- Weight gain and post-child often result in excessive abdominal skin, fats and skin striae. Liposuction is useful in removing excessive fats in young patients with good skin elasticity. However for older patients with poor skin elasticity, liposuction may result in excessive unsightly loose skin.
- Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) is a definitive way to remove excessive skin and fat from the abdomen. It is particularly helpful in removing post childbirth abdominal skin excess with stretch marks (striae).
- The rectus abdominis muscle (the 6 pack muscle) can be overstretched during pregnancy leaving a gap between them (divarication of recti). This gives the abdomen a very full appearance even if there is little excess fat.
- During this procedure, any abdominal muscle separation (divarication of recti) will also be tightened (plication of divarication of recti), resulting in a flatter abdomen and more of an hour glass waistline.
- To further improve the result liposuction of the abdomen can be done during the same surgery.
- Occasionally abdominoplasty can also be combined with abdominal hernia repair. Abdominal hernia is a result of bulging of abdominal contents through the weakness of the abdominal wall.
- Abdominoplasty is a procedure that can radically contour the abdomen at the expense of having a reasonably well hidden scar. There are many patients who cannot accept having an abdominal scar and who are willing to live with a less than ideal abdominal contour.
TYPES OF ABDOMINOPLASTY:
|Conventional Abdominoplasty||Mini Abdominoplasty||Fleur De Lis||Belt Abdominoplasty|
|Purpose||Removal of massive abdominal skin and fat; and plication of divarication of recti.||Removal of minimal to moderate abdominal skin and fat just below the umbilicus.||Removal of the massive upper and lateral abdominal skin and fat. ie. removal of vertical and horizontal abdominal excess||Removal of massive abdominal, hip and back excessive skin and fat.|
|Incision||Above pubic hairline, slightly extended to the hip bones.||Short incision above pubic hairline.||Above pubic hairline, slightly extended to the hip bones and vertical extension upwards.||Circumferential incision from front to back.|
|Umbilical Repositioning||Umbilicus repositioned as the abdominal skin pulled downwards. Small scar around the umbilicus.||Umbilicus left intact as abdominal skin pulled down. It may be separated from underlying attachment.||Similar to Conventional Abdominoplasty||Similar to Conventional Abdominoplasty|
|Associated Procedure||Liposuction of the love handles and upper abdomen for further enhancement of the abdominal shape.||Similar to Conventional Abdominoplasty||Similar to Conventional Abdominoplasty||Liposuction and buttock lift|
Abdominoplasty can be combined with the following :
- Liposuction and fat grafting to breasts and face
- Fat can be harvested using a syringe from the abdomen before abdominoplasty. The harvested fat can then be injected into the breast for volume enhancement and into the face for rejuvenation.
- Mommy make-over – abdominoplasty combined with breast augmentation
- It is common for women after childbirth to experience both deflation in breast volume and lax abdominal skin with stretch marks. Mommy makeover which is a combination of breast augmentation (lift and implant) with abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a common request. This combination treatment provides significant rejuvenation effects to the entire torso.
- Abdominal Hernia Repair
- Buttock Lift
- Can be done with Belt Abdominoplasty
- Thigh Lift
- Can be done with Belt Abdominoplasty
Patients who have :
- Excessive abdominal fat and poor skin elasticity.
- Excessive abdominal skin striae (usually post childbirth).
- Abdominal muscle laxity (divarification of recti) usually post childbirth.
- Concomitant abdominal herniation
- Completed family planning. Female patients who intent to become pregnant in future may decide to defer this procedure.
- General anaesthesia
DESCRIPTION OF PROCEDURE
- Pre-operative marking to determine incision and amount of skin to be removed with agreement of patient.
- Liposuction of the love handles and upper abdomen for further enhancement of the abdominal shape (if necessary).
- Excision of the excess skin and fat according to markings.
- Plication of the divarication of recti (tightening of the abdominal muscles by suturing) if necessary.
- Insertion of wound drains (plastic tubings) near the pubic hairline for evacuation of residual blood to prevent blood clot accumulation.
- Closure of the abdominal fat and skin in layers and skin dressing. The patient is at rest in a Jack-Knife position (abdomen is flexed)
- Surgical duration : 4-5 hours
POST OPERATIVE CARE
- After the procedure the patient may opt to stay in the hospital ward or hotel room with a private nurse for recuperation.
- The patient usually goes home by the 3rd or 4th day after surgery.
- In the 1st and 2nd day after surgery the patient rests in a jackknife position to relieve abdominal wound tension.
- The patient may be able to ambulate with support from 2nd to 3rd day onwards.
- Removal of drains usually by second or third day when the drainage decreases to an acceptable level.
- Abdominal binder : Wear round the clock for about 3 months to provide support and to reshape the abdomen.
- Medication: Analgesics (pain killers), Antibiotics and medications to reduce swelling and bruising.
- Suture removal : 1-2 weeks
- Bruising and swelling : May last for about 2 weeks.
- Return to exercise : Light exercise permitted at about 4 weeks: heavy exercise at about 3 months.
- Abdominoplasty for cosmetic purposes is not insurance claimable.
- There are very few insurance claimable procedures that can be done together with abdominoplasty.
RISK AND CAUTION
- Bruising – usually resolved by 2 weeks
- Swelling – usually resolved by 2 – 4 weeks
- Wound dehiscence – may occur in patients who have a tendency of poor wound healing eg. Diabetes, Smokers, Patients on chronic consumption of corticosteroids, and patients with vascular disease.
- Numbness – over the abdomen within expectation and can last for 6 – 12 months
- Undesirable scar can be address by injection or simple scar revision.
During the consultation, our plastic surgeon would guide you to choose the best tummy tuck surgery method used most commonly by some of the leading plastic surgeons in Singapore and Korea. Apart from abdominoplasty, Dr Ng would discuss associated procedures like liposuction, fat grafting and mommy makeover.