An abdominoplasty, or ‘tummy tuck,’ is a cosmetic surgery to improve the appearance of your abdomen (stomach) by making it thinner and more firm.
Abdominoplasty surgery is a procedure for removing adipose tissue and excess skin from the abdomen to create a flatter, tighter stomach. It can also be used to remove or reduce the appearance of ‘stretch marks’ by tightening the abdominal muscles.
A tummy tuck is often elected for by patients who have experienced significant weight loss, recently given birth, or who have undergone stomach surgery for obesity. Dr. Marcellino is highly skilled and proficient at performing this type of surgery.
There are three types of procedure he performs:
- Standard Abdominoplasty
- Partial or ‘Mini’ Abdominoplasty
- Extended Abdominoplasty.
Dr. Marcellino will discuss which is most suitable for you at your consultation. More detail on each is provided below.
Abdominoplasty is performed under general anaesthetic and takes between two and three hours to complete. You will need to stay in hospital for one or two nights, and your social activities will be quite limited for the following two to four weeks.
Abdominoplasty: The Procedure
A standard abdominoplasty is one of the most common techniques used to create a slimmer, tighter stomach. Firstly, Dr. Marcellino will make an incision along the lower abdomen, from hipbone to hipbone. In some cases, he will also make an incision around the belly button.
The contouring process will then begin, in which he will tighten the stomach muscles and remove the excess skin and fatty deposits. Liposuction techniques may also be deployed at this point to complete this process. The skin will then be stretched down and the incision closed.
Finally, an incision is made around the navel for the belly button to be repositioned. Fluid drains are then inserted and a firm dressing is wrapped around the stomach.
Partial or ‘mini’ abdominoplasty
Mini abdominoplasty is recommended for people who have surplus skin and fat located in the mid to lower abdomen. It is not as invasive as other tummy tuck techniques as the belly button is not moved.
With this procedure, Mr Marcellino will firstly make a small incision slightly above the pubic area. He will then begin to tighten the muscles and remove any excess fat. Again, liposuction techniques will sometimes be used to complete the process.
After this, he will stretch the skin downwards towards the incision, removing any excess tissue.
Finally, the incision will be stitched. Fluid drains are then inserted and a firm dressing is wrapped around the stomach.
Extended Abdominoplasty with Vaser liposuction
An extended abdominoplasty follows the procedure for standard abdominoplasty, but also includes a lateral liposuction with ultrasounds meaning that any surplus skin and fat are also removed from the sides and waist area.
With this procedure, Mr Marcellino will firstly make an incision along the lower abdomen, extending the opening around the sides and lower back. This incision will remove the naval. Where he is contouring the upper thighs, he will make an additional incision and remove any surplus fatty tissue and skin.
The reconstruction process then begins, with Mr Marcellino tightening the stomach muscles and removing the excess skin and fatty deposits in the stomach, sides and upper thighs. The abdomen skin is then pulled down taut and stitched closed, resulting in a more toned looking stomach.
Finally, he will create a new opening for the navel, before fluid drains are inserted and a firm dressing is wrapped around the stomach.
Abdominoplasty: Before Your Surgery
- If you smoke it is strongly recommend that you stop at least two weeks prior to your surgery in order to help healing and reduce the risk of infection. Ideally you should stop 8 weeks beforehand.
- If you take aspirin or any other medication you should make Mr Marcellino aware of this at your consultation as it may need to be discontinued for a short period of time before and after your surgery.
- With general anaesthetic you will be asked to follow fasting instructions. This means not eating or drinking for around six hours before the operation. Both Mr Marcellino and your anaesthetist will provide precise advice on this in advance of your procedure.
Abdominoplasty: On the Day of Your Surgery
- Please ensure that you arrive at the hospital in good time ahead of your operation.
- Mr Marcellino will visit you in your room prior to your surgery, marking your tummy with a pen in preparation for the procedure, also affording you the opportunity to ask any last minute questions you might have. A final consent form will also need to be signed at this point.
- A personal nurse will be assigned to you to ensure your comfort and care throughout.
Abdominoplasty: After Your Surgery
- After the operation you will experience some pain or discomfort. Painkillers will be made available to manage this.
- You will probably also feel a sense of constriction in the abdominal area, but this usually disappears after 7-10 days.
- A compressive bandage will be applied after your procedure, which will replaced by a girdle that will need to be worn for an additional four weeks.
- As with all surgery, there may be some permanent scarring. However, these scars will improve over time and, in many cases, heal to form barely visible white lines.
- Strenuous activity should be avoided for six weeks after your operation.
- A post-operative appointment will be made for you with Mr Marcellino between three and seven days after your surgery. It is very important that you attend.
- Full recovery from Tummy Tuck surgery usually takes between six and eight weeks. You will need to take up to two weeks off work and will need help with daily chores during this period, which should be set aside for rest and recovery.
What to Consider
With any cosmetic surgery it is important that you carefully consider your decision and what it is you would like to achieve from your treatment.
It is crucial that those considering surgery have realistic expectations and are in good health. As with all surgical operations, there are also some potential risks and complications to consider.
Dr. Marcellino will discuss these with you at your consultation, addressing any questions or particular concerns you may have. Some thought should also be given to practical considerations such as child care provision in the days after your operation, which should ideally be set aside for rest and recovery.