What is Abdominal aesthetics?
Abdominal aesthetics or Tummy Tuck is an operation during which excess skin and fatty tissue in the abdomen is removed. The procedure is performed to restore the normal aesthetic proportions of the anterior abdominal wall. When correcting skin deposits, the doctor sutures the dispersed abdominal muscles and removes protrusions and hernias.
Such problems are caused by genetic predisposition, pregnancy and childbirth, and a sedentary lifestyle. This type of procedure is also used by elderly patients since muscles and skin lose their elasticity with age, and it is not possible to correct the situation with proper nutrition. With age, both men and women (especially after pregnancy and childbirth) change the shape and size of the abdomen. Fat deposits appear, the skin becomes flabby, the tissues are loose, overstretched. As a result, the appearance of the abdomen is far from ideal, and this significantly reduces the quality of life. The most effective way to “remove the stomach” is plastic surgery – abdominoplasty. Because of these reasons, the fat deposits rate increases in the abdomen area and the skin is getting loose and the stretch marks appear. Abdominoplasty is the best solution for correcting your abdomen.
Most often, the patients requiring this operation are women who have developed aesthetic body defects after pregnancy, natural childbirth and cesarean section. However, it is not uncommon for men to seek professional help. With the widespread development of bariatric surgery, more and more patients are resorting to surgical methods for the treatment of obesity, as a result of which sustained weight loss is achieved, which is accompanied by significant changes in appearance. These changes occur due to the formation of excess loose skin and fat folds not only on the anterior abdominal wall but in almost every area of the body.
How is Abdominoplasty done?
Abdominoplasty is performed in the supine position of the patient under general anaesthesia. The anesthesiologist introduces the patient into anaesthesia, and then, throughout the operation, stands at the patient’s head, monitoring the adequacy and safety of the anaesthesia. The doctor, the doctor’s assistant and the operating room nurse clean the hands, change into sterile surgical underwear and put on sterile surgical gloves. The area of operation is repeatedly treated with an antiseptic solution and the patient is covered with sterile surgical drapes. This stage is very important since compliance with all the rules of asepsis and antiseptics can prevent a number of troubles. After that, it is the turn of the operation itself. Abdominoplasty is a rather lengthy operation, it takes about 3.5-4.5 hours. The operation ends with the installation of drains, the imposition of a multi-row cosmetic suture on the incision area and the imposition of a bandage on the suture area. The anesthesiologist takes the patient out of anesthesia, watches him for some time in the wake-up room and transfers him to the department. In some cases, when a large volume of skin and fat has been removed, the patient spends the night in intensive care, under close supervision. This ensures the safety of the patient when performing abdominoplasty.
Methods for Abdominal Aesthetics
There are several methods that will lead to the desired result:
- Classical Abdominoplasty. With this approach, the doctor makes a horizontal and/or vertical incision in the anterior abdominal wall. After that, the doctor removes excess tissue along with scars and stretch marks located below the belly button and the doctor makes a new belly button. In the end, sutures are applied, drainage is installed, a bandage is put on.
- Endoscopic Abdominoplasty. Mainly used for younger clients who show muscle divergence but lack excess skin and abdominal fat. An endoscope is inserted in the belly button and several punctures are made in the pubic region.
- Mini Abdominoplasty. It is prescribed for people who have insignificant skin and fat deposits and deformation of the anterior abdominal wall.
- Full Abdominoplasty. It is necessary with strong deposits of fat, a large number of skin folds, which also pass from the abdomen to the back and thighs. With such an intervention, a transfer of the navel is required.
- Vertical abdominoplasty. Vertical abdominoplasty is an operation, the purpose of which is to create an aesthetic appearance of the anterior abdomen, based on the excision of fatty tissue and skin along a vertical line. The principle of vertical abdominoplasty is to displace the skin from the sides to the middle of the abdomen.
At the consultation, the doctor will select the appropriate method that, to the maximum allowable extent, will remove the pathology in accordance with the patient’s expectations and the real capabilities of the doctor. While performing the most complex combined technique, a longitudinal vertical incision and a transverse one is made in the lower abdomen. Then the doctor peels off a flap of skin with adipose tissue to the costal arches while opening the lateral parts of the abdominal cavity. In addition, an incision is made around the belly button. During the operation, hernias and signs of diastasis can be removed. In the next step, the surgeon excises the excess adipose tissue and ptosis of the skin. Further, the tissues of the upper abdomen are pulled up to the chest, the edges of the lateral flaps of fat are “pulled” to each other, and the surgeon applies a deep row of sutures, providing moderate tissue tension. This preliminary contraction allows you to determine the boundaries of the excision of the flaps. At the final stage, the surgeon fixes the belly button in a new position and sutures the tissue.
Preparing for Abdominoplasty
In women, an abdominoplasty operation is performed in the middle of the menstrual cycle. For 2-3 weeks, the doctor prescribes a diet. Its goal is to reduce weight and prepare the intestines for surgical procedures. As part of the diet, simple carbohydrates and foods that increase gas formation, such as sugar, flour dishes, canned foods, sausages, soda, cabbage, etc. are minimized or excluded from the menu. To reduce intestinal volume, eat 4-6 times a day in portions with glass. After 20 hours they try not to eat, or they eat easily digestible food – lean meat, fish, stewed vegetables, dairy products. 2 weeks before the abdominoplasty, the doctor may prescribe drugs that strengthen the walls of blood vessels. If a large volume of surgery is planned, a consultation with a vascular surgeon may be indicated. It is recommended to quit smoking at least a week in advance – nicotine slows down tissue healing. You should also exclude alcohol, taking anticoagulants and a number of other pharmaceuticals – they prevent blood clotting.
