It is a surgical process which removes the skin and fat tissue excess from the middle and lower abdomen while it “streches” the muscles of the abdomen wall. Thus, an impressive improvent of a projecting and loose belly is achieved, while it leaves a permanent scar, whose lenght depends on the spread of the initial “problem” and is covered from the underwear.
The best candidates for this operation are men and women with good health condition which present relaxation to the abdomen walls, skin excess and probably chaps to the lower abdomen, usually after a great weight loss. Moreover, women after giving birth, whose muscles and skin streched beyond returning to normal are eligible for this operation. Lastly, elderly people having lost their skin elasticity and a slight obesity can also improve their appearance. However, patients that intend to lose a lot of weight are not eligible for this operation, as this procedure is not a “method to lose weight”. Women who plan to have a baby should also wait. Diabetes, the history of prior operations in the abdomen, as well as smoking are relative contra-indications of this operation and may modify its planning.
It is especially important for the patient to answer sincerely if he smokes. If so, he must quit smoking for 1-2 weeks before the operation and 2 weeks later. If not, the doctor should postpone the operation, because smoking endangers the successful outcome and may cause skin necrosis on the incision area.
During the first visit, the doctor takes a thorough medical history of the patient and deducts the general condition of his health and assesses the condition of the patient’s skin, fat tissue and abdomen wall muscles. It is especially important for the patient to answer sincerely if he smokes. If so, he must quit smoking for 1-2 weeks before the operation and 2 weeks later. If not, the doctor should postpone the operation, because smoking endangers the successful outcome and may cause skin necrosis on the incision area. Then, he discusses with his patient his expectations from the operation and analyzes the procedure in all its stages (prior, during and post operation).
The operation is made under general anesthesia and lasts 2-4 hours, depending on the problem and the technique used. The insicion is made horizontally over the pubic area, the omphalus is seperated and prepared, the dermo-lipid tissue is prepared up to the side arches, it is stretched downwards and the excess parts are removed, the muscle fuscia are stitched and the omphalus is placed in its proper position and the trauma is closed.
2 small tubes are placed in the patient which remain until the fourth day and a catheter for a day. The patient remains at hospital for 1-2 days, where he takes antibiotics and painkillers intravenously. He returns home with the small tubes, wearing an abdomen belt, having instructions to continue the antibiotics orally. The post-operational pain is controlled with the usual painkillers, taken orally.
The most common implication is to collect serosity liquid under the skin if the tubes are removed fast. This problem is addressed by inserting other tubes for a few more days. It is possible a small necrosis in the incision area to occur, especially in smokers and those who had a prior abdomen operation with an incision above the omphalus. This is treated conservately and delays healing for days or weeks.
The stitches are removed at the 7th day. A the first days, the patient sleeps with his legs folded on his abdomen, he is encouraged to walk, although it is difficult for him to walk straight. The belt is obligatory for a month and is removed during sleep after the first week.
The patient can return to his work after 10-14 days. The patient can return to his daily activities after a month, while exercise and the intence body straining can start from this time and on. In the first months, the scars may seem to “worsen”, but this is natural.9-12 months may take to be smoothed and less red, but never “invisible”. However, they will always be covered from the underwear.
Concluding, abdominoplasty produces excellent results for patients with loose abdomen walls and skin excess, which in most cases last, if the patients follow a balanced diet and a physical training program. If those patients keep their expectations realistic and ready to endure a long healing period and a permanent scar, then abdominoplasty is the answer for them.
“It is especially important for the patient to answer sincerely if he smokes. If so, he must quit smoking for 1-2 weeks before the operation and 2 weeks later. If not, the doctor should postpone the operation, because smoking endangers the successful outcome and may cause skin necrosis on the incision area.”
LET THEM DO THE TALKING