Everything You Need To Know About Abdominoplasty Surgery

After pregnancy or excessive weight loss, it is common for loose skin and fat to remain around the abdomen. This sagging skin may be resistant to diet and exercise, preventing you from attaining a toned, flat stomach.

Abdominoplasty surgery, colloquially known as a ‘tummy tuck’ procedure, can help you regain your figure following significant weight gain or loss, pregnancy, or loss of skin elasticity due to ageing. This procedure eliminates excess skin folds and targets stubborn, giving you a natural, youthful result.

This month we share everything you need to know about abdominoplasty surgery, from whether a tummy tuck procedure is right for you to how you can best prepare for your procedure:

WHAT IS ABDOMINOPLASTY SURGERY?

Abdominoplasty surgery aims to remove excess fat and skin from the lower stomach, hips and waist area, resulting in a slimmer, more toned appearance. This procedure can also restore the integrity of the rectus abdominis, or core abdominal muscle, as well as weakened or separated muscles which have stretched or bulged during pregnancy.

Please note that there is a significant difference between an abdominoplasty and a liposuction procedure. Although a tummy tuck and liposuction may both form part of a larger procedure such as our Mummy Makeover, the purpose of liposuction is to remove fat, and does not target loose skin or repair abdominal muscles. It is even possible that your skin may not retract well after liposuction, creating more excess skin and compounding the original issue.

IS ABDOMINOPLASTY SURGERY RIGHT FOR ME?

An abdominoplasty procedure is beneficial for a wide range of both men and women, including people who have lost a substantial amount of weight and wish to remove the remaining loose skin, older patients with weakness in their abdominal muscles, and women looking to sculpt their waist and stomach area post-pregnancy.

A tummy tuck procedure may also be right for you if you are at your ideal weight and leading a healthy lifestyle, do not smoke, and desire to remove stubborn fat and skin which refuses to budge using diet and exercise. Results of having an abdominoplasty procedure can include increased bladder control and strength in your abdominal muscles and reduce back pain.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A TUMMY TUCK PROCEDURE?

Dr Rizk specialises in providing a safe, personalised abdominoplasty service for each of his patients at his modern, state-of-the-art clinic in Stanmore. Depending on your unique circumstances, Dr Rizk may recommend a standard abdominoplasty procedure, a mini-abdominoplasty or a reverse abdominoplasty.

During a standard abdominoplasty, the navel is relocated and the skin pulled downwards in order to tighten the abdominal muscles vertically from the breastbone to the pubic bone. This method allows for removal of the maximum amount of excess skin and fat from the abdomen, with the scar usually positioned low on the stomach below the bikini line. Standard abdominoplasty surgery is beneficial for patients desiring widespread improvement in the abdominal region following major weight loss or multiple pregnancies.

A mini-abdominoplasty focuses on removing excess skin below the navel, and works best for patients looking to tone and shape the lower abdomen without the need to strengthen weak abdominal muscles. This procedure usually involves a smaller incision and less muscle tightening, resulting in a smaller scar located above the pubic area, a shorter recovery period, and no relocation of the navel during surgery.

In cases of dramatic weight loss and excess skin in the upper abdomen, a reverse abdominoplasty can be performed where an incision is made under the breastbone and the skin pulled upwards rather than downwards to achieve an aesthetically pleasing, toned result.

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR MY PROCEDURE?

Before your tummy tuck procedure, your surgeon will give you preoperative instructions to follow. It is vital that you follow these instructions carefully to ensure the best outcome from your procedure.

It is advised to wait to schedule your abdominoplasty surgery until you have achieved or are close to achieving your ideal weight, and are in good health overall. Female patients should wait until they are finished having children, to prevent further stretching of their abdominal muscles during future pregnancies.

Please also be aware that a tummy tuck is not the solution for major weight problems, and you should only commit to the surgery if you have realistic expectations of the results which can be achieved. 

Dr Rizk advocates the National Law and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) guidelines, which state that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. He recommends seeking a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner before scheduling your abdominoplasty procedure.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM A TUMMY TUCK?

The recovery period from an abdominoplasty procedure varies for every patient. On average, your hospital stay will be 2 – 4 days in duration, with full recovery taking up to 6 months in total.

It is usual to experience some pain and discomfort after your tummy tuck procedure. Your abdomen will be tender during the healing process, and swelling may not reduce for some weeks or months.

Please follow the instructions of your surgeon carefully regarding post-operative care. You will be provided with antibiotics to help with the healing process, and booked in for a follow up appointment at our Stanmore clinic as required.

Dr Joseph Rizk is a trusted, expert plastic and reconstructive surgeon in the fields of face, breast and body surgery. Based in Sydney, Dr Rizk has undergone extensive training in Australia, the US and the Netherlands, and has performed multiple abdominoplasty procedures for satisfied patients.

If you are considering abdominoplasty surgery, book a consultation with Dr Rizk today.

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