What is abdominoplasty?
This procedure is also known as “tummy tuck”. Surgery involves removing abdominal skin and fat. Frequently, it also involves tightening of the abdominal muscles.
Who is a suitable candidate for abdominoplasty?
Candidates for this surgery would be patients who are deemed fit to undergo a general anesthetic. Patients with an excess amount of abdominal fat, skin and stretch marks, patients who have lost a large amount of weight and now have loose skin which does not go away with exercise as well as patients with abdominal muscles which are overly stretched apart are good candidates for this procedure.
What are the goals of the abdominoplasty surgery?
The goals of the surgery are to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, to tighten the abdominal muscles in order to give the abdomen an improved appearance.
What is done during abdominoplasty surgery?
During the surgery, an incision is made in the lower abdomen (similar to a C-section scar but longer). Skin and fat is removed from the abdomen. The incision is then closed.
Where are the scars?
The scar is curved and located in the lower part of the abdomen similar to the location of a C-section. This scar is usually hidden by pants. The umbilicus (belly button) is also recreated and repositioned on the skin that is left behind. A scar will be located around the belly button as well.
Where is the surgery performed?
All surgeries are performed at Women’s College Hospital as day surgery by the plastic surgery senior resident under the supervision of a faculty plastic surgeon.
What to expect in the recovery? How long will I be off work? When can I resume exercise?
The procedure itself can take from 1 to 3 hours depending on how much work is required. For the best results, you should plan on resting and taking it easy after surgery. For the first few days after surgery, most patients experience some discomfort at the surgical site. After which you will starting feeling better and returning to your normal self. You should plan on being off work for 2 weeks. During your recovery, you should refrain from strenuous physical activity including lifting and pulling for 6 weeks following surgery.
What are some common complications of surgery?
Following your surgery, you will see swelling and bruising which is normal and will resolve. You might initially gain weight due to water and fluid retention. Tightness and pain along your scar line and along the muscles of your abdomen can also occur. No surgical procedure is without risk. These can vary from the simplest complication to more serious and we will discuss potential risks with you during our meeting. Complications of abdominoplasty, like those of other cosmetic procedures, are uncommon but may include unfavorable scarring, asymmetries, bleeding, infection, swelling, numbness, and blood clots in the leg. These may require additional treatment. Problems such as infection or bleeding may require additional surgery.
When will I see the final results of the surgery?
You will begin to see some of the results of the surgery once the swelling has gone down which takes about 2 weeks. Following this, your tummy will continue to improve and the scar will become more inconspicuous over the next few months. Final results after surgery including healing of the scar will be seen at 1 year following tummy tuck.