After practicing for over 20 years as a fully accredited General Surgeon with an extensive experience of abdominal surgery, the aesthetic aspects of the abdomen seemed a natural extension of Dr. Scarlett’s interest in aesthetic surgery. He had acquired a wide experience in both full and mini abdominoplasty procedures, which together with liposuction where required produce significant improvement in patients with excessive abdominal tissue where this is performed for medical reasons or aesthetic deterioration such as may occur following pregnancy.
Where there is excess accumulation of fatty tissue on the abdominal wall it is often very difficult to move this tissue without some surgical intervention. Fat can be removed with liposuction and this can sometimes be all that is required. Often times the excessive fatty tissue will be associated with excess skin from stretching and weakness of the abdominal muscle wall, which together contributes to excessive protrusion of the abdominal wall. To address the shape of the abdomen in this situation a combination of interventions is required, these will consist of liposuction, removal of excess fat and skin, repositioning of the abdominal wall muscles and relocation of the umbilicus. Some combination of these components is required in most cases to improve the appearance of the abdominal. Exactly what would be required needs to be determined at a consultation for assessment where all the options would be discussed.
Abdominoplasty can be performed as a Day Case Procedure, but with more extensive surgery an overnight stay in the hospital may be required.
Abdominoplasty is performed under general anaesthesia. There are two types of tummy tuck procedures: complete abdominoplasty and partial or mini abdominoplasty.
Complete abdominoplasty is one where a long incision is made from hipbone to hipbone along the bikini line. The abdominal wall muscles are tightened, excess skin and fat are removed and the belly button is relocated with respect to the abdominal skin.
Partial or mini abdominoplasty removes pockets of excess fat and tightens the abdominal muscles but only below the naval. It can be done with a much smaller incision than a complete abdominoplasty. The belly button will usually not need to be moved but depends on the case. The incisions will be closed with sutures. You may or may not have a drain in place depending on your surgeons’ preference.
In a newer procedure called lipo-abdominoplasty extensive liposuction of the abdomen and flanks is done first before making the cut on the lower abdomen. The excess fat is thus already removed and the skin is ready to move down by sliding. The remaining procedures become easier, there is almost no bleeding and the recovery is also quicker. This procedure gives excellent contouring as well.
Selected cases can also be performed by a less invasive procedure called Endoscopic abdominoplasty. In this procedure, your surgeon inserts an endoscope through a tiny incision. The scope has a miniature video camera attached.
Video images will be displayed on a large screen, which will guide the surgeon during the procedure. Tiny surgical instruments are inserted through other small incisions over the abdomen for your surgeon to carry out the procedure. This can be used to tighten the muscles. The procedure is only suitable for highly selected cases.
Abdominoplasty is a relatively safe surgery, while lipo-abdominoplasty renders it even safer. However, as in any surgery, there are chances of potential complications including bleeding, blood clots in the lungs or legs, delayed healing, fluid collections, thickening of scar and infection.
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