Everyone wants to have a flat stomach. Unfortunately, while we can reduce the fat in the area, diet and exercise do little to address sagging, excess skin, and muscles that are no longer taut. A tummy tuck, formally known as abdominoplasty, can give you a more contoured body shape and a flatter stomach.
A tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin and restores weakened or separated muscles, creating an abdominal profile that is smoother, flatter, and firmer.
Who Is a Good Candidate for an Abdominoplasty?
Skin is elastic and resilient, but there is a point at which, if overstretched, it will not rebound to its previous state. This can happen when the stomach is stretched by pregnancy or massive weight gain (and subsequent loss), leaving you with sagging skin or a protruding stomach pouch. Both men and women can benefit from tummy tuck surgery. But a tummy tuck is a body-contouring procedure, not a weight loss method, and is intended for people at a healthy, stable weight.
As with any surgical procedure, successful candidates are generally in good health with no serious medical complications. Pregnancy after abdominoplasty is still possible, however the aesthetic outcomes of the changes from surgery may be altered; therefore some planning should be considered if childbearing is possible around abdominoplasty procedures.
Abdominoplasty is typically performed by Dr Yap at a fully accredited Medical centre/Hospital surgical facility. A board certified anaesthesiologist will provide anaesthesia care to keep you comfortable during the procedure and in recovery.
Depending on the degree of excess skin and its location, Dr. Yap will either perform a full or mini tummy tuck.
In a full tummy tuck, Dr Yap makes a horizontal incision across the lower abdomen. The “classic” abdominoplasty incision extends across the abdomen. Through the incision, he corrects loose, separated or weakened abdominal muscles and stitches them together, making an internal “corset” to narrow the waistline. Dr. Yap also removes loose skin and tightens the remaining skin. For some patients, this improves or eliminates bothersome stretch marks on the lower abdomen. The navel or belly button is then released from the skin and repositioned in the correct location after the skin is stretched and tightened. If necessary, he may also use liposuction to remove surplus fat deposits around the abdomen, flanks, and other areas.
When Dr. Yap is finished making the necessary surgical modifications, two small surgical drain tubes will be temporarily placed under the skin to help remove any excess blood or fluid. Dr Yap then closes the incisions with absorbable sutures and dresses the area with sterile gauze. A compression garment over the lower abdomen can help support the tissues as they heal.
There are several variations from the “classic” tummy tuck described above.
A “mini tummy tuck ” is similar to the regular tummy tuck procedure, except it involves a shorter incision and the skin is only lifted to the umbilicus, which does not have to be moved. This procedure is ideal for patients who need minimal improvement limited to the lower abdomen.
With an “extended” abdominoplasty, the incision continues to the flanks and enables additional removal of skin and fat. A ‘fleur de lis’ abdominoplasty includes a vertical scar in addition to the horizontal abdominal scar allowing for removal of skin in a side-to-side fashion. Both of these procedures are more extensive than the typical abdominoplasty but are occasionally needed for more severe cases.
Recovering from Tummy Tuck
After surgery, the patient rests in the recovery area before being released to the care of a surgical ward nurse for overnight observations and discharged the following day with instructions and follow up appointments.
Patient mobility is generally better than expected, and most report feeling somewhat ‘tight’, with reduced range of motion usually only for the first few days. Short walks are encouraged to promote good circulation as the body heals.
The patient should refrain from bending, lifting or straining during their initial recovery. They should rest as much as possible and take oral medication as needed for any discomfort. Dr. Yap provides instructions for taking care of the surgical incisions, drains, keeping the compression garment in place and returning to the office for follow-up visits.
During the follow-up visits, Dr. Yap examines the treated area to evaluate its healing progress. He advises when it is safe to return to work, and exercise. Every patient is different, but most return to work after about two weeks, and exercise after six to eight weeks. Regular exercise and a healthy diet both help the tummy tuck results to last for many years to come.
How Long Does a Tummy Tuck Last?
Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is designed to match your body type and contours. Weight gain can negatively impact the results from surgery, so a reasonable post-operative diet and exercise regimen is helpful.
With care and the appropriate lifestyle, your tummy tuck from Dr. Yap will look great for years to come!
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Interested in having Tummy Tuck by Dr Yap? Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our clinic.