AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR AN ABDMONIPLASTY?
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are:
1. Men or women who are in relatively good shape, but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise.
2.The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal.
3. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved.
WHAT TO EXPECT
AT YOUR CONSULTATION
Dr. Viral Desai will evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal region and carefully assess your skin tone. Be sure to tell Dr. Viral Desai if you smoke, and if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs. Be frank in discussing your expectations with Dr. Viral Desai. During the consultation, Dr. Desai will explain the anaesthesia he will use, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed and the costs involved. If, for example, your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a mini-abdominoplasty (mini-tummy tuck) which can often be performed as an outpatient basis. You may, on the other hand, benefit more from partial or complete abdominoplasty done in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips, for a better body contour.
We give utmost importance to patient confidentiality and take strictest care to ensure your privacy. The staff at CPLSS understands that it can be difficult for a patient to make enquiries about such a delicate matter. It is our aim to make you feel as relaxed, comfortable and fully informed about the procedure as possible.
FOR YOUR SURGERY
STOP SMOKING & NO VITAMINS OR BLOOD THINNING TABLETS
You should stop smoking (including the use of nicotine patches), intake of any blood thinning tablets (i.e. aspirin/disprin) and intake of vitamins at least one week prior to surgery.
AVOID OVEREXPOSURE TO SUN
Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your abdomen, and do not go on a stringent diet, as both can inhibit your ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, your surgery will probably be postponed.
INFORM ABOUT REACTIONS TO MEDICATIONS
You should inform Dr. Viral Desai of any reactions to medications, general anaesthetics or tapes.
HOW ABDOMINOPLASTY IS PERFORMED?
Complete abdominoplasty usually takes 2-5 hours, depending on the extent of work required. Partial abdominoplasty may take an hour or two. Typically, Dr. Viral Desai will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. The incision falls in the bikini line and is hidden in the undergarments and not visible. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved. Next, the skin is separated from the abdominal wall up to the ribs and the skin flap is lifted to reveal the vertical muscles of the abdomen. These muscles are tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline. The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. A new hole is cut for the navel, which is then stitched in place. Finally, the incisions are stitched, dressings applied and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.
In partial abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.
Whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, you should arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a day or two after you leave the hospital, if needed.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AFTER MY SURGERY
For the first few days, your abdomen will probably be swollen and you’re likely to feel some pain.
RISKS, COMPLICATIONS AND SIDE EFFECTS
All surgery carry some uncertainty and risk. Thousands of abdominoplasties are performed successfully each year. When done by a qualified plastic surgeon who is trained in body contouring, the results are generally quite positive. Nevertheless, there are always risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare, but can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics, but will prolong your hospital stay. You can minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon after the surgery as possible. Smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing.
Frequently Asked Questions
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a major surgical procedure requiring general anesthesia, and involves liposuction and excision to remove fat, plus a large excision of skin. In many patients (but not all) liposuction of the abdomen can often provide equivalent or better results than a tummy tuck. Because liposuction is safer and causes less scarring compared to tummy tucks, abdominal liposuction is now far more common than are tummy tucks.The tummy tuck is the procedure to remove excess fat and skin and to tighten underlying muscles in the abdomen. It also gets rid of loose or wrinkled skin and stretch marks. Both women and men can benefit from this extremely effective body contouring surgery. Liposuction is ideal to contour the abdomen for those who have good skin tone and excess fat that is resistant to diet and exercise, but the tummy tuck is a better procedure for women and men who have loose abdominal skin following pregnancy and weight loss.
Abdominal wall deformities have 3 components:
(a) Wrinkly or loose skin with stretch marks. This is usually the result of pregnancy, aging, or marked weight loss
(b) Excess fat tissue, usually more prominent in the lower abdomen
(c) Rectus Muscle Diastasis. The muscles of the anterior abdominal have separated. Exercise does not help in this situation (once the muscle relaxes, they separate and the tummy bulges out.)
