Abdominoplasty – loose skin
Abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”), involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. Full abdominoplasty surgery usually takes
2-5 hours, depending on the extent of work required. Partial abdominoplasty can take 1-2 hours.
The abdominoplasty surgical procedure involves making a long incision from one hipbone to the other above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. Next, the skin is separated from the abdominal wall to reveal the vertical muscles that will be tightened. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and helps to narrow the waistline. The skin flap is stretched down and extra skin is removed. A new hole is usually cut for your navel and then stitched into place.
Partial Abdominoplasty Surgery
A partial abdominoplasty may take as little as an hour or two. A much shorter incision is made and the removal of the navel is usually not required. The skin is then separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down while any excess skin is removed. The flap is then stitched back into place.
The abdomen is one of the most difficult places on the body to lose fat. Men and women who are in relatively good shape and are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that does not respond well to diet or exercise, are good candidates for this type of surgery.
Many women have experienced how hard it is to lose the weight after having a baby, but have also had to deal with the loss of muscle tone. After a pregnancy, a woman’s skin can be stretched, loose and can be almost impossible to get it back into shape. Weight gain and a significant weight loss are also other reasons why the abdomen can become rounded.
Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should get to a desired weight before considering abdominoplasty. Women who plan to have other pregnancies are not good candidates for this type of surgery.
Risks of Abdominoplasty
Post-operative complications are not common, but may include infection or blood clots. It is important that the patient starts moving around as soon as possible after surgery as movement helps speed up recovery. Smoking is not recommended for people who are thinking of having this type of surgery because it may increase the risk of complications and delay healing.
Recovery from Abdominoplasty
Bruising and discomfort is common for the first ten days. A supportive abdominal binder is usually worn for about four to six weeks following surgery to allow the skin to heal properly. A patient is usually advised to take two to four weeks off of work as part of the healing process. Sutures from the incision are dissolvable and do not need to be removed.
Surgical Alternatives to Abdominoplasty (eg. Liposuction)
Before deciding to have an abdominoplasty operation, one should first explore other options. There are other types of surgeries available for people dealing with the problem of a protruding abdomen. For most patients, liposuction is an alternative that can also have good results.
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