Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that helps to flatten and shape the abdomen and waist by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles.
The best candidates are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that haven’t responded well to diet and exercise. Older, slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity can be helped. Abdominoplasty can also be useful for women with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy, although results from the procedure will diminish if they continue to bear children. For this reason, women who plan to have children again are advised to delay abdominoplasty. Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight are also encouraged to wait before undergoing the procedure, since skin in that area typically loosens after substantial weight loss.
The procedure takes approximately four hours and is performed with general anesthesia. Recovery time is a minimum of three weeks, but with a balanced diet and regular exercise results are long-lasting.
Abdominoplasty will likely leave a permanent scar stretching between the hips, although it should be low enough for a bikini to conceal it. Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery should know that their old scars could be raised, stretched or generally more noticeable after the procedure. Other, rare post-operative complications include bleeding, infection, blood clots, and poor healing, which may require further surgery.
Dr. Moye will make two incisions: one from hip bone to hip bone close to the pubic area, and one around the navel. Skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin flap is stretched down and over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.
Liposuction (Lipoplasty/Suction Lipectomy)
Liposuction sculpts the body by removing undesirable fat from areas of the body such as the thighs, abdomen, neck, chin, and knees that have not responded to diet and exercise. General anesthesia may be used and the procedure can take anywhere from one to three hours depending on the amount of fat being removed.
Several tiny incisions are made in as inconspicuous a place as possible. A cannula (small tube) is inserted and moved back-and-forth beneath the skin, breaking up the fat layer and suctioning it out. Super-wet liposuction uses fluid injection, which facilitates fat removal, reduces blood loss, provides pain relief after surgery, and helps to reduce the amount of bruising after surgery.
After surgery, compression garments and antibiotics may be needed to facilitate the healing process. Patients are encouraged to walk as soon as they are able and many return to work within a few days, although strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month. Results are visible immediately, though improvement may continue as swelling subsides during the first six months. Scars are small and inconspicuous. Other irregularities in appearance are possible, such as asymmetric or “baggy” skin, numbness and pigmentation changes.
Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
The arm lift (or brachioplasty) attempts to procure a more natural and youthful look by removing the fat and excess skin hanging down from the upper arms. This is more commonly seen in women, but can occur in men who have lost significant weight. The incision is made beneath the arm and can extend from the elbow to the armpit, varying upon how much skin must be removed. However, most patients are satisfied with the results and believe trading “skin for scars” is worthwhile, especially when they are efficiently hidden.