The procedure | Abdominoplasty
When its not possible to loose a tummy despite a change in diet or an increase in exercise, an abdominoplasty can help to correct the contour of the tummy by taking away the excess of skin and fat via a bikini-line incision. Often this procedure is combined with liposuction, to adjust the contour of tissue that needs to stay behind. Surgery may not be limited to just the front of your abdomen. Together with your surgeon you will decide on the technique that best fulfils your wishes and expectations. Sometimes the flanks or even the back (Belt Lipectomy) will have to be addressed in order to reach the desired result. Please be aware that the surgery will only be able to correct the excess outside the tummy. Fat inside the tummy can only be reduced by loosing weight.
Where will I be operated?
The operation will be performed in one of the private clinics in Vienna.
What can I expect of the operation?
Your surgeon will always see you before the operation and will talk you through the steps. Markings will be made on the regions concerned and pictures will be taken for documentation. The operation will be performed under general anaesthetic or under sedation. Via small incisions a local anaesthetic fluid is infiltrated under the skin, which numbs the area completely. Subsequently the fat is removed via suction cannulas. After the liposuction a bikini-line incision is made and the excess of skin and fat is removed. If needed the muscles of the tummy will be tightened and the navel repositioned. The incision will be closed by resolvable sutures and drains will be left to aid in wound healing in the first period after surgery.
What are the risks?
(Liposuction assisted) abdominoplasty is considered to be a relatively low risk procedure. Most common complications are the risk of infection and wound healing problems (<1%). It can be dealt with effectively and at limited physical cost by antibiotics if noted at an early stage. Please contact your surgeon if you have any doubt. The second risk is that of irregularities or asymmetry, even though nobody is completely symmetrical.
What can I expect after the operation?
When the anaesthetic wears off you may experience some slight discomfort, which however typically disappears after the first few hours. In the first days healing will include some swelling, combined with a tightness of the areas involved in surgery, and (variably) some bruising. Most people describe a feeling of soreness and muscle ache like after a long run during this period. Initially some asymmetry may be present, but this will disappear as swelling subsides and healing occurs. You will be required to wear a compression garment for 6 weeks day and night.
What will the scars be like?
The scars of the abdominoplasty will be positioned in the bikini-line, running from hip to hip, and around the navel. These scars may be thick and discoloured for 6-12 months, but should be easily covered by clothing.
How long before I can resume my normal life?
Most manage to return to light activities in the first few days after surgery, but walking up straight might take a little longer. On average it takes two weeks to be able to return to work (depending on physical requirements). Sports activities can on average be resumed after 6 weeks. Please listen to your body though; pain is a protective mechanism so if certain movements are painful please refrain from doing them.
What is good to know about the long term?
Fat that is removed will not return. When you gain weight again though, it will also show in the areas where the abdominoplasty was performed.
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