Abdominoplasty & Tummy tuck
Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that helps flatten the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin. It also tightens the muscle. The best candidates for abdominoplasty are non-smokers who are in the good physical condition and at a stable weight. They will also have pockets of fat or loose skin that has not responded well to diet and exercise. Abdominoplasty is an appropriate procedure for slightly obese people who have lost elasticity in their skin and for women whose skin and muscles have been stretched from pregnancy. Women who are planning to have more children or anyone planning on losing a significant amount of weight should wait before undergoing abdominoplasty. Many patients undergo abdominoplasty after pregnancy or bariatric surgery.
A partial abdominoplasty, or mini-tummy tuck, is a less invasive procedure with shorter incisions. It is ideal for those patients with fat localized in the lower part of the abdomen. The procedure produces less scarring and a shorter recovery time.
During the abdominoplasty procedure, the patient is placed under general anesthesia. Abdominoplasty operations vary in scope and are frequently subdivided into categories.
In general, a complete (or full) abdominoplasty follows these steps
- An incision is made from hip to hip just above the pubic area.
- Another incision is made to free the navel from the surrounding skin.
- The skin is detached from the abdominal wall to reveal the muscles and fascia to be tightened. The muscle fascia wall is tightened with sutures.
- Liposuction is often used to refine the transition zones of the abdominal sculpture.
- A dressing and sometimes a compression garment is applied and any excess fluid from the site is drained.
A partial (or mini) abdominoplasty proceeds as follows:
- A smaller incision is made.
- The skin and fat of the lower abdomen are detached in a more limited fashion from the muscle fascia. The skin is stretched down and excess skin removed.
- Sometimes the belly button stalk is divided from the muscle below and the belly button slid down lower on the abdominal wall.
- Sometimes a portion of the abdominal muscle fascia wall is tightened.
- Liposuction is often used to contour the transition zone.
- The flap is stitched back into place.
An extended abdominoplasty is a complete abdominoplasty plus a lateral thigh lift. The resulting scar runs from the posterior auxiliary line (when placing your open hands on your hips, the thumbs lie along the posterior auxiliary line.) The operation does all of the abdominal contouring of a complete abdominoplasty and allows further improvement of the flank (waist), as well as smoothing the contour of the upper lateral thigh.
High lateral tension tummy tuck
This is an advanced technique that takes a little more than four and half hours to perform. Conventional abdominoplasty tightens muscles in a vertical line. In this new method, known as high lateral tension abdominoplasty, in addition to vertical-line tightening, muscles are tightened horizontally. The final result with this technique is a dramatically flat abdomen with a significantly better-defined waistline.
Floating Abdominoplasty or FAB Technique
This new technique, also known as an extended mini abdominoplasty, allows for tightening and shaping through a smaller incision that isn’t placed around the belly button. Through this smaller incision, excess skin is removed and the belly button is temporarily detached, floating above the muscles during this process. The muscles are tightened and reshaped from sternum to the pubic area. The skin is then tightened and the belly button is reattached or moved down one or two cm if desired. Liposuction may also be performed to achieve desirable results.
Circumferential abdominoplasty is an extended abdominoplasty plus a buttock lift. The resulting scar runs all the way around the body, and the operation is also called a Belt Lipectomy or lower body lift. This operation is most appropriate for patients who have undergone massive weight loss.
Abdominoplasty can be combined with liposuction to make a lipotuck, which performs body contouring around the hips, thighs, and buttocks. It can also be combined with liposuction contouring, breast reduction, breast lift, or occasionally hysterectomy, depending on the reason for the hysterectomy. A popular name for breast enhancement procedures performed in conjunction with an abdominoplasty is a 'mommy makeover'.
- Depends on the problem to be treated, surgical technique(s), and other factors. Can take one to four weeks and patients are advised to take at least a portion of this recovery time off from work.
- Heavy lifting is best avoided during this time.
- Initially, there may be bruising and discomfort.
- A supportive abdominal binder or compression garment can minimize swelling/bruising, and support the repaired tissues. This compression garment is also effective in helping the skin in the treated area conform to its new shape.
- Patients are advised to avoid all forms of nicotine for a month or longer prior to surgery and also during the recovery period.
- Full recovery takes 3–6 months, with further fading of scars thereafter. Scars may appear red and prominent at first, but with proper care, they heal into a thin, silvery line.