If You’re Considering Abdominoplasty…
Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen.
The best candidates are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by fat or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. Loss of skin elasticity, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved.
An incision just above the pubic area is used to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen.
Skin is separated from the abdominal wall all the way up to the ribs.
The surgeon draws underlying muscle and tissue together and stitches them, thereby narrowing the waistline and strengthening the abdominal wall.
Abdominal skin is drawn down and excess is removed. With complete abdominoplasty, a new opening is cut for the navel. Both incisions are stitched closed.
After surgery, the patient has a flatter, trimmer abdomen. Scars are permanent, but will fade with time.
Abdominoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them during you consultation.
Planning Your Surgery
In your initial consultation, Dr. Ameer will evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal region, and carefully assess your skin and muscle tone. Be open in discussing your expectations. Dr. Ameer will work with you to recommend the procedure that is right for you and will come closest to producing the desired body contour.
If the fat or excess skin are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a partial abdominoplasty, also know as a mini-tummy tuck. For many of Dr. Ameer’s patients, liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips in conjunction with abdominoplasty may be added for a better body contour. Or, it may be suggested liposuction alone would create the best result.
You will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins, and medications. If you smoke, plan to quit at least two to three weeks before your surgery and not to resume for at least two months after your surgery.
In a full abdominoplasty, Dr. Ameer will make an incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved.
Next, Dr. Ameer separates the skin from the abdominal wall to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. The abdominal muscles are tightened by being pulled together and then sutured into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.
The extra skin is removed and the skin flap is pulled down and sutured in place. A new hole is cut for your navel. A temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.
After Your Surgery
All patients who undergo abdominoplasty will be required to stay over night with a sitter. For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you’re likely to feel some pain and discomfort. You will be given instructions for showering and will be asked to sleep in a modified position. To keep the lower abdominal incision in place you will not be able to stand straight for the first couple weeks.
It may take you a few weeks to feel normal. If you start out in top physical condition with strong abdominal muscles, recovery from abdominoplasty will be much faster. Most patients are able return to work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate.