Generally referred to as a “tummy tuck”, abdominoplasty removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen. The procedure also helps to flatten the abdomen by tightening the surrounding muscles. Women with stretched abdominal areas due to previous pregnancies can benefit considerably from abdominoplasty, although they should have completed their childbearing. Older individuals whose skin has lost some of its elasticity and are slightly obese can experience an improvement in their abdominal area.
If you are in generally good physical shape but are concerned about abdominal fat deposits or loose skin that does not respond to diet and exercise, the procedure can potentially reduce or even eliminate a protruding abdomen. Abdominoplasty can produce a permanent scar which can possibly extend to both sides of your hips, although the scar will likely be located below the bikini or bathing suit line.
At Aesthetic Surgery Center Antwerp, we frequently treat patients from out of town. For your convenience, we have created the form below which allows you to submit information about your surgical goals and photographs of yourself for Dr. Van Look to review.
The Abdominoplasty Procedure
Abdominoplasty takes approximately 2 to 5 hours to perform; the patient is placed under general anesthesia. Two incisions are made: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and another around the navel. Skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin flap is then stretched down over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached where it looks natural. The incisions are then closed, and sterile surgical dressings are applied over the sutured areas.
Recovery After Abdominoplasty
After surgery, a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. An overnight hospital stay may be necessary. Recovery time ranges from 2 weeks to 2 months. Abdominoplasty leaves a scar spanning the lower abdomen from hip to hip, although it is low enough to be concealed by a bikini. Maintaining weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise provides long-lasting results.
Risks Of Abdominoplasty
In addition to the usual risks associated with surgery and anesthesia, risks associated with abdominoplasty include the following:
- Poor aesthetic result
- Unsightly scarring
- Loose skin
- Numbness in skin sensation
- Need for revisional surgery
Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery may find that their old scars look more raised, have stretched or are more noticeable in general. Undergoing a scar revision may minimize their prominence.