Is Abdominoplasty Right For You?

You slog away everyday, doing your time on the treadmill and pushing that pram up many a steep slope. You’ve also been counting your calories and controlling your carbs, and while you may have lost most of your baby weight, your skin seems to have stretched and hangs looser in places that it never did before.

While the celebrity set convinces us that we’ll be slinking back into our string bikinis six weeks post birth, the reality of the situation is that there are just some things diet and exercise can’t do for your post baby body.

This may also be the case for those of us who have experienced dramatic weight loss after weight gain. While you may have managed to kick those kilos to the kerb, a new problem has presented itself, bringing with it an abundance of stretchy (and not so sexy) skin.

Sound familiar? Then you may be a prime candidate for abdominoplasty.

Morris Ritz of the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery explores the ins and outs of this increasingly popular procedure.

What is abdominoplasty?

More commonly known as a tummy tuck, abdominoplasty is performed to improve the shape of the abdomen and reduce any bulges in the abdominal area. It is typically performed on patients who want to remove excess skin and fat following weight loss or childbirth.

During this procedure, the muscles are tightened and contoured at the same time as the excess skin and fat are removed, hence combating the problems of excess skin and skin stretchiness. In some cases, abdominoplasty is combined with liposuction to achieve maximum results.

Abdominoplasty aims:

  • Rectify any changes to abdominal shape as a result of pregnancy, age, weight loss or prior surgery
  • Improve the function of the abdominal muscles by repairing the stretch between them
  • Restore the appearance of a shapely, smooth abdomen
  • In some cases, the procedure can improve hygiene, as skin irritations can develop beneath loose folds of skin.

Prime candidates

Patients with excess skin and fatty tissue, along with patients who have muscle diastasis (separation of the abdominal muscles), which can occur following pregnancy, are all suitable candidates for this procedure.

Abdominoplasty is also popular for women who have had a caesarean section, as the loose abdominal tissues can fold over the C-Section scar, creating a small ‘apron’. This (understandably) creates a cause for concern among women experiencing this condition.

Risks

While this surgery undoubtedly improves the shape and strength of your stomach and pubic area, every surgery carries some risk. The risks associated with abdominoplasty include infection and scarring on the lower abdomen. However, infections are rare, and while some patients experience a prominent scar from this procedure, this is dependent on everything from skin type to surgical style, with most scars fade over time.

Recovery

There are several limitations following a tummy tuck and recovery can sometimes be uncomfortable. You will be required to stay in hospital for approximately two to three days following an abdominoplasty procedure. You will have drain tubes in for 48 hours, which will be removed before you go home. Following the surgery, you are required to wear a (not so sexy) compression garment for six weeks.

In addition, you are unable to drive for the first two weeks and you’re also limited with physical activity, including heavy lifting and no going to the gym for the first six weeks following surgery.

However as the old adage states ‘no pain no gain’. And most patients agree, the results are worth it in the end. Who knows? You could very well be slinking back into that string bikini in no time…

To learn more about abdominoplasty, visit the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery, complete a contact form or call surgeon Morris Ritz on (+61 3) 9508 9503.