Abdominoplasty: what you need to know
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What is abdominoplasty surgery?
Do you want to flatten and tighten your abdomen and remove excess skin?
Can an abdominoplasty procedure replace diet or exercise?
"No, an abdominoplasty procedure can’t replace your diet and it’s not a substitute for exercise and weight loss. You only should have an abdominoplasty if your weight is stable because your results can be affected should you gain weight after the surgery. So before you have an abdominoplasty, make sure you follow an active lifestyle and that you have a healthy diet.
I also recommend having the procedure after you have had your children. So if you’re planning to have more children in the future, I recommend that you wait."
Types of abdominoplasties
A full abdominoplasty is the most common procedure. This surgery is done under a general anaesthetic. The procedure takes about two hours.
"We make an incision just above your pubic area, from hip to hip. Then we remove the excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen, often the size of a football. Then I tighten the muscles with sutures. This procedure can be combined with liposuction to further contour and remove excess fat."
The mini abdominoplasty is another option. It’s a partial abdominoplasty and it can be done with a smaller incision. It requires less tissue removal and muscle tightening. It is perfect for patients who have minor skin excess in the lower abdomen.
There is a third type called ‘Fleurs-de-lys’-abdominoplasty. This operation involves a vertical midline incision also. This technique is well suited for patients who already have midline scars and wish to deal with the excess skin in the flanks and waist.
A fourth type of abdominoplasty is called ‘total body lift’, or belt lipectomy. It is an extended abdominoplasty or circumferential abdominoplasty.
"This is a more extensive version of the full abdominoplasty because we will also remove excess skin from the lateral flanks, upper hips and lower back."
What can I achieve with an abdominoplasty procedure?
"Both women and men are suitable for abdominoplasty surgery, however the majority of my patients are women who have put on weight following childbirth. Whilst diet and exercise are really important at improving the appearance of the lower abdomen, sometimes surgery is required to get rid of excess skin and fat. In men where there has been massive weight loss following bariatric surgery, abdominoplasty can get rid of the excess fat and rolls of skin. Abdominoplasty surgery is a great way of flattening your stomach and regaining self-esteem."
Reduction of stress urinary incontinence: After a vaginal birth, some women leak urine after coughing, exercising, sneezing and laughing. Most of the time you don’t need surgery when this happens, though a recent study has shown that an abdominoplasty can aid in recovery.
A ventral hernia correction: A ventral hernia occurs when your intestine or abdominal tissue breaks through your abdominal wall. This often happens because your abdominal muscles have weakened. As part of an abdominoplasty procedure, any ventral hernias are excised and repaired.
Infections in the skin folds: Fungal and bacterial infections cause pain and embarrassment. By removing the excess skin and fat these infections are markedly reduced.
Recovering from your abdominoplasty surgery
As you know by now, there are several types of abdominoplasty proceduress. Recovery depends on which type of surgery you have. In general, the more extensive, the longer it will take to fully recover.
Technically, this procedure is done as an overnight stay procedure in my practice. This means you can go home the following day. Some patients may need or choose to stay in hospital longer depending on their particular circumstances. You won’t be allowed to drive, so bring someone who can drive you home.
"Immediately after your surgery, your tummy will feel tighter and firmer. You will have an abdominal binder put on to support the tummy. This helps with your recovery from day one."
"We will remove these drains typically three to seven days following your surgery, depending on the amount of fluids coming out. Sometimes (particularly following larger abdominoplasties or when we have combined the procedure with liposuction) the drains may stay in up to two weeks. Most of the sutures that are used are absorbable but we will check on the wound healing one week after surgery. You will continue to wear compression garments for up to three months following your surgery to reduce swelling and provide support to the skin as it tightens."
"We discuss your recovery process during the consultation, because there are many factors that play a role. What type of work you do, for example? Or, what type of surgery will we perform? For example, a mini abdominoplasty will require less recovery time than an extended abdominoplasty."
Why Dr Jeremy Rawlins as your preferred Perth abdominoplasty surgeon?
“When you trust a surgeon to improve your quality of life, you expect excellence not only in theatre. You also deserve clear communication and care from the entire team. Me and the team will ensure a personalised experience from your initial enquiry, your consultation and with the nurses on the ward and in the rooms.”
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St John Of God Wexford Clinic
Level 1, Suite 26
3 Barry Marshall Road
MURDOCH WA 6150
St John of God Mount Lawley hospital
Suite 2, Level 1 Medical Centre
MT LAWLEY WA 6050
Mon-Fri from 9am-5pm
Closed for public holidays