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General Method of Abdominoplasty

What Is Abdominoplasty?

During tummy tuck surgery, excess skin and fat are removed from the abdomen. The connective tissue sheaths (fascia) of the muscles in the abdominal region are also tightened, usually with sutures. The remainder is reshaped. With tummy tuck surgery, striae (cracks) in the lower abdomen under the belly button can also be removed; however, tummy tuck surgery will not correct stretch marks outside this area.

Who is eligible for tummy tuck surgery?

Every man and woman over the age of 18 who is in good general health and does not have an obstacle to undergo surgery can have tummy tuck surgery. It is extremely important to take the medical history and habits of the person before the surgery. The effect of previous pregnancies on the abdominal wall should be evaluated, the weight gain and loss process of the patient should be discussed, and all previous open or closed surgical interventions should be detailed. If the patient is planning to lose weight or become pregnant, postponement of the operation should be recommended. Before the operation, the person should be motivated to approach the targeted weight as much as possible.

The following risks of tummy tuck surgery should also be evaluated:

  • If there is a pregnancy plan within 2 years, the operation should be postponed.
  • Severe heart patients, diabetes and diseases that cause blood clotting problems should be considered.
  • Problems related to wound healing due to infection or connective tissue diseases should definitely be taken into consideration.
  • Medications and herbal support agents used should be carefully examined, blood thinners, birth control pills, antirheumatic drugs should be reported to the physician.
  • If heavy exercises have been done to lose weight before the operation, it should be ensured that these are terminated and the weight is stable for 3-4 months.
  • It should not be forgotten that smoking may impair wound healing and pose a risk for the blood supply to the tissues in the operation area. It should be stopped at least 4 weeks before the operation.

What are the advantages of tummy tuck surgery?

Abdominal deformity, which occurs due to loosening in the skin and deformation in the abdominal muscles and cannot be corrected despite attempts to lose weight with exercise, will be eliminated by performing a tummy tuck surgery. Although the main purpose of the surgery is not to lose weight, if abdominoplasty is performed for obesity-related abdominal deformity, it is also possible for people to lose some weight. In addition, hernia repair surgery and strengthening of the abdominal wall can be performed during this operation for those who have a hernia in the abdominal region. There is no surgical or non-surgical solution for the removal of stretch marks on the abdominal skin due to pregnancy or weight gain. Thanks to the cracks in the skin area are removed in tummy tuck surgeries, the cracks in the abdomen will be reduced.

What are the disadvantages and risks of tummy tuck surgery?

There are no disadvantages of tummy tuck surgery. Although there is no special risk related to this surgery, common risks such as infection, wound opening, and clotting in the lungs can be mentioned in all similar surgeries.

What should be considered before tummy tuck surgery?

  • Before the tummy tuck operation, a detailed physical examination should be performed. All traces of the abdominal wall should be recorded, the presence of abdominal hernias should be noted.
  • The condition and tension of the abdominal wall should be examined. The amount, elasticity and quality of the abdominal wall skin should be evaluated in detail.
  • Photographs should be taken before the operation and detailed information should be given to the patient about the operation. For instance, the patient should know that removing excess skin and adipose tissue cannot completely flatten the swelling due to intra-abdominal fat.
  • It should be said that the lines (cracks) in the abdomen of women who have had more than one pregnancy will not completely disappear after the operation, and only the parts of these cracks that are under the belly button and will be removed during the operation will disappear.
  • The scar that will appear as a result of the operation should be indicated directly on the patient's skin or on the photograph. The structure of this scar and the potential wound problem should be shared with the patient.

How is abdominoplasty performed?

In standard tummy tuck surgeries, an incision is made in the lower abdomen, extending from the cesarean section to the anterior protrusion of the pelvis on both sides. In addition, an incision is made around the navel and the abdominal skin is lifted over the abdominal muscles up to the level of the ribs. Afterwards, the sheaths of the abdominal muscles are tightened with stitches and the abdominal skin is pulled down, excess fat and skin are removed and the belly button is repositioned. The incisions are carefully sutured and closed in a way that leaves a minimum of scars and can be hidden. Most of the time, by performing liposuction with this surgery, both the results of the tummy tuck surgery are better and the side abdominal regions are better shaped. If the area called "quince belly" is full in the underbelly region, the incisions are shorter and a more limited operation is performed that does not require the replacement of the belly button. This limited surgery is called “mini abdominoplasty”.

How long does tummy tuck surgery take?

Abdominoplasty can take between 2-5 hours, depending on the surgical technique and the size of the area where the procedure will be performed. In these surgeries, depending on the physical characteristics of the patient, liposuction procedures can also be added to the upper abdomen, lateral abdomen and waist regions.

What should be considered after tummy tuck surgery?

For 5-6 days after tummy tuck surgery, it may be difficult to walk upright due to the tension in the suture area. Initially, patients should not force themselves to walk upright but should walk with small steps and lean forward when someone is with them. Within a few days, it will be possible to walk upright on their own. During the first 4-6 weeks, supporting the inner sutures and muscles with a corset increases patient comfort. During this period, heavy exercise or operations that will force the abdomen should be avoided.

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