Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a popular cosmetic procedure which involves stretching the abdominal muscles and skin in an effort to make a smooth and flat tummy.
The skin and abdominal muscles which are affected by childbirths, weight loss and poor diet, lose their elasticity and ability to return their prior condition, despite working out or nutrition plans.
In such cases, abdominoplasty has drastic effects and corrects the sagging abdominal skin by removing it and stretching the abdominal muscles. Thus, not only the belly becomes flat but the waist gets thinner, too.
There many factors which contribute to the results each person gets, e.g. skin quality, body type and individual particularities affecting wound healing. Apart from that, all operated patients are really satisfied with the results and their new look
Despite hard working out and specialized, custom-made nutrition plans, a lot of men and women see that they just cannot get rid of that loose skin and fat ‘colonizing’ their abdomen region.
Abdominoplasty can remove excess fat and skin from the tummy and at the same time strengthen the abdomens.
A good candidate is someone with relatively good weight-height proportions, who has loose abdomen skin non-responsive to exercise and diet.
As childbirths may cause belly skin to sag and the abdomens to weaken, a lot of women undergo abdominoplasty.
A good medical history and the realistic expectations of the candidates are factors contributing to the successful outcome of the surgery.
Causes of loose skin
Abdomens and skin may become loose:
- After dramatic weight loss
- After childbirths
- Due to natural aging
- Due to inheritance
In our effort to achieve the best result possible, we have classified abdominoplasty into several categories. The most common one is the well-known traditional abdominoplasty. Depending on the extent of the surgery, total abdominoplasty (traditional) usually lasts 2 to 4 hours. Mini-abdominoplasty lasts less than 2 hours. Prior to every procedure, the surgeon obtains the patient’s medical history and orders lab tests.
1. Full tummy tuck-abdominoplasty
- An incision is performed from one hip to the other, above the pubic region.
- Another circular incision is performed around the belly button to release it from adjacent skin.
- The skin is detached from the abdominal wall. The muscles and fascia are revealed and are then stretched with sutures.
- The excessive skin and fat are also removed, and the remaining part is sutured with internal stitches and tissue adhesive.
- The belly button is now in its new position through a small incision, and is sutured onto the skin.
- Complementary liposuction may be carried out on the sides.
- Placement of drains, dressings, and special tummy belt.
Final closure of the procedure and placement of the new belly button.
Traditional abdominoplasty with a new belly button (archive photos)
2. Abdominoplasty–New method PTS (no pain-no drain)
The new technique involves the placement of special PTS stitches (progressive tension sutures) on the internal part of the skin, which are performed in two layers – one vertical line on the median line and one horizontal to gradually close abdominoplasty from top to bottom with special PTS stitches and without leaving any gaps.
3. Mini tummy tuck-abdominoplasty
- Smaller incision
- The skin and fat of the lower abdominal region is detached to a smaller grade and extent than the muscles, and usually up to the umbilicus.
- The umbilicus is not released or it is moved along with skin after being detached from the muscles (floating umbilicus).
- Lower umbilical muscles are strengthened with sutures.
- The skin is stretched together with the umbilicus and spare skin is resected together with its fat tissue.
- Small drainage catheter is usually inserted.
- The skin is closed with tissue adhesive.
- It is also called ‘Lipo-Tummy’ because it is combined with liposuction.
- It is addressed to women with slightly sagging skin below the
umbilicus (post-partum belly).
4. Extended abdominoplasty
Extended abdominoplasty is a traditional abdominoplasty combined with lateral thigh lift. The incision advances to the sides and extends up to where the butt begins. The results are comparable to traditional abdominoplasty, with synchronous stretching of the lateral thigh skin, iliac crests and waist.
5. High lateral tension tummy tuck
It is a traditional abdominoplasty which is slightly more time-consuming. Traditional abdominoplasty stretches the muscles on a vertical plane.
This method, known as high lateral tension abdominoplasty, strengthens the muscles not only vertically but horizontally too, and creates better stretching on the belly and waist.
6. Circumferential abdominoplasty
It refers to extended abdominoplasty with butt lift. The incision is performed all around the body.
The procedure is also known as body lift or belt lipectomy. It is suitable for patients who have lost a lot of weight after bariatric surgery or diet and their weight is has been stable for some time (post-bariatric plastic surgery).
Operated patients are hospitalized for two nights maximum. Minor procedures can be treated as Same Day Clinic Patients.
Drainage catheters are removed 48 hours after the surgery. All patients are administered antibiotics for prevention purposes and mild analgesics like Lonarid-N or Depon. Recovery depends on the extent of the surgery and the individualized medical problem addressed each time.
Recovery usually takes a week. 4 weeks later, the patient returns to his/her heavy activities, if any. During the first 3-4 days there is some discomfort but not real pain.
The pain is not comparable to C-section pain and is usually more intense. All operated patients wear a special belt for 4 weeks to help them recover faster and maintain the results of the procedure. In addition, the belt helps avoid swelling and bruising.
As time goes by, the scar improves with the application of a special cream for better healing.
Watch the procedure on video