Abdominoplasty - Cosmetic Surgery Guide


Abdominoplasty involves the removal of excess skin or fat or the tightening of the abdominal muscles. The result is that the shape and firmness of the abdomen are improved. This treatment can be used to remove excess weight gain that cannot be resolved by exercise, or excess skin that has been caused by weight loss. There are several types of this surgery and the duration of the procedure can depend on which one you choose.

What types of abdominoplasty are available?

Mini-abdominoplasty:

This can be used to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal area that is found above the pubic bone. This procedure often works in accordance with liposuction to help the shaping of the abdomen afterwards.

Full abdominoplasty:

This is used to tighten the muscles and the skin around the abdomen. It involves making incisions across the hips and to extract the navel so that the skin can be detached from the abdominal wall and then stretched tighter.

Extended abdominoplasty:

This treatment is the same as having a full abdominoplasty but with a supplementary treatment to the thighs as well.

The abdominoplasty procedure can be used as an individual treatment for the upper body area or in conjunction with other similar cosmetic treatments such as breast enhancements or reductions and liposuction.

What about after the surgery?

The amount of recovery time after the surgery will depend on the treatment you have but you will probably experience some initial swelling to the skin and will need to wear a supportive bandage. The abdomen will be sore and tight after the surgery and you may experience some difficulty in standing for the first few days. After the surgery you will need to stay in hospital for a few days and on average the entire recovery time will last 4 to 6 weeks. During this time you should avoid strenuous work and heavy lifting.

Are there any risks?

It is important to be aware of any risks before deciding whether abdominoplasty is a suitable procedure for you. The most likely risk of the treatment is blood clotting due to the duration of the operation, as the longer the time spent under anaesthetic, the greater the risk of blood clots. This is very rare and is more of a possibility that patients should be aware of.

Another potential risk of the surgery is bleeding due to the amount of skin and muscle that is cut away and exposed. During the operation excess fluid will be drained away but it may be that all this cannot be done. This can increase the risk of blood clots but you can help to avoid this by moving around after the operation as this causes the blood to keep moving.

Infection is another risk as with all surgeries but this is very small and be avoided by maintaining good post-operation hygiene.

There is the risk that excess fluid can build up between the skin and muscle and so excess fluid has to be drained away to prevent this from happening.

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