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Tummy Tuck

An abdominoplasty, commonly known as a Tummy Tuck, is a surgical procedure that does two things. It removes loose skin and fat from the abdomen in the area between the middle and lower stomach, and it tightens up the underlying stretched-out muscles. This significantly flattens the tummy, and reduces unsightly rolls. The Tummy Tuck is a common procedure for women wanting to improve their body's contours after pregnancy or major weight loss. 

Surgical Steps

For a full abdominoplasty an incision is made from hip to hip just above the pubic area, and another incision made to free the navel from the surrounding skin. The skin is then detached from the abdominal wall, revealing the muscles and fascia. Sutures are used to tighten the muscle fascia wall, and if neeeded liposuction is used to refine the abdominal contours.  A mini-abdominoplasty is done with a smaller incision similar to that of a C-section. Tummy Tuck Before and After PhotoTummy Tuck Before (Left) and After (Right). Result is Significantly Flatter Stomach and the Reduction of Skin Folds.

The mini-bdominoplasty is a day procedure, but a full one requires an overnight stay in our recovery ward.  Both are performed under general anaesthesia. 

Recovery

A compression garment must be worn for a few weeks after surgery to ensure that the skin heals and readheres smoothly against the abdominal wall. This prevents the effects of gravity or clothing from adversely affecting the positioning of the skin, and helps deliver a smoother final result. Pain killers are provided to help manage any discomfort over the first few days after the operation.

Several post-operative care visits are required after surgery. These are to ensure that wound healing is progressing without infection and to monitor for inflammation. Also, various treatments are provided to accelerate the reduction of swelling and bruising. Full recovery from all effects of swelling and bruising can take several months, but one can typically return to work after a week, and most effects will have subsided after two to three weeks.

As all nicotine products reduce oxygen in the blood, these must be completely avoided, as they will adversely affect healing.

Scarring

An abdominoplasty does leave a significant scar, however, the incision is made below the bikini line. In most cases, this positioning of the scar prevents it from being seen at the gym or on the beach. The scar will seem prominent at first, but with proper care, it's appearance will diminish over time. In some cases, additional treatments such as J-Plasma may be able to provide additional scar reduction.

Improving Skin Thickness and Elasticity

As discussed in our article on skin retraction after liposuction, the quality of skin retraction and redraping is an important part of achieving the best Vaser lipo result.  As this depends mainly on the skin’s thickness and elasticity, treatments to improve skin quality are an option that some patients may want to consider before surgery.  In some cases this can also be helpful after surgery (for example, using HIFU). 

This article discusses the mechanisms that allow the skin to improve in quality, and the treatments that can be used to trigger this.  The diagram below illustrates the key elements of this process.  When comparing younger and older skin, we can see that there is an important difference in the amount of collagen and elastin.

Effects of Aging on the Skin

The treatments used for revitalizing and improving the skin work by stimulating it to produce more collagen and elastin.  This is achieved through a process of controlled injuries.  The skin then works to repair the injury, and by doing so, it creates more of these two keys skin components, while also stimulating the increase in connective tissue and blood vessels.  The overall process thickens the skin, and increases its elasticity.  It also generally improves the smoothness of the skin’s surface, reducing wrinkles, and rejuvenating its appearance.  A variety of methods can be used to achieve this, and these are discussed in the following sections.

 

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Skin Retraction after Liposuction

After any liposuction procedure the volume of the fat layer under the skin is reduced – sometimes dramatically.  Regardless of the amount removed, there is always a question about how well the skin will retract and redrape over the treated area.   Thicker, more elastic skin typically retracts better than thinner older skin.  Factors that affect the skin’s elasticity include the patient’s age, gender, and skin pigmentation type.

From an aesthetic perspective, there is always a trade-off between the amount of body-contour remodeling that can be achieved through the removal of subdermal fat and the post-surgical appearance of the skin as it conforms to its new shape.  Poor skin retraction will result in wrinkles or folds.  Post surgical appearance will also be affected by pre-existing skin issues such as laxity, atrophy, and stretch marks.

As an example, the following photos shows good skin retraction after Vaser liposuction, however, pre-existing stretch marks can still be seen in both the before and after photos. Skin Retraction After Vaser LiposuctionSkin Retraction after Vaser Liposuction

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Meet our Staff

The Dr Alex Chambers Medical Practice is a warm and friendly, boutique clinic, specializing in personalized cosmetic surgery care.

Unlike most other clinics, we perform all our procedures in our own operating theatre.  This has the benefit of safeguarding patient privacy, and also significantly diminishes the risk of operative infection, endemic to high traffic hospital facilities.

We offer a full range of low-impact, cosmetic and anti-aging treatments. Contact us today to learn more about our unique approach.