Q. What is abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty also known as tummy tuck is aoperatingprocedure to improve the shape and appearance of the abdomen. In this procedure, extrafat and skin are removed from the abdomen. The tummy skin which remains is then readjusted to create a more toned look. Also, in the same setting muscles of your abdomen can be tightened if found loose and also liposuction procedure can be added for contouring of sides of abdomen. Belly button is normally saved.
Q. Why should I get a tummy tuck done?
This procedure is done to in the following conditions:
- Excess hanging skin after weight loss
- Weight gain especially fat around abdomen
Q. Are there any special conditions when the procedure may be done with great care or delayed?
- If you are planning to lose significant amount of weight by other methods (like diet or exercise) then tummy tuck should be done after weight loss
- Planning pregnancy in the future as it will stretch abdomen again
- Have a severe medical co morbidities, such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease
- Heavy smoker
- Severe scarring of abdominal wall due to previous multiple surgeries
Under these conditions, surgery may still be carried out after careful discussion and surgical consultations by specialist.
Q. What are the associated risks?
Tummy tuck procedure can have some risks, including:
- Temporary fluid collection (seromas) can accumulateunderneath the skin which need to be removed with a needle.
- Blood can accumulate beneath skin which needs drainage.
- Skin infections although rare but possible. Routine use of antibiotic is recommended to avoid this.
- Delayed healing of wounds.
- If you have hernia, it can usually be corrected at the same time with tummy tuck.
Q. To whom should I consult?
This procedure is done by plastic surgeons. The surgeon will take a detailed history, perform examination, counsel you about the procedure and associated risks.You can discuss your expectation with the surgeon before getting the procedure done.
Q. What precaution should I take before getting the procedure done?
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid certain medications (blood thinners)
- Maintain a stable weight
- Arrange for help during recovery
- Plan your family
Q. What is the procedure?
This procedure is done in a hospital, under general anesthesia. Usually in tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon makes a cut to remove most of the fat and skinjust about the pubic hair (in natural skin fold). After removing the excessive fat and skin the incision stitched together and will leave a scar that falls along the natural crease within the bikini line.
Your belly button will also be repositioned during tummy tuck. In a few cases belly button needs to be excised, especially ones who have hernia.
Q. What is the duration of the procedure?
The processusually takes about two to three hours.
Q. For how many days do I have to stay in the hospital?
Most of the time 2-3 days.
Q. Will there be a dressing on my abdomen?
After surgery, stitch lines will be covered by sterile dressings. Small tubes might be beneath abdomen skin to drain any excess blood or fluid. These tubes will be removed after few days. Antibiotics will be prescribed to you to prevent surgical site infection for a week or more
Q. What about the post-operative care?
Wearing a belt (abdominal binder) around your tummy is necessary until 6 weeks after surgery. This helps prevent fluid accumulation and provides support while you heal. Your doctor will explain how to care for your scar. For the first six weeks after a tummy tuck, you cannot exercise.
Important points to understand:
- You must discuss all your medical condition that you have like blood pressure, Diabetes, Asthma etc. and all previous operations.
- All your medications (tablets) that you are taking.
- Any allergy to any medication.
- Family history of any illness.
- Any bleeding disorder.
- Always ask all questions that are in your mind, that you may have read or heard from someone.