Surgical Procedure

The method of surgery is to tighten the skin of the abdomen by undermining the skin and stretching it. Excess skin and fat is then removed. The incision is placed across the lower abdomen but sometimes is like an upside down T. The scars are concealed by clothing. The operation is done under general anesthetic (you are asleep). Often this is an outpatient operation but many patients choose to stay in the hospital overnight. Patients who are obese or have large amounts of loose skin may need a modification of this operation called a panniculectomy.

Technique

This operation is done to tighten the loose skin of the abdomen and repair the weak muscles of the abdominal wall (rectus muscle). It is sometimes combined with liposuction to smooth the edges and improve the contour.

Duration of Operation

Two to three hours

After Care

Bed rest for two to three days is recommended. While in bed, your legs should be bent at the hips in order to reduce the strain on the abdominal area. You will be provided with a firm abdominal binder to offer support to the tightened areas.

Your doctor will give you instructions for showering and changing your dressings. And though you may not be able to stand up straight at first, you should start walking as soon as possible.
Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days upon surgery, and deeper sutures, with ends that protrude through the skin, will come out in two to three weeks.

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Recovery

This is a major operation. The recovery takes at least one to two weeks. Most people are back to work within two to four weeks.

Results

Abdominoplasty, whether partial or complete, produces excellent results for patients with weakened abdominal muscles or excess skin. And in most cases, the results are long lasting, if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

Hospital Admission

Three nights admission to hospital.

Pre Operative Care

Inform us about any allergies, any serious medical condition(s), and all medications you are taking (both prescription and non-prescription)

Avoid aspirin and aspirin-containing medicines for two weeks prior to surgery.

Post Operative Care

You should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks as your body heals, but within 4 to 6 weeks you should be able to resume all normal activities. It’s important to continue wearing the compression garment, which should be easily hidden under your clothing, until your doctor tells you that it is no longer necessary.

What are risks and complications?

All operations have some risk. The risks of surgery are divided into two groups. First, those that are common in all operations and second, those that are unique to this particular operation. In the first group, the main risks are swelling, bruising, fluid collections, bleeding, infection, scarring and numbness, or a change in sensation. The main problem which is special for this operation is the long and sometimes heavy scar. The incision is sometimes slow to heal and crusting or scabbing along the scar may occur for several weeks. This is a major operation and the risks of major surgery, such as blood clots in the legs, can occur.