Cosmetic Abdominal Surgery
What is an abdominoplasty?
This is an operation designed to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal wall, thereby flattening, smoothing and tightening this part of your body. At the same time the layer over the muscles can be strengthened.
Who would benefit from this operation?
A flat and well-toned abdomen is something many of us strive for through exercise and weight control. Sometimes these methods alone cannot achieve our goals.
Sometimes even people with a normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:
• Significant fluctuations in weight
• Prior surgery
Abdominoplasty is a highly individualised procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfil someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
Those most frequently treated are women who have had several children. Both men and women who are overweight and have a large tummy may be suitable. Ideally, some people should be prepared to reduce their weight before the operation.
Women of childbearing age must remember that skin and muscles will stretch again if they become pregnant following surgery so this is really only a suitable procedure for those who have completed their families.
Abdominoplasty is a good option for you if:
• You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
• You have realistic expectations
• You do not smoke
Although the results of an abdominoplasty procedure are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly reduced by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies may be advised to postpone abdominoplasty surgery.
What a tummy tuck will not do:
Tummy tucks are not a substitute for weight loss or an appropriate exercise program. Also, tummy tuck operations cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be excised (generally the treated areas below the belly button).
What are the alternatives?
Sometimes liposuction alone may be adequate to correct the problem.
You are admitted to hospital for at least one night and the operation is done through one incision which is discussed with you beforehand. The skin and fat are removed and the deeper layer of tissue on the muscles is tightened as necessary, the wound is usually closed with absorbable sutures and you must wear a firm support garment for 3 weeks after the operation.
How long will it take?
The operation lasts about 2 to 3 hours and most people are able to leave hospital after 2 days.
Will I need an anaesthetic?
Yes. A general anaesthetic is used to keep you asleep for the whole operation.
What about pain?
Most patients feel some pain after the operation but this varies from person to person. It is usually more uncomfortable when you cough or move but there is often very little discomfort when you rest in bed. Pain killers are available to help and by the end of about a week most people are largely pain free.
Is there a scar?
As in all operations where the skin is cut or incised there is a scar. It runs across the tummy just above the pubic hair line and is thus usually hidden by a bikini.
What is the aftercare?
You can gradually increase your activity and at the end of one week most patients are walking and moving normally. As mentioned you must wear an elastic support for the tummy for 3 weeks but this will be supplied by the hospital. We like you to return for a check-up 7 days after the procedure.
When can I return to work?
As a rule most patients are able to go back to work between 7 and 10 days after the operation. Heavy lifting and strenuous sport should be avoided for at least 3 weeks.
How much will it cost?
Following your consultation, a package price will be provided to you in writing. This cost will include the surgeon’s fee, anaesthetist’s fee and hospital costs. It may not include extras such as post operative support garments.