An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a major surgery that helps you achieve a tighter, firmer abdomen. The procedure involves the correction of loose or excess skin through an incision that runs from hip to hip. At Real Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, in Moonee Ponds, VIC, and serving people in the Melbourne area, Mr Salerno performs this major surgery that can help you lose a few sizes and enjoy a trimmer, more fit figure.
Unwanted changes can always happen to the body, and often they cannot be avoided. As we experience natural physical changes like pregnancy, weight gain, or weight loss, we may observe an excessive build-up of fat and loose skin around our midsection. Sadly, as many have tried, exercise and diet cannot always restore a youthful figure or shapely contour. In these cases, you may opt for major surgery if conventional methods do not give you your expected results.
Is Abdominoplasty a Major Surgery? What You Need to Know
Abdominoplasty is a major surgery. Therefore, it’s important for you to completely understand what this procedure involves. While the tummy tuck can provide you with outstanding results, it’s still necessary to arrange for and focus on your recovery and healing. Here are the following things that you need to expect if you’re considering it:
The Surgery Requires Ample Rest and Healing Time
A tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure that may take weeks to recover. During the first few days, it is important that you find ample time to rest and heal. You may consider this an opportunity to take a break from work or your usual chores.
You may also ask for assistance with household tasks and childcare rather than just taking time off work. Heavy physical exercise is to be avoided for at least four to six weeks.
Expect to Receive Post-Operative Guidance
We usually advise you not to take aspirin or any anti-inflammatory drugs. Smoking cigarettes after your major surgery may cause coughing and bleeding, so you are advised to avoid it as well. We may also ask you not to consume any alcohol for at least five days after surgery or while taking pain medication.
The first two days after the surgery are the most challenging. However, you can steadily recover and improve as you take the prescribed medicine at the right times. Any discomfort from the procedure typically decreases after the first week.
Expect to Be at a Stable Weight Before Your Tummy Tuck
This procedure is an effective way to improve your body contour. The operation is, however, not a cure for weight loss. It is critical that you stay close to your target weight for several months before undergoing a tummy tuck. Mr Salerno suggests that you weigh within five kilograms of your ideal weight.
Gaining or losing significant weight after the procedure can alter the results of the surgery. If you ever experience a weight fluctuation, it is possible to undergo another operation to revise the initial procedure and restore its benefits.
A Tummy Tuck May Possibly Leave a Scar
While the tummy tuck has become one of today’s most valued and successful cosmetic procedures, the incision can still leave a permanent mark in the abdomen. It could go along the horizontal incision line, running right above the pubic bone from hip to hip. Although the scar may diminish slightly over time, it may continue to appear for years to come. However, there’s nothing to worry about. Mr Salerno skillfully places the scar in such a way that your clothing can hide it.
Surgical Drains May Be in Place for the First Week or Two
Following surgery, drains may be placed to remove blood or fluid growth. While temporary, drains require your care and full attention. Mr Salerno advises you about the possibility of placing drains before surgery and how to handle them. In most cases, drains are removed painlessly within seven to ten days.
Full Healing May Take Up to a Year
Your initial healing will resolve over the next four to six weeks progressively. After such time, you start to see visible results. After a few months, you may feel back to your old self. Still, it may take a full year before your stomach is completely healed and the full results can be seen.
Expect to Prepare for the Procedure
Mr Salerno gives thorough pre-operative guidance and addresses any concerns you may have. He discusses your in-depth medical history and carries out a physical examination to assess your condition.
Mr Salerno may ask you before your procedure to quit smoking to help facilitate healing. You may also be advised to stop taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory medicines, and some herbal medications that may lead to increased bleeding. To ensure a healthy and speedy recovery, you may also be advised to keep yourself hydrated and increase fluid intake.
What Happens During a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, is an exceptionally effective major surgery to sculpt and smooth the abdominal area. This procedure, which has risen in popularity over the years, can also help repair and strengthen weak abdominal muscles. The result is that you achieve a tighter stomach area, with long-term effects. In this major surgery, Mr Salerno removes the lax abdominal skin and tightens your core muscles with sutures. The following steps are carried out during the procedure:
Marking of the Incision Guides
First, marks are made on your body to guide the rest of the surgery and ensure that the right spots are addressed. Mr Salerno marks your belly, creating the incision spot. Lines are drawn around the middle of the chest and also on the area for the navel’s repositioning.
