Abdominoplasty is the medical term used for a surgical procedure aimed at correcting an abdomen with excess skin, fat and flab. The abdominal muscles when weakened or separated, can be repaired. This procedure does not correct stretch marks, unless the same are located in the area below the navel to be withdrawn. The removal of excess skin and fat may or may not be associated with liposuction of some areas of localized fat. The decision will be made according to each case, due to the fact that not all patients are good candidates for combined procedures.
Abdominoplasty does not replace a physical exercise program and is not used as a tool for weight loss. Although the results of surgery are meant to be technically permanent, significant weight change after the procedure can compromise the results.
Therefore, this surgery is best indicated for:
-Adult patients with localized fat, little or no sagging skin, loss of muscle tone.
-Healthy patients with a stable weight
-Next to the ideal weight for height and body type
-Individuals with clear objectives and within the real possibilities of the procedure, including being aware of its limitations.
You will be asked to sign a consent form to ensure you understood everything explained by the doctor regarding the procedure to be done and are aware of the possible and potential complications. The most common complications of this surgery include: accumulation of fluid under the skin (seroma), blood under the skin (hematoma) painful areas, areas with lack of tenderness, swelling, infection, poor healing, thrombus formation, and anesthetic complications .
After surgery you will wake up with healing dressings in the operated region whose function is to make local compression. A drain will also be used to prevent the accumulation of any fluid or blood, this drain is usually removed within 48 to 72 hours.
The day of surgery you will be encouraged to get out of bed for short periods and wander around the room. While lying down, flex and stretch your feet, exercising the calfs at least 20 times every hour when awake. In the following days, it is recommended to wander around every two hours for about 10 to 15 minutes, to prevent thrombosis.
Care in relation to the surgical wound, such as changes of dressings, monitoring, and necessary prescriptions will be delivered by the surgeon.
At first the sensation of edema (swelling), bruised regions of the operated area and discomfort are normal. The pain will be controlled with medication and should not be more than tolerable. If you have any questions regarding any of these symptoms, ask your surgeon.
The stitches will be removed within 2 weeks, but the bandages could be maintained longer. A special abdominal binder will be used for 6 weeks after surgery. Most patients return to work after 2 to 3 weeks depending on the extent of the surgery. You will be instructed to avoid physical exertion or heavy lifting for several weeks after post-operative. The return to normal activities will be gradual and according to the orientation of the surgeon. Some areas with lack of sensitivity and discreetly hardened in the operated region may occur and gradually improve in the months that follow.
As the initial healing process takes about 5 to 10 days, stitches will only be removed after this period. The entire process takes several months and it is therefore necessary to maintain some specific care treatments that will be oriented by your plastic surgeon. The resulting scars are permanent and the final result depends on the individuality of each patient.