Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
What is abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is the operation performed to treat drooping, loosening, bulging, and stretch marks on the abdomen, or to correct belly button malformations. These operations help the abdomen gain an athletic and tight look. Additional procedures to the back and the waist also support the aim to achieve a slimmer and prettier body.
Abdominoplasty operations can be classified into two. If there is visible accumulation and bulging above and below the belly button, a complete abdominoplasty should be carried out. On the other hand, if the accumulation and bulging is below the belly button exclusively, mini abdominoplasty operation would be sufficient.
Who undergoes abdominoplasty?
Patients who had one or multiple child births, who have fat accumulation and sagginess above and below the belly due to excessive weight gain or loss, who suffer from bagginess in the abdominal wall, or the ones who have slight-medium level fattening in their waist and back are suitable candidates for this operation.
What should be done prior to surgery?
As in all plastic surgeries, the patient should quit smoking minimum two weeks prior to the operation and should also avoid smoking for two weeks after the operation. Anticoagulant drugs, such as Aspirin etc. should be quitted minimum 10 days before the operation. The patient should discontinue any other medication or dietary supplement (medication that include Ginseng, CoQ, Gingko Bloba etc.) 1 week before the surgery. The patient should also disclose any other significant condition to their surgeon.
What is the surgery technique?
These operations are performed under general anaesthesia in operations rooms and they might take up to 2 to 4 hours. Liposuction is applied to the back, waist and abdomen area at the beginning of the operation. Then a long incision is made along the caesarean line. The abdominal skin is lifted up to the ribs to form a kind of a tunnel to reveal the muscles in the middle. Excessive skin tissues are removed, abdominal muscles are tightened, abdomen skin is lifted, waist curve is formed, and the reshaped belly button is fixed at its new place. At the end of the operation, the patient will have suture marks inside the belly button and in the bikini area. The patient wears a corset at the end of the operation.
What to expect after abdominoplasty:
After the operation, patients are sent to their beds in a special position with their post-surgical girdles and draining tubes used to avoid venous blood accumulation. Patients might need to be hospitalized for a day or two. For seven to ten days, patients are advised to walk with their back bent forward in order to prevent tension on sutures. After 10 days, patients can start to walk in an upright position. Patients are advised to wear their girdle day and night for the first three weeks. The sutures do not need to be removed. Patients can resume their daily lives after 10 days. For the first six weeks, they are advised to avoid movements that might force their abdominal muscles. The recovery period is shorter in mini abdominoplasty. Most of the oedema should be gone by the end of the second month. It may take 6 to 12 months for the body to find its final shape.
Does the position of the belly button change after tummy tuck surgery?
No, it doesn’t. The umbilical cord is not considered part of the abdominal skin, but an independent structure of the muscles with its own connection.
Will be there permanent scars after an abdominoplasty?
One year after surgery the scar will look like your own skin colour.