An abdominoplasty, also referred to as a tummy tuck, has grown in popularity over the years. The transforming results include a slimmer and toner silhouette, by removing excess fat and skin from the middle and lower abdomen, while tightening the abdominal muscle area.
This body contouring surgery is for both men and women.
Many women, however, undergo this procedure to correct stretched and separated muscles which commonly occur from pregnancy. Also known as diastasis recti, Dr. Bolitho can surgically bring those muscles together once again which help restore abdominal wall strength.
The surgical correction from a tummy tuck may also remove a significant amount of stretch marks, since the excess skin removed is typically located from the belly button down to the C-section line.
Depending on the individual needs of a patient, liposuction is often combined to optimize the tummy tuck procedure.
Patients who undergo either a full or mini-tummy tuck notice early on the overall improvement in their aesthetic appearance. And these aesthetic results show a marked improvement with regular exercise and healthy diet.
Those who benefit from an abdominoplasty are:
In your initial consultation, Dr. Bolitho will begin to tailor the right abdominoplasty for you by determining your health and medical history, abdominal fat deposits, redundant skin and overall skin tone.
Generally, the three surgical procedures to choose from are the following:
Photos for your medical file will be taken and automatically downloaded to a state-of-the-art software program, TouchMD. The photographs will reflect the areas of potential cosmetic surgical treatment and are then uploaded to a touch screen in your examining room. Dr. Bolitho will utilize this software to get more in depth information regarding your aesthetic wishes. Dr. Bolitho will explain the surgical process with this touch screen and discuss the latest techniques he uses to achieve the most desired aesthetic outcome.
If you choose to move forward with your surgery, your patient coordinator will schedule a preoperative appointment. During this appointment you will meet with Dr. Bolitho once again to review your procedure and goals. You will also receive pre and postoperative detailed instructions. Dr. Bolitho will provide you with prescriptions prior to your surgery.
After your anesthesia has been administered, for a full abdominoplasty procedure, Dr. Bolitho creates a long incision, directly above the pubic area, from one hipbone to the other. Another incision is then created to release the navel from its surrounding tissue.
Following this, Dr. Bolitho will detach the skin from the abdominal wall, and pull this section upward toward the ribs. This skin flap clearly exposes the vertical muscles located in the abdomen. Dr. Bolitho will tighten these muscles, by bringing them together and stitching them in an ideal place to enhance a toner abdominal wall. This part of the procedure also tapers in the waistline.
This same skin flap is then pulled downward, and assessed, to determine how much excess skin should be removed. Dr. Bolitho then proceeds to make a new hole for the navel. Once completed, the navel is stitched in place.
While incisions are stitched and dressings applied, Dr. Bolitho may decide to insert one or two temporary draining tubes near the surgical site for the recovery period. The drain(s) will help draw out excess fluid and promote healing.
A mini-abdominoplasty differs somewhat in where the incision is significantly shorter, and the navel may remain intact. The skin is detached from the incision line and the navel. From there, Dr. Bolitho will pull this skin flap down and remove any excess tissue. The flap remainder is then stitched back in its position.
Generally, a full abdominoplasty lasts three hours, whereas a mini-abdominoplastymay last around two hours. If liposuction is used, these times may vary.
Following a full abdominoplasty, Dr. Bolitho prefers to admit his patients to the hospital for an overnight stay.
On the other hand, for a mini-abdominoplastyor liposuction, patients are generally deemed as outpatient.
Please make arrangements for transportation after surgery or following a hospital stay. Having a caregiver for a couple days after an abdominoplasty procedure is recommended.
The first few days following surgery may be uncomfortable due to postsurgical pain and swelling. Dr. Bolitho will prescribe medication to help lessen and control any discomfort.
In the first week, your dressings will be changed regularly. Postsurgical drains will also be frequently monitored and excess fluid measured.
Liposuction patients will be given a compression garment to be worn for roughly four weeks.
Instructions pertaining to dressing changes, postsurgical drains and showering will be provided.
Every patient is different regarding their recovery timeline. Some may need a couple weeks of recuperation before returning to work, while others may need a couple weeks more.
Dr. Bolitho will advise you on when you can return to exercising, such as light walking.
Generally, it takes up to a year for scarring to lighten and become less visually apparent.
An abdominoplasty offers excellent results for patients, and its results are further enhanced when combined with a healthy lifestyle.
In your initial consultation, Dr. Bolitho explains how cosmetic surgery is a journey. The transformations are wonderful, but patience is needed as your body adjusts to their new improvements.