If you are at all concerned or disturbed about lack of muscle and tone, loose skin and /or fat deposits in your tummy region then you may well be a good candidate for a Tummy Tuck (also know as an Abdominoplasty) or a related procedure.
In fact there are three different abdominal conditions that can fit elements of the above description and as a result three different procedures that correspond to the appropriate condition.
If for instance your problem is not loose skin but a relatively small accumulation of fat in the interior abdominal wall then a simple Liposuction procedure can be undergone (See Liposuction section). Alternatively if your problem is a reasonably small excess of skin then what is termed a Mini Tummy Tuck, together with Liposuction or without, can be the answer.
If however you have more than a little excess skin and fat to contend with then a complete Tummy tuck is called for. This procedure correspondingly requires a larger incision in the pelvic region and a repositioning of the umbilicus during the procedure.
But obviously the surgeon who will perform the procedure is the best person to assess your particular requirements. Once he or she has determined what is best the procedure will be discussed with you in detail, as will all your desires and aspirations regarding the outcome of the procedure. You will also be encouraged to ask as many questions as you like prior to surgery.
Your most Frequently Asked Questions related to your surgeon and surgery answered.
Although all South Africa’s leading cosmetic surgeons are highly trained and experienced in all cosmetic/plastic surgery procedures they naturally have individual, specialist areas of interest and expertise.
Once Surgical Attractions has assessed your particular desires and aspirations concerning the outcome of your procedure we will marry them to the surgeon best suited to your special needs. The surgeon’s CV details will then be sent to you for your perusal and acceptance.
When you complete the Medical History section of the General Enquiry Form you will be asked to submit it together with a clear and reasonably close-up digital photograph (in colour) of the area of your body requiring surgery.
Once your recommended surgeon has assessed your particular requirements along with your medical history and digital photo, Surgical Attractions will arrange an obligation free teleconference between the two of you.
At this stage your surgeon will not only be in possession of all the facts relating to your particular case but also be in a position to recommend the exact method to be employed to achieve the results you desire. Your surgeon will also be available at this point to answer any questions you may have as regards your surgery and the outcome.
You will be encouraged at all times prior to your surgery to continue getting to know your surgeon by asking as many questions as you like.
On arrival in South Africa Surgical Attractions will arrange a personal meeting between you and your surgeon. Once again the method of surgery and the desired outcome will be discussed along with any other questions you may have. If at this point you decide not to go ahead with the procedure your decision will be respected.
As with most surgical procedures techniques vary from one surgeon to another but generally speaking an incision is made horizontally within the vicinity of the pubic area. The amount of skin to be removed will determine the size of the incision and the shape of the incision will be determined by the overall size of the patient’s stomach.
Most loose skin is situated below the area of the navel however if there is additional loose skin above the navel it will be necessary to create another incision around the navel.
Once the incisions have been made the excess skin is pulled down and trimmed away. As the position of the navel stays the same a tiny opening will be made to allow a natural protrusion of the navel.
Depending on the patient’s particular anatomy, tightening of the stomach muscles may also be necessary during the procedure.
Your surgeon will do everything possible to ensure that your incisions will be placed in such a way as to be hidden by your particular choice in swim suits and lingerie. However this is not always possible. Your surgeon will however discuss the size and shape of the incisions with you prior to surgery so that you will know exactly what to expect. Wherever the incisions are made however they will fade more and more with time and will eventually only be seen as thin inconspicuous lines.
Stretch marks vary from patient to patient, as does the amount of skin that needs to be removed in the procedure. Usually most stretch marks are accounted for when the loose skin from the lower stomach area are trimmed away. Stretch marks that remain usually have an improved appearance after the procedure - however no guarantees regarding the removal and improvement of stretch marks can be made.
If you are a smoker you will be asked to stop smoking prior to surgery in order to prevent unnecessary complications.
Arnica tablets, Vitamin E in large doses, analgesics like Aspirin and even some anti-inflammatory drugs should not be taken prior to surgery as they can promote bleeding during the procedure.
Your surgeon however will give you personal advice in this regard.
You will be well sedated during the course of the first night following surgery however the next day you will begin moving around in order to normalise your blood circulation. Sitting for too long in the same position is not advised. Activity will not be too strenuous of course but generally short walks back and forth to your bed are considered best.
Standing up in a straight position may not be that easy or comfortable to start with but will gradually be possible within a few days. Only gentle movements are permissible in the early stages of your recuperation. No bending or lifting is allowed as any movements of this kind could result in the disrupture of your stitches as well as renewed bleeding.
Any pain and discomfort you experience will be corrected by prescribed medication. Your dressing will probably be changed during the first week and completely removed along with your stitches during the course of the first two weeks following surgery.
As is the case with most surgical procedures it is advisable to take it easy after Tummy Tuck Surgery. The initial swelling and bruising associated with this procedure will gradually lessen in a matter of weeks but its safe to say that it could take months before all the swelling and discolouration has disappeared and you can fully appreciate the results of your surgery.
If you experience numbness in the initial stages following surgery this too could persist over a period of months. However as with all surgical procedures the recovery time differs from patient to patient.
Generally speaking you can resume most aspects of your lifestyle within a few weeks following surgery. Sexual activity however should be excluded for a minimum of two weeks. For some weeks thereafter your tummy area should be treated with great respect during sexual activity. Exercise programmes during the first few months should also be approached with caution. You will be able to go back to work (provided it is not of an overly strenuous nature) two to three weeks after surgery.
As with everything else in life there are also risks involved in surgical procedures. No matter how good the Surgeon performing the Surgery may be, complications can arise. Therefore before proceeding with any surgery of any kind please discuss all your concerns with your surgeon and ask as many questions as you like so that you are in a position to make an informed decision.