Tummy Tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is one of the plastic surgeries that is steadfastly gaining popularity in the whole world because due to variety reasons. People have adopted lifestyles that are marked by poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, and stress. This can contribute to too much flab or excess skin in the abdomen that doesn’t respond positively to diet and exercise. This procedure removes excess fat and restores weakened or separated muscles in the abdomen to achieve a smooth and firm profile.
There are different types of procedures available. In most cases, a doctor will ask you to choose one that is comfortable for you. However, the severity of the situation might also dictate the type of procedure you will undergo.
This procedure is closely similar to a Caesarean incision. The surgeon makes a small horizontal cut about four inches long above the pubic hairline. The aim of this procedure is to bring together the separated abdominal and rectus muscles. The doctor can use liposuction as an additional mechanism to get rid of excess fat in the abdominal skin and flanks. With this technique, only a small portion of loose skin can be removed.
It is sometimes referred to as the scarless abdominoplasty. This procedure is done for people who have mild cases of fat deposit in their underbellies that cannot go away with diet and exercise. Most of these people are healthy chaps who just want to get rid of the stubborn fat in their abdomen and restore the right physique.
In this procedure, the doctor will make a small incision that extends to the navel. Because the procedure is done on a small scale dimension, it is not necessary to reposition the navel. Once the incision is created, the surgeon will carefully remove the extra fat from the skin. He will then tighten the abdominal wall and the surrounding muscles. Finally, he will pull together the remaining skin taught to close up the incision. Sometimes, the plastic surgeon may opt to perform a floating belly button to avoid making an incision. In most case, the scar formed after the operation is mild and invisible at a glance.
This is also known as traditional or standard abdominoplasty. It is done to those men and women who are healthy but want to get rid of an excess fat layer in their abdomen. The amount of fat is more advanced and readily visible. In this case, the flab is advanced enough to interfere with the proper shape of the body. Some candidates for this procedure are women who recently developed excess flab as a result of pregnancy. It is also done to those who have lost a considerable amount of weight.
The doctor makes a slightly larger incision that runs in a straight line between the hip bones. The surgeon then removes the fatty deposits from the area. Minor liposuction can be added to make the procedure more efficient before the surgeon tightens the muscles and closes the incision. Since the surgery is more extensive, the navel or the belly button should be correctly repositioned as one of the last steps. The procedure takes more time, and it requires close observation by the doctors. This means that the patient will have to stay in the hospital for some time.
The procedure is typically recommended for those men and women who have significant amount of loose and sagging skin in their abdomen extending to the hips and the lower part of the back. Most of these people are usually shapeless and look unhealthy. In most cases, the candidates for extended abdominoplasty also have excess fatty layers that need to be removed with extra skin.
The surgeon makes a large incision that begins from the abdominal area and extends to the back and the hips. This procedure requires the application of liposuction techniques to drain excess fluid and remove fat cells in the regions affected. The surgeon then tightens the muscles in the abdomen and the hips. He also removes any unwanted skin layer before he or she finally closes up the incision.
Like the standard counterpart, the surgeon will have to reposition the belly button to correspond with the patient’s new body shape.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of the surgery in the USA is $5,500. The cost ranges from $3000 to $10,000 depending on the surgeon you choose and the type of surgery you undergo. Other factors that can affect the cost of abdominoplasty surgery include;
Most health insurances policies do not cover the surgery or any complication that may occur during and after the procedure. The average amount indicated by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons does not even include the cost of anaesthesia and the equipment used in the operating room. Therefore, the overall cost may also include;
Tummy tuck is a safe procedure with minimal risks. Here are some of the common risks:
Bleeding is a common risk that can happen anytime surgery is performed. The bleeding can be caused by a ruptured vein in the abdominal regions. Though a rare occurrence, severe bleeding can trigger the onset of anaemia. It is important for the surgeon to ensure that there is no bleeding during surgery to minimize the potential risks.
Infection is a general risk in any surgical procedure. The patient might get the infection during surgery or after. In most cases, surgeons prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection of the wound. The surgeons should also be careful when sterilizing the equipment, and ensure it is done properly during the operation and dressing care.
A fluid collection in the tummy is a common occurrence during this surgery. The fluid collects between the skin that is lifted off the muscle wall and the part of the wall that protects the stomach and abdominal contents. Sometimes, the fluid can collect after the surgical drains have been removed. If this occurs, the doctor will have to remove the fluid by inserting a needle and sucking the fluid out. As a patient, you can minimize the risk of fluid collection by strictly following your surgeon’s instructions. You can also have an abdominal binder around your waist, and limit the frequency at which you move.
