For a strong and firm abdomen
Mini-abdominoplasty, abdominoplasty and circumferential abdominoplasty (body lift)
This procedure can dramatically reduce bulging in the abdomen. However, it leaves a permanent scar, the length of which will depend on the extent of the original problem and the surgery required.
Ideal candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who have a relatively good figure but are concerned about fat accumulation or excess skin in the abdomen that does not improve with diet or exercise.
This surgery is especially helpful for women who have gone through several pregnancies after which the abdominal skin and muscles have relaxed and have not regained their initial tone. It can also improve the loss of skin elasticity in older people, which is often associated with moderate obesity.
Patients requiring significant weight loss should postpone surgery, as should patients who intend to have future pregnancies, because the vertical muscles of the abdominal wall are tightened during surgery and may relax again in the course of further pregnancies. If the abdomen has scars already, this surgery may be inadvisable or the scars may change position. In some cases, this surgery manages to eliminate them.
In the initial consultation, Dr Mir will assess your state of health, determine the extent of fat accumulation in the abdominal region and the firmness of your skin. Don't forget to mention if you have an allergy to any medications or any illnesses, if you are a smoker, or if you are taking any medications or vitamins.
You should state your expectations honestly and frankly, so that Dr Mir can explain the alternatives available for your particular issue, and the risks and limitations associated with each. If, for example, you only suffer from fat accumulation in the area below the navel, a less complex procedure called mini-abdominoplasty may be sufficient. In other cases, whether a full or mini abdominoplasty is to be performed, a flank liposuction can be done at the same time to enhance the body contour. Some cases can even be solved with an abdomen liposuction alone. In any case, Dr Mir will determine the optimal procedure to meet your individual aesthetic goals.
During the consultation, we will also inform you about the type of anaesthesia to be used, whether or not you will need to be admitted to the clinic where the surgery will be performed and the costs of the operation.
Except in disabling cases, abdominoplasty is not covered by National Health Services.
|Abdominoplasty and mini-abdominoplasty are performed in the clinic’s operating theatre. The entire team of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers will ensure that you receive excellent care before, during and after your operation.
None of these procedures should be performed in the consultancy room. Liposuction must also be performed in the operating theatre, under strict aseptic conditions, and under the control of our anaesthesiology team.
Abdominoplasty is performed under general anaesthesia, during which you will be asleep until the surgery is completed. However, in some cases, especially for mini-abdominoplasty and abdominal liposuction, epidural anaesthesia or local anaesthesia plus sedation may be used, so that during the surgery you will be awake but relaxed, and the abdominal region will be insensitive to pain.
A full abdominoplasty usually takes around two to four hours, depending on the extent of the area to be treated. A mini-abdominoplasty usually takes one to two hours. The tummy tuck is performed by making a long incision from hip to hip, just above the pubic bone. Dr Mir will mark where the incision will be made before surgery. It is done as low as possible so that the scar is below the swimsuit/bikini line. A second incision is made around the navel to separate it from the surrounding tissues.
The skin of the abdominal wall is then separated upwards until it reaches the ribs, exposing the abdominal muscles. These muscles are tightened and pulled together in the mid-line, providing a firm abdominal wall and a narrower waist. The separated skin is stretched towards the pubis and the excess skin excised; and the belly button is placed in its new position. Sutures are made and two temporary drainage tubes are placed to remove any excess fluid that may accumulate in the operated area. Finally, an abdominal binder is fitted.
Mini-abdominoplasty requires a much smaller incision, also made above the pubis, and there is no need for an incision around the navel, which in some cases can be lowered by stretching the skin. The skin is separated only between the incision and the navel, the excess skin is removed and sutures are used.
|An abdominal binder will be fitted once you leave the operating theatre. You will usually stay in hospital for one day, but a small percentage of patients (5-10%) stay in for two days.
During the first few days the abdomen is usually somewhat swollen and you may notice some discomfort or pain that is easily controlled with painkillers. Although you should not stretch at first (during the first week), you should start walking as soon as possible. The external skin stitches will be removed after seven days, and the internal stitches (the ends of which come out at each end of the incision), in two to three weeks.
It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to feel completely normal. If your pre-surgery physical condition was good and your abdominal muscles strong, your recovery time from abdominoplasty surgery will be quicker. Some people return to work in about two weeks, while others need three to four weeks of rest and recovery.
Lymphatic drainage massages and physical exercise will aid recovery. Even people who did not usually do any sport before surgery should follow an exercise routine to reduce swelling, reduce the possibility of venous thrombus forming and tone the muscles. However, strenuous exercise should be avoided until you feel comfortable.
Scars may appear to worsen for the first three to six months while they are healing; this is normal. It takes nine months to a year for the scar to flatten and lighten. Although the scars never completely disappear, they will not be visible, even when using a bikini or swimwear.
Hundreds of tummy tucks are performed successfully every year. When performed by a qualified plastic surgeon the results are usually excellent. However, as with all surgery, risks do exist, as well as complications related to this particular procedure. Post-surgery complications, such as infection or venous thrombosis can occur, but are rare. Infection is treated with antibiotics and drainage. Venous thrombosis is prevented by moving your legs (from the day of surgery) and getting up as soon as possible after surgery (usually the next day).
Poor healing can result in a poor quality scar, sometimes requiring a second surgery. Smokers should stop smoking a few weeks before surgery. Smoking increases the chance of complications and delays healing.
The risk of complications can be reduced by carefully following Dr Mir’s guidelines before and after surgery, especially those regarding when to resume physical activity.
Both full and mini abdominoplasty give excellent results in patients with weak abdominal muscles and excess skin and fat. In most cases the results are permanent, provided patients follow a balanced diet and carry out regular exercise and lymphatic drainage massages. If you are realistic in your expectations and accept the presence of a permanent, but concealable abdominal scar and a long recovery period, abdominoplasty may be right for you.
Occasionally, unsightly scars are seen in the abdominal region, almost always due to previous surgical interventions on the abdominal cavity. Although there is no way to make a scar disappear completely, its appearance can be improved with a new operation where the scar is removed and re-sutured under optimal conditions. This is almost always performed under local anaesthesia with or without sedation and does not usually require hospitalisation. The procedure usually lasts about an hour and recovery time is fast.
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