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WHAT IS TUMMY TUCK (ABDOMINOPLASTY)?
Conditions such as excessive weight gain and loss, pregnancy, over the years, cause the abdominal area to become deformed, lose tension in the skin and sag over time. As the tissues between the abdominal muscles lose their strength, the abdomen sags forward and stretch marks appear. It is possible to fix this appearance caused by the abdominal skin succumbing over the years. With tummy tuck surgery, the person is ensured to have tighter skin and a more vigorous appearance in keeping with the person’s needs. Although sagging can be partially controlled using techniques such as exercise and massage, this will not be enough. In the case of sagging abdominal skin, tummy tuck surgery is the shortest and most permanent method of achieving clear, precise results, and with great success.
Abdominoplasty is an operation to remove loose, sagging skin and repair the abdominal wall. It is also known as abdominoplasty. The planning of the operation will be determined by your plastic surgeon during the examination based on the fat in the abdominal area, the proportion of the sagging area and the condition of the muscles, and the most favorable combination of operative techniques will be applied for you.
WHO CAN HAVE TUMMY TUCK?
Abdominoplasty is an operation performed in cases where the aesthetics of the abdomen, such as sagging, the formation of stretch marks, which can be observed after pregnancy or excessive weight gain and loss. It is generally preferred at advanced ages, and is not recommended for those under 18. It can be requested by both men and women.
- The abdominal area becomes distorted during pregnancy and after rapid weight gain or loss. The tissues between the muscles that hold the abdominal wall flat open up, sag, and stretch marks may appear on the skin. These conditions can be repaired with an abdominoplasty.
- In addition to the loosening of the skin in the abdominal area, if there is still fat in the abdominal area, complete and effective results can be achieved with liposuction to be applied in the same session, simultaneously with the abdominoplasty operation. If the position or shape of the belly button bothers the person, the location and shape of the belly button can also be changed during the operation.
- Not everyone is suitable for a tummy tuck. Smoking makes it difficult for wounds to heal and can be a problem during anesthesia. For these reasons, it is important that the person seeking surgery has quit smoking for some time and follows the doctor’s suggestions and recommendations.
Tummy tuck surgery is not for everyone. It is not recommended in cases of significant weight gain or loss shortly before the stretching procedure. Before resorting to abdominoplasty, it is necessary to try to lose weight and strengthen the muscle tissue of the abdomen. If sports and weight loss do not solve the problem, then surgery is considered. It is also important for the operation to have a weight adapted to the body. It is necessary to limit the fat of the internal organs. In addition, wound healing is difficult in smokers and problems may occur during anesthesia. Therefore, the person requesting the surgery will need to quit smoking for some time. Diabetes also severely affects wound healing. As pregnancy deforms the abdominal area, it is important to perform the stretching procedure after pregnancy in terms of permanence.
HOW IS THE TUMMY TUCK PERFORMED?
The abdominoplasty operation lasts an average of three hours. In case of looseness and sagging of the skin and muscles that maintain the flat abdomen, the excess skin is removed, the abdominal wall is recovered and sutured. The operation to tighten the muscles is called plication. If the fat in the abdominal area needs to be removed, liposuction can be added to the operation. The width of the area to be liposuctioned is planned according to the patient’s needs. If the patient is not satisfied with the position of the navel, this can also be corrected during the operation. Your doctor will ensure that the surgical incision is made in the lower abdomen, in an area that can be hidden by underwear. At the end of the operation, a drain can be placed in the area. It is necessary to use a corset for some time after the operation. This is important to protect the weak muscles and the skin.
In the case of tummy tuck, the type of anesthesia varies depending on the patient and the state of the sagging. If the procedure involves a very small area, local anesthesia may be used. General anesthesia is most often used. The type of anesthesia also depends on the patient’s health status. Patients under general anesthesia must stay in the hospital overnight after the operation.
TUMMY TUCK RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS
Abdominoplasty surgery can carry certain risks, like all other surgical procedures. These risks are minimized by choosing a competent and experienced surgeon.
There is a possibility of fluid accumulation under the skin after an abdominoplasty. Your surgeon may use drains to prevent this. Drains are usually removed the next morning before discharge. The risk of clotting, which is one of the risks of any surgery, can also occur during tummy tuck surgery. It is rarely encountered at a young age. In order to prevent this risk, medication can be started and compression stockings used for a period of time. In patients who smoke, it should be remembered that this can interfere with the healing process and trigger scarring, and smoking should be stopped at least one week before the operation. Do not interrupt the antibiotic treatment prescribed by your doctor to prevent infection of the wound site and make regular dressings.
RECOVERY AND LIFETIME OF THE TUMMY TUCK
The permanence of the tummy tuck depends mainly on whether the patient regains weight after the operation and whether a pregnancy occurs. Conditions such as pregnancy and excessive weight gain can cause the treated area to become distorted again. Therefore, if pregnancy is contemplated, the surgery should be postponed until the pregnancy results in childbirth. After the tummy tuck surgery, you should ensure that you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to avoid possible fat retention.
One day after the tummy tuck surgery, the patient can walk, but it is recommended to walk bent over for a few days. It is necessary to avoid lifting during this period. The drains that were placed, are removed the day after the operation. The patient should not shower or wet the area until the drains are removed. The patient must wear a corset for three to six weeks during the healing process. The corset is necessary for the recovery of the muscles and skin that have lost their strength. The patient can start light exercises after one month in consultation with the doctor, but it may be necessary to wait six months for heavy sports. After the operation, the patient can return to work after one week. Eating a healthy diet after surgery speeds up recovery.
THINGS TO PAY ATTENTION
To ensure a smooth recovery before and after a tummy tuck surgery, the points to consider can be listed as:
- To reduce the risks of the operation, it is necessary to stop smoking some time before the operation.
- Excess weight increases the risks and decreases the success of the operation, it is necessary to lose weight if possible and necessary before the operation.
- Before the operation, you must inform your doctor of any allergies and medications you are taking.
- Blood thinners must be stopped under the supervision of your doctor.
- The corset should be used without interruption for the period recommended by your doctor.
- After the operation, certain movements must be limited and heavy lifting should be avoided. A recovery process that is thorough and follows your doctor’s recommendations will always be more comfortable.