Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck in Dubai at AACSH – Abdominoplasty also called tummy tuck is an operation designed to do two things: remove excess skin from lower abdomen and tighten the central muscles of the abdomen. The result is a smoother flatter abdomen.

The Classic operation: An incision is made in lower abdomen in the same location as a cesarian section. The lower abdominal skin is lifted up till the bell-button to expose the lower half of muscles. The umbilicus is detached from its skin attachment while retaining its link to the muscles. The upper abdominal muscles are exposed.

The central gap in muscles is repaired and the two muscles are brought together and firmed up. The skin is pulled down and excess removed. The belly-button skin is now brought out through an opening in the middle of the pulled skin and fixed there. Fat is trimmed from the flap of skin, drains are inserted and the skin is closed to result in a long scar just above the pubis

Who is a candidate for Tummy Tuck?

  • Women with loose or sagging abdominal wall skin but no fat excess
  • Women with abnormal relaxation of the anterior (front) abdominal wall muscles due to weight gain or loss, pregnancies, or prior surgery.
  • Those with separation of the midline muscles (diastasis)
  • Those who are unable to tighten the abdominal wall skin with exercise.

What is lipoabdominoplasty (LABP)?

In the newer variant called lipoabdominoplasty, extensive Liposuction is performed first on the abdomen before making the skin incision. The procedure is also performed differently in that the skin need not be elevated off the muscles completely, several blood vessels, nerves and lymphatics are preserved. Modern lipoabdominoplasty is a safer procedure. Some surgeons do not even use drains in this. The contouring effect is superior, pain is perhaps less and recovery is faster. Complications seem to be less in experienced hands.

Who is a candidate for LABP?

Women with all of the above mentioned problems but who also have significant fat excess in the abdominal wall (the majority of women seeking a flatter tummy)

Surgery & post surgical period

Abdominoplasty is performed in a hospital or sometimes in an accredited day care facility. The patient usually sleeps overnight at the facility although some patients may leave the same day. The degree of pain varies between patients depending on individual pain thresholds, extent of muscle repair required, presence of drains and on the surgeon’s technique. Pain and discomfort is usually controlled with injections while in the hospital and later by oral medicines.

If placed, drains are removed in 2-7 days. Sutures are usually internal and absorbable. A compression garment is used for a period of 3-4 weeks to encourage skin adhesion to muscles.

Recovery after Tummy Tuck

The patient is usually able to walk the same day or the next morning. In the initial few days, it is better to bend a little at the waist to reduce the tension on wound closure; usually the person can straighten by the 4th or 5th day. Light activity may be resumed in 7-21 days. Sports will probably not be comfortable for about 6 weeks. On case of significant muscle repair, one should avoid lifting weight for 3 months.

Other related operations

In persons with less significant skin excess and intact muscles, Liposuction alone is an option or liposuction with removal of a strip of lower abdominal skin above the pubis, This is called a mini-tummy tuck.

If muscles need repair, a more extensive surgery is done but without shifting the umbilicus and without removing much skin. This is called a limited  abdominoplasty.

Note: Abdominoplasty is classified as a major surgery with documented complications in 10-15% cases. With careful technique in lipoabdominoplasty, some of the surgeons have managed to reduce the risk considerably. The exact combination of procedures, expected result, complication profile will vary and will be best determined after consultation and examination.