People have always been conscious about the way they look and when there is a bulge in their tummy or their hips start looking a little larger than normal, they immediately start looking at ways to cover it up. While for most people, the easy way out is to buy clothes that will cover up the unseemly parts of their body, there are those who will look at the surgical options.
In the past few years, there has been noticed a growing interest in surgical procedures such as abdominoplasty, because these are often seen as an easy way to lose the excess fat around the abdominal area. While there is some mettle to that fact, there are also a range of other facts about this surgery that people have no idea about.
In this article, we will attempt to look at the actual truth about abdominoplasty.
What exactly is an abdominoplasty?
More commonly known as a tummy tuck, abdominoplasty is a process which can be used to remove the fat that might have accumulated around the abdomen. The same process can be used to remove the loose sagging skin and tighten the muscles of the stomach. The idea behind the procedure is to make the stomach look flat.
While the basic procedure is the same, there can be a few variations, depending on the volume of fat involved, the extent of the loose skin and whether the stomach muscles need to be separated or not.
In a traditional abdominoplasty, a horizontal cut will be made between the navel and the pubic bone. The skin will be pulled away and the fat will be removed; in case, there is a need for repair of the muscles, the same will be done too. The skin will then be stretched to be tight and the doctor will remember to create a new belly button for you. Whatever skin remains in excess will be cut away.
Then there is something that is referred to as a ‘mini tuck’ – this process focuses mainly on the area right below the belly button. There is not as much skin or fat removal in this process and since the surgical intervention is minimal, it is known as the miniature version of a traditional abdominoplasty.
Finally, there is something that is known as lipoabdominoplasty, in which the incisions are made as with a traditional abdominoplasty. However, liposuction will be used to remove the fat and contour the abdomen.
What will happen in the days after the abdominoplasty?
Immediately after surgery, a drain will be placed under the pelvic area, which will help drain away the excess fluids, including blood. The fluids will accumulate in a bag, which will have to be cleaned out daily.
In most cases, the skin on the abdomen will be so tight that the person will have trouble sitting upright or even sleeping. The skin will take time to loosen up, which means there is bound to be a lot of discomfort for the first few weeks.
The pain is often described as being between excruciating and intense, and for many people, even getting out of bed is tough. However, people who have undergone abdominoplasty will be asked to walk around a little, in order to avoid blood clots.
There are several cosmetic procedures which allow one to return to a normal life within a week or so, however, abdominoplasty is not one of them. After an abdominoplasty, it will take you a minimum of 10-15 days to return to a life of normalcy. As a matter of fact, it will be tough even to drive for a few weeks. However, people are able to return to reasonably sedentary job, within a few days’ time.
Why consider an abdominoplasty?
There are several women, who consider an abdominoplasty after pregnancy, because they consider this the easiest way back to a good figure. After delivering a baby, the muscles of the stomach tend to get distended and while keeping a control over one’s diet and exercising will help, it might not be enough. An abdominoplasty will help tighten the muscles, while also removing all the excess fat and skin. The tightening of the muscles will also help with an improvement on the posture, as they will have been pulled back.
After a normal delivery, many women find themselves struggling with a condition known as Stress Urinary Incontinence or SUI. This is actually a bladder control issue, wherein there is urinary leakage caused due to coughing, sneezing or even excessive laughing. While in many cases, no surgery is required, in certain situations an abdominoplasty would be a good solution.
For women who have C-sections, there is also the chance that the abdominal tissue creates a tear in the abdominal wall and leads to the formation of a pocket. In order to correct a ventral hernia, the procedure is pretty much the same as is with an abdominoplasty. The surgeon will strengthen your abdominal wall, in order to ensure that such hernias do not become recurrent.
What could go wrong with an abdominoplasty?
For women, an abdominoplasty is a good idea, if there are no more pregnancies being planned in the future. An experienced surgeon will tell you that if you have children post an abdominoplasty, there is a chance that the stomach muscles will become distended, yet again.
As is the case with any surgery, there is a chance of infection, blood clot or even necrosis, and if not gauged and treated in time, these could lead to more severe conditions. There is also the chance that a repeat procedure might be required, as the first one might not produce the desired results.
An abdominoplasty is not a cheap procedure and in most cases, it will not be covered in the insurance, which means that if you are getting it done with a cosmetic intention, you will have to bear the costs on your own.