Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Massive or sudden weight loss, obesity, hormonal problems, pregnancy, childbirth, or previous surgery can lead to various problems of the abdominal wall, that may affect the skin and the underlying fatty tissue.
Stretch marks appear on the surface. In addition to the aesthetic disadvantages, these deformities can cause skin diseases, functional complaints, or spinal and psychological disorders.
The concept of Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) involves various interventions carried out in all layers of the abdominal wall (skin, adipose tissue, muscle), during which all the problems are solved by restoring the original state.
When Is A Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Necessary?
If the skin is not able to retract to its original state after massive weight loss or pregnancy, it remains flabby, sometimes like „Dog-Ears”. In this case, the procedure can only be performed when the weight loss period is completed, or one year after childbirth – since spontaneous improvement might happen until then.
Skin tightness is decreasing over time. This may be accompanied by abdominal wall loosening. Muscle fibers of the abdominal wall often become disconnected, and umbilical hernia is not rare either.
Occasionally, in addition to the loosening of the skin large amount of fat accumulates, a large part of which can be removed finally during the procedure. Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) is also a perfect solution when the skin does not adjust to the new body shape after a strong weight loss program.
All these problems can be treated with modern plastic surgery methods. The goal is the tightening of the abdominal wall, and restoring the whole abdomen’s original shape. Stretch marks can only be eliminated by this method.
What Happens During Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)?
We remove the excess skin and fat layer, while strengthening the muscles of the weakened abdominal wall if needed.
This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, it takes about one hour and a half.
An incision is made in the lower abdomen, in the bikini line, and extended in the direction of the hip bone both ways. Usually, there is a round incision around the navel, too. Dissection of the abdominal wall skin is high up to the ribs depending on the used technique.
In our clinic, we leave the smallest wound surface possible with high dissection only in the middle (above the straight abdominal muscles). On the edges (near oblique abdominal muscles) we use a tissue-saving technique of relaxing the connective tissue fibers. After tightening the lifted tissues, the excess is removed. The navel is brought out and fixed on a new place. Finally comes the removal of the excess skin, and the abdominal wall is sutured in the middle if necessary. We pull down the tightened skin in the lower abdomen and fix there with stitches.
If there was an incision around the navel, it will be fixed in its new place on the surface as well. The scar is designed to be covered by bikini or underwear. One or two so-called drains are always needed after Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) to lead away the accumulated serum, or blood. These can be removed after one day or two in general.
At the end of abdominal plastic surgery, compression bandage or a corset belt is applied. Ideally, the scar fades into a soft, thread-thin white line. Stitch removal after 2 weeks, but the wound healing process takes six months to one year.
What Examinations Are Needed Before Abdominoplasty?
Some tests required before the abdominal aesthetic surgery, such as blood tests, chest X-ray, ECG, and sometimes abdominal ultrasound. The intervention can be performed safely only after these.
What Can You Expect After A Tummy Tuck?
Our patients usually spend 24 to 48 hours in the hospital. We help to organize home care, as it is very important to follow the medical instructions. Special „tummy tuck dress”, corset belt or trousers are recommended for 4-6 weeks. This is particularly important after suturing the abdominal wall, since prevents straining of the scars until the internal scarring completes.
As Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) involves a rather huge body area, we prescribe antibiotics – and painkillers, if necessary. Drain removal after 1-2 days, after which the patient is discharged home with an escort. Skin sutures are generally removed after 2 weeks.
The result can be seen immediately, but the final aesthetic result only shows a few months after the surgery. The scar is invisible in both lingeries and bikini. However, it is essential to ensure that UV rays do not reach the scar for a year after surgery, because sunbathing of the incision area may lead to aesthetic deterioration.
Major physical strain and sports should be avoided for at least 8 weeks.
Possible Complications Of A Tummy Tuck
Complications, like with any other surgery, may include serum formation, inflammation or bruising. Very rarely – mostly with high-fat tissues – wound healing problems can occur. Injury of the superficial skin nerves might cause temporary sensory troubles. Thickened (hypertrophic) or keloid scar is also a rare complication, that occur much later.