Author: Dr. Oreste Di Mattei Di Matteo
Abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure that can give the abdomen a more attractive, toned and harmonious appearance.
This is a common procedure: in fact, according to the Associazione Italiana di Chirurgia Plastica Estetica (Italian Association of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery), abdominoplasty is in 6th place among the most requested cosmetic surgery procedures in Italy.
Abdominoplasty and weight loss
Abdominoplasty is not used to alter body weight and cannot be considered a weight loss procedure.
Abdominoplasty can be done in conjunction with a suitable weight loss diet advised by the doctor and an appropriate lifestyle.
It can not, on its own, improve a patient's general physical condition.
What is abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that is able to provide the desired tone to the abdominal area through the surgical removal of fat and skin tissue.
Due to the nature of this procedure, abdominoplasty is therefore indicated in the case of:
- poor skin tone (which can't be aesthetically improved through weight loss)
- firming of the abdominal muscles
Abdominoplasty: When is this procedure necessary?
- after significant weight loss. It is no coincidence, then, that abdominoplasty procedures are mainly performed on subjects who have lost a lot of weight, whose tummy area is visibly not very firm, overhanging, and with stretch marks.
- After pregnancy: it may be the case that abdominoplasty surgery is necessary as a result of one or more pregnancies. Sagging skin around the tummy area can also present itself after changing to a healthier lifestyle over the course of 9 months, and even when specific creams and products are used.
Preliminary tests by the surgeon
With abdominoplasty, as with all cosmetic surgery procedures, the surgeon in charge must carefully evaluate the feasibility of the operation. Through appropriate medical tests, the surgeon must verify:
- the patient's health
- that the operation will not pose any risks
- and evaluate each individual case carefully
Abdominoplasty: ideal candidates
Abdominoplasty, is in fact a cosmetic surgery procedure indicated for anyone who has an overhanging tummy and whose condition cannot be improved through diet or exercise; only in these cases, will the surgeon then give consent to his/her patient.
It is also appropriate that the doctor ensures the patient is fully aware of what he /she is about to face.
How abdominoplasty surgery is performed
As previously mentioned, abdominoplasty requires the surgeon to remove a small portion of skin and fat tissue in order to bring back firmness and lost tone to the abdomen area.
This cosmetic surgery procedure can be performed under general anaesthesia or spinal anaesthesia, and lasts about 3 hours.
The patient, of course, must comply with the instructions given by the doctor regarding the pre-operative phase.
As far as pain is concerned (usually any pain and discomfort is temporary), you can safely make use of the painkillers recommended or prescribed by the doctor.
Abdominoplasty: after the operation
After abdominoplasty, the patient can resume his/her normal daily routine rather quickly.
Those who have undergone surgery must first and foremost:
- maintain total bed rest for 1 or 2 days
- walk, with due moderation
- expect localised discomfort, related to the necessary stimulation of the abdominal muscles (a simple cough, or sneeze, can cause pain).
- always sleep in the prone position, face down, for about two weeks after the operation
- the patient must strictly follow the doctor's instructions
When talking about abdominoplasty we can't fail to mention the so-called mini-abdominoplasty – or mini-tummy tuck – a variant of this cosmetic surgical procedure that remodels the belly giving it greater tone without changing the position of the navel, (as happens with a traditional abdominoplasty procedure).
Mini-abdominoplasty is often defined, unsurprisingly, as a partial abdominoplasty, and is therefore a less complex, less invasive, but equally effective type of abdominoplasty.
Of course it is the surgeon's responsibility to assess each case individually, and decide whether a mini-abdominoplasty can be proposed instead of traditional abdominoplasty.
By contacting a specialist plastic surgeon for this type of procedure, it is therefore certainly possible to obtain the desired results, provided that abdominoplasty surgery is only recommended in cases where there is a lack of firmness around the abdomen area that cannot be improved through weight loss and toning exercises.