Most of us have one area of the body that we dislike and would most like to change above all others. For many of us, it is the abdomen. Our abdominal area is particularly prone to gaining and holding fat cells. When it does, it grows in size, causing the skin to stretch with it. Sometimes this stretching causes the skin to extend beyond its usual furthest point, and when this happens, it can make it virtually impossible for it to return to being tight and firm again. Patients are left with excess skin, stretch marks and sagging. In some cases, and particularly in pregnancy, the abdominal muscles may have been so stretched that they have been damaged or completely separated. This makes it even harder to regain a firm and flat stomach. Diet and exercise can go some way towards helping, but many patients find that the only way that they can truly restore their previous shape is to undergo a cosmetic surgery known as abdominoplasty.
Better known as a tummy tuck, abdominoplasty is a very popular surgical procedure. The goal of abdominoplasty is to remove excess fat and skin from the stomach area, tighten underlying muscles where needed, and help patients to achieve a firm, flat and attractive abdominal area.
Abdominoplasty procedures are serious surgeries and so are performed using a general anesthetic, whereby the patient is asleep throughout. Precisely what will be involved in your abdominoplasty will depend on your individual circumstances. Some patients have what is known as a mini-abdominoplasty, which focuses purely on the ‘pouch’ between the belly button and pelvic mound. Meanwhile, a full abdominoplasty addresses the entire abdominal area, above and below the belly button, and may actually involve repositioning the belly button into a higher position after the muscles, skin, and fat have been improved. If the abdominal muscles need to be realigned and tightened, it will be necessary for your surgeon to separate the skin from the muscles first. Once the procedure is complete, the incision created for your abdominoplasty will be closed using sutures or staples, and the wound will be dressed and left to heal.
As it is such as significantly invasive procedure, patients must be sure to prepare for a reasonable recovery period. This is needed not only for the incision to heal but also for any underlying muscles to repair and strengthen.
Initially, you will need to allow time for the general anesthetic to wear off. This could take a number of hours, and during this time you will be groggy and confused. You almost certainly will need to stay in for at least 24 hours, possibly longer depending on how the initial healing period goes. This enables our team to ensure that your recovery gets off to the best possible start.
Patients who have an abdominoplasty will usually need to take between three and six weeks off of work while they heal – longer if you have a very physical job. During this time, you will be given specific instructions relating to:
Cleaning for your wound
Changing your dressings
Wearing a compression garment
Taking your pain medications
Moving around so that you don’t develop a blood clot
Drinking enough fluid
Eating a healthy, balanced diet
When you can drive following your surgery
It is absolutely essential that you follow the guidance provided by our surgical team. This will ensure that you have a healthy, quick and straightforward recovery, but will also support you in achieving the best possible result after your surgery.
If you would like more information about abdominoplasty surgery, please get in touch with our expert cosmetic surgery team today.
For more information about liposuction surgery, or to schedule your confidential consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced cosmetic surgery team at drnipandtuck in Atlanta, GA.