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Should I do an abdominoplasty?

A flat and prominent belly can be achieved by intensive training in the gym and giving up your favorite sweets. Or you can choose a faster way — to have a tummy tuck. However, the fastest way is not always the easiest. You need to be prepared for a long recovery and consider the risks of surgery. And to keep the result, you will have to maintain it with the help of sports and a healthy diet. In this article, we will talk about the pros and cons of surgery, rehabilitation after abdominoplasty and answer popular questions.

Published at

June 4, 2024

From the very beginning: what is abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty is the surgical removal of excess fat and skin in the abdominal area, which is accompanied by suturing of muscle diastasis and navel movement.

There is a less invasive option without moving the navel — miniabdominoplasty. This method is suitable for patients who are close to their ideal weight, but cannot get rid of fat deposits in the lower abdomen. Miniabdominoplasty at Olympus Clinics is performed by candidates of medical sciences and doctors of the highest category. During the consultation, experts will tell you which type of abdominal plastic surgery is suitable for achieving your goals, and show the results of previous work.

How does abdominoplasty work?

  1. Preparation: The patient comes to a consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss the desired result. Then he undergoes a medical examination.

  2. Anesthesia: Before surgery, the patient is put under general anesthesia to ensure comfort and painlessness.

  3. Incision: The surgeon makes a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen, usually in the pubic area, which will then be hidden under the underwear.

  4. Removal of excess: The doctor removes excess skin and fat deposits, as well as sutures muscle diastasis.

  5. Facelift: The surgeon performs a facelift of the remaining skin to create a more elastic and toned appearance of the abdomen.

  6. Navel transfer: The navel is moved to a new position to preserve the natural appearance of the abdomen.

  7. Wound closure: The last stage of plastic surgery is suturing with absorbable threads.

  8. Rehabilitation: After surgery, the patient should wear compression underwear to reduce swelling and accelerate healing. 

Who is suitable for surgery?

  • Patients with flabby skin on the abdomen due to age-related changes, genetics, pregnancy.

  • Patients with a stable weight and a slim figure, but with an excess fat layer and skin in the abdominal area.

  • Healthy patients without chronic diseases (for example, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension) who can undergo surgery. It is important to consult with a plastic surgeon, informing them about their diseases and allergies.

  • Those who are not planning pregnancy, as this may affect the results of surgery (stretch marks, muscle diastasis, risk of complications). Abdominoplasty is recommended to be performed after the birth of children.

And who shouldn't do it?

Obese patients may be advised by surgeons to lose weight first or perform liposuction, and then perform abdominoplasty. 

Patients with cardiovascular diseases or unstable blood pressure due to the possible risk of complications during and after surgery.

For women during pregnancy and those who plan to become pregnant in one or two years. The surgeon will advise you to postpone the operation until the end of pregnancy and the postpartum period, as this may change the results of the operation.

People with dysmorphophobia. Before the operation, the specialists of Olympus Clinics take into account the psychological state of the patient. If the patient suffers from dysmorphophobia, the operation may be refused, as the results will not make him happier and may even disappoint.

Patients with oncological and acute infectious diseases. 

To be or not to be? About the pros and cons 

Advantages of abdominoplasty

Individual approach. Plastic surgeons at Olympus Clinics adapt abdominoplasty to the patient's unique physique. Each operation is carefully planned to achieve a V-shaped torso for men, a washboard abs and smooth transitions from the abdomen to the hips.
Getting rid of stretch marks. Pregnancy and weight gain can stretch the skin to such an extent that it will not be able to return to normal. During surgery, the surgeon removes excess skin in the lower abdomen, eliminating visible stretch marks.
Improvement of the back condition. After abdominoplasty, it becomes easier for many patients to cope with lower back pain. This is due to the restoration of normal function of the rectus abdominis muscle.

And now about the cons

A long recovery process. Patients can return to work and light physical activity a month after surgery. The final result is formed from six months to a year.

Scar. The incision after abdominoplasty is located between the femurs, which makes it invisible under the underwear. A cosmetologist's resurfacing procedure can reduce the visibility and smooth out the texture of the scar.  

The need to maintain the result. The result of the operation can be ruined if you do not lead a healthy lifestyle. Weight gain can stretch the abdominal muscles again, and pregnancy can worsen the contours achieved.

Abdominoplasty or liposuction? What should I choose?

Liposuction is chosen to reduce the thickness of the fat layer, rather than to remove excess skin. The doctor will determine whether abdominoplasty is suitable for the patient in the presence of excess skin or only liposuction is enough. This choice often depends on the age of the patient, since over time the skin loses elasticity, and a decrease in the fat layer can lead to excess skin. Operations can be combined. For example, in abdominoplasty, liposuction of the lateral abdominal areas is sometimes performed to achieve ideal contours.

Will there be complications after abdominoplasty?

Complications are very rare in patients without chronic diseases. And risk factors include: smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and a high degree of obesity.

Is abdominoplasty an alternative to weight loss?

Abdominoplasty is not a method of weight loss. Its goal is to improve the shape and contour of the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat after significant weight loss or pregnancy.

Rehabilitation after abdominoplasty 

After a tummy tuck at Olympus Clinics, you will need to stay in the clinic for a short time to recover. Caring staff will be responsible for your safe recovery. You will have a bracelet with a nurse call button so that she can respond to any of your concerns and provide support. Bed rest is recommended on the first day, but a little physical activity can contribute to faster rehabilitation.

To prevent thromboembolic complications, the patient should wear compression stockings, which improve blood flow and prevent blockage of blood vessels. They are worn for the first five days after surgery. Compression underwear covering the entire abdominal area is also recommended to be worn during the first month after surgery to reduce the risk of suture divergence and provide muscle support.

Pain after abdominoplasty is a natural reaction of the body to surgery. The doctor may prescribe painkillers to relieve pain.

After discharge, our plastic surgeons will give recommendations on recovery at home, keep in touch and schedule follow-up visits. 

Full rehabilitation after abdominoplasty takes from 6 to 12 months. It is recommended to eat soft food. Access to the solarium, baths and saunas is prohibited until full recovery.

Abdominoplasty can significantly improve the appearance of the abdomen, helping to get rid of excess skin and fat deposits, as well as strengthen muscles. Consultation with experienced plastic surgeons at Olympus Clinics will help you choose the most appropriate method to achieve the desired result.

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