When physical activity and wholesome nutrition cannot control such anomalies, then abdominoplasty (or tummy tucking) can prove a beneficial solution. Through abdominoplasty Dr. Bernier can redefine the abdomen and correct its imperfections: drooping skin, subumbilical striae, muscular relaxation, etc.
How Does Abdominoplasty Work?
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure of the abdomen that treats as a whole excess skin, slack muscles and tissues as well as, to a certain degree, excess fat.
Surgery consists in tightening the abdominal belt, and then removing excess skin, thereby resorbing roundness and restoring to the stomach’s skin its original shape. Also, liposuction limited to safe areas reduces the size of the fat layer and improves the abdomen’s outline. In order to pull the skin, it has to be released from the navel, which will remain where it is located, but by exposing it through a new opening.
The relaxed muscles are then brought closer with sutures that will tighten them and allow them to be once again functional. Tightening the skin makes the remaining striae less apparent. All of these steps will enhance the abdomen’s appearance and profile.
Depending on the scope of the procedure, Dr. Bernier will offer her patients two anaesthesia methods: general or rachidian (anaesthesia of the lower limbs and organs of the pelvis by way of an injection in the back).
Is This the Solution for Me?
Abdominoplasty is for people in good health whose excess weight is not critical or whose fat accumulation inside the abdomen is not the prime source of a bulging stomach.
If a patient has already undergone surgery that has left scars in the abdomen area, abdominoplasty is not the appropriate procedure.
Abdominoplasty aims at restoring to both male and female patients some comfort, including enhanced self-esteem. However, one must not conclude that this particular procedure applies as soon as there is some sagging of the stomach’s skin or a protuberant abdomen. You need to be able to determine what surgery can accomplish and what you would like it to do for you.
Only a proper evaluation by Dr. Bernier can allow a patient to conclude that abdominoplasty is the right step to take. If that procedure is not right for you, Dr. Bernier will guide you to other options, such as liposculpture , a slimming diet, a muscle-strengthening programme, etc.
After a procedure that involves tightening the abdominal muscles, you should expect more acute pain than when a simple cutaneous adjustment is performed. During the following days, you will have to maintain a half-sitting posture to help reduce tension on the abdomen.
To allow the tissues to hold on properly and to prevent the accumulation of fluid under the skin, you will have to restrict physical activities for two weeks. Also, an abdominal support will have to be worn for about one month as part of the recuperation steps to take.
Another important point: you will be off work for two to three weeks. Dr. Bernier will tell you when you’ll be able to resume normal physical activities.
Finally, the abdominal wall may be hard and may have, in the lower part, loss of cutaneous sensitivity (numbness) for a few months, all of which depends on the individual patient.
Frequently Asked Questions about Abdominoplasty
Since incisions are made in order to tighten the abdominal belt, scars cannot be avoided. Located around the navel and over all of the abdomen’s lower section, these scars, which can be lengthy, are nevertheless well concealed by a bathing suit.
Because this is a technique that aims at modifying the external appearance (excess skin, slack muscles), it is preferable to reduce to the maximum the internal content (fatty tissue under the skin and inside the abdomen), in order to remove as much excess skin as possible and to stretch the tissues optimally.
No one can counter the effects of time and aging, which are the causes of tissue relaxation. Nevertheless, good weight control, a wholesome lifestyle and proper exercise still remain your best chances of succeeding.
The complications are the same as with any other type of surgical procedure requiring an excision: infection, bleeding, asymmetry, bad scarring, insufficient tissue ablation, tissue necrosis, etc.
The presence of seroma (accumulation of a fluid under the skin) is the most frequent complication but also the easiest to remedy. It can however require repeated visits to your surgeon for vacuuming the fluids by way of a puncture with a needle in a non-sensitive area so as to allow the different layers of tissue to remain in contact and thus better merge together.
In rare cases a portion of the flap of skin will not survive due to poor blood circulation and will result in a major scar. That is why Dr. Bernier insists with patients who smoke that they refrain from smoking before the procedure in order to promote better circulation. Furthermore, to avoid having a sizeable flap of skin, Dr. Bernier will limit the scope of the liposuction that is performed concurrently with abdominoplasty.