You’ve definitely heard the term “tummy tuck”, but what does it actually entail? Tummy tuck is a colloquial term for abdominoplasty which is a procedure that tightens and improves the appearance of the abdomen. It’s a popular choice for different reasons like wanting to look more shapely after losing a lot of weight or choosing to get back your body after pregnancy.
In fact, many people turn to abdominoplasty after undergoing massive weight loss as it removes large amounts of hanging skin from the lower abdomen, contours the hips and flanks, and tightens the rectus abdominus (“six pack”) muscles. After losing large amounts of weight, the abdominal pannus (excess abdominal skin) can not only be difficult to contain under clothing, it can also make exercising and moving uncomfortable. In some cases, it even leads to thrush, boils and chronic skin infections due to the loose abdominal skin rolls. There are many types of abdominoplasties that are defined by the location of their incision lines.
What can a tummy tuck do for your body?
An abdominoplasty can define and tighten your waist. Your specialist plastic surgeon will remove a wedge of tissue from the lower abdomen, disposing of excess skin and fat. Then, the muscles are tightened and a final incision is made from one hip bone to the other bone. The surgery normally lasts between 2 – 3 hours. The scarring may appear near the belly button and around the area where the incisions were made.
The operation is performed in a hospital and patients are often required to stay 1 – 2 nights to recover. Patients are advised to take three weeks off work after the surgery to aid a proper rest and healing. Many patients are able to return to normal daily activities after two weeks and then slowly get back into their usual routine.
Potential risks associated with abdominoplasty
While having a specialist plastic surgeon who is a qualified and accredited professional guarantees the safety of your surgical procedure, there are risks that are important to keep in mind before you make a decision to get tummy tuck done
- Bleeding or haematoma. On some occasions, blood clots can form as a result of the surgery. In this case, the patient must return to hospital immediately for their surgeon to remove the blood clots.
- Scars. While scars may look quite thick and red for the first 6 – 10 weeks, they will slowly heal and improve for up to 18 months after the tummy tuck procedure was done. If you are concerned about the appearance of scar tissue, ensure that you discuss it in detail with your specialist plastic surgeon.
- Anaesthetics risks. A few patients may have an allergic reaction to anaesthetic or feel anxious about it. It is important to notify your surgeon about any allergies and any concerns you may have about the general anaesthesia.
If you have a question about non-surgical treatments, give our friendly team at Forme Institute a call and we’ll be glad to help.
FRACS (Plastic Surgery) – Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
Past President : ASAPS ( Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons)
Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
PhD (Eyelid Surgery) – University of Louisville, USA