Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that ensures the “rejuvenation” of the abdomen skin, by removing a part of the subcutaneous fatty tissue and excess and/or affected skin (stretch marks, unaesthetic scars). In certain situations, it can be associated with muscle re-tensioning in the abdominal wall (when a “diastasis” of the straight abdominal muscles occurs) and/or liposuction on certain areas of the abdominal wall.
Following the surgical procedure, the abdomen will be firmer, flatter and more aesthetically pleasing.
Abdominoplasty is NOT a weight loss treatment, the surgery being recommended after the patient has reached the desired weight and this is maintained.
The reasons behind patients opting for this plastic surgery are: excess abdominal skin after significant weight loss following dietary treatments and/or sports, or following a bariatric (weight loss) surgery, loose skin and/or stretch marks on the abdomen after pregnancy, weakened abdominal muscles with diastasis following a certain surgical procedure or pregnancy, deformed abdomen that has a negative cosmetic impact on the patient.
You will be able to discuss what bothers you related to your abdomen (excess skin, stretch marks, shape, asymmetry) and also express your abdominal cosmetic expectations.
A local and general clinical exam will be performed at the level of the abdomen, and all clinical details about the size, shape, abdominal tissue quality (skin, fat, muscles, stretch marks, scars) will be taken into account.
Subsequently, there will be a discussion with the patient regarding the real possibilities of achieving the expected results in terms of the abdominal wall aesthetics and functionality.
The recommended surgical procedures, specific for each individual case, the surgical technique, as well as potential risks and complications will be brought under discussion.
At the end of the consultation, the patient will be able to clearly understand her current health condition, her expectations, the actual surgical possibilities to achieve the cosmetic objectives and together with the plastic surgeon, will determine whether she is a suitable candidate for the abdominoplasty procedure or not.
The doctor will recommend a set of medical blood tests (common and specific to each individual case), imaging investigations (mammography, chest x-ray), a pre-anesthetic consultation and possible extra paraclinical investigations if necessary.
Most of the plastic and cosmetic surgery practices are professionally done by Dr. Claudiu Filip.
Medication or other substances affecting blood clothing will be discontinued prior to the surgery. A reassessment of the general and local state of the patient, goals, type of implants, technique used will be performed and an informed consent of the patient will be registered.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, the anesthetist being the one to ensure the anesthesia and supervise the patient throughout the surgical procedure. The abdominoplasty procedure consists in the removal of a strip of skin and fatty tissue located between the navel and pubis, completely or partially depending on a previously made sketch adapted to lesions.
The overlying, healthy skin above the navel will be stretched downward so the abdominal wall can be rebuilt with a higher quality skin.
The navel will be preserved and relocated in a normal position through an incision made in the newly re-positioned skin. Abdominoplasty always leaves more or less hidden scars, depending on the degree of importance and the place of affected skin requiring ablation. One of the most common such scars is usually located at the level of the upper pubic hair area and goes more or less towards the inguinal folds.
Its length is generally predictable before the surgery and the patient will be clearly informed of its presence, which is in fact one of the main inconveniences to be assumed. The larger the tissue to be removed, the longer the scar.
In most cases, drainage with draining tubes is recommended, but these are removed rather quick in a few days after surgery. The duration of the surgery usually varies between two and four hours in more complex situations or if there are additional procedures performed simultaneously (liposuction, diastasis recti (restoring the abdominal straight muscles normal structure and position).
After abdominoplasty, it is recommended to apply bandages for a period of two weeks. The doctor will advise you to wear an abdominal belt specific for abdominoplasty procedure, for approximately one month postoperatively. Pain varies but is usually bearable with an adapted treatment, usually through abdominal tension and compression.
The patient has to consider a recovery period between two and four weeks. Abdominal scars are often red during the first two-three months, after which they will fade away in about a year’s time. It is recommended to avoid UV exposure, especially in the first three months. The doctor will advise to refrain from normal physical activities during the first week, and avoid intense physical effort altogether. In time, such activities will be resumed according to the doctor’s instructions. The doctor is also the one who will give you local and general aftercare advice.
Although this surgical procedure is complex and postoperative aftercare require special attention, long-term results are very satisfying.
More information about the surgery and postoperative advice can be found during the consultation with Dr. Filip Claudiu.