An abdominoplasty, or ‘tummy tuck’, is a procedure aimed at removing redundant abdominal tissue, tightening the abdominal wall muscles, and reshaping the appearance of the abdomen. These issues usually occur after pregnancy, or a major weight loss. An abdominoplasty targets issues related to:
- rashes that can occur under abdominal wall folds
- abdominal wall weakness
- unsightly appearance
The goal of reshaping the abdomen, tightening the abdominal wall and eliminating the excess abdominal tissue starts with being in good health, and fitness before a surgical procedure. If you plan on losing weight, aim for a weight that you consider ‘ideal’ before considering an abdominoplasty. Being in shape before this procedure will ensure an ideal outcome, and quicker recovery. You should be non-smoker, in good health, and have reasonable expectations for outcomes regarding the procedure.
This procedure usually takes a couple of hours, and is performed under a general anaesthetic. In some cases, you may need to stay in hospital after the procedure for a few days to recover. Drains may need to stay in for a few days after you leave hospital, and these can be removed in the rooms. You will need to wear a post-operative garment for several weeks to ensure a good outcome.
The recovery time for an abdominoplasty can be variable. For most people, it will be a few weeks before resuming normal activities. Exercise should be limited in the first few weeks to walking, or inclined walking, and a gradual introduction of lower impact exercise as directed. Walking and movement in the few days after the procedure prevent blood clots, DVTs and lung complications such as pneumonia.
As with any operative procedure, there are risks involved. The most common complications are minor bleeding, infection, wound healing problems, and some pain. The specific risks with an abdominoplasty include the following:
- Scar around the umbilicus
- Feeling tired for some weeks after the procedure
- A long scar
- Scaring problems
- Swelling on the lower part of the abdomen
- Fluid collection
- Numbness around the lower part of the abdomen
- Loss of some abdominal tissue due to poor blood supply
Not everyone is a good candidate for an abdominoplasty. Dr Perron can discuss your specific circumstances and expectations, and help decide what is best for you.