What is Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgical procedure for re-contouring the abdomen. Since a bulging waistline is a nightmare for many, Abdominoplasty helps them to get back to shape. The aim of the surgery is to remove excess flab and improve the tone of the muscles. The surgery should be undertaken only when conventional methods fail to address the issue of excess abdominal flab. Abdominoplasty should never be the first line of treatment to reduce abdominal flab.
Who can benefit from tummy tuck surgery?
Being a cosmetic procedure with negligible medical benefit, the choice of surgery is personal. The ideal candidates are those who have a stable body weight and don’t smoke.
One may undertake the surgery if:
• Diet and exercise have helped to lose weight, but failed to rectify the protrusion of abdomen
• The abdominal muscles and skin are stretched and sagging following pregnancy
• If loose and excess skin hangs around the belly after a weight loss regimen
One may not undertake the surgery if:
• If one is still planning to have children. Pregnancies can separate the recontoured abdominal muscles
• If one is planing to achieve significant weight loss.
• If one is not comfortable with a permanent scar that result from surgery
Types of tummy tuck surgery:
• Complete Abdominoplasty: The surgeon will cut the abdomen from hipbone to hipbone and then contour the skin, tissue and muscle as needed.
• Partial or mini Abdominoplasty: Mini tummy tuck are often done on people whose fat deposits that are located below the navel.
• Extended Abdominoplasty: An extended abdominoplasty is a complete abdominoplasty plus a lateral thigh lift.
• High lateral tension tummy tuck: a high lateral tension abdominoplasty, in addition to vertical-line tightening, muscles are tightened horizontally.
• Floating Abdominoplasty or FAB Technique: This new technique, also known as an extended mini abdominoplasty, allows for tightening and shaping through a smaller incision.
• Circumferential abdominoplasty: A circumferential abdominoplasty is an extended abdominoplasty plus a buttock lift.
The surgery is done under general anaesthesia. The usual duration is in the range of two to three hours. The site of incision varies according to the type of tummy tuck surgery performed. The usual incision is made below the belly button extending to the pubic area.
Through the incision the fat and a part of the underlying fascia is removed. The saggy skin is also trimmed off. The fascia is then sutured after the desired tightening is achieved. The belly button is then repositioned to the predicted spot to give a natural appearance. The skin is then sutured. The suture line will create a permanent scar.
Once the surgery is over the person is shifted to the recovery room. Discharge from the hospital will happen the next day.
How to prepare for tummy tuck surgery?
Being an elective surgery, the onus is upon oneself to understand the implications of surgeries. The decision regarding the surgery should be a well thought out one. One should be aware of the limitations and benefits of the surgery. All aspects of the surgery should be discussed thoroughly with the doctor. There should be a clear discussion regarding what one wants and what the surgeon can deliver. Post surgery expectations should be realistic in nature.
Tummy Tuck in India:
Tummy tuck surgery is performed in all major hospitals in India. Abdominoplasty in India is more economical in India than developed countries.
Tummy tuck cost in India is around 7,000 to 8,000 USD
Risks and Safety measures for a tummy tuck:
Tummy tuck surgery also has usual risks associated with any surgery. They include-
• Reaction to anaesthesia
• Other allergic reactions
Some of the specific risks of tummy tuck surgery are:
• Fluid accumulation beneath the skin (seroma)
• Poor wound healing and infection. Antibiotics should be taken to prevent this
• Scarring- the length and visibility of the scar will vary from person to person
• Tissue necrosis
• Changes in skin sensation
Safety measures to prevent complications:
• Stop smoking- Smoking decreases blood flow in the skin and can slow the healing process.
• Avoid taking aspirin, anticoagulants, anti-inflammatory drugs and other drugs that increase the risk of bleeding
• Maintain a stable weight for at least 12 months before having a tummy tuck. Significant weight loss after the procedure can diminish your results
• Take medication to prevent complications
• Stick to the recovery schedule prescribed
Recovery and results of tummy tuck:
After a tummy tuck, the abdominal incision and the bellybutton will be covered with surgical dressing. Small tubes might be placed along the incision site to drain any excess blood or fluid.
The bed will be positioned to keep your upper body slightly raised. The knees should be kept at an angle to prevent pressure in the abdomen. Walking a few steps at short intervals is advised. This is to prevent blood clots in the veins in the legs.
Moderate pain, which can be controlled by pain medication, will be present. It's normal to have swelling in the surgical area for about six weeks. In some cases, swelling might take up to three months to resolve. Drains might be left in place for several days after surgery. One might need to continue taking an antibiotic as long as the drains are in place. Supportive abdominal garment (abdominal binder) should be worn for about six weeks. This is to help prevent fluid build-up and provide abdominal support.
By removing excess skin and fat and restoring your abdominal wall, a tummy tuck can give your abdomen a more toned appearance. Tummy tuck results are usually long lasting. Keep in mind that maintaining a stable weight is crucial for retaining the results.