Tummy Tuck ( Abdominoplasty )
Many factors can affect of your abdomen. Childbirth can change the abdominal tissues to an extent, to which, exercise cannot correct. Excess fat deposits can produce undesirable bulges or fullness, and loose skin following childbirth or weight loss can result in an unattractive abdomen.
Abdominoplasty is a procedure, which improves the contour and appearance of the abdomen by contouring the underlying muscle, removing excess fat and loose skin.
During pregnancy significant stretching of the tissues of your abdomen occurs. After delivery, you can exercise to recover the tone in the muscles themselves, but the tissues which interconnect the muscles may have been stretched, and do not respond to exercise. Looseness of the abdominal tissues can result in bulging of the lower abdomen, which you may not be able to correct with exercise.
After significant weight loss your abdominal skin may become much looser, and may sometimes actually hang downward. Skin does not respond to any type of exercise, but loose skin can be removed during abdominoplasty.
Even in individuals who are not overweight, localized deposits of fat can occur in areas of the abdomen, producing undesirable contours. If fat deposits are the only contour problem, they may be correctable with suction lipoplasty alone, but if stretched musculature or loose skin are present, abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the best contour.
So abdominoplasty does three things: it reshapes the underlying framework of the abdomen to improve shape and contour, it removes excess fat deposits which may be present, and it removes excess loose skin to improve the overall contour, appearance and shape of the abdomen.
During your consultation, Dr. Gold will discuss with you each area of your abdomen, which concerns you. He will explain specifically which of the components of abdominoplasty will be necessary to achieve the best contour.
LimitationsLimitations and risks associated with abdominoplasty are very small.
How much your abdomen can be reshaped depends on several factors. The quality of your tissues is very important, and a factor over which we have little control.
If you are significantly overweight, you’ll get a much better correction if you achieve a more ideal weight before your abdominoplasty. There is a limit to the amount of fat, which can be safely removed surgically during the procedure.
To reshape the underlying musculo-fascial framework and remove excess skin, incisions are necessary. Incisions are placed low on the abdomen, and their length depends on the amount of correction you require. In most cases, it is necessary to reposition or reshape your umbilicus (belly button). Dr. Gold will discuss the specifics of incisions during your consultation.
Any necessary incisions will produce scars. The quality of these scars depends on several
factors, including your specific healing characteristics. You should think of scars as a trade-off for significant improvement in the shape of your abdomen.
Abdominoplasty cannot change the underlying skeleton and is limited in how much actual muscles can be reshaped. Dr. Gold will discuss any specific limitations during your consultation.
RisksOther risks common to all surgical procedures such as bleeding, infection and scar tissue formation occur in a very small percentage of cases. We encourage you to discuss any concerns you may have during your consultation.
The OperationIncisions for abdominoplasty are placed low on your abdomen to allow them to be best concealed. The length of the incision depends on the degree of looseness in your skin and how much will need to be removed as the upper skin is pulled down to improve the contour. Dr. Gold will discuss your preferences and specific ways in which he can minimize the length of your incisions.
How Abdominoplasty Is DoneThe skin and fat are first lifted off the underlying musculature of the abdomen. Dr. Gold makes very precise measurements and markings before beginning any reshaping, to most accurately control the final shape. If the fascia is stretched (the tissues which interconnect the muscles), he will tighten it by placing multiple rows of sutures. In some cases, the muscles themselves may be repositioned for best correction. In essence, the underlying framework of the abdomen is reshaped.
Next, excess fat is removed using suction or direct removal techniques. This reduces any excess thickness in the soft tissue to get the best redraping over your new abdominal framework.
The skin is then pulled downward to tighten it, and any excess tissue is removed below. Depending on the degree of looseness of skin and the amount of skin removed, it may be necessary to reposition the umbilicus (belly button).
RecoveryAll of your incisions will be carefully closed with stitches placed beneath the skin, so there’s no chance of your having “railroad track” type marks but rather very fine line scars. Your sutures will not have to be removed. They will simply dissolve.
To minimize fluid collection and swelling and improve your comfort in the treated areas, we’ll ask you to wear an elastic garment which we provide for two weeks or more after surgery, depending on the areas and extent of your procedure.
Following abdominoplasty procedures, most patients have mild to moderate discomfort the first 48-72 hours, which decreases rapidly thereafter. The extent of discomfort depends largely on the extent of surgery required to reshape your abdomen. We’ll prescribe medication for your discomfort as necessary.
Your abdomen will feel tighter as the result of its new, tighter shape. The feeling of tightness will decrease over 1-3 weeks as swelling decreases and the tissues become accustomed to their new shape.
It’s important to be up and about the day following your procedure. How much activity we’ll recommend depends on the specific procedure required to reshape your abdomen.
You will be able to shower within two or three days following surgery.
The Stages Of RecoveryOur patients usually want to know about four stages of recovery: hospitalization time, when swelling or bruising is resolved, when they’ll be able to return to work or social activity, and when they can return to full aerobic or strenuous exercise.
For abdominoplasty procedures, the average:
Hospitalization time: Abdominalplasty is usually performed as a day surgery procedure. Dr. Gold has a fully accredited surgical suite in his office for your convenience.
Bruising and swelling resolve: 21-30 days. Return to work, social activity: 5-14 days.
(This depends on the extent of the procedure). Aerobic or strenuous activity: 3-6 weeks.
We encourage returning to full normal activity very rapidly. To assure the best result and prevent damaging the reshaped areas, we’ll tailor a program of return to exercise according to your specific procedure.