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Abdominoplasty / Tummy Tuck Surgery

Tummy Tuck –

Also known as abdominoplasty or lipo-abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure which flattens the tummy and results in an improved body shape. It gets one rid of the excess loose skin that is hanging on the tummy after massive weight loss, child birth or simply due to loose muscles and loose skin. The end result of a well done abdominoplasty is flattening of the abdomen, tightened muscles, removal of stretch marks and as a result of all this an improved body image.

When should one consider a tummy tuck?

  • Excess loose skin, flab and stretch marks in the lower part of the tummy that is unresponsive to exercise and weight loss measures
  • Post pregnancy loose skin of the abdomen or post massive weight loss
  • If you feel that your self confidence is affected by your unattractive protruding and lax abdomen

Types of Abdominoplasty

A consultation with a certified plastic surgeon will give a clearer idea about the kind of procedure most suited to your case. A brief description of the types of abdominoplasty is given below:

1. Full Abdominoplasty
In this type an incision is made on the lower part of the abdomen (approximately at the level of the cesarean section scar which is generally hidden in the bikini line) and in addition there is a scar around the umbilicus. The skin below the navel is removed, The abdominal muscles are tightened and the skin envelope is tightened too by the removal of the skin. Liposuction is generally a part of this procedure which helps in further contouring of the abdomen.This helps to get rid of most of the stretch marks that are present in the abdomen.

2. Mini Abdominoplasty
This type has only a single incision in the pubic area which is usually made as low on the abdomen as possible. Excess skin is removed through this. This may or may not include tightening of the muscles and uses liposuction to further shape up the area. Ideally suited for women or men who have laxity of skin limited to lower part of the abdomen. Recommended for those who are in fairly good shape but cannot achieve their goals with diet and exercise.

3. Extended or High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty
This usually is an extension of a full abdominoplasty and it takes care of the excess skin present on the sides and looseness that occurs in the hips and thighs due to massive weight loss or pregnancy. This procedure offers an improvement in the shape of the thighs and hips in addition to the improvement in the abdominal contour. The lift is also transferred to the sides by high tension stitches that are put to suspend the thigh to improve contour in this area.

Precaution Before Surgery

  • You should have a stable weight before you opt for this procedure
  • If you are a smoker you likely to have a compromised healing than non-smokers. It is best to quit smoking at least 2 weeks prior to and till two months after the procedure.
  • If you have a significant amount of intra-abdominal fat, then it is best that you lose weight and then consider this procedure.
  • It is best if you have completed your family when you consider this procedure because subsequent child birth may affect the results.
  • If you have a scar from a previous surgery (other than a cesarean section) then you must discuss the outcome of the procedure with your surgeon.

Having outlined the above, it is safe to say that if you have an ideal body weight, are in good general health and if you have realistic expectations then you are a good candidate for the procedure.

Procedure

In this surgical procedure the loose skin is removed and the muscles of the abdomen are tightened with the help of sutures.
This procedure is carried out under general anesthesia. You will need to be fasting for eight hours and will need to get an anesthetic clearance prior to the procedure.

  • Marking and measurements will be done before the procedure.
  • After the necessary preoperative steps, the incision will be placed according to the marking and usually the incision is from one side of the hip bone to the other.
  • In a full abdominoplasty an additional incision is paced around the navel.
  • The skin envelope is lifted and the loose muscles are tightened.
  • Liposuction is usually done prior to the lifting of the skin envelope and also after the tightening of the muscles.
  • The skin is then stretched and the excess skin is removed.
  • The navel then is brought out through a new position on the skin although the level of the navel remains the same.
  • The skin is stitched with sutures which are generally the absorbable type. The umbilicus is stitched with non-absorbable sutures which are removed around the 12th day after the surgery.
  • There is usually a drain or two that are placed under the skin to drain out the excess fluid. Depending on the amount of drainage they will be removed once the drainage is in the acceptable range which is usually one or two days.
  • In combination with abdominoplasty if one opts for a back liposuction, the resulting contours are better if proper patient selection is done.

Aftercare and Recovery

It is good to point out at the outset that this phase varies greatly among patients depending on how well one can endure pain and discomfort post the procedure.

A compression garment needs to be worn for about a month after the procedure.

You will usually be advised plenty of rest after the procedure. Although it is not uncommon for patients to be up and walking right on the next day of the procedure but you will be instructed to bend and walk for the first few days because straightening up immediately will put tension on the stitch line. However, things normalize greatly after the passage of 4-5 days. The first few days after the surgery are the most uncomfortable. You will generally receive a list of instructions to follow after the procedure which will include the medications that you should be taking for about a week.

Usually one is most comfortable taking one week to ten days off work. This will also vary between a full and a mini abdominoplasty.

When will I fully heal after the tummy tuck?

This gain varies between individuals.

In the first week, the priority is to gain back mobility and take necessary steps to avoid complications. Managing pain is also a priority.

The following weeks are concentrated on regaining mobility and getting back to routine work. Light exercises can generally be started after 8 weeks of the surgery.

The healing really keeps on happening till about six to 8 months and the scar in some individuals may take longer to settle (around 1 year).

How long do the results last?

Unless one gains a large amount of weight or goes through another pregnancy that stretches the skin again making it loose, the results are long term. Any Plastic surgery cannot stop the aging that happens naturally but the tightening of the abdomen is permanent with a tummy tuck. After a certain period of time the skin will become softer and more pliable than immediately after the procedure. It is important to maintain a relationship with your aesthetic surgeon after a procedure and visit for prescribed follow ups to have a knowledge of your healing.

Cost of tummy tuck procedure

How much you would spend on the procedure will depend on a lot of factors and varies from one surgeon to the other and also on geographical areas. India attracts a lot of medical tourism based on the fact that one spends much less on a procedure here with results which are at par with best centers across the world.

Insurance doesn’t cover Cosmetic surgeries however; finance options are available with many plastic surgeons which make payment for the procedure easier.

Complications and Risks

The potential complications after a tummy tuck are fortunately uncommon and the satisfaction rate is good. Most candidates achieve their goal of having a leaner and flatter abdomen.

However, it is necessary to point out that all surgical procedures have some risks and although uncommon they are listed below:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin
  • that may require removal)
  • Infection and bleeding
  • Changes in skin sensation
  • Scarring
  • Allergic reactions
  • Damage to underlying structures
  • Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures. One can lessen this risk greatly if one follows the instructions that are outlined by the surgeon.

Selection of the surgeon:

Cost should not be the only criterion when one selects a surgeon. This is most likely a once in a lifetime procedure that one goes through, so adequate research should go down while selecting your surgeon.

One should look at the surgeon’s –

  • Education, training and certification
  • Experience performing tummy-tuck surgery
  • Your comfort level with him or her

Tummy tuck is quite a popular surgery and the reason for it being popular is the advantages it offers as a procedure, which are:

  • A flatter tummy
  • Improved body image
  • One looks better in clothes or swimwear
  • Highly improved self-confidence

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Average rating:  
 1 reviews
by GSharma on Dr. Shilpi Bhadani
Liposuction & tummy tuck

I would say, Dr. Shilpi is not only the best doctor , she is very nice & humble person too. She gives confidence to the patients. You can trust her blindly on her advice. I am very happy to see myself as I loved my tummy tuck surgery & beautiful waist line. Thanks to Dr. Shilpi. I would recommend Dr. Shilpi to everyone.
✱ Results may vary person to person.

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