This is a 34 year old, 135 pound mother of three interested in abdominal improvements. She is seen here after a full tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) with fascial plication and scars around her belly button and hip to hip along the lower part of her abdomen. You can clearly see a flattening of the abdominal contour and a more muscular appearance to her abdomen. She had a small wound at the lower scar in the midline that healed by itself after surgery. It occurred because of a C section scar that she had in the mid to upper part of her pubic hair. She is seen here about one year after her abdominoplasty.
Lessons to take home:
- In the right patient, an abdominoplasty is a very powerful procedure to flatten the abdomen and tighten the skin. This comes at the expense of the associated scars. Scars are only a big deal if you are not someone who needs a tummy tuck. For those who do, it’s a small price to pay for a huge difference.
- Combining liposuction and an abdominoplasty is possible when the amount of liposuction is modest. It takes an experienced surgeon to know what “modest” is.
- Abdominoplasty is associated with DVT or deep vein thrombosis (clots in the legs that can be deadly). If you have a history of clots in your legs, I would not suggest an abdominoplasty procedure.
- Scars from previous procedures on the abdomen can affect the outcome from an abdominoplasty. These scars must be taken into consideration when planning for a safe procedure without undue risk.
- If you are overweight, I would not recommend an abdominoplasty. It puts you at risk for complications and the outcome can often look “weird” as your abdomen is smaller (and looks like a barrel) and the rest of you is larger. The appearance is unnatural.
- The scars take about two years to soften and look their best.
- Make sure that you tell your surgeon about any abdominal hernias that you may have.
- Long term compression garments worn over the lower scar for six or more months after your procedure helps the scar and flattens your lower abdomen.
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