Overview of Abdomimoplasty
“Tummy tuck” or abdominoplasty is a cosmetic type of operation employed in order to produce a more firm abdomen. By removing the unnecessary fat and skin the muscles of the abdomen appear firmer thus giving the area a desired look. Individuals who seek abdominoplasty are in most cases people who have had a substantial weight loss or women who are unable to deal with excess skin after pregnancy.
Types of Abdominoplasty
When it comes to different types of abdominoplasty there are three major kinds such as complete, partial, and extended. In case an individual has an abundance of excess fat and skin the complete ‘tummy tuck’ is performed. The procedure can take anywhere between 1 and 5 hours. During the surgery an incision is made from hip to hip across the abdomen as low as possible. The belly button is also cut off so it does not get in the way. Next, the skin is separated from the wall of the abdomen and the muscles are tightened. Lastly, the fat and excess skin are removed, a new belly button hole is created, and the incisions are closed. For patients who do not require major changes a partial abdominoplasty is usually sufficient. The procedure follows similar steps as the complete abdominoplasty and aims to remove excess fat and skin which are often fairly small in volume, and takes up to 1 or 2 hours. In some cases the muscles are tightened as well. Further, there are individuals who undergo the abdominoplasty to change the appearance of the belly button. Finally, the extended ‘tummy tuck’ constitutes a combination of the complete abdominoplasty and a side thigh lift. The procedure resembles that of the complete abdominoplasty while adding fat and skin removal from the thighs. Aside from the three major kinds of surgeries in the area, there are other procedures less frequently used but just as effective. For instance, a high lateral tension abdominoplasty includes tightening of the muscles horizontally as well, not just vertically which is achieved through complete ‘tummy tuck’ procedure. The high tension abdominoplasty generates a smaller waistline. Another type of the similar procedure is the circumferential abdominoplasty. Part of this procedure includes an extended ‘tummy tuck’ while the other part involves a buttock lift. Individuals who are usually the recipients of such procedure are those who have lost a large amount of weight. In addition, there are always ways to combine different elements of the ‘tummy tuck’ procedures as well as include breast lifts or reductions, hysterectomy, and so on. In addition, the recovery time for abdominoplasty depends on many factors. The initial recovery lasts from 1 to 4 weeks, and the patients are advised to take as much time off work as possible. During the initial stages of the recovery there is likely to be lots of discomfort and any kind of substantial physical activity should be avoided until the patient is back to normal. The patient should not smoke for a few weeks before the surgery as well as during recovery. It usually takes 3 to 6 months until the patient goes back to normal.
Risks Associated with Abdominoplasty
As is the case with any type of surgery, ‘tummy tuck’ procedures carry certain risks. Medical care professionals will always advise that anyone who is contemplating having this type of surgery should weight the benefits against the costs before making the final decision. The specialist who performs such operations is the plastic surgeon and he or she informs the patient of safety procedures that need to be followed prior to the abdominoplasty. Many risks can be lowered if the patient strictly obeys the surgeon’s advice. On the other hand, there are instances in which thrombosis, blood clots, as well as pulmonary and cardiac complications can arise. In case an infection around the wound occurs it is usually treated with antibiotics and sometimes drainage. Similarly to any other type of surgery patients are highly advised to move around as much as possible soon after the procedure to lower the risk of potential blood clots. Blood clots can create serious adverse consequences such as stroke, heart attack, and pulmonary embolism by moving through the body and blocking the blood flow. Another possible side effect of surgery occurs if the fluid gathers up under the skin after the drains have been removed, and the surgeon than has to drain it. In case any complications happen they substantially postpone the recovery. Other risks of abdominoplasty which are characteristic of most types of surgeries consist of pain, swelling, scarring, nerve damage, wound rupture, bleeding, and so on.
Cost of Abdominoplasty
The cost of having a ‘tummy tuck’ varies from place to place. It also depends on the factors such as the extent of surgery, and the age and health condition of the patient. In the US the prices vary drastically, from anywhere between $4,000 to up to $20,000.