Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that helps flatten and shape the abdomen and waist by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles.
The best candidates are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that haven't responded well to diet and exercise. Older, slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity can be helped. Abdominoplasty can also be useful for women with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy, although results from the procedure will diminish if they continue to bear children. For this reason, women who plan to have children again are advised to delay abdominoplasty. Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight are also encouraged to wait before undergoing the procedure, since skin in that area typically loosens after substantial weight loss.
The procedure takes approximately two to five hours and can be performed with general anesthesia or local anesthesia with a sedative. Recovery time ranges from two weeks to a few months, but with a balanced diet and regular exercise results are long-lasting.
Abdominoplasty will likely leave a permanent scar stretching between the hips, although it should be low enough for even a bikini to conceal it. Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery should know that their old scars could be raised, stretched or generally more noticeable after the procedure. Other, rare post-operative complications include infection, blood clots, and poor healing, which may require further surgery.
Your surgeon will make two incisions: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and one around the navel. Skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin flap is stretched down and over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.
Partial Abdominoplasty (Mini Tummy Tuck)
Partial abdominoplasty is similar to abdominoplasty except a shorter incision is made and the skin is only lifted to the navel, which does not have to be moved (although it may be pulled into a different shape as skin is stretched).
Body Contouring After Weight Loss
Major weight loss achieved through either natural means or bariatric surgery is a great accomplishment that allows patients to significantly improve their appearance and overall quality of life, while also reducing the risk of weight-related health conditions.
After large amounts of weight loss, many patients are left with loose, hanging skin that has been stretched out by the excess weight and does not conform to the body's new contours. There may also be one or more problem areas that has not responded well to weight loss methods and still contains localized areas of stubborn fat.
Many patients seek body contouring procedures to complete the weight loss process and achieve a smooth, toned appearance that they will be proud to show off. Body contouring procedures often target problem areas such as the:
Multiple procedures may be needed in order to achieve desired results and to reduce the trauma of treating several different body areas at once. Your surgeon will develop a personalized treatment plan for you based on your individual needs and goals for surgery.
Body contouring procedures are generally considered safe, especially when performed by an experienced surgeon. It is important for patients to be in good overall health, at a stable weight and to maintain realistic expectations for surgery. These procedures cannot serve as a means for significant weight loss, but instead reduce the appearance of loose, sagging skin for a smoother body contour.
Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)
Brachioplasty, commonly known as anarm lift, attempts to procure a more natural and youthful look by removing the fat and excess skin hanging down from the underarms. This is most commonly requested by aging women, but some men opt to have this procedure as well. An arm lift is often performed on post-bariatric surgery patients who have lost huge amounts of weight in a short amount of time. The procedure helps to relieve patients' self consciousness in wearing short sleeves or otherwise showing their arms.
During the arm lift procedure, the incision is made beneath the arm and can extend from the elbow to the armpit, varying upon how much skin must be removed. The skin is then cut away from the rest of the arm and pulled taut around the extremity.
This procedure is very likely to leave a scar that could be noticeable. Most doctors can adjust where they make their incision so that the cut runs either underneath the arm or on the inside surface. These are less visible in normal poses and can improve over time as the scar fades. However, most patients need to be firmly aware that they are essentially trading "skin for scars" with this procedure.
The initial recovery time for this procedure is short, as the patient may return to light work within a week or less. However, exercise must remain off limits for two weeks. The results will be immediately obvious, but will show apparent improvement over the next two weeks as swelling subsides. The scars will heal and mature over the next six months, possibly fading from sight entirely.