Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)

Plastic surgery of the abdomen yields very good results as regards appearance and function. Abdominoplasty is not only an aesthetic surgery but it also solves functional shortcomings of the abdominal wall, or separation of the rectus abdominis muscles. During abdominoplasty, also several kilograms of fat tissue and skin are removed and this is why this operation brings the patient a marked physical and mental relief. The effect of abdominoplasty is long-lasting.

Who can undergo tummy tuck surgery?

The most frequent causes of an unfavourably altered abdominal contour in women are repeated pregnancies and obesity. However, tummy tuck is not a treatment for obesity. The patient should first lose some weight in a natural way and stabilize her weight. The procedure is not recommended in women planning pregnancy.

Also abdomen with an exceptional excess of fat tissue is totally unsuitable for abdominoplasty.

The physician decides about the appropriateness of a certain type of surgical procedure during a consultation with the client, whose health condition is the decisive factor. Sometimes even abdomen liposuction or mini tummy tuck are more appropriate.

How is abdominoplasty performed?

Abdominal plastic surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and, depending on the extent of the procedure, takes 2 - 3 hours. Using an arched incision placed low across the underbelly, between the hip bones, skin and subcutaneous tissue are separated from the abdominal muscles up to the ribs and chest bone. An incision is made around the navel, which is kept as a separate isle. The detached skin is stretched down and its excess is removed. In case of separation of the rectus abdominis muscles, so called diastasis, suture and tightening of the muscle is performed at the median line. At the end of the procedure, the navel is sutured back to its normal position. The resulting scar, placed low in the underbelly, is easily concealed with underwear.

In case of a prominent layer of subcutaneous fat, where even marked fat pads on the hips are formed, it is appropriate to complete the abdominal plastic surgery after a several-month period with liposuction of the hips, by which a really excellent overall effect is achieved.

What to expect after abdominoplasty?

After abdominal surgery, the patient stays at the clinic until her condition is stabilized, usually for 2 nights. For the postoperative period, bed rest lasting 7 – 10 days is recommended. For rapid healing, it is necessary to use a compression belt and special compression underwear.

Stitches are removed on the 18th-21st day after surgery; at that time, short walks are permitted. Mild physical load is permitted after 4 weeks, full load after 6 weeks. Sensations of pull and impaired sensitivity in the operated areas are a common accompanying phenomenon and recede within several weeks. The scar gets gradually paler. The process is markedly slowed-down by smoking. It is important to realize that the course of healing and scarring is highly individual.

To complement the postoperative care, lymphatic drainage massages are recommended. By this means, swelling recedes faster and recovery gets shorter.

Tummy tuck for men

In men, abdominoplasty is performed similarly, usually after a marked weight loss, when the skin is not able to adapt to a reduced volume and its excess forms unaesthetic folds. Good health condition of the patient is the prerequisite for a successful abdominoplasty.

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