitches are used, it is not necessary to remove the suture.
After you recover from anesthesia and you are ready to walk, you will be mobilized by or under supervision of our healthcare professionals.
You will be given pain killer(s) after the surgery in order to manage the postoperative pain. The swelling in and around the incision line will regress over time. You may also need to use antibiotics to prevent a possible infection.
The scar tissue that forms along the incision line will fade over time, but its color will never be identical to your skin tone.
If your plastic surgeon used non-absorbable stitches and placed a drain to prevent the accumulation of excess fluid and/or blood beneath the incision line, your doctor will instruct you the date they will be removed (usually the first postoperative follow-up visit).
What you need to do to protect your surgical area will be explained in detail. In addition, you will need to avoid heavy lifting and quick movements for a time interval that your plastic surgeon determines to prevent the occurrence of wound dehiscence.
After abdominoplasty, you will wear a corset for a particular period that your doctor has indicated. It is very important that you follow all the instructions of your doctor after the surgery to protect and support the outcome of the surgery.
You should visit your plastic surgeon for follow-up visits that are scheduled before you are discharged.
If you experience warmth and redness in your incision line or breast, or if you have a fever or any symptoms that you think are due to surgery after you are discharged, contact your plastic surgeon immediately.
Your belly will appear firm and well-shaped after excess skin and fat are removed.
If you follow your doctor's instructions carefully and avoid weight gain, this improved appearance of the belly will last for a long time.
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