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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty overview - is it right for me?

Abdominoplasty is best suited to women and men who are in relatively good shape, but who have loose abdominal skin and/or abdominal fat that won't respond to dieting or exercise. It is not recomended if you are significantly overweight. When you first present, your BMI (basal metabolic index) will be assessed by measuring your height and weight. If your BMI is greater than 30 you may be directed to a weight loss clinic, or bariatric surgeon before consideration of an abdominoplasty.

If you plan to become pregnant or to lose a significant amount of weight, you should discuss these plans with your surgeon. Scars from previous abdominal surgeries may limit the results of an abdominoplasty, however in some cases, an existing scar can be used for the new incision, as is often the case for women with caesarean section scars.

For more information regarding abdominoplasty at Le Vogue Clinic, feel free to contact us at any time.

What should I expect from the consultation?

A personal consultation is the first step for every patient considering abdominoplasty. During this meeting, Dr Liew will discuss your specific cosmetic goals. When examining your abdomen, he will evaluate the quality of your abdominal skin, the location of any existing scars, the amount and location of any excess fat and the status of the underlying muscles.

Dr Liew may suggest other treatments to better meet your goals. For example, some patients may benefit from liposuction alone or a more limited type of abdominoplasty, if there is not excessive skin laxity.

How is an abdominoplasty performed?

The operation is performed under general anaesthetic and takes about 2 hours. Various measures such as stockings and foot pumps are utilised, to lessen the risk of a DVT (thrombosis) forming post-operatively.

An incision is placed just above the pubic area and extended laterally on either side. The length of the incision depends largely on the amount of skin to be removed. Your surgeon may tighten the underlying muscles by pulling them together. Any excess or stretched skin from the lower abdomen is trimmed away. A second incision will be made around the navel. Although the navel's position remains unchanged, it's appearance may be altered. Liposuction may be used to help contour the upper abdomen, flanks and posterior hips. Drains are often left in place to drain off any fluid accumulation. At the end of the procedure, a compressive garment is fitted.

Are there other options to abdominoplasty?

Traditional abdominoplasty isn't always the best choice for everyone. Your surgeon will advise you of other options that may help you achieve your goals.

The "mini" abdominoplasty - this procedure may benefit you if you are primarily dissatisfied with the appearance of the abdominal area below the navel. A mini abdominoplasty requires only a short horizontal incision and no navel incision. It's important to realize, however, that the mini abdominoplasty will not correct loose skin above the navel.

Liposuction alone; if you have good skin elasticity and muscle tone, liposuction alone may be used to remove abdominal fat. This alternative may appeal to patients who are planning to become pregnant in the future. If you have a lot of excess skin you may not be suitable for a liposuction only procedure.

How safe is this surgery?

Abdominoplasty is performed in hospital under general anaesthetic. The post-operative hospital stay is generally 2 - 3 days. Each year, thousands of people undergo abdominoplasty and experience no major complications, however, abdominoplasty is an extensive procedure and it is essential for you to be informed of the risks as well as the benefits. One of the most important parts of your consultation is the discussion that you and your surgeon will have about the possible complications of abdominoplasty.

Specific complications include infection and wound breakdown; obesity and smoking increase the likelihood of these occurring. If you are overweight, you should ask your doctor about weight loss strategies and the same applies to smoking.

How will I look and feel right after surgery?

In most cases, small drainage tubes will have been placed beneath the skin to help prevent fluids from accumulating. Dressings will be applied to your abdomen and covered with a compression garment.

Any discomfort you may feel can be controlled with medication prescribed. Although you may not be able to stand perfectly straight at first, you will be encouraged to get out of bed soon after surgery to promote blood circulation. In this early phase of healing, straining, bending and lifting should be avoided.

What should I know about my results?

Quite soon after surgery, you will see a noticeable difference in the shape of your body. Many people find that their firmer, flatter abdomen boosts their confidence and makes them feel more comfortable in clothing.

As the months pass, your incision line will continue to fade, however, it is important to realise that your scar will be permanently visible. Many patients view the permanent scar as a small trade-off for their improved contour. Abdominoplasty produces long-lasting results. Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight, you can expect to retain your new shape for many years.

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