A protruding abdomen as a result of weak abdominal muscles, weight gain, pregnancy or loose skin (ie from weight loss) is a condition that causes distress to thousands of people.
This condition does not respond well to diet or exercise because the skin and underlying muscles have been stretched. Today, a remarkable procedure called abdominoplasty has been designed to flatten a protruding abdomen through the tightening of abdominal wall muscles and removal of excess fatty tissue and skin.
Abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss. The objective of the surgery is to improve the contour of the body by flattening and narrowing the abdomen. The best candidate for the surgery is the individual who has normal weight but weak abdominal muscles and excess skin and fat. Age, obesity and smoking habits are some of the factors to be considered when evaluating you as a candidate for this procedure.
Prior to surgery, a complete medical history is taken in order to evaluate your general health. A careful examination is also conducted. You and Dr. Gilmer will discuss together what can realistically be expected. Photographs may be taken before and after surgery to evaluate the amount of improvement. The type of anesthesia to be used, the procedure, and possible risks and complications are also discussed.
Preoperative instructions may include the elimination of certain drugs which contain aspirin in order to minimize the possibility of excess bleeding. Antibiotics may be prescribed prior to surgery to prevent infection. You may also be advised to bathe with an antiseptic soap for several days prior to surgery.
Abdominoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia with you fully asleep. Premedication may be administered to relax you. Although there are several procedures from which to choose, Dr. Gilmer frequently uses the Avelar procedure. There are several benefits to using this procedure including:
- Less bruising and bleeding.
- Recovery time is much quicker than traditional methods of abdominoplasty.
- More fat can be removed with liposuction than in standard full abdominoplasty.
- No need for post-op drains.
- Patients are able to get back to routine activity in about half the time of the usual techniques for abdominoplasty.
Using the Avelar technique, tumescent liposuction is performed under general anesthesia and removes fat while keeping blood vessels intact. The patient has a small incision, instead of a large flap which is used in the traditional technique.
Whether or not a patient will have to stay overnight depends on the time and amount of fat removed. If you require hospitalization, you may remain in the hospital for one to three days. Pain or discomfort from the surgery is controlled with oral medication. Bandages are later replaced with an abdominal support garment which is is worn for several weeks. During this time, you will be asked to refrain from heavy lifting, straining or over activity.
Although patients are usually up and moving around on the day of surgery, Dr. Gilmer will instruct you as to when normal activities may be resumed. This decision is based upon the extent of surgery and your personal progress. Bruising and swelling, which occur around the treated area, will disappear within a few weeks. Scars from the procedure remain, but will fade significantly in time.
Each year, thousands of abdominoplasties are successfully performed. The amount of improvement depends on the individual, the extent of surgery and the patient’s skin tone, body build and healing process. Complications connected with the procedure are rare; however, there are inherent risks connected with every surgical procedure. Possible risks and complications should be thoroughly discussed with Dr. Gilmer and his staff prior to surgery. You will minimize complications by carefully following their directions.
Most insurance companies do not pay for abdominoplasty if it is performed for cosmetic reasons.
If you are interested in learning more about abdominoplasty, please contact our office and we will be happy to answer your questions.