TUMMY TUCK SURGERY – WHAT’S INVOLVED?

There are a variety of abdominoplasty procedures available, and operations can be tailored to suit a patient’s wishes and needs. Generally speaking, however, tummy tucks are most commonly carried out to remove excess skin,

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There are a variety of abdominoplasty procedures available, and operations can be tailored to suit a patient’s wishes and needs. Generally speaking, however, tummy tucks are most commonly carried out to remove excess skin, unwanted scars, stretch marks and fat, and to tighten the stomach muscles.

The ideal patient is someone whose weight is normal, particularly those who have been overweight and have lost the excess weight. Abdominoplasty is not an operation for people who are overweight, or as an attempt at losing weight. In appropriate patients, abdominoplasty can have a very marked effect and is associated with high patient satisfaction.

Here’s what techniques are involved in a tummy tuck surgery:

Full abdominoplasty

For patients who have significant skin laxity, excess fat and separation of the muscles, a classic tummy tuck is the most common procedure. During the operation, an incision is made from hip to hip and around the umbilicus. The excess skin and fat are excised from the umbilicus to just above the pubic hair. The muscles above and below the umbilicus are tightened. The skin is then sewn up to give a circular scar around the umbilicus and a long scar across the lower abdomen. Although this operation leaves a large scar, it does provide the greatest improvement in abdominal shape and the scar is well hidden under the bikini line. Patients who are thinking about becoming pregnant should not undergo this procedure and should wait until they are sure they are not having any more children.

Mini abdominoplasty

For patients with only a small amount of excess skin a lesser abdominoplasty might be appropriate. A general anaesthetic is still needed. During the operation, skin and fat is excised from the lower tummy leaving a horizontal scar above the pubic hair. Sometimes the muscles will also be tightened. No scar is left around the umbilicus, which may be stretched slightly to become a different shape. A mini abdominoplasty will give a smaller effect than a full abdominoplasty.

Liposuction

Liposuction can sometimes be done at the same time as the abdominoplasty. However, liposuction can be recommended instead of an abdominoplasty for younger patients who have good quality, elastic skin and whose main problem is a localised excess of fat.

Cummerbund Lipo-Abdominoplasty

Dr. Sajjadi often combines abdominoplasty with liposuction, addresses the muscles and also lifts up and tightens the fascia of the lower abdomen like a cummerbund for more natural results, shorter down time and best scars. He calls it cummerbund lipo-abdominoplasty

All abdominoplasties result in some scarring although the nature of the scars will depend on the technique that has been used. Scars tend to be quite red and raised in the first six weeks, changing over next six months or so and then fading to white. Most patients will form good quality scars over time, but occasionally and unpredictably some patients will get red lumpy scars that do not improve.

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