A tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) is a lifting technique that removes excess loose skin and fat. It is the most complete belly surgery as it removes all excess skin between the navel and the pubic area.
Indications for Tummy Tucks
It is necessary to undergo abdominoplasty whenever there is significant sagging of the skin due to excess fat, stretch marks, or scarring.
Abdominoplasty can work on three problems at the same time:
- Excess fat in the stomach: That appears with age, most often in men after their forties, and in women after the menopause
- An excess of skin: What is visible is the classic abdominal apron following pregnancy or significant weight loss
- A separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) from birth or following a cesarean section
If the excess fat is significant and there is moderate sagging of the skin without any distension of the muscles, belly liposuction is enough to cause a limited but still sufficient retraction of the skin.
In cases where there is a significant excess of fat and sagging skin, it becomes necessary to perform a tummy tuck.
The tummy tuck operation is performed under general anesthetic and requires hospitalization for one to two nights. The procedure lasts between one to three hours depending on the importance of the work to be done.
The procedure consists of three distinct phases.
The surgeon begins by sucking out the fat on the abdomen and the sides. Liposuction makes it possible to refine the area of the abdominal wall in the stomach before eliminating excess skin.
Two types of procedures exist depending on the extent of the sagging skin.
- In cases where there is minimal loose skin, the surgeon will perform a mini-abdominoplasty. This removes excess skin in the area below the belly button without any need to go near the muscles. This technique reduces the risk of bleeding and leaves a small scar as well as shorter sequelae.
- In cases where there is a lot of sagging skin, the surgeon will perform a complete abdominoplasty. This removes excess skin at the level of the lower part of the belly and tightens the upper half, which is then stretched to cover almost double the surface area. The navel then appears at its normal height, through an orifice made in the lowered skin.
There will be scarring and its length will depend on the amount of skin removed. This scar will be located at the lowest possible level of the pubic bone and could extend from one hip to the other. Its length can be predicted before the operation. It should normally be able to be concealed by suitably sized undergarments. In cases of complete abdominoplasty, there will also be a small circular scar around the navel.
Abdominal Wall Reconstruction
The surgeon will tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. This tightening of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) recreates a strong abdominal belt, flattens the stomach area, and refines the waist.
At the end of the procedure, the practitioner will apply a dressing that is to be changed regularly for the next 15 days.
A compression bandage and drains are installed and worn for one to two days before being replaced by a compression sheath that the patient will wear day and night for one to two months.
The stitches will be removed after 15 to 20 days. The scar is often pink during the first two to three months, then it gradually fades over one to three years without disappearing completely.
Results of abdominal surgery
Results are immediately visible. Excess fat and skin have completely disappeared, as well as stretch marks and the belly is nice and flat. It becomes permanent after two months when edema above the scar has completely diminished in size. The belly is then nice and flat, tight, and the waist is thinner.
The physical and psychological changes are often extraordinary. The person can wear clothes that fit more tightly to the body, they can get back into a swimsuit on the beach and regain confidence in their intimate relationships.
Prices for Tummy Tucks
A 1 to 2 night stay
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Consultation with a surgeon
Consultation with an anaesthesiologist
*Fees may vary from one practitioner to another.
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