Pregnancies and weight loss not infrequently result in lax soft tissues in the abdominal region and weakness of the underlying muscles. This can also include separation of the rectus abdominus muscles (divarication). Abdominoplasty can restore both the contour and strength of the abdomen.
This surgery is commonly referred to as “tummy tuck”. In reality, there are a wide range of procedures utilising differing approaches to optimally re-contour sagging skin and excess fat whilst repairing weakened abdominal muscles.
As with all body contouring surgery, it is highly desirable that patients achieve a near ideal weight pre-operatively. This allows the area undergoing surgery to be optimally blended with the surrounding body.
I do not perform this operation on patients who smoke cigarettes. This substantially increases the risk of wound healing problems and deep vein thrombosis.
- Recovery from this surgery is very much dependant on the type of procedure performed. Simpler operations to just recontour excess skin and subcutaneous fat in the lower abdomen (especially after pregnancies) are associated with prompt return to normal levels of activity. When abdominal muscle repairs (most commonly of separated Rectus abdominis) are required, recovery is slower.
- All patients are actively encouraged to mobilise immediately post operatively. This, together with measures including the use of calf compressors during surgery, wearing calf compression stockings, and the use of low dose heparin or similar medications are all directed to minimise the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
- Patients shower daily from the first post operative morning.
- Typically, few, if any external sutures are used to close abdominoplasty wounds. Wound care generally consists of adhesive paper tape, soft gauze pads and a supportive elasticised binder.