Abdominoplasty is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen and in most cases to tighten up the abdominal muscles that have been stretched from pregnancy. Younger patients who have not had children, will often have good quality skin and benefit from liposuction alone to the abdomen and hip areas. As we age, the skin gets looser and doesn’t respond to liposuction as well necessitating removal of skin excess. Therefore, it is better to remove this excess. In the case of you having been pregnant, natural stretching of the muscle and skin is a situation where abdominoplasty is the only procedure to correct these changes. Most all abdominoplasties associated with liposuction of the hips, flanks and upper abdomen, improve overall final shape and lift. Abdominoplasties are one of the larger procedures that we perform as an outpatient and patients are admitted to a local hotel with a private duty nurse for the first night. Pain pump catheters are now placed in the muscle which substantially improves postoperative pain relief.
Reasons for Considering an Abdominoplasty:
-Diet and exercise fail to improve the abdomen area.
-Excessive accumulation of skin following weight loss.
-Loss of skin elasticity or diastases (loose abdomen muscles) due to pregnancy.
-The removal of unsightly skin and fat deposits as well as the proper alignment of the abdomen muscles to produce a more flattering look.
As the body recuperates, the patient can expect some swelling, pain, and discomfort. The stitches will be removed two weeks after the surgery depending on the procedure(s) involved. Normal activities can generally be resumed within two to four weeks; however any vigorous activity can begin at 6 weeks post-operatively. It may take up to a year for the body to completely adapt to the new abdominal configuration. With proper diet and exercise the striking results of the surgery will be long lasting. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery which can be treated effectively with oral pain medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize the risk for potential problems by carefully following the post-op instructions after surgery.