Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess fat and skin from the stomach, tighten the abdominal muscles and help to modify the waist. To help you decide whether abdominoplasty is right for you, the following questions can clear up any queries that you may have regarding the procedure and ensure you know what to expect.
1. Do I need a tummy tuck?
The most suitable candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in relatively good physical condition, but have a large fat deposit or excess abdominal skin that is having a negative impact on their day-to-day living. The procedure is also particularly effective for women who have had multiple pregnancies and have stretched their abdominal muscles to an irreversible extent, or older patients who wish to combat a loss of skin elasticity.
It is however important to note that whilst the surgery may boost your confidence in your appearance, the results may not necessarily have the desired effect or meet your expectations, and these procedures should not be considered a quick fix to lose weight.
2. Who can perform the surgery?
When it comes to making a permanent alteration to your body, finding a well-respected cosmetic surgeon, such as those at London Plastic Surgery Associates, can make all the difference. In the initial consultation, your qualified surgeon will be able to assess your individual requirements and physical condition to ensure that you are suitable for the procedure and that you have realistic expectations.
The procedure can be complex, especially for overweight patients, and having a reputable surgeon to perform abdominoplasty can provide you with peace of mind that you are in good hands.
3. How do I prepare for surgery?
Your surgeon will be able to provide you with advice on how to prepare for your operation. You will generally be advised to stop anything that will impede your ability to heal, including abstaining from smoking, excessive sun exposure, rigorous dieting and certain medications.
As a general rule of thumb, you should get plenty of rest and ensure that you feel prepared on the morning of the surgery. It is also a good idea to make sure that you have someone to take care of you after you have been discharged from hospital, as moving around by yourself may be difficult.
4. What does the procedure involve?
The procedure will usually be performed under a general anesthetic and involve the surgeon making an incision across the lower half of the stomach. When the skin has been removed, the abdominal muscles are then tightened and stitched into their new position. Any excess skin is removed and the incisions are stitched back together and wrapped in dressing.
The time it takes to complete the surgery will depend on the extent of the procedure; where full abdominoplasty can take from 2 to 3 hours, partial abdominoplasty is likely to only take an hour or two.
5. What can I expect after the surgery?
Depending on the extent of the procedure, you may be discharged on the day, although an overnight stay in hospital is generally recommended. Some temporary pain and swelling is to be expected, although your doctor will be able to prescribe medication to ease any discomfort. Although movement may be difficult for a few days post-surgery, participating in gentle exercise will help to speed up the recovery process and reduce any swelling.
Stitching will be removed approximately 5 to 7 days after the operation, depending on the depth of the incision. Scarring will usually reduce after a few months, but is unlikely to disappear entirely.
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