Abdominoplasty is an operation to tighten and flatten your stomach by removing excess fat and skin and tightening your abdominal muscles.
Who is suitable?
This is not a procedure for the overweight or obese. The ideal candidate is someone who has lost weight, either through dieting or post childbirth, and has a lot of excess skin, with just a little fat.
What’s the treatment like?
Nine times out of ten, an abdominoplasty is performed under general anaesthetic (although there are some surgeons who will do it under local), so you are blissfully unaware of what’s actually going on, but if you really want to know…
Incisions will be made in your abdomen and just above the bikini line and your belly button will be removed from the surrounding skin. The surgeon will then tighten your abdominal muscles and stitch them into their new position, before removing any excess fat and stretching the skin back into place, discarding any that is not needed. Your belly button will then be stitched back into place.
You can also have a mini or extended abdominoplasty, depending on the extent of your problem – a mini abdominoplasty just removes skin and fat below the belly button, and an extended one removes fat on your back as well as your abdomen. All of these procedures can be combined with liposuction for an improved contouring
What happens afterwards?
Assuming your procedure was performed using general anaesthesia, you will need to rest for a few days to allow the effects to wear off. However, most surgeons advise their patients to start moving around again as soon as possible – just avoid anything too strenuous! You should be able to return to work after two weeks, depending on the extent of your surgery and any pre-existing health issues.
Will I have a scar?
There will be a degree of scarring after abdominoplasty – usually around the belly button and above the bikini line. The latter can be easily hidden with underwear, but obviously this is a factor to take into account when considering surgery. A mini abdominoplasty eliminates the scar around the belly button and in an extended abdominoplasty the bikini line scar extends right around the back.
Most people find that the benefits of abdominoplasty – a flatter, tauter abdomen – far outweigh the negatives associated with scarring, but of course that’s up to you to decide.