You love your kids, but they sure wrecked your body! Loose skin, stretch marks, unwanted fat and lax stomach muscles are all undesirable consequences of child birth or weight loss. Abdominoplasty removes excess skin and fat, tightens the remaining tissues and restores a more youthful contour.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the risks?
General anaesthetic carries some risk and there is bruising but rarely excessive bleeding. Infection occurs in 3% of cases and there can be healing problems around the belly button or along the incision line. There is always permanent numbness above the scar. Puckers at the ends of the scars sometimes require later revision and scars can sometimes be thicker than expected.
What is a mini-tuck?
This operation removes a smaller amount of skin with a smaller resulting scar and relies on liposuction to flatten the lower abdominal bulge. It does nothing for the upper abdomen or loose skin around the belly button and gets rid of very few stretch marks. This is a good option only if there is very little loose skin and almost no stretch marks.
Do I have to lose weight first?
How good a tummy looks depends on the quality of the skin and how much fat is in the upper half of the abdomen. If this area is excessively thick, the results of Abdominoplasty will be suboptimal and weight loss would be suggested before proceeding. Excessive weight is also detrimental to healing.
What about recovery?
This operation hurts a lot. Bandages come off after 2 days but a girdle is worn for 3 weeks or more. Initially you won’t be able to stand up straight because of pain and tightness (for a week). Getting back to normal activities usually takes four to six weeks. The sutures dissolve but the lower abdomen remains puffy for two months.
How is it done?
This surgery requires a general anaesthetic and a long incision from hip to hip. The skin, fat and stretch marks from the belly button to the hair line are removed, the muscles are tightened, the skin of the upper abdomen is pulled down and the belly button is reset. You get a tighter, flatter tummy in exchange for a long, lower abdominal scar. Usually liposuction is done over the ‘love handles’ as well.