In addition, the doctor may prescribe the intake of sorbents and drugs that normalize the intestinal microflora. Regular physical training is also highly desirable, corresponding to the general level of fitness and state of health (but without excessive exertion). If there are no contraindications and individual intolerance, it is advisable to visit a bath or sauna once a week. To improve local lymph flow, massage, LPG, wraps are prescribed.
A light dinner is shown the night before. At night and in the morning, take sedative Phyto-preparations as valerian, motherwort, etc. From 0 o’clock on the day of the operation, hunger is shown (you can drink water). In the morning, do a cleansing enema, take a hygienic shower; do not use makeup. Take compression garments, medical and personal documents with you to the clinic.
After Abdominoplasty operation
Our patients remain under observation for 1-3 days in our clinic after the operation. There is pain after the abdominoplasty operation. Their intensity is determined by the individual characteristics of the patient, but in any case, standard anaesthetic drugs are sufficient to relieve pain. The patch is removed the next day after the intervention during the first dressing, at the same time the compression garment is put on. We prefer to wear compression garments the very next day after surgery, as it is more hygienic. At the first dressing, the general condition of the patient and the local status of the suture area are assessed. As a rule, drains are removed at the first dressing but may be left on longer. The day after the abdominal plastic surgery, the patient is in the ward under the supervision of medical personnel and a plastic surgeon. If drains were installed during surgery, they are removed. Also, on the operating table, a compression bandage is put on the patient – it must be worn for 14 days without removing. The next day after the operation, having received all the recommendations for the rehabilitation period from the doctor, you can go home. Note that 2 day is quite enough for patients, therefore, longer hospitalization is often not required. During this period, the patient may be accompanied by uncomfortable sensations: swelling, stiffness of movements, a feeling of numbness in the operated area and pulling pains. This is completely normal and corresponds to the period of rehabilitation. Therefore, it is important to understand pain relievers that can relief discomfort. Gradually, the uncomfortable sensations subside, as does the swelling. It is important to maintain physical activity like walking for faster recovery. Usually, our doctors prescribe a face-to-face examination to assess the patient’s condition and the picture of rehabilitation.
The general condition of the patient improves significantly. We recommend that our patients wear compression garments for a month. In addition, it should be emphasized that the result of the operation can be finally assessed after 6 months. This is exactly how much the body needs so that the skin shrinks in full, microcirculation and innervation of the skin are restored. Of course, most of the results will be noticeable as early as 1 month after the operation, but the final result will only take six months. In addition, it is imperative to understand that changes in appearance occur in stages, so if every minute you look at yourself in the mirror and get on the scales, then it is difficult to notice the changes. You need to choose a specific day, for example, Saturday and evaluate yourself only on these days, then you can see everything. All our patients are satisfied with the results of tummy tuck and try to maintain the result through balanced nutrition and moderate physical activity.
Swelling is completely normal after any surgical procedure. This is a kind of “response” of the body. The swelling builds up gradually. The peak of puffiness after a tummy tuck is 3-5 days. The abdomen becomes hard and round, there is a feeling of fullness; oedema can spread to the nearest zones – chest, hips. Then it gradually subsides. How to deal with this phenomenon? Prevention is a compression bandage, so it must be worn strictly, and the doctor also prescribes decongestants. Also, monitor your fluid intake throughout the day and monitor your diet.
Everybody who decides to have a tummy tuck is interested in how the seam will look after the operation and how noticeable it will be. The scar after abdominoplasty is located in the bikini area and is perfectly masked by underwear. Modern plastic surgery allows you to make the scar as invisible as possible. Plastic surgeons use the modern “scar bonding” technology. Many people mistakenly believe that the edges of the skin are simply glued together with some kind of superglue. But no glue can hold the skin. The technology of “gluing the seam” is as follows: the postoperative wound is necessarily sutured with threads, then a special mesh is applied to it, and the final stage is the application of special medical glue. The mesh and medical glue act as a patch to protect the wound.
Potential risks and complications of Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty is one of the most traumatic surgical procedures. High-quality professional observation in the postoperative period allows excluding a number of serious complications: congestive pneumonia, thrombosis, pulmonary oedema, etc. If you want to achieve perfect body contours without complications, choose a reliable clinic with qualified personnel and surgeon. The aesthetic result, the safety of the operation and the duration of rehabilitation are largely determined by the skill and experience of the surgeon who performed the abdominoplasty. Correctly performed intervention and patient compliance with medical prescriptions are effective prevention of the negative consequences of the operation:
- seromas – accumulations of infiltrating (serous fluid) in the wound cavity;
- seam infection;
- necrosis of soft tissues in the area of wound stitching;
- the formation of hypertrophied, keloid scars.
How much does Abdominoplasty cost?
For Ministry of Health-accredited centres, it’s not legal to specify prices on their website. Therefore, please dial 0212 241 46 24 to contact our polyclinic and find information on our Abdominoplasty prices.