Full tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, addresses the 3 defective components (skin, fat, and muscle) so it benefits most patients who want a flat stomach and skin as tight as possible. Results, especially when combined with liposuction of the flanks, are dramatic. The procedure can be done totally under local anesthesia (tumescent technique), twilight anesthesia, or general anesthesia, depending on individual patient preference and needs. A relatively long incision in the bikini line just above the pubic area is made. A second incision is made around the belly button. The skin and fat as a unit are separated from the abdominal wall and lifted up the rib cage exposing the rectus muscles fascia (the sheath that covers the muscles and works as an inner girdle).The fascia is then sutured in order to tighten loose or stretched out muscles located below the fascia. This step creates a tighter abdominal wall and a thinner waist. The skin is stretched down and the excess skin and fat are removed. A new opening is cut on the skin for the repositioning of the belly button. Usually drains are inserted to eliminate fluid and blood buildup. Every effort is made to hide the scars in the bikini area. The incision is then closed, and a firm dressing is then placed on the abdomen. Liposuction to remove excess fat from hips and flanks are often performed in conjunction with the tummy tuck for a better body contour.
A mini tummy tuck or partial abdominoplasty is best suited for patients who have a pouch below the belly button, who do not have significant stretch marks, saggy skin, or a hooded belly button. The procedure is less invasive than a full tummy tuck. While a full tummy tuck involves an incision around the belly button and across the lower abdomen, a mini tummy tuck leaves the belly button intact and requires a smaller incision. The excess of skin and fat are removed and tightening of the muscles is performed. Liposuction is frequently employed with this procedure to remove excess fat above and below the belly button to enhance body contour.
Dermolipectomy is a procedure that removes skin and fat from the abdomen but does not tighten the muscles. It is indicated for slender women who have wrinkly or excess skin but good muscle tone. The scar is the same as a tummy tuck.
The tummy tuck procedure will not remove stretch marks of your mid or upper abdomen (but it will shift them lower on your abdomen). There will be a scar extending across the lowest part of your abdomen, just above the bikini line. Also, there will be a second scar around your belly button, if the belly button requires transposition. These scars are commonly hidden by underwear or a swimming suit. The scars may worsen during the first 3 to 6 months as it heals, but this is normal. It takes approximately 9 months to a year before scars flatten out and lighten in color. Regardless, you are most likely to look and feel better with a flat abdomen and scars than you are with a bulging belly. Serious complications after tummy tuck surgery are uncommon. However, there are risks with any surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
The ideal candidate for tummy tuck surgery should meet most of the following criteria:
• Is close to their ideal body weight (within 30%)
• Wants to remove specific areas of loose skin or fat that is diet and exercise resistant
• Weight has been stable for 6 months or more
• Has good skin tone and elasticity
• Is emotionally stable
• Understands the risks of abdominoplasty surgery and scarring.
If you do not meet all of these criteria, but meet some of them, you may still be a good candidate for a tummy tuck. The traditional tummy tuck procedure is most suited for those who are close to their ideal body weight, but if you have a lot of fat in an isolated area, you may still be a good candidate. If you intend to lose a lot of weight, wait until after your weight loss to schedule abdominoplasty surgery. If you plan on future pregnancies, you should wait to have surgery until you are done having children as pregnancy will stretch the abdomen again. You are at increased risk for complications if you have diabetes, poor blood circulation, heart, lung, or liver disease, smoke, have a family history of blood clots, take certain medications, or if you are obese and probably should not have an abdominoplasty procedure.
The traditional abdominoplasty procedures (full tummy tuck, mini-tummy tuck and dermolipectomy) are associated with a relatively high complication rate because of the required large undermining of the anterior abdominal flap that involves extensive trauma and compromise to the blood supply of the abdominal flap. General anesthesia or heavy twilight sedation is frequently required to complete the surgery because of the extensive tissue dissection and manipulation. We have adopted a revolutionary minimally invasive approach to tummy tuck that can be safely and effectively performed as an office procedure totally under local tumescent anesthesia. The technique called Abdominolipoplasty combines two procedures: liposuction of the abdomen and the tummy tuck. By avoiding the use of general anesthesia or heavy sedation (and complications associated with this type of anesthesia) this new procedure offers an improved postoperative recovery.