Abdominoplasty

Testimonial of patient following tummy tuck with liposuction

Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty or tummy-tuck involves removing excess lower abdominal skin and fat as well as tightening the rectus abdominis muscles (the six-pack). Patients that are good candidates for this surgery are those that been pregnant and/or lost a lot of weight. Stretching of the abdominal wall can cause the rectus abdominis muscles to spread apart. The rectus abdominis is a the muscle that is responsible for the six-pack appearance of a well toned abdomen and it can be brought back together at the same time as an abdominoplasty.
I am totally astounded at the result of my operation even at this very early stage. When I looked in the mirror I burst into tears it was the most miraculous sight almost as if you had taken hold of a giant eraser and rubbed out the awful belly overhang/pouch. Not one single bruise/sign of swelling. I am amazed by the wonderful outcome of my operation and my husband is also!! I cannot thank you enough, this has totally changed me and made me feel so happy I cannot stop grinning!! Life changing.
– Words by SS - Abdominoplasty Patient (written at 9 days postop)

Full Abdominoplasty

A full abdominoplasty involves removal of the skin and fat from the umbilicus (belly-button) to the pubic bone (the area where the scar for a Caesarian section normally sits). The remaining skin from the belly-button to the rib cage is then stretched down to close the defect. At the beginning of the operation, the belly button is freed up from the surrrounding skin and at the end of the operation, it is replaced in its natural position. This leaves a scar around the belly-button as well as a long scar in the lower abdomen usually from one hip to the other, although this can be hidden when wearing a bikini.
Not all patients are candidates for a full abdominoplasty as there needs to be a significant amount of skin laxity to be able to bring the skin from the belly-button down to the pubis. Patients with only a modest amount of skin excess in the lower abdomen may be best suited to a mini abdominoplasty.

Mini Abdominoplasty

A mini abdominoplasty is the ideal operation if you have excess or saggy skin in your lower abdomen following childbirth or weight loss. This skin excess is usually resistant to all forms of exercise or dieting. It can be very frustrating to have lost the weight and to still have a lower abdominal fullness, or paunch, no matter how much exercise you do. The main problem is excess skin rather than fat. It loses its elastic recoil and no amount of dieting or exercise will cause it to shrink back. Surgery, in the form of a mini abdominoplasty, will remove the excess skin but it will leave a scar. The scar is shorter than in a full abdominoplasty and will be hidden in a bikini.
There is no scar around the belly button following mini abdominoplasty but the belly button may be pulled down a bit.
This shows a full abdominoplasty involving removing 700gms of tissue. The tattoo demonstrates the amount of skin that has been removed. Result shown at 9 months following surgery.
This lady is shown 5 months following abdominoplasty. Note that she has a midline scar prior to surgery, which is removed during the abdominoplasty operation.
This lady is shown 1 year following a full tummy tuck with liposuction to the flanks.

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Fleur-de-Lys Abdominoplasty

A Fleur de Lys abdominoplasty is a more extensive procedure than a full abdominoplasty. It is best suited to patients who have a significant amount of excess tissue around their abdomen. It has the advantage of removing tissue in a vertical as well as a horizontal direction but it has the disadvantage of extra scarring and potential wound healing problems. A full abdominoplasty or mini abdominoplasty removes tissue in a horizontal direction leaving a transverse scar in the bikini line. In order to remove tissue in a vertical direction, then a vertical scar is needed, which goes straight up the middle of the abdomen and meets the transverse scar to make an inverted T shape. This vertical scar cannot be hidden in a bikini and it can bring with it more wound healing problems, particularly where the two scars meet. For these reasons, it is usually reserved for patients who have had massive weight loss either through dieting or bariatric surgery (gastric banding or bypass procedures).

Reverse Abdominoplasty

A reverse abdominoplasty tackles fullness in the upper abdomen and leaves a scar that runs in the inframammary fold (the fold in which the wire of a bra sits). It is usually reserved for people with a significant amount of redundant skin on the abdomen and is performed following a standard abdominoplasty procedure. The two procedures cannot be performed at the same time and a minimum of six months is needed before considering a reverse abdominoplasty following full abdominoplasty.
Any excess skin in the upper abdomen is usually pulled down during a full abdominoplasty and so a reverse abdominoplasty is only rarely required.