bdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck” is a major surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the abdominal wall muscles. The procedure usually results in a flatter, tighter abdominal area where fitted clothing and bathing suits can be worn with confidence.
The best candidates for the procedure are men and women who are healthy, but who are bothered by loose abdominal skin, loose abdominal muscles and overhanging fat.
The procedure is most commonly performed on women who, after multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can’t return to normal. Patients who plan future pregnancies or significant weight loss should postpone surgery.
The scars are permanent, usually extending from hip to hip. Sometimes, depending upon the extent of work required, a partial abdominoplasty is performed, leaving a smaller scar.
At your initial consultation, Dr. James Matas will discuss your goals and motivations for surgery, along with assessing your physical and emotional health and reviewing information you provide about previous surgeries and pregnancies, past and current medical conditions, as well as nutritional supplements, herbal remedies and pharmaceutical medications you take.
He will examine your abdominal region, assessing the amount of fat and loose skin you have. He will explain factors that may affect outcome, along with the risks and benefits of the procedure.
He may require you to take certain steps before surgery, including guidelines on eating, drinking, smoking and taking certain medications and vitamins. When necessary, he may ask you to lose weight before the procedure is performed to obtain best results.
First, an incision is made which extends from hipbone to hipbone and is just above the pubic area. An additional incision is made around the navel. Then, the skin and accompanying fat is lifted to access the muscles of the abdominal wall, which run from pubic hairline to just below the bra line. These muscles are brought together and tightened by permanent sutures. The skin, with attached fat, is stretched down and removed. The navel is then repositioned and stitched into place. Finally, the incisions are brought together with several layers of suture and surgical staples.
In a “mini” tummy tuck, the skin is separated between the incision line and the navel. The skin and accompanying fat is stretched down, excess skin is removed and then stitched into place.
Abdominoplasty surgery usually takes three to four hours to complete, and is performed under general anesthesia. An overnight stay is necessary, with our specially-trained registered nurse responsible for your care until you are discharged the following morning.
For the first few days, your abdominal muscles will be extremely tight, with swelling, pain and discomfort, and you may find it difficult to stand up straight during this time. Over the first week, all support staples and sutures will be removed from your abdomen. You will be wearing an abdominal binder for support during the next few weeks.
Over several weeks, our licensed massage therapist will use
a special massage technique to reduce your swelling and
increase your mobility.
In two weeks, you can usually go back to light work. After several weeks, bruising and swelling will subside and you may gradually increase your activity and exercise. Vigorous exercise is to be avoided for six to eight weeks.
Your scars will be red during the initial months, and should lighten in color and flatten within the first year. It is important to protect your scars for one year from the sun and tanning beds to prevent them from darkening. Abdominal scarring is permanent, but hidden under most clothing and bathing suits. Your Patient Care Kit will include bioCorneum plus SPF 30, a silicone based scar reducer that is highly effective when used as directed.
After abdominoplasty, your abdomen will be flatter and tighter. You’ll be thrilled during your first shopping trip to find you fit into clothing and bathing suits you’ve had trouble wearing before! And the results of abdominoplasty are permanent if you do not have excessive weight gain in the future.
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