Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) in Toronto
Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is an excellent procedure for people who have excess fat or loose skin in their abdominal area.
Candidates for Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty is often the choice of women who have been through several pregnancies and/or by people who have lost weight only to have loose skin left behind.
The Abdominoplasty Procedure
The procedure removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen, tightens the underlying abdominal muscles and may allow for the removal of stretch marks (if they are located in the lower part of the abdomen). If required, liposuction of the waist may be performed at the same time to further contour the waistline. The result is a flatter, firmer abdominal shape.
Technical considerations include contour corrections and the minimal visibility of scars placed as low as possible. The standard abdominoplasty incision is placed just within or above the pubic area and extends laterally towards the hip bones. The length of the scar depends upon the amount of excess skin to remove, but every effort is taken to try to keep the scar within your bathing suit lines. In patients with larger amounts of loose skin, a second circular incision is required around the belly button to allow the excess skin from above the belly button to be pulled downward. The quality of the scar depends largely on the tension of the closure and your natural ability for wound healing. Dr. Wanzel pays special attention and applies meticulous techniques to promote particularly pleasing scars. In the majority of patients, healing of these scars results in fine white lines.
You will wake up with a "binder" on which is a velcro strap type garment. This will be required for 4-6 weeks. You may also need temporary drains (and if so, instructions will be given to you on how to take care of them).
The abdominoplasty surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and is usually done on an outpatient basis.
Recovery from an Abdominoplasty
An abdominoplasty is often a procedure which does require some recovery. Since we endeavour to make the result as tight as possible, it does feel quite tight postoperatively for a week or two. We also tighten the underlying muscles (as any women who has had children always has a separation of the rectus muscles (ie. the "sit up" muscles)). This is a natural body adaptation to the accommodate the growing child in utero and we tighten the muscles to improve later core strength and improve the contour of the waistline. Unfortunately, this part does tend to sore for some time after surgery.
In general, moving around and walking is permitted and encouraged early on. Walks for exercise are possible at about the 2 week mark. Jogging and more vigorous exercise is allowed at about 4 weeks. At 6 weeks, there are essentially no restrictions. However, Dr. Wanzel will guide you through a customized recovery depending on your exact surgery and how the recovery process is progressing.
Risks of Abdominoplasty
Complications from abdominoplasty surgery are thankfully quite uncommon. In addition to complications that can theoretically arise in any surgery, there are a few that are more specific to abdominoplasties. Delayed healing is very rare, but more possible in ex-smokers. If you are currently a smoker, it is imperative that you quit for at least 6 weeks prior to your surgery to decrease the chance of any wound healing complications. Other complications include, but are not limited to seromas (or fluid collections beneath the skin flap), infections, and blood clots. An expectation is that the abdominal skin is always a bit numb and this will often return to normal, but does take 1-2 years.