Tummy tuck involves removing excess skin-fold of abdominal fat and in most cases restoring weakened or separated muscles to smooth and firm shape. As a result of this operation the stretch marks on the lower abdomen are also removed.
Flat stomach is something that many of us try to achieve through daily exercise and diet. However, sometimes this effect is not possible to reach without the help of a plastic surgeon. Even those whose weight is appropriate and who have perfect body proportions, can gain protruding belly or abdominal skin may lose firmness as a result of pregnancy, aging, significant fluctuations in weight, heredity or prior surgery. For whom is this treatment?
- For those whose abdominal skin lost firmness due to the significant fluctuations in weight, pregnancy or previous operations
- For those who suffer from the excess tissue in the abdominal fold, which is harmful for the spine causing pain
- For those whose excessive abdominal skin fold interfere with daily personal hygiene
Although in theory the result of the operation is durable, it can be “ruined” by a significant fluctuation in patient’s weight. Therefore, those who are planning a large weight loss or women who plan to become pregnant should postpone the surgery for the time in which their weight is already stabilized. Tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss surgery. Nor is it a procedure correcting the stretch marks, although these may indeed happen to be reduced. The result of the operation is long-lasting and usually has positive effect on the psyche of patients eliminating depression, back pain and other physical and mental ailments. Most of the patients reveal that imperfect belly had a very negative impact on their well-being, causing fear of exposing the body while changing clothes, at the pool, beach, or even at the privacy of the bedroom. Properly performed abdominoplasty helps to solve this problem once and for all, and finally allows putting on a bikini without worrying about self-image.
Preparing for the surgery
- Do the necessary tests prescribed by the doctor in the process of qualification.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions about medications that you should take prior to surgery.
- Quit or at least limit smoking 2-4 weeks prior to surgery.
- Two weeks before surgery do not take aspirin, its derivatives and any herbal supplements that affect blood clotting (blood thinners).
Abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia that is why on the day of the operation patients should fast. Drinking water is allowed up to 6 hours before surgery. Each patient – after booking the surgery date – receive detailed information card with pre-operational instructions. This card contains, among others complete list of the necessary tests required in order to qualify for the surgery. If for some reason patient cannot prepare in advance the results on his own, or the labs need to be repeated, it can be done on the day of surgery in the Clinic. While asked about your medical history, please remember to give to your doctor honest and complete answers, especially in terms of allergies, and any medications you are taking.
The operation usually lasts 2-4 hours and it is performed under general anesthesia. Depending on patient needs, full, mini or reverse abdominoplasty is performed.
The treatment is performed by one of several types of cuts (depends on the surgeon’s decision) above the pubic symphysis, so that the scar is the most hidden. Next- the skin-fold fat is separated from the abdominal fascia up to the costal arch. This allows to slide down the skin to the maximum, and after appropriate tensioning – remove unnecessary excess, along with possible stretch marks and scars remaining after previous operations (like c-section or appendix). Prior to that, the incision is made around the navel, in the way that it remains in place and at the end of the treatment it is sewn into a new position, but at the same height as before. Before suturing the wound tightening rectus sheath should be performed (if necessary) to firm the anterior abdominal wall. Incision’s location fascial tightening of the rectus abdominis muscles After the surgery, drains are placed to control the blood loss and the appropriate compression bandage so the separated skin can connect to the surface.
This procedure involves performing a standard or narrower incision above the symphysis pubis, preparation up to the navel and removing excessive skin but preserving the navel at the current location. This option is appropriate for the patients whose excess skin and fat is located only below the navel.
When using this kind of method incision is made at the height of the costal arch. Skin-fold is being separated downwards, and then the skin is pulled upward, cutting off the excess at the appropriate level. Regardless of the type of treatment, the operation makes the stomach flat and firm, which improves the slenderness of the whole body. At first the treatment effect is not visible because of post-operative swelling and bruising of the operated area. However, after just 2-3 weeks most patients notice a significant difference in the appearance of the posture and start enjoying their new, leaner look.
Side effects of surgery
- Pain in the operated area and the bruising occurring in the first few days after surgery
- Swelling persisting for several weeks after surgery
- Numbness and other changes in skin sensation
- Scars which usually fade within first year and are barely visible, but they will certainly stay
Risks and possible complications
- Extended process of wound healing
- Fluid gathering between the tissues
- The risks associated with anesthesia
- Discoloration of the skin and / or a prolonged period of swelling
- Necrosis of adipose tissue located deep under the skin
- Blood clots
- Nerve damage
- Possible need for reoperation
It is the risk that may occur as a result of abdominoplasty surgery, but all these incidents are extremely rare.
After surgery the wound is being covered by the dressing and compression to minimize swelling and help the healing process of the stomach. Usually for 2-3 days after surgery patients have to wear drains so the internal body can cleanse itself from the fluid and blood that cumulates as a result of the operation. Each patient also receives from the doctor the list of post-operative recommendations, which describe in detail how to take care of the operated area and how to use prescription medications.
Post Operative Recommendation
- During first two weeks after the surgery please change dressing every second day (please treat the incision with hydrogen peroxide and salicyl alcohol and then rub antibiotic ointment Betadine or Nitrofurazin into the incision).
- We recommend change of dressing in sterile out-patients’ clinic.
- During first 6 weeks after the surgery please wear an elastic garment.
- During first 3 weeks after the operation you cannot do any heavy works, even vacuuming.
- During first 6 weeks you cannot do any exercises, e.g.: aerobic, fitness, swimming, etc.
- During 6 months after the surgery sauna, solarium, sunbathing is forbidden.
- In case of soluble stitches they will dissolve within about 2 months. In case of insoluble stitches you should remove them 14 days after the surgery.
- 3 weeks after the surgery we recommend treating the incision with Dermatix ointment (twice a day). You received a prescription to:
- painkiller called Ketonal (in case of pain),
- antibiotic ointment (Betadine or Nitrofurazin).
If you have any doubts you should immediately contact with the Clinic
Hereby we wish to inform that each patient is treated individually. The cases differ between each other, therefore this instructions may be somehow different than those that you will receive from your surgeon after the operation.