Tummy Tuck - Abdominoplasty
Women often suffer from a severely sagging tummy after going through several pregnancies. Due to the massive over-stretching it can also weaken or separate the abdominal muscles (rectus diastasis), and there are possibly stretch marks on the skin itself. Patients who have had major weight loss often have the same problems. The sustained damage to the skin and tissue is no longer reversible through sport, massage or cosmetics.
In these cases, surplus skin and fat in the lower abdomen can be surgically removed. To do this, an incision similar to that of a caesarean section in terms of position, is made in the abdomen and a spindle-shaped area of skin as well as excess fat are removed. As far as necessary, the underlying muscles above and below the navel are drawn together and held with a single suture in order to tighten the abdominal wall and accentuate the waistline. The position of scars that occur will have been planned to be as inconspicuous as possible. Here we can take your personal preferences into consideration. Depending on the extent of the surgery, it may be necessary to reposition the belly button, which means a small, slightly visible scar will remain around it.
Before every operation, the necessary precautionary examinations are carried out and risks are talked over with you. As well as this, you will consult the anaesthetist who will optimally plan the operation for your safety and well-being. Mini tummy tucks can be performed on an out-patient basis, but major abdominoplasty always requires a stay in hospital. Normally, a general anaesthetic is required, but under certain limited circumstances, a local anaesthetic is adequate. Your personal preference will be taken into consideration as far as is medically possible. During the operation, thin drainage tubes are inserted and sutured into the wounds. These are essential in order to drain away wound secretions and help prevent infection. The drainage tubes are removed after 2 to 3 days.
Aftercare and Recovery
After the operation, the tummy will be stabilised for 4 to 6 weeks through the wearing of an elastic bandage or, even better, a girdle which will reduce tension on the wounds. In the first few days after surgery it is crucial to rest your abdomen. Depending on the extent of surgery, you should be allowed to go home after 1 to 4 days. You will be able to do light activities after 5 to 10 days, however, more strenuous activities and the lifting of loads of over 10kg should be avoided for 3 months. After consulting with us, certain types of sport may be possible after 6 weeks. Visits to the sauna or steam baths should be avoided for a few months. Naturally, we will inform you in detail of these items and anything else that might be important based on your own personal situation.
On the whole, it is a complication-free and safe operation. If you belong to certain risk groups such as smokers, diabetes sufferers or people with blood-clotting disorders, there may be more noticeable scarring caused by delayed healing or an accumulation of secretions from the wound. However, these scars can be corrected at a later point in time. To achieve the best possible aesthetic results you should be at your ideal weight. Moreover, women should have decided not have any more children as a pregnancy could cause the tightened muscles to separate again.
In many cases it often makes sense to combine a tummy-tuck with liposuction. During your own personal consultation, we will be able to advise you whether a mini-tuck, where only the skin from the navel to the incision is tightened, or a full lift with or without repositioning of the navel, is more recommendable.