Abdominoplasty

What are the benefits of an abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty is an effective operation to not only remove excess skin and fat tissue from the abdomen but can also help to 

  1. reduce abdominal bulging
  2. treat heat rashes and skin infections in the skin folds
  3. reduce back pain
  4. improve ability exercise 
  5. help with urinary continence
  6. improve self esteem
 

What is the best timing for surgery?

It is important to note that abdominoplasty surgery is not a cure for obesity. Abdominoplasty surgery offers the best results when it is performed after you have attained your target weight and have been able to maintain  it for several months. This target weight may vary depending on your circumstances but is generally considered to be a body mass index(BMI) in the range of 20-30. BMI is calculated by weight[kg] divided by height[m] square.

 

What are the different types of abdominoplasty?

Abdominal contouring surgery aims to address (in varying degrees)

  • excess abdominal skin
  • excess adipose tissue
  • laxity of the musculo-fascial layer (rectus fascia) of the abdominal wall.

Depending on your needs, Dr Teh will recommend the optimal type of surgery to address your contour issues. If there is significant central abdominal bulging as commonly occurs as a consequence of pregnancy, Dr Teh will generally recommend a standard abdominoplasty to allow the rectus fascia to be sutured back together.

In its simplest form, liposuction can be conducted to address excess adipose tissue. Excess skin is not treated with liposuction. However in younger patients where the skin has maintained its natural elasticity, this skin will retract following liposuction, thereby avoiding loose redundant skin that may occur following liposuction in older patients or patients that have a stretch marks on the abdomen (ie post pregnancy).

Where skin laxity is mild and largely occurring in the lower abdomen, a mini abdominoplasty may be sufficient. Only the central portion of the lower abdominal skin is excised. No surgery is performed on the umbilicus or the rectus fascia. The resultant scar is generally similar albeit slightly longer than a caesarean section scar. 

In most cases, a standard abdominoplasty is performed to address skin, adipose tissue and the rectus fascia. Where there is excess skin in the upper abdomen, a fleur de lis abdominoplasty may be warranted.  Where excess skin extends around the flanks to the back, a belt lipectomy is required to treat this.

How long is the surgery and the recovery?

Mini abdominoplasty take about an hour and patients may be discharged the same day. For a standard and fleur de lis abdominoplasty, the surgery will take 2-3 hours and a stay of 3-4 nights is the norm. A belt lipectomy may take up to 6 hours and require a longer stay of 4-6 nights in hospital. Earlier discharge may be possible if you are happy to be discharged home with a drain. 

Recovery is shortest with a mini-abdominoplasty. In general you will be back performing normal duties in 2-3 weeks. Most other forms of more invasive abdominoplasties will take up to 6 weeks to fully recover.