Abdominoplasty and skin necrosis
Abdominoplasty is the medical term we use to describe the procedure performed to improve the appearance of the abdomen by eliminating excess skin. During abdominoplasty, the plastic surgeon will strengthen the loose abdominal muscles with sutures, correct umbilical hernia, and remove the skin folds that are present on the lower part of the tummy. This type of procedure is usually recommended for people who have lost a lot of weight either after bariatric surgery or as a result of another weight loss program, but it is also a good option for patients who had multiple pregnancies or have been affected by weight fluctuations.
Abdominoplasty is the procedure we use to improve the appearance of the tummy when the skin has lost elasticity and there is considerable sagginess. This is also the main difference between enhancing the tummy with liposuction versus abdominoplasty. Liposuction only addresses the layer of fat that is under the skin in the abdominal area while abdominoplasty eliminates the excess skin that is saggy.
The tummy tuck is a more complex and invasive procedure compared to abdominal liposuction. The procedure should always be performed by a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon in a hospital or accredited medical facility. When performed following a strict surgical protocol and with all the safety measures in place, the tummy tuck often delivers impressive results and is associated with few potential complications. However, more than the skills of the plastic surgeon, the patient’s post-op behavior can make all the difference in terms of avoiding the complications that can occur after the tummy tuck.
The complications that can be associated with abdominoplasty are common to all surgeries such as the development of blood clots, excessive bleeding, seromas, hematomas, infections, and complications related to the use of general anesthesia. Aside from these, there is also the risk of skin necrosis after abdominoplasty.
Skin necrosis can occur during the healing stage and is a rare complication. If it happens, sometimes another surgical procedure might be recommended. However, in a vast majority of cases, the skin necrosis that occurs are small in size and can be treated with the patient under a local anesthetic.
Another type of necrosis that can occur after the tummy tuck surgery is umbilical necrosis. This is a more severe complication and additional surgical interventions might be required for the reconstruction of the navel.
The risk of skin necrosis can be minimized if the patient is committed to following the indications of the plastic surgeon, especially the ones related to smoking and post-op care. Smoking is to be avoided for at least three to six weeks before the procedure is performed and for the same amount of time after the intervention. This indication is important as smoking can interfere with the healing process and can cause skin necrosis.