Contour irregularity is a common risk with all cosmetic procedures. There can be minor irregularities and asymmetries. However, this should not be cause for alarm because it can be comfortably corrected by the surgeon.
Recovering from the procedure should balance between the need to get your body back to normal as quickly as possible versus the need to stay quiet and relaxed and allow your body to heal at the correct pace. You need to choose the later if you want to recover fully from the surgery without any complications.
The first week after the surgery should be a quiet time since the body needs to rest and recover. You need a proper bed rest with the head elevated and pillows slightly under your bent knees. Lying in this position will help relax the skin on your belly which is likely to have stretched during the time of closure. A relaxed skin enhances the better flow of blood and lessens muscles tension.
At this time, you should not be walking around too much because too much motion can cause the skin to slide against the muscle tissues and clump together. This can result in the onset of seroma or hematoma in the region. Movements should be limited to the bathroom and kitchen, and not strolling around the neighborhood.
You can immediately go back to the healthy diet, but don’t forget to drink a lot of fluids in the process. Don’t include diet sodas as part of the fluids you take, instead use fruit juices or Gatorade drinks.
Ensure you wear a compression garment after the procedure to minimize swelling. It also helps the wound to heal at a faster. You should wear this garment 24/7 for the first five days after the surgery. The garment should extend to at least the mid-thigh to prevent folding while resting.
Some surgeons administer a pain pump at the end of the procedure to dispense aesthetic to the area for pain relief. Some doctors will have drains to collect fluid that might accumulate in the incision area.
You should go to the bathroom only when necessary, and be able to use the bathroom comfortably without removing the compression garment. This is not the time to move everywhere in the house because you can stretch the wound by doing so. Also, don’t take a full shower during the first week.
Your doctor will subscribe pain medications to help you deal with occasional pain bouts.
By the end of the second week, the muscle layer will begin to heal and knit with the skin layer. You can now start moving around at least three times in a day. Don’t forget to keep the skin layer relaxed and don’t attempt to stand up straight yet.
By the end of the fourth week, you can now start moving around more. You can also resume your normal daily activities. However, don’t forget to go for medical follow ups every month until the doctor advice you otherwise.
In short, you need to plan to be off work for three weeks when you decide to go for a tummy tuck surgery.
Abdominoplasty operates in almost a similar way as other cosmetic surgeries such as liposuction. It can take two to five hours depending on the complexity and scope of treatment required. This procedure is done with the following steps;
The procedure surgically tightens the weak muscles and removes excess fat that may develop after repeated pregnancies. This flattens the abdomen and prevents occurrence of lordosis. The surgery also improves posture hence minimising back pains.
This type of a hernia occurs when the internal and abdominal tissues form a pocket sack in the abdominal wall. This occurs due to the weakened abdominal muscles. This can be corrected with abdominoplasty surgery.
Some women can develop urinary incontinence after giving birth. This is a bladder control problem caused by weakened abdominal muscles. The problem is associated with severe and uncontrolled leakage when a person laughs, coughs, sneezes or even during exercise. Surgeons can create a slight obstruction of the bladder using a soft material from the pelvic thus reducing incontinence.
Who is the ideal Candidate for the Surgery?
An ideal candidate should be a physically healthy individual who wishes to remove excess fatty deposits in the abdomen.
What does Consultation entail?
Consultation involves contacting a qualified cosmetics surgeon and telling him or her what you want to achieve from the surgery. The doctor will then examine and explain to you the whole process.
What Should a Patient expect after the Procedure?
One is supposed to minimize movement during the first week after the operation. After that, the patient can gradually increase the frequency at which he or she moves. The patient should not lift heavy weights, and must seek the approval of the doctor if he or she wishes to do so.
Is there Associated Pain?
The degree of pain is variable for each patient. However, there will be some pain until the incision heals properly.
When Can a Person Resume Normal Activities?
Abdominoplasty takes a long time to heal. In most cases, the person can resume work or other activities after five weeks.
There are new options, but none of them produce good results compared to this procedure. Most of these alternatives are not meant for those who are obese, but for people who are physically healthy and fit. The newer options include;
* Results not typical, please refer to our disclaimer page. All information subject to change. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.
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