The ABCs of abdominoplasty
The ABCs of abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty is a procedure desired and recommended for new mothers who are left with abdominal skin laxity after pregnancy and also men and women who have undergone massive weight loss. The procedure can also be performed on patients whose skin quality and muscle tonus is affected by the aging process and are now confronted with saggy skin on the inferior part of the tummy.
While abdominoplasty is a procedure rather commonly performed nowadays, there are still a lot of myths and legends associated with it. Some people still believe it is a substitute for bariatric surgery and that it can be used to lose weight. In this article, we will discuss the ABCs of abdominoplasty.
Abdominoplasty requires a period of about a month of preparation. During this time, the patient needs to adopt a healthy and balanced diet, to avoid taking birth control pills, anti-inflammatory medication and natural supplements. The preparation for the tummy tuck should also include talking to close friends and family members that will help you during the recovery period. It is important to discuss what will happen during recovery and when and where you need help so you can get it in time. Also, make sure to have someone driving you to and from the medical facility as you will still be under the effects of the anesthesia and pain killers and will not be able to drive back home.
Your home should also be prepared. If you want to clean, cook, and do other chores, it is important to plan them in the days before the surgery. You will feel better coming home to a clean and neat environment and with enough food in the fridge to last you a while. The reality is that at least for a few days after the tummy tuck, chances are you will be in no mood or shape to cook or take care of the chores around the house. Ideally, a friend or family member should be around to help with these for a day or two after the procedure. Also, keep in mind that moving around might be difficult for the first few days post-op, so make sure the room where you will spend the recovery period is close to the bathroom and the kitchen so you have easy access to everything.
The mental and emotional preparation before abdominoplasty is also important. Patients are advised to carefully weigh in the pros and cons of undergoing the procedure and to make sure they have strong reasons and motivation to go under the knife. Moreover, it is important to discuss all the details of the procedure with the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation to reduce the anxiety before the procedure and the stress after the procedure.
The operative plan
There are several different ways in which the surgical plan might be developed when it comes to the tummy tuck. It is also during the pre-operative consultation with the plastic surgeon that you will discuss the details of your operative plan. There are four different types of tummy tucks that can be recommended.
– Mini tummy tuck
This procedure is indicated for patients with a minimum amount of skin laxity on the inferior part of the tummy. When the mini tummy tuck is performed, the incision will be smaller and localized in the suprapubic area. The patient can choose to have the procedure performed with liposuction if there is an excess of fat tissue on the abdominal wall or the flanks. Generally speaking, the mini tummy tuck is performed on patients who undergo liposuction but have a poor skin tonus, and the plastic surgeon assesses that a tummy tuck would deliver better results combined with lipo. The mini tummy tuck can also be a good option for patients whose appearance of the tummy is affected by aging and the sagginess is minor.
– Full tummy tuck
This is the traditional procedure that entails the removal of the excess of skin on the lower part of the tummy and also strengthening loose abdominal muscles with sutures and correcting umbilical hernia. When this procedure is performed, the plastic surgeon will make a longer incision on the suprapubic area that can go from one hip to the other. This incision will be used to get access to the abdominal muscles and eliminate the surplus of skin on the tummy. Another incision can be performed around the belly button as in some cases it needs to be repositioned after re-draping the skin on the tummy.
– Extended tummy tuck
This procedure is recommended for patients who have unwanted skin folds on the flanks as well. Aside from the incisions required for the traditional tummy tuck, he will make incisions on the flanks as well to eliminate the excess skin in the area . Other than this, the surgical plan will follow the same steps as the traditional tummy tuck.
– Hourglass tummy tuck
This is a more modern and cutting-edge procedure that entails the combination of liposuction, abdominoplasty, and fat transfer to the hips. Aside from correcting the appearance of the tummy, this procedure targets to improve the overall appearance of the body by helping the patient get an hourglass body shape. The hourglass silhouette is characterized by a small waist and wider hips. To create this look, the plastic surgeon will perform liposuction on the midline to refine the contours of the waist and make the waist as small as possible and inject the fat collected with lipo into the hips to give them more volume.
The hourglass tummy tuck should only be performed by highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons as it entails a great level of difficulty. However, the results achieved with this procedure are far superior to the ones delivered by the other types of tummy tuck.
The procedure is often performed with the patient under general anesthesia. This means that after the procedure, the patient will be moved to recovery where he will stay until waking up from the effects of the general anesthetic. This can take a few hours. After this, the patient is free to go home. The medical staff will make sure to ask you to get off the bed and move around as soon as you have recovered from the effects of the anesthetic. This is important as it will help you reduce the risk of developing a blood clot.
The recovery period after the tummy tuck depends on the surgical plan and the patient’s health condition and age. Younger patients who are in good health and emotional condition tend to recover sooner than patients who are more mature. Also, the recovery period for the hourglass tummy tuck or the extended tummy tuck can be longer than the one needed after a mini tummy tuck. Also, the patient can help speed up the recovery by following the recommendations of the plastic surgeon to the letter. The most important things you need to do after undergoing an abdominoplasty are not to sleep on the tummy, not to smoke, and to make sure to wear the compression garments or girdle.
During the first few days post-op, it is normal for patients to experience a certain level of pain and discomfort. Swelling and bruising can also occur. If a significant amount of skin was eliminated, the drain tubes that are often inserted will be removed in the first two days after the procedure. The first few days are associated with a higher risk of developing a complication such as an infection, so patients should pay attention to any abnormal manifestations not discussed with the plastic surgeon.
The results of abdominoplasty are visible immediately after the patient is out of surgery; however, to properly assess them it is recommended to let at least three to six months pass. During this time the side effects that can occur after the surgical trauma will disappear, and the final results will transpire. Keep in mind that it can take up to twelve months and even more for the surgical wounds to completely heal and mature into scars.
Abdominoplasty is the procedure performed on patients with an unsightly appearance of the tummy who want to get a firmer and flatter tummy. The procedure entails an incision on the lower part of the abdominal area and sometimes additional incisions on the flanks and around the belly button. The preparation period is no longer than two weeks to a month before the surgery date and the recovery period is of about two weeks for most patients.