Abdominoplasty

In order to design a limp abdomen with excessive fat and skin (usually after pregnancy and delivery, or after extreme weight loss) a tummy tuck can be performed.

The results from such an operation are highly impressive, and most certainly improve body shape and quality of life. During the pre-surgical consultation, the patient undergoes a physical exam, in which she or he is evaluated for skin quality, quantity of excess skin, signs of abdominal tension, quality of abdominal muscles, scars from previous abdominal surgeries, and suspicion of abdominal hernia (which can be corrected in the same surgery). Furthermore, an emphasis is placed on the total body and abdomen structure, shape of umbilicus, shape of hips, inner thigh region and pelvis that frequently “droop” with age. Before the surgery, the patient must provide the relevant medical work-up, such as complete blood count, ECG, and chest x-ray. Additional medical tests will be asked for based on specific patient requirements.

Abdominoplasty in performed under general anesthesia in a hospital setting, and requires overnight hospitalization for observation. Duration of surgery is approximately 2 hours. During the surgery, the umbilicus is disconnected from its original location. Through a horizontal excision along the lower abdomen, excess fat and skin is excised, and abdominal musculature is tightened. This tightening is performed in order to restore the slim shape of the waist. At times, and for a fine final touch, liposuction is performed on the lower waist region. Closure of the incision is achieved via internal absorbable sutures, with no need for their removal. Finally, the umbilicus is relocated to its new site. It should be noted that at the end of the surgery, the patient is left with surgical drains that collect accumulated fluid within the operation site. These drains remain in place for a few days after surgery, after which they are removed in the clinic. The patient leaves the operating room “wrapped” with an abdominal belt. It is necessary to wear this belt for a month. After the surgery, there will be scarring around the umbilicus and lower abdomen (below the “bikini” line).

Stomach Stretch

The nature of scarring varies among patients, and in most part is determined by family genetics. In some cases, unsightly excess scar tissue develops – this is called “keloid” scarring. In this case, the scar can be treated conservatively by numerous means.

It is recommended that the patient arrive to surgery after having quit smoking for at least a month, along with safe blood pressure measurements, and normal blood sugar. Patients who have lost large amounts of weight should have their iron and albumin levels checked and evaluated.

Abdominoplasty can be performed from the age of 18 and older. If pregnancy is planned in the near future, one must take into consideration that an additional surgery may be necessary after pregnancy to achieve the desired aesthetic results. Any weight fluctuation of 5 kg or more after surgery may impact the shape of the abdomen.

Mini-abdominoplasty

This surgery is similar to complete abdominoplasty. The length of scar post-surgery is slightly smaller. The goal of this surgery is to remove excess fat and skin below the umbilical line, and is suitable only for mildly excessive skin in the lower abdominal region. This surgery is also performed under general anesthesia, but recovery is shorter than after complete abdominoplasty.

In some cases, in order to remove great amounts of excessive skin, a vertical scar may be added at the center of the lower abdomen.

Recovery from this surgery is accompanied by tenderness, swelling and edema, bruising, and possible discrepancies in sensation along the stomach and front thighs.
It is advised that the patient refrain from physical activity for 2 weeks post surgery, and avoid sleeping on the stomach for at least a month.

It is recommended that the patient avoid lying down for excessive amounts of time after surgery in order to minimize the chances of suffering from deep vein thrombosis.

Final results will be apparent after several months, and certainly only after all swelling and edema have gone down, and the overlying skin has contracted. It is advised to start athletic and physical activity approximately 3 weeks after surgery in order to enhance results.

Complications of surgery are rare, and they include:

  1. Bleeding that may necessitate drainage in the operating room
  2. Seroma formation- accumulation of fluid from the surgical site that may be drained in the clinic
  3. Hypertrophic or keloid scarring
  4. Inflammation and slow recovery
  5. Opening of sutures
  6. Deep vein thrombosis, and possible pulmonary embolism. Certain measurements are taken to minimize the chances of this happening, which include short duration of general anesthesia, and post-surgery “pneumatic” stockings that massage the legs and improve circulation.
  7. Necessity for additional surgery in order to repair or improve results

»To view pictures “before after” Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery»