TUMMY TUCK (ABDOMINOPLASTY)
This tummy tuck procedure is used to flatten the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and can involve tightening the abdominal muscles and repositioning the umbilicus.
Suitability for Tummy Tuck Procedure
The best candidates for tummy tuck are those who have reached a stable weight after an appropriate diet and exercise regime. The procedure may be appropriate for you if you are concerned about loose lower abdominal skin, excess fat and/or lax abdominal muscles. Tummy tuck is not designed to treat stretch marks, though by default they may be partially removed by the excision of excess skin.
What possible complications can occur?
The most common complications of tummy tuck surgery are infection, bleeding (haematoma) and scarring. Other risks associated with this tummy tuck surgery include, but are not limited to, minor or major wound separation (dehisence), thrombosis leading to cardiac or pulmonary complications, asymmetry, seroma, fat or skin necrosis, pain, nerve damage resulting in altered sensation. Revision surgery may be required and it is not uncommon to require revision at the ends of the abdominal scars.
All of the above risks should be discussed thoroughly prior to surgery and any other concerns that you may have.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Tummy tuck is performed under general anaesthesia. A very dilute local anaesthetic is usually infiltrated into the fat layer as well to significantly reduce bleeding during the procedure and to assist with post-operative pain relief.
A horizontal incision is performed in the pubic region curving upward and outwards. The length of incision varies depending on the extent of surgery planned. Sometimes, a previous caesarean section scar may be used.
The loose skin and fat layer are elevated and muscle tightening can then be performed if necessary. The excess tissue is then removed. A tube may be inserted to drain any excess fluid away temporarily.
What should I expect after abdominoplasty surgery?
It is natural to experience pain (temporary), swelling, bruising and numbness after surgery. You may experience more tiredness than usual for weeks to months. Walking is encouraged as soon as possible, though vigorous exercise is not recommended for 4 to 6 weeks. A compression garment is recommended for 6 weeks. Your final result may not be achieved for many months.