Abdominoplasty usually referred to as Tummy Tuck, is a plastic surgery procedure that removes excess skin and tightens abdominal muscles to reshape the abdomen. It is typically performed on patients with excessive or lax skin and muscle in the abdominal area, usually after significant weight loss or post-pregnancy. Tummy tuck works exceptionally well when performed together with liposuction, as the 2 have synergistic effects.
What is abdominoplasty for?
A bulging belly is an undesirable feature for many, men and women alike. In some cases, this bulge is not caused by fatty tissue but rather loose, weakened abdominal muscle and skin. This weakness is usually a result of overly stretched muscles either from pregnancy, obesity, or other possible reasons. Following childbirth or excessive weight loss, the pulled muscles may not return to their normal state as they have been stretched or weakened. This excess muscle and skin will sag and cause a visible bulge, usually at the lower abdomen. The rectus abdominis (the “six-packs” muscle group) is most prone to this, primarily due to poor muscle tone. The white tissue connecting the left and right rectus abdominis groups, known as the fascia, is highly susceptible. The weakening and stretching of these tissue results in a gap, also known as rectus diastasis.
Abdominoplasty can be performed in these cases to surgically tighten the loose connective tissue and muscle groups while excising excess skin. This process flattens and recontours the abdomen and effectively removes the appearance of any bulge.
Abdominoplasty Surgery Procedure in Singapore
Abdominoplasty can be performed under local or general anaesthesia. Typically, an incision is made just above the pelvic line to lift the skin flap off the abdominal wall. The surgeon then re-approximates the rectus abdominis muscle groups and the fascia gap as necessary. After this, the surgeon will pull the skin flap over the tightened abdomen, and any excess skin is carefully trimmed away before closing the incision. Some fluid drainage tubes may be inserted at this stage to prevent complications caused by fluid accumulation.
There are 2 different types of abdominoplasty, depending on the extent of the operation.
Full Tummy Tuck
The procedure is considered a full tummy tuck when the entire abdominal wall is involved. The surgeon will first make 2 incisions, one above the pelvic line and one around the navel. After the necessary operations, a third incision is made at the new location of the navel before excess skin is trimmed and the incisions are closed.
Mini Tummy Tuck
In this case, only the lower abdomen is operated on. The surgeon makes a similar but smaller incision to expose the lower abdomen along the pelvic line. As the navel is not moved during a mini tummy tuck, the second and third incisions are not required. Muscles and tissues are similarly tightened before the skin flap is pulled over to cover them.
Tummy tuck procedures usually take around 4 hours to complete. However, patients may be required to stay for a few more hours for monitoring before being discharged.
However, the odds of developing these complications can be minimized by consulting a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon for your abdominoplasty. At the Clifford Surgery Clinic, our doctors and surgeons have over 10 years of experience and will do their best to ensure a safe and successful surgery.
FAQs On Tummy Tuck
Abdominoplasty has immediate effects that are visible right after surgery. However, the best results will typically show after several weeks or months after wounds have healed and swelling has subsided.
Scarring from abdominoplasty is inevitable due to the location of the operation. However, the scars are usually at inconspicuous locations and can be easily concealed by undergarments or regular clothing.
If you have previous operations in the abdominal region, such as a C-section, it is possible to make incisions at the exact locations to reduce scarring. Please inform the surgeon should you intend to do so.
Abdominoplasty is not a surgery to remove stretch marks contrary to certain beliefs. However, if your stretch marks are found on the excess skin to be trimmed off after the procedure, they can indeed be removed with this excess skin.
Abdominoplasty can produce permanent results as long as patients do not experience severe weight fluctuations after the surgery, including obesity and pregnancy. These can stretch the muscles and skin in the area again, reversing any results. Repeat abdominoplasties are not recommended in most cases due to increased risks of complications. Hence abdominoplasty is not recommended for women who plan to bear children in the future.
Depending on their recovery, patients are expected to take around 10 days or more of outpatient medical leave after abdominoplasty. Most sedentary and light activities can resume after that. Patients whose work involves more strenuous activities (such as long hours of standing) will be required to take at least 14 days of medical leave. You will be required to wear an abdominal binder post-surgery.
- Patients should maintain a stable body weight prior to the surgery.
- Keep yourselves adequately hydrated starting at least a week before.
- Smokers should stop smoking and tobacco consumption about 4 to 6 weeks prior to the surgery.
- Inform the surgeon of any past medical history, drug allergies, medication you are currently on and any health supplements you are currently consuming. You may be required to stop certain blood thinners temporarily to reduce the risk of complications.
Your body may lose significant amounts of fluid during and after the surgery. Do drink plenty of water to replace the fluids and prevent dehydration.
Rest well at home for about 10 days. Also, refrain from strenuous activities for at least 6 weeks post-surgery
You may be asked to wear a compression garment for several weeks. This garment helps reduce swelling and bruising and sculpt the abdomen into a more desirable shape, facilitating recovery. This corset should be worn at all times and only removed during shower or to clean occasionally.
Abdominoplasty is suitable for everyone who wishes to remove a stubborn bulging tummy due to lax muscles, is within 30% of their desirable body weight, and generally has good health.
You should not undergo abdominoplasty if you are:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers
- Looking for drastic weight loss from obesity
- Additionally, abdominoplasty will not help individuals whose excess body weight/bulging belly is caused by intra-abdominal fat rather than weak muscles.
It depends on the position and extent of loose muscle and skin on your abdomen. The surgeon will examine your body and recommend the most suitable procedure for you during the consultation session.