Debora Ma, MD - Blue Aspen Plastic Surgery

Abdominoplasty


Following pregnancy or significant weight loss, women can develop a persistent "pooch" of the abdomen. Despite diet and sit-ups, the pooch remains. This occurs because the muscles of the abdomen become stretched and separated and the elasticity of the skin is weakened (stretchmarks). After pregnancy or weight loss, the abdominal muscles do not pull back to the midline as before but settle in their newly stretched out state. The abdominal skin loses elasticity and hangs, leading to the "post partum pooch." Despite diet, exercise and sit-ups, the abdominal muscles will not go back together, nor will the skin tighten back to where it was before. In these cases, an abdominoplasty offers an effective and safe method to restore your flatter abdominal contour.

In an abdominoplasty, the excess fat and skin from the abdominal area are removed and the separated abdominal muscles are tightened back together. The excess skin of the lower abdomen is removed and the skin is redraped in a smooth contour. Stretch marks on the lower abdomen are also removed in this process.

The abdominoplasty procedure

The procedures involves placing an incision along the lower edge of the abdomen (in the C-section line), which is usually concealed by bikini and underwear. The length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin to be removed. There is also a small well-concealed incision around the belly button.

The abdominoplasty is a relatively invasive surgery and the complete recovery time is 2-3 months. In the first 2-3 weeks, you will need to rest and significantly curb your physical activity. You will have two drains for the first 1-2 weeks after surgery. By 3-4 weeks after surgery, you turn a corner and activities of daily life become easier. Walking and driving can be done as tolerated. You may not exercise or lift anything heavy for 8-10 weeks after surgery. This operation involves operating on your abdominal muscles. In order to minimize the chance of post operative complications, it is important that these muscles are not stressed for 8-10 weeks after surgery. You will also need to significantly curb your physical activity.

As the swelling gradually resorbs over the first 4 months after surgery, the results of your abdominoplasty can be seen in a slimmer, flatter abdominal profile.



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