What Is An Abdominoplasty?
Despite exercise and careful attention to diet, stretching of the skin and gradual fat deposition can result in rolls of unwanted tissue collecting in the lower abdomen. After pregnancy, skin stretching is exaggerated and the stomach wall muscles can become separated and loose. Abdominoplasty removes the excess unwanted tissue and tightens the muscles underneath. It can deliver a slimmer waistline and a flatter, more toned look.
Learn More About The Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) Procedure
1. Who Is A Candidate For Abdominoplasty?
Individuals with excess skin and some fat on the abdomen, often post-pregnancy or weight loss. Patients considering this procedure should have completed their family, be in good overall health and not smoking tobacco.
To find out if abdominoplasty is right for you, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Bovill. She can answer any questions you may have and conduct a thorough examination to determine which procedure can best address your concerns. In some cases, Dr. Bovill may recommend a mini-abdominoplasty instead.
2. What Happens During Abdominoplasty?
For a full lower abdominal technique, the incision is placed as low as possible to allow concealment in a modest bikini or underwear. In the majority of patients the rectus muscles benefit from tightening (‘rectus muscle plication’). The upper skin is pulled downwards to the incision to create a flat silhouette. The umbilicus is carefully reshaped and will also have a scar around it. This can be the abdominoplasty ‘giveaway’ scar and Dr. Bovill takes particular care to disguise this as much as possible. Where possible, Dr. Bovill uses the modern ‘drainless’ technique’ to improve the recovery experience. Liposuction is routinely used as a sculpting adjunct; optional additional liposuction may help improve stubborn areas of fat such as over the flanks.
Appealing due to the shorter lower scar and lack of umbilicus scar, mini-abdominoplasty is frequently requested. It can be an excellent option in very select cases; for example those with excess skin isolated to the lower abdomen (little to no excess above the belly button), no hernias present and mild rectus diastasis.
Ultimately, the best technique for your abdominoplasty will depend on your unique case. In your initial consultation, Dr. Bovill can assess your situation and determine the approach that can yield the best possible results.
3. What Is Abdominoplasty Recovery Like?
Abdominoplasty patients typically require approximately two weeks of full downtime, although longer is possible and more strenuous activities (such as going to the gym) will need to be avoided for six weeks. It may take a week or two to walk completely upright. Mild soreness is typical during recovery, but any discomfort can usually be managed with medication. Swelling and/or bruising is also part of the healing process as well, but these symptoms should resolve within a few weeks with the final volume apparent at around six weeks (new clothes shopping!). Over time, the sensation returns and scars fade and become less apparent. Dr. Bovill understands patient concerns around scarring and works closely with her patients to ensure optimal healing and timely scar management.
General Recovery Points:
Your dressings are splashproof but not immersible. You may shower the day following your surgery, with or without drains.
The dressings are to be left intact until your first review appointment. At this point, Dr. Bovill will help and instruct you with regards to your specific dressings and /or scar management.
The abdominal binder fitted and provided by Dr. Bovill is to be worn day and night for 6 weeks.
Sleep with 3 pillows for the first week or so. This is to assist back sleeping and reduce the abdominal stretch during sleep.
Dr. Bovill will provide a personal prescription for pain medications.
Activities such as walking and going out for coffee are encouraged! No lifting (more than 10lbs) or any ‘bouncy’ activity please for 6 weeks.
Each patient’s recovery is unique, so it is important to carefully follow the personalized aftercare instructions provided by Dr. Bovill, ensuring proper healing during recovery. Postoperative follow-up appointments can also help Dr. Bovill monitor your progress and identify any potential complications, should they arise. Additionally, she can provide you with more specific guidelines as you gradually return to your daily activities.