Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
The cosmetic surgery for removal of extra skin and fat from the abdomen is known as abdominoplasty. Popularly known as “Tummy Tuck”, it is advised when the tummy looks protruding.
For whom and who gets the best result?
Abdominoplasty is good for the persons having extra loose skin and fat around the abdomen decreased elasticity of the underlying muscles. It is also good for those who reach a static point in weight reduction after adequate dieting and exercise. It is good for women who do not regain their tummy after delivery despite doing good exercise and diet. Amount of fat excised can very from 4 kg to 12 kg.
Who should not undergo it?
Those who still want to reduce the weight should undergo surgery only after weight reduction. If there is weight reduction after surgery, the result of surgery is spoiled.
Women planning to have pregnancy in future should not undergo abdominoplasty.
What is done in the operation?
The doctor examines the elasticity of your skin and underlying muscle during the first consultation.
- If there is excess of fat in the area above and bellow the belly button, a formal abdominoplasty is done. Here the surgeon removes extra skin and fat and separates skin from underlying muscles going high above the belly button. The belly button is repositioned. If the elasticity of the muscles is not good the doctor may take extra stitches to strengthen it.
- If the excess of fat is in the area bellow the belly button, a procedure known as mini-abdominoplasty is done. Here extra skin and fat is removed as before but the belly button and the skin and muscles above it are not disturbed. Sometimes this procedure is combined with liposuction in the skin above the belly button.
- The operation is done under general anesthesia.
- An incision is made from one waist to the other as low as possible. The skin above the incision is separated and one of the two procedure described above is completed.
- Stitches are taken and in many cases a drain tube is brought out to remove collected blood.
What is the care after operation?
- The patient can be allowed to move around after 24 hours. It is difficult to stand up initially but becomes easy once the movement is started. It is very important to start moving around after 24 hours. The patient may be discharged after 8 to 48 hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. If the drain is placed, care of the drain will be taught to the pateint and the attendent. Most of the patients can move around in the house in 1 -3 days.
- The drain tube is removed between 2 to 7 days.
- The dressing is changed every 4 days and stitches are removed around 7 to 10 days.
- The doctor will advise you to put on special pressure garments after surgery.
- The incision line remains permanent. It may look red and elevated to begin with but starts looking better after 2 weeks and becomes invisible over a period of about 6-12 months.
What are the risks associated?
Most of the operations end up without any risks or complications. The procedure however carries as much risk of anesthesia as any other (non-cosmetic) operation. Some complications specific to this operation are:
- Collection of yellow colored fluid coming out from stitches.
- Blackening of the skin around the incision: Such skin has to be removed. Those patients who delay the mobilization after surgery and those who have a habit of smoking tend to get complication more often.
- Risks of Anesthesia