Abdominoplasty

150The goal of abdominoplasty is to remove loose skin and flatten the abdomen. The scope of the procedure depends on how much excess skin and fat there is, and whether significant muscle laxity is present. Liposuction of the waist and the lower back area may also be necessary at the same time to achieve the best result.

The simplest type of abdominoplasty consists of excess fat removal by liposuction alone. This is applicable only to those who have tight abdominal skin and muscles. Women who fit this category usually have not had children. Men are often candidates for this together with liposuction of the flanks (“love handles”). Recovery is relatively simple and generally complete by one week.

Those with muscle laxity and mild lower abdominal skin excess are candidates for a “limited ” or ”. This procedure utilizes a low horizontal incision to provide access for both muscle tightening and skin removal. The scar is similar to that resulting from cesarean section although it is longer. Liposuction is frequently an integral part of this procedure.

A complete abdominoplasty permits maximum removal of excess skin and stretch marks although stretch marks that extend above the navel cannot be completely eliminated. The abdominal muscles are tightened with internal sutures. The flanks and lower back are often treated with liposuction at the same time. The main scar is much longer than that used for a mini-abdominoplasty. It is low in the center and curves up on the sides. It resembles the shape of bicycle handlebars and extends on each side as far as the bones felt at the belt line. The main scar can usually be designed to lie within swimwear lines and not show. There is also a second small scar that encircles the navel. Both scars usually fade after one year but they are permanent and are always visible to some degree. Their final width, texture, and color vary considerably from person to person.

Abdominoplasty should be deferred if future pregnancies are planned. Although pregnancy can proceed normally after surgery, the benefits of the procedure may be lost.

Abdominoplasty is always performed under general anesthesia. Surgery time ranges from one hour (liposuction-only) to three hours (complete abdominoplasty with hip liposuction). Plastic drains are placed under the skin at the time of surgery. They are removed next day. Stitches dissolve and therefore do not require removal.

The abdomen typically is tender for about 24 hours and stiff for several days thereafter. Full recovery generally takes about one week although it is often possible to return to work sooner. Exercise may begin after two weeks.

Mini-abdominoplasty and complete abdominoplasty are more uncomfortable due to the muscle tightening required. Return to work is possible in ten days after a mini-abdominoplasty. Strenuous exercise must be postponed for six weeks. Complete recovery takes three to six weeks. Strenuous exercise must be avoided for six weeks although light exercise may begin sooner depending on progress.

Complications following abdominoplasty are uncommon. They include blood collection under the skin (hematoma), infection, and delayed healing due to skin loss at the incision site. Treatment of a hematoma usually requires another short procedure on the same day as surgery. This does not affect the recovery process or the final result. Other problems usually heal without further surgery. Smoking increases the likelihood of wound healing problems such as skin loss that can be quite significant and require a month or more to heal. Disfiguring scars can result from this process. This is why smoking must be stopped completely for at least three weeks prior to surgery. "Cutting down" is not enough to eliminate the increased risk. A more significant potential problem is the development of leg vein clots that can lead to serious problems such as pulmonary embolism. Fortunately this is very rare although it is somewhat more likely to occur in overweight patients having an abdominoplasty compared to those having other procedures. Specialized boots that pump blood through the legs are always used during surgery because they reduce the risk of leg vein clots.

 
Abdominoplasty

Client Abdominoplasty

Client Abdominoplasty

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Client Abdominoplasty

Client Abdominoplasty

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Client Abdominoplasty

Client Abdominoplasty

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Client Abdominoplasty

Client Abdominoplasty

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Abdominoplasty
 
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