To smooth out the abdomen, the surgeon makes a low abdominal incision across the pubic area, from hip to hip, and sometimes from the navel down. The excess skin is then pulled over the abdomen, cut and removed. The navel remains intact and hooked up to the abdominal wall then the surgeon will make a new opening that’s in proportion to the new stomach. If loose skin and muscle weakness are inadequate to the area beneath the navel, a slightly different procedure – which usually leaves a smaller scar and no scarring around the navel – may be performed.
Abdominoplasty is often combined with liposuction to assist lessen the areas of fat accumulation. Patients that are obese or have unnecessary loose skin might have a modification surgery referred to as Panniculectomy. This procedure tightens the loose skin of the abdomen and repairs weak muscles of the abdomen wall.
As this is considered as a major operation, the surgery requires a hospital admission of approximately three nights.
Duration of Operation
The procedure may take four to six hours depending on the case.
Tummy tuck can is usually done during general anaesthesia wherein the patient is asleep as the surgeon performs the surgery.
Pre Operative Care
Surgeons advised that patients to do the following prior to the tummy tuck surgery to avoid post operation bleeding or any complications:
• Inform the surgeon of any allergies, all medical conditions, and any medication that the patient are taking (both prescription and non-prescription)
• Avoid aspirin and any medication containing aspirin or brufen for two weeks before surgery.
• Avoid smoking for two weeks as smoking can affect body’s reaction to the anaesthetic and slow down the healing process.
• Inform the surgeon if suffering from hypertension.
Post Operative Care
After tummy tuck surgery, patients should expect the following:
• Bed rest for approximately three days. Whilst in bed a patient will be advised to lay with legs in a bent position to help reduce the strain on the abdominal area.
• Bandage and support garment. The abdomen may be dressed with bandages and the patient will experience some pulling across the abdomen. A light surgical support garment should be worn for roughly three months to support the tightened space following surgery.
• Ambulation. A patient may not be able to stand straight for some time due to the pulling, but it is advised to start walking for short periods as soon as possible after surgery to help to normalize the blood flow.
• Stitches. Surface sutures are removed after approximately 5 days and deeper sutures might stay for up to 7 days before being removed.
• Post op dressings. The surgeon will give directions on bathing and changing of dressing.
• Swelling and bruising. The extent of the post operative swelling and bruising depends on whether you tend to bruise or swell easily. Every person is different. It is necessary to not perform any strenuous activity after surgery to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the wound. Tension can stretch your incisions and increase scarring. The surgeon will discuss when a patient can return to their normal daily activities.
• Medications. Prescriptions for pain medication that the patient will take as needed, and antibiotics that will be taken for several days to decrease chances of infection.
• Recovery. The recovery period is usually about two weeks. While there should still be some swelling and bruising, most people are happy with the result and return to work after approximately 4 weeks. Patients should consult a surgeon as to when they may return to work.
Risks and Complications
Risks are inherent to any surgical procedure. But do not worry, all precautions are taken by Plastic Surgery Phuket’s surgeons to avoid these risks.
Here are the most common risks of this surgery:
• Long and heavy Scarring
• change in sensation to the affected area
Seeking immediate care from a health professional is advised for patients who will suffer from the following:
• bleeding that does not stop
• lightheaded feeling and have trouble breathing
• new and sudden chest pain
• more pain when taking deep breaths or cough
• swollen or painful leg
The final outcome may take up to twelve months as the affected area improves after nerve damage has repaired itself. Once the healing development is complete, it is essential to maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. An unhealthy diet will invariably lead to weight gain which will stretch the skin and increase the possibility of heavy, permanent scarring. In most cases, tummy tuck produces admirable results, and with a balanced diet and regular exercise, the results are long lasting.