APL Abdominoplasty Surgery
Procedure Weight changes and pregnancies can stretch the abdominal skin and leave behind lax tissues and stretchmarks. An abdominoplasty (=tummy tuck / belly tuck) removes excess skin, fat stretchmarks and scars in the lower abdomen, leaving behind a transverse scar over the pubic hair line from one hip to the other. The skin and fat are undermined (=lifted off the underlying muscle) and can therefore be tightened. Abdominoplasty can be combined with liposuction and muscle tightening (=rectus plication for divarication of rectus muscles). I do not use drains routinely. The wounds are repaired with sutures under the skin which do not require removal and dissolve within four months. A support garment following surgery is recommended. Variations of abdominoplasty surgery are: Mini-abdominoplasty: Tightening of lower abdominal tissues only Full abdominoplasty: Tightening of upper and lower abdominal tissues. A new belly button is shaped as part of the procedure Fleur-de-Lys abdominoplasty: Tightening of upper and lower abdominal tissues and narrowing the waist using an inverse "T" scar Belt lipectomy (=lower body lift): Excision of a belt of abdominal tissues from front, sides and back Apronectomy: Excision of lower abdominal tissues without tightening. This is safer in overweight patients with medical problems but is less aesthetic than an abdominoplasty
Scars Mini-abdominoplasty: Transverse Full abdominoplasty: Transverse & circular around belly button Fleur-de-Lys abdominoplasty: Inverse "T" & around belly button Belt lipectomy: Circumferential around body Apronectomy: Transverse +/- around the belly button
Operation time 2.5 - 4 hours
Anaesthesia General > (Local)
Hospital Stay Day Surgery > (Overnight)
Benefits Aesthetic, Psychological, Functional, Symptomatic
Risks Bleeding, Infection, Scar problems (stretched, thick, abnormal pigmentation, red, retracted etc.), Skin discoloration, Skin cones, Wound separation, Slough, Necrosis of skin and umbilicus, Fat cysts, Pain, Numbness, Weakness, Bruising, Swelling, Overcorrection, Undercorrection, Asymmetry, Remaining stretch marks, Recurrent redundancy, Aesthetic imperfections (higher risk after subsequent pregnancies / weight changes), Seroma, Organ injury, Bowel problems, Contour irregularities, Functional problems, Liposuction: Friction / thermal burns and fat embolism, Allergic reaction, Need for further surgery, Chest infection, Heart attack, Stroke, Blood clots in legs & lungs. N.B. Most complications are unlikely. Serious risks or death are rare
Risk factors Smoking / contraception / flights within 6 weeks of surgery, overweight, weight changes, pregnancy, high blood pressure, bleeding tendency (Stop herbal products or supplements for two weeks before surgery), diabetes
Optimising factors Diet rich in Vitamin C and protein, plenty of fluids, fresh air, scar massage, sun protection, support garments, a healthy and stable weight
Discomfort 1 - 2 weeks
Bruising 2 - 3 weeks
Recovery Light activities 2 weeks, Driving 3 weeks, Physical work & sports & sex 6 weeks, Unrestricted 3 months
Acceptable appearance 2 - 4 weeks for most patients (This is subjective and patient dependent)
Final result 6 -18 months
Alternatives No Surgery, Garments, Exercises, Weight loss, Liposuction


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