An abdominoplasty is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures and can provide a fantastic transformation to the midsection. The results are evident immediately, with a tighter and more narrow waist and often a significant decrease in dress/clothing size. The focus is primarily on the lower abdominal skin excess and fullness. This is typically combined with Liposuction to the upper abdomen, flanks, and/or “love-handles”, as is best suited for each patient. The second part of the abdominoplasty is tightening of the abdominal muscles to create a type of “internal corset”, which narrows the waist on the inside.
There are variations to the abdominoplasty which may be ideal for different patients. Depending on your body type, Dr. Davison may recommend a mini-Tummy tuck with a shorter incision, or an extended Tummy Tuck if you have a lot of extra skin extending to the sides of the abdomen. Post-weight loss or bariatric patients may be recommended to have a Fleur-de-lys variation, which also includes a vertical midline incision.
To create natural results with a hidden scar, Dr. Davison places the lower incision such that it would be invisible when wearing underwear or a typical bikini. Usually the umbilicus (belly button) is repositioned but done such that the scar is also hidden at the base and not visible once healed.
Dr. Davison will usually complete the surgery by doing Hi-definition liposuction to create a more aesthetic shape and contour, including highlighting the abdominal musculature and the midline groove.
Depending on the extent of your tummy tuck a drain may or may not be necessary. Dr. Davison uses a layer of quilting sutures and progressive tension sutures to minimize the free-space under the skin, such that a drain is often not necessary. However, for an extended abdominoplasty a drain is used.
Anyone with excess tummy skin and fat may be a good candidate. Often this surgery is requested after women have finished having children or following weight loss.
A hernia means the strong connective tissue (fascia) protecting the internal abdomen is separated or torn. If you have a true hernia, this usually should be treated first before an abdominoplasty, by a hernia specialist. However, a small partial hernia at the umbilicus can often be fixed during a tummy tuck. During your consultation, Dr. Davison will examine for a potential hernia and treat it accordingly. It is much more common, and less concerning, if you have a midline bulge caused by weakened or separated abdominal muscles (called a diastasis); in this case an abdominoplasty with muscle plication is the ideal way to fix it.
As one of the most common aesthetic procedures, an abdominoplasty can be done in a very safe manner. This surgery can usually be done as a day surgery, such that you can comfortably go home the same day. The surgery only involves the tissue on the outside of the abdomen, staying well-away from the important intra-abdominal structures.
An abdominoplasty is one of the procedures with a potential risk of blood clots in your legs (Deep Vein Thrombosis, DVT) after surgery and so all efforts are made to prevent this. Sequential compression stockings are applied prior to surgery and only removed once you’re able to walk. You will be evaluated for your individual risk of developing a DVT and other prevention measures such as anticoagulation medication may be used when indicated. Longer surgery, obesity, smoking, prior blood clots are some of the common risks of developing a DVT.
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Absolutely. The majority of times that Dr. Davison performs a full abdominoplasty it is combined with Liposuction of specific areas of the abdomen, or even the complete trunk circumferentially – often called 360 Liposuction. Combining the skin removal part of the Abdominoplasty with Liposuction allows for a more even slimming of the waist and entire mid-section.
An abdominoplasty is one of the surgeries that requires a more prolonged and gradual recovery. For the first two weeks, you will likely want to have some help with day-to-day activities and avoid doing much chores or house-work (don’t rush, take advantage of your time-off!). Typically you could resume office work, or a desk job after 2-4 weeks, depending on your job and the extent of your surgery. Physical activity should be limited to walking but you can gently increase the duration and speed of walking after 2 weeks.
Most patients will have a muscle plication (re-tightening of the midline Ab muscles), which requires 6 weeks of protection. During these 6 weeks, you should wear the abdominal compression garment at all times when standing or moving and avoid any lifting beyond about 10 lbs. This allows the repair to strengthen and stabilize. Anything that causes straining or exertion of the Ab muscles during this early recovery phase could tear the repair and result in the recurrence of a bulge or fullness of the tummy. The final result of a smaller, more toned waistline is certainly worth it, so be cautious and let it heal before exerting yourself. Beyond 6 weeks you can gradually resume normal exercise and return to the gym.
A “mommy makeover” is the popularized name for a combination of procedures typically done after a woman has had babies. Most commonly this refers to a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and breast surgery (breast augmentation and/or breast lift). It could also include liposuction of the mid-section with or without fat transfer to the butt (Brazilian butt lift).