Abdominoplasty involves removing excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen (tummy) and tightening the muscles to improve the shape of the area. It is often referred to as a ‘tummy tuck’.
The following information sheet has been created by Mr White as a general guide to assist his patients and is intended to provide a broad overview of the important considerations related to the decision to have abdominoplasty.
Abdominoplasty Surgery - Patient Information
The specific nature of the surgery will vary between individuals and is dependent on the unique circumstances of each person. Patients are encouraged to further discuss this information along with any specific questions or concerns with Mr White during their consultation.
Mr White will see you in hospital after your surgery and/or prior to your discharge from hospital.
If there are any concerns you will be seen more frequently.
Anaesthetic - In otherwise well people, general anaesthesia is very safe with modern techniques. Mr White’s rooms will give you the details of your anaesthetist prior to surgery to discuss any specific concerns.
Bleeding/Haematoma – This may need a return to the operating theatre to evacuate a blood clot. This can impact on wound healing or skin survival. Infection in the wound – If this does occur, it can usually be cleared up with antibiotic tablets.
DVT/PE (Deep venous thrombosis/pulmonary embolus) - Blood clots that are potentially very serious and even life threatening, which can form in the legs and travel to the lungs. Multiple strategies are employed to minimise the risk of these occurring.
Wound healing issues - Stretch marks may not all be removed or new ones may be created. Gathers in the wound are often present at either end. These settle over several weeks to months in the majority of cases but sometimes may need a small revision often under local anaesthetic. Initially there is almost always some contour issues or puckers. These settle down in most cases over several weeks.
Scars - Typically are at their thickest and reddest at 6-10 weeks after surgery. Scars continue to mature and improve for up to 18 months after surgery. Scar management advice will be discussed in your follow up visit with Mr White to assist in achieving the goal of a thin, barely noticeable scar. Note: The resulting scar is across the lower abdomen from hip to hip and designed to be hidden by most underwear/bathers as well as a small scar around the umbilicus (belly button).
Asymmetry - The scars may be slightly different on your right compared to left side.
Wound separation/delayed healing - This is much more common in smokers or if there is an infection.
Skin necrosis/loss - Very rare complication and almost only seen in smokers. If it does occur it needs significant aftercare, possibly more surgery and even skin grafting in the most extreme cases.
Seroma - Clear/straw like fluid that can collect following surgery. Usually it settles down with no intervention but if persistent or large may require drainage in the rooms (sometimes on several occasions) or even a drain tube to be inserted.
Numbness - Almost always occurs in the skin of the abdomen. Generally settles down over weeks to months.
All surgery is a balance between realistic surgical goals and knowledge of possible risks and complications. Risks are minimised by careful patient selection and planning, high standards of surgical training, meticulous surgical technique and vigilant post operative care. Small, less serious issues are common and every effort is made to resolve them quickly. These very rarely have any long-term effect on an excellent final result.
Suite 61, Level 6 Epworth Eastern Private Hospital 1 Arnold Street Box Hill VIC 3128
Tel: 03 9895 7631 Fax: 03 9895 7519Paging Service: 9387 1000Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2010-2012 Melbourne Plastic Surgery Group - Mr Dean White, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon.
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