Administration of Anesthesia
It’s important that you feel comfortable and are pain-free during the procedure. A solution composed of local analgesic and a blood vessel constrictor solution is injected into the treatment area. Your choice of anesthetic may be discussed with Mr Salerno during the initial consultation.
Your anesthetic options include:
- Local anesthesia with oral sedation
- Conscious sedation
- General anesthesia
Once the anesthetics have taken effect, it’s time to start the operation. The actual incisions made depend on the approach being employed. The tummy tuck’s primary incision is made from hip-to-hip and just above the pubic mound. Another incision is made across the navel in a complete abdominoplasty. Mr Salerno uses a smaller incision in a mini-tummy tuck.
Suturing and Muscle Repair
Mr Salerno lifts the skin from the abdominal wall onto the ribcage. He then positions the sutures in the abdominal areas to tighten the underlying muscles. This part is the muscle-strengthening component of the process.
Removal of Excess Fat
Mr Salerno can extract excess fat by liposuction or other techniques after the abdominal muscles have been fastened. Your abdominal skin is then stretched over your incision. Excess skin is removed.
Placement of the Navel
Next, Mr Salerno identifies the navel’s ideal positioning. The skin surrounding your navel may be shifted, but the navel is almost always in the same position. Mr Salerno cuts the skin through a hole and sutures it around the navel.
Closure of the Incisions
To close the incisions, Mr Salerno may use a combination of materials. In a complete abdominoplasty, he sometimes inserts one or two drains, creating incision pressure to avoid fluid build-up. The drain is a transparent plastic tube placed under the main incision.
Dressing and Cleaning the Area
The treated area is protected by a dressing to keep it clean and dry. You may also wear compression gear to minimize any swelling and help the skin tighten. It is recommended that you use compression garments throughout the recovery period.
Removal of the Sutures
If you have conventional sutures, they may be removed during the first or two weeks. Soluble sutures, however, do not require manual removal as they are absorbed into your body.
Multiple Approaches to Abdominoplasty
Traditional Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck requires an incision to be made around the navel. Excess skin is eliminated. Muscles are tightened, and liposuction may be performed to further enhance the appearance of the stomach.
Mini Tummy Tuck
In the lower belly, a single incision is made that is as low as possible. It can be as long as only a few inches. Through this small incision, Mr Salerno removes loose skin, tightens lax muscles, and may use liposuction even further to enhance the area.
The perfect candidate for a mini-tummy tuck is someone who is suffering from loose skin on the lower belly area. It is generally recommended for those who have always been very healthy but cannot meet their fitness goals through diet and exercise.
If you have loose skin in your love handles or hips, you may opt for an extended abdominoplasty. This procedure is one of the first strategies developed to deal with excess skin after substantial weight loss or pregnancy. The technique addresses deeper tissue layers to support and sustain the results.
What to Expect During the Initial Consultation?
You have the chance to discuss your cosmetic goals during your initial appointment. To determine whether you are an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck procedure, Mr Salerno clarifies your goals. He suggests the surgical approach suitable for you.
You can come to the appointment ready to discuss your full health information and answer the following questions:
- Medical conditions or drug allergies
- Current treatment for any medical conditions
- Previous surgeries
- Vitamin and herbal supplements
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, and recreational drugs
- History of any non-invasive cosmetic procedures
- Your chief motivation in undergoing an abdominoplasty
Other Evaluations That May Be Done
Mr Salerno might also ask you to look into the mirror and tell him precisely what you would like to see changed. Using digital imaging to illustrate the changes you may anticipate, he can also take photographs for your medical record. You may expect an assessment of your health status, including pre-existing health, carried out to evaluate risk factors.
The firmness of your skin may also be tested as part of the consultation. He may also discuss your ideal weight, achievable weight, and current weight and probably recommend a weight loss plan before the procedure. Once everything has been set, we can finally schedule the day of your operation and give you some time to prepare for it. Our responsibility is to make sure that you are fully prepared, relaxed, and comfortable in your upcoming surgical procedure.
Get Closer to Your Aesthetic Goals
An abdominoplasty can help you get the body contour you desire. Would you like to know if you’re an ideal candidate for this procedure? Contact us at Real Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Moonee Ponds, VIC, to set up your initial consultation with Mr Salerno. We are here to provide tailored solutions that aim to help you get closer to your goals.