Abdominoplasty and How it's Done

Abdominoplasty and How it's Done

Also commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, an abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that tightens a lax anterior abdominal wall and removes excess abdominal skin. In essence, the surgery flattens the stomach by removing excess fat and skin and pulling together the abdominal muscles. It may be considered either reconstructive or cosmetic in nature.

Generally an abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia or a local anesthesia with IV sedation. While under general anesthesia, the patient is totally unconscious. If under local anesthesia, the area being operated on is numbed and the patient is relaxed using a mixture of IV sedatives and memory blocks. While either form of anesthesia is acceptable, general anesthesia is preferred. In some cases, members have reported having awareness and painful sensations during a surgery performed under local anesthesia. If your plastic surgeon is going to perform abdominoplasty under local anesthesia, please make sure to question the reasoning behind his decision. It may be medically necessary in your case or simply a preference of the plastic surgeon.

The surgery lasts between 2 to 5 hours depending on the extent of the procedure and the individual patient. It can be performed as either an inpatient or outpatient procedure at a hospital or surgical center. An inpatient procedure usually involves at least one overnight stay in the hospital or surgical center and an outpatient procedure involves less than 24 hours in the facility.

There are several different techniques used for abdominoplasty:

Full Abdominoplasty
This is the most common procedure and is usually what people are having when they refer to having a "tummy tuck." Two incisions are made (from hip to hip and the separation of the navel), excess skin and fat are removed, muscle is tightened, and a new hole for the navel is created.

Partial Abdominoplasty
This less complex procedure is used when the problem area is below the navel. The incision is much shorter, and the navel may not be moved. Skin and excess fat are removed and muscle is tightened.

Liposuction Only
While liposuction may be used in either of the above procedures, there are times when you might be a candidate for a liposuction-only procedure. Incisions are much smaller, and while excess fat is removed, the skin and muscle is left intact.

Please see the illustrations below illustrating a complete abdominoplasty:

Complete Abdominoplasty
In incision is made from hip to hip, just above the pubic region.  Excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen will be removed through this incision.

Complete Abdominoplasty
The navel is released from the surrounding tissue with another incision.  At this point the skin is separated from the abdominal wall, up the ribs.  The skin is lifted out of the way.

Complete Abdominoplasty
Excess fat is removed.  A narrower waistline and firmer stomach are created by pulling the abdominal muscles close together and stitching them.

Complete Abdominoplasty
The skin is drawn down and the excess is cut away.  Once positioned, a new opening is cut for the navel.  All incisions are closed.

Complete Abdominoplasty
The end result is a trimmer, flatter stomach.  While the scars are permanent they will fade with time.

  • Sunday, 20 May 2012