Abdominoplastic is performed in cases of significant relaxing and sagging of the belly skin after childbirth or rapid weight loss, reduced skin elasticity and formation of excessive fat cushions in the belly usually accompanied with slackening of the whole abdominal wall. The purpose is to achieve slimmer belly without excessive skin and remove often stretch marked skin. The intervention is not a method of reduction of extreme overweight, on the contrary in the case of obese patients this intervention is connected with increased risk.
Advantages of abdominoplastic
A great advantage is that a single operation can resolve more issues at once: you will get rid of hanging skin, excessive fat or splitting muscles. The cosmetic effect is significant and if you observe the post-operative instructions and avoid significant weight fluctuations the effect is permanent. The waist perimeter is reported to be reduced by two clothing sizes and thus stronger self-conscience is a clear advantage of every performed abdominoplastic.
The plastic surgery of the abdomen is performed under total anaesthesia and usually takes 2-3 hours.
In the course of abdominoplastic the belly skin together with its subcutaneous fat is relieved from a cut in the lower part of the belly from the groins to the ribs. Then the umbilicus is relieved and the skin is tensioned downwards. In the case of spitting abdominal muscles their plastic suturing is performed. Excessive skin and fat are removed, the umbilicus is newly placed and the resulting scar after the abdominal skin reduction is situated in the lower part of the belly, mostly hidden in the underwear. Then there is a small scar around the newly placed umbilicus.
In the case of a mildly slackened skin in the lower part of the belly the mini-abdominoplastic is performed. This intervention only aims at tensioning of the skin in the lower part of the belly and the umbilicus is not moved. In the case of extensive belly slackening the moved umbilicus and the scar in the middle of the abdomen from the umbilicus downwards cannot be avoided.
Abdominoplastic in plump patients may be combined with abdominal fat liposuction for improved effect.
At the end of the operation the skin and the subcutaneous layer are sutured and drains are placed. Right in the operating theatre the operated belly is compressed with compressive elastic post-operative underwear.
On the first day after the belly correction rehabilitation at the bed is performed (standing up, walking in forward bent position with the help of a nurse). This is mainly to avoid serious complications like embolism. As a rule on the second post-operative day redressing and drain removal are performed. Immediately after that a firm belly belt or compressive panties are put on and the client is released to home care.
It is necessary to continue to avoid belly straining and to walk in a slightly forward bent position. After 2-3 days after the drain removal the first complete shower can be taken. The post-operative period is not east, with the recovery taking up to several weeks. Observance of the rest regime is absolutely necessary for successful healing.
The fist post-operative visit to the clinic is required in 2 weeks after the surgery in the case of no complications. The elastic compression underwear is recommended for 4-6 weeks. This underwear works as a mechanical support protecting the abdominal wall in the case of muscle tensioning and contributing to quicker connection of the skin and fat layers to the muscles. If the abdominal muscle splitting is not operated the recovery time is shorter. The abdomen can be stressed in stages but no sooner than a month after the operation. Exercise is recommended to be postponed to at least two months after the surgery.
Abdominoplastic: possible risks
Like all operations, abdominoplastic may be associated with certain risks which you must be aware of. These are general operation-related risks connected with the total anaesthesia (bleeding - hematoma, infection, pulmonary embolism, poor healing, operation wound splitting, development of colloid scars etc.) plus intervention-specific risks.
Potential risks of abdominoplastic:
- Accumulation of fluid or blood in the subcutaneous area, serom or hematoma, is the most frequent consequence failure to observe the rest regime. Minor serom or hematoma is absorbed spontaneously, bigger accumulation of fluid or blood must be drained. When the patient is not at rest the fluid accumulation may recur.
- In some cases dehiscence of the wound edges may occur. Minor dehiscence heals spontaneously. Major dehiscence must be re-sutured.
- Necrosis is died part of the skin, usually in the lower belly. This is often the case of simultaneous liposuction or big strain of the belly skin. Increased risk is reported in the case of smokers, diabetic patients, obese and hypertonic clients. Also clients with scars in the abdomen from previous abdominal surgeries or seniors are at increased risk of necrosis. Development of necrosis is also assisted by fully upright posture after the surgery and failure to observe the rest regime. In the case of large necrotic areas corrective surgery may be needed, which extends the recovery.
- Disorder of blood circulation in the umbilicus and the skin at the edge of the wound is a rare complication. Another one is irregular shape of the resulting scars as a consequence of uneven strain of the abdominal skin.
- Disturbed sensitivity of the lower belly skin is a standard accompanying phenomenon of this operation. In the majority of cases with condition repairs within one year from the operation. This is not considered a complication.