Weight loss and pregnancy are two of life’s major changes that can have an effect on your abdomen and it’s two of the main reasons why people choose to undergo abdominoplasty.
Abdominoplasty is a very common surgical procedure that is designed to address a loss of skin elasticity, excess skin and fat as well as stretching of the muscle layer of the abdomen.
These problems can be exacerbated in women who have had a caesarean section as the loose abdominal tissues can fold over the scar creating a small apron which many women consider unsightly.
An abdominoplasty or tummy tuck can be very effective for men and women who want to reduce the appearance of a lower abdominal bulge and address some of the common changes that can occur throughout life. Many of the patients we see at Allure Clinic in Toowoomba want to know whether exercise can address these problems. While exercise can reduce body fat, it won’t address the permanent changes such as skin laxity and separation of the abdominal muscle wall that can occur during pregnancy and weight gain.
Medicare rebates are currently available for this procedure and most private health funds will also provide additional cover. However, we recommend that you confirm this directly with your health fund.
Remove excess skin
Repair abdominal muscles after pregnancy
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Happens During a Tummy Tuck?
While a tummy tuck is a safe and highly effective procedure, it is extensive and requires proper preparation both before and after surgery.
In most cases, a tummy tuck will take 2 – 3 hours and requires an overnight stay in hospital. Abdominoplasty consists of four stages, the first being liposuction. If excess fat needs to be removed from the abdominal area, a cannula will be used to extract it.
Next, an incision will be made across the lower half of the stomach – just below the bikini line in the case of a female patient. The incision will enable A/Prof Magnusson to remove any excess skin and allow him to easily redrape the remaining skin around the belly later on in the procedure.
In most cases, patients also need to repair abdominal muscles that have separated, which can cause a bulge and back pain if left untreated. To restore the muscles, they will be tightened and sewn back together at a deep level.
The final stage of the surgery involves removing any excess skin and redraping it over the stomach. Sutures will now be put in place and the patient will be moved to a recovery room. A nurse will monitor your pain levels to ensure that you are comfortable until you are ready to go home.
What to Expect after Abdominoplasty
Following your surgery, A/Prof Magnusson will take you through the necessary aftercare instructions, which will need to follow very carefully if you want to avoid complications and achieve your desired outcome.
The aftercare instructions will include how to care for your incisions, what to avoid in terms of physical activity, how long to wear your compression garment and how to speed up your recovery. You will also need to schedule a follow-up appointment before you go home so that your progress can be monitored.
You will need to arrange for someone to collect you from hospital as you won’t be able to drive. You will also need some assistance at home for the first few days after your surgery. Patients are generally able to have their drainage tubes removed after 48 hours, which will make it easier to slowly start getting back into your normal routine.
All pain medication and antibiotics should be taken as instructed as this will aid your recovery. It’s also recommended that alcohol and smoking be avoided until you don’t need antibiotics and pain medication anymore. The pain will be the worst during the first week after your surgery and the swelling that occurs can last up to three months.
Patients tend to experience a pulling when they try and stand up straight after their surgery, which is perfectly normal. You may also experience some numbness for several months to a year. Bruising is another common side effect of abdominoplasty and there may be some fluid build-up around your incision but this will subside on its own.
It usually takes several weeks for abdominoplasty patients to start feeling normal again. Be prepared for the fact that you won’t be able to drive for a few weeks, so you may want to make sure that you have a few people who can help you get around. Strenuous exercise will need to be avoided for four to six weeks, particularly anything that involves your stomach. Your plastic surgeon, A/Prof Magnusson can provide you with exercise recommendations and guidelines during your follow-up appointment.
If at any point during your recovery you are concerned about your progress or complications, it’s best to schedule an appointment at Allure Clinic in Toowoomba as soon as you can.