Abdominoplasty surgery is commonly performed following weight loss or pregnancy to remove excessive abdominal skin and tissue. Repair of weakness and separation of the underlying abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) is frequently performed as part of this procedure.
This operation is performed under general anaesthesia.
Dr Wyten’s technique for this surgery involves removing excessive abdominal skin and tissue, reshaping the waist, repairing weakness and separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti), and repositioning the umbilicus (belly button). This procedure may be performed in conjunction with liposuction of the fat around the hips. Patients with umbilical hernias will have this repaired as part of this procedure by a Specialist General Surgeon who works frequently with Dr Wyten on combined cases where this is required. A nerve block (TAP block) using local anaesthetic medication is also performed by Dr Wyten during the operation to provide additional pain relief both during and after your operation.
This procedure typically takes approximately 3 hours to perform in the operating theatre, and an overnight stay in hospital is required.
Benefits of abdominoplasty surgery
- Removal of excessive abdominal skin which cannot be removed by weight loss
- Repair of diastasis recti (abdominal muscle weakness and separation) resulting in a strengthened core
- Improved body shape
- Improved fit of clothing
- Reduced risk of infections or skin irritation from abdominal skin folds
Am I a good candidate for abdominoplasty surgery?
It is important to have realistic expectations about what can be achieved with this surgery, and to have a stable weight following weight loss.
It is also important to be in good physical and mental health, and be a non-smoker to reduce your risk of complications during and after surgery. If you are considering having abdominoplasty surgery, it is now an Australian requirement that you have a consultation with a General Practitioner (GP) or other specialist medical practitioner first to discuss your health, and for an appropriate referral to a surgeon.
What can I expect during recovery following abdominoplasty surgery?
It is important to follow the instructions given during your recovery, including when you can resume exercise. Following abdominoplasty surgery, it is common to require at least 2 weeks off work. You may require more time off work depending on the type of work you do. This will be discussed further with Dr Wyten during your consultation.
It is typical to have some discomfort after abdominoplasty surgery. You will be given instructions after your surgery on how to manage this in the first couple of weeks after surgery. You will also need to wear supportive compression garments and Dr Wyten’s preferred supportive compression garments will be provided after your surgery. You may wish to purchase some additional garments for your recovery. Compression garments typically need to be worn for approximately 6 weeks following surgery.
Risks of abdominoplasty surgery
All surgery has risks, including the risks of scarring, bleeding and blood clots (deep vein thromboses and pulmonary emboli), and infection. There are also risks associated with a general anaesthetic.
Risks specific to this surgery will be discussed with you by Dr Wyten during your consultation. Written information will also be provided for you to read before you proceed with surgery. Some risks associated with this procedure include:
- Asymmetry between the right and left sides of the abdomen
- Irregular umbilicus (belly button) shape
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing due to tightening of the abdominal wall muscles when repaired
- Seroma (fluid collection)
- Loss of sensation
- Delayed wound healing/wound breakdown
If you experience any unusual pain, swelling or bleeding after surgery, please seek help immediately.
Choosing an experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon, such as Dr Wyten, is the safest option when considering this type of surgery.