Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty
My dearest patient,
A tummy tuck is a procedure by which the tummy is rejuvenated to give a more attractive appearance. During this procedure excess fat and skin is removed and the inner lining of the tummy is tightened. The process of body contouring may also involve limited liposuction to give a more attractive appearance to the tummy.
During the aging process and pregnancy the tummy skin and inner support stretches. Stretch marks, fat, midline stretching and hanging skin are all addressed during a tummy tuck.
During the preoperative consultation I will discuss the surgical incisions, scars, necessary to perform the procedure. I would recommend that you bring your favourite swimsuit or underwear to the second consultation and the morning of the operation. This will assist us in placing the cuts in the most aesthetically pleasing position, hidden as much as possible.
There are largely two major types of tummy tucks. Both these procedures are modified to address particular concerns in each patient. Generally a complete abdominoplasty involves a cut from one hip bone to the other. The skin, tissue and muscle will then be contoured as needed. The surgery would involve moving your belly button and you will need drainage tubes. The skin at the cut will have a puckered or purse string appearance which will completely settle by one year.
The partial or mini-abdominoplasty is most often performed in patients that have a small amount of fat and skin below the navel. The procedure is a smaller procedure and often times it may not be necessary to reposition the belly button.
For the rest the long scar is hidden as much as possible in one of the natural lines of the body.
In order to perform the procedure correctly it will be necessary to recreate a new belly button to accommodate the removal of the excess skin and fat. Thus a completely new belly button will be created. It is important that we discuss preoperatively the size of the new belly button most suitable for you.
In the mini- tummy tuck it may not be necessary to reposition the belly button.
The tummy skin will be lifted and pulled down to create a flatter tummy. In addition the inner layer or fascia deep in the tummy will be tightened to give a flatter appearance to the tummy and to bring the six pack muscles closer in the midline.
We may also choose to perform some liposuction to improve the general appearance of the tummy. During liposuction you may experience extensive bruising and some leaking of fluid from the tiny incisions.
You will have 2 drains after the procedure that remain for about 10 to 14 days.
You may need an addition procedure to correct small deformities like asymmetries or dog ears which may arise. This would be excess skin at the ends of the long cuts, most often seen in patients not at their ideal body weight.
Tummy tucks are indicated in the following patients:
-Excess skin, fat and laxity of the lower abdomen
-Men and women who are in good health
-After pregnancy to tighten the abdominal muscles and remove excess skin
-Men and women who have lost a lot of weight and are suffering from loose skin or excess fat deposits.
A tummy tuck should not be performed on the following patients:
Patient who have had
-Multiple previous abdominal surgeries
-Wanting to have another pregnancy
-Not at your ideal body weight
-Excess intra-abdominal fat, thus fat inside the tummy and not on the outer layers. A tummy tuck can only address the outside layers and not the inside fat. Inside fat will adversely affect a tummy tuck as the pressure from inside adversely affects the outside surgery and results.
-Chronic illnesses such as sugar diabetes, heart or lung disease, connective tissue diseases, wound healing disorders or any other medication or conditions that suppress the immune system e.g. Steroids
-A personal or family history of bleeding and clotting abnormalities.
-Men and women that are planning to lose a lot of weight and not currently at their ideal weight. Should you gain or lose a lot of weight after a tummy tuck the fat will accumulate below and above the scar as the scar creates a fixed point. A large change in weight after a tummy tuck results in a very poor result.
-Patients suffering from depression, anxiety or any psychiatric conditions.
Below follows a brief description of what you can expect during your tummy tuck procedure
One month prior to surgery you should…..
-Avoid aspirin, blood thinning agents, green tea, herbal preparations and garlic.
-Please stop smoking. Smoking results in poor wound healing, infections and skin death.
Before the operation…..
You should not eat or drink for 12 hours prior to surgery.
Please arrive at the hospital at 6 am unless otherwise instructed. From the admissions desk you will be directed to the ward for admission and preparation.
The anaesthetist will visit you prior to the procedure to ensure that you are comfortable and safe during the procedure. The Anaesthetist may provide you with a tablet pre-operatively to calm you should you be nervous.I will meet you prior to the surgery for any necessary drawings, settle any nerves and answer any final questions.