What is an abdominoplasty?
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or woman who are concerned by abdominal fat deposit or loose skin that has not improved after diet or exercise. This procedure is particularly helpful for women that have stretched abdominal muscles after childbirth.
If you are planning to lose a large amount of weight or become pregnant the procedure is best performed after this.
Thousands of abdominoplasties are performed each year and patients are very happy with the results.
How is the procedure performed?
What should I expect after surgery?
Stitches are removed 1-2 weeks after surgery in Dr Drielsma's rooms.
Although you will not be able to stand straight in the early stage after surgery, walking as soon as possible will help circulation and lessen the risk of complications. The body needs time to recovery from surgery. Use your recovery time for just that - resting.
When can I return to normal activities?
Gentle exercises can be commenced after 3-4 weeks, however, vigorous exercise should be avoided for 6-8 weeks. It may take 2-3 months before you will feel you have returned completely to normal.
Is there anything I should do before surgery?
Are there any risks?
Bleeding: Bleeding can be problematical in about 2-3% of cases. It is most likely to occur immediately following surgery or that evening. It is possible in cases of persistent problematical bleeding that a return to the operating theatre will be required. The likelyhood of this is very rare.
Infection: If infection occurs it will usually become evident within one week of surgery and may delay the healing process or result in the development of scar tissue. This may require treatment with antibiotics. In the unlikely event of infection, the ultimate result of the surgery may be adversely affected.
Anaesthesia: You will be receiving a general anaesthetic and your anaesthetist will be discussing with you possible discomforts following anaesthesia. Again, anaesthesia today is very safe and no major problems should be concerning you. Any questions you have regarding your anaesthetic would be best answered by your anaesthetist at the time of surgery.
Scarring: All surgery carries risks and every incision leaves a scar. The long scar is never invisible but is placed in a position that is inconspicuous when wearing most clothing or swimming costumes.
The scars will often look red and lumpy at about three months after surgery as they heal but this is normal and will settle over the following 3-6 months. It takes 12-18 months before the scars mature completely, flatten out and lighten in colour. The quality of the scar cannot be guaranteed prior to surgery as this is based on the individual healing process.
Because the excess tissue is pulled down, there can be a tendency for the pubic hair to be pulled up a little. This does not show on most clothing and is rarely of concern.
Sensation: Areas of your lower abdomen may be numb for up to six months as the disturbed nerves are recovering. This numbness although usually temporary, can in rare cases be permanent.
Fluid Collection: A seroma is a collection of fluid under the skin and fat. If this occurs it may take a few weeks to absorb. Wearing the pressure garment will help reduce this risk.
Circulation: Although rare, there is a risk of clotting in the veins of the legs. Such a thrombosis may rarely be complicated by pulmonary embolism ( a clot going to the lung). The risk of this is about one in 500 and is increased with use of the oral contraceptive pill. This can be reduced by flexing your calves after surgery to maintain leg circulation and moving around as soon as possible.
Important points to remember before proceeding with surgery:
The next step when considering cosmetic surgery is a consultation with Dr Drielsma. You will be shown before and after photos and will be given the opportunity to discuss the procedure with previous patients.
The above information mentions only some of the benefits and complications of abdominoplasty. This information should not be regarded as a substitute for information and advice provided by Dr Drielsma during consultation.