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Dr. Patrick Dedoncker

Treatments / Tummy tuck (abdominal correction)

Tummy tuck - abdominal correction - mini-abdominoplasty

With age, after pregnancy or following a significant weight loss, skin can lose its elasticity. This leads to a loose excess skin on the lower stomach (an over hang) or folds of the skin on the upper stomach.  Sport can strengthen the abdomen but it can never make up for this surplus of distended skin.

A correction of the abdomen, an abdominoplasty or what we also commonly call a tummy tuck can help you to resolve this problem. This surgical operation leaves a scar above the pubic area and around the navel. This scar is reasonably acceptable because this operation allows you to lose one or more clothes sizes. Your waistline improves equally. We always perform a correction of the abdominal wall muscles as at the same time.

Liposculpture is favourable in cases where there is an accumulation of fat without excess skin. This will help you regain your figure.

A mini-tummy tuck is favourable in cases where there is a small excess of skin. There will only be a scar above the groin because the navel does not have to be re-positioned.

It is important to point out that a tummy tuck is not an alternative to weight loss. When you are obese it is preferable to first envisage losing some weight with a diet or some other weight loss treatment. Next, the tummy tuck will eliminate the excess skin and re-tighten the stomach muscles.

What happens?

A correction for the stomach works in three distinct stages:

1.    Loose and relaxed muscles are re-tightened. This allows the reduction of the waist size by about 10 cm (4 inches). Results? A firmer stomach! We also call this muscle repair.
2.    The plastic surgeon removes the excess skin from the bottom of the stomach by cutting it. This represents about 9 to 15 cm lengthwise. The plastic surgeon detaches the navel and it is then repositioned. Next, the skin from the stomach is detached, tightened again and sewn.
3.    Finally, the plastic surgeon carries out liposculpture on the stomach area and hips, resulting in a brand new figure!

Scar

The incision is made in least visible place, this is to say a precise position in the natural fold just above the groin. Therefore the scar can be found at panty level, thus hidden. The suture takes effect under the skin; the skin itself is glued with strips. As the navel has been repositioned, there will also a scar around the belly button.

For the first few months the scar may be red and hard but this will progressively disappear and the hardness will soften within the year that follows your surgery. Your plastic surgeon will give you advice in order to accelerate the process. It is recommended that you care for your scar in the first weeks by using an oily cream (Nivea hand cream, day cream, bio oil, almond oil, a balm for scars).

Anesthetic

Thanks to a refinement in operation techniques and a constant progress in the anaesthetic field these last few years, the tummy tuck is carried out under a light general anaesthetic. After the operation you will feel fit and well. Therefore a night’s stay at the clinic is not always necessary.

Care and safety

The plastic surgeon proceeds with these operations in conditions of optimal security, surrounded by a professional team.

During the surgery you are constantly monitored by the anaesthetist (automatic and repetitive measures of the blood pressure, constant measuring of the oxygen saturation, electrocardiogram) One or two highly qualified nurses will equally supervise. This environment will guarantee that you have faultless safety.

The operation is without pain and with a minimal risk of blood loss and bruising.

Your operation is carried out exclusively in a sterile environment. During the operation you will receive a mild antibiotic.

If you are taking anti-coagulant drugs, please inform your plastic surgeon beforehand (for ex. acetylsalicylic acid, aspirin, asaflow, cardioaspirine, dipiridamole, plavix, sintrom, marevan and others).

After the operation you are able to contact your plastic surgeon at all times on his personal mobile number, if you have the slightest question.

Recovery

You will stay a maximum of one night at the clinic.

You will feel little pain after the operation, thanks to the administering of an efficient anaesthetic. The muscle correction can cause a certain amount of pain for this you will receive classic pain killers like ibuprofen and paracetemol, to help you cope.

You will be able to walk again 24 hours following your operation. The surgeon will meet with you 48 hours after the operation for a check up and for the drain to be removed. You will be absent from work for about two weeks. During one month, you will be wearing an elasticated bandage around the abdomen.

All sutures are absorbable thus no stitches need to be removed. You will not be able to shower for the first two weeks following your surgery.

You will be able to change your bandage after one week by yourself and your plastic surgeon will show you how to do this.

Two months following the operation, the surgeon will assess the results, based on the photos taken pre-operatively. He will recommend to you some exercises that will enable you to keep your great abdominal result for the long term.

Risks and eventual complications

If you are in good health, you do not need to worry as there are no risks linked to this operation. It is possible that some liquid builds up under the skin. A drain pipe and an elastic bandage will help you for the most part with this problem. By wearing this elastic belt around the abdomen this will determine the final result. The skin will adhere again to the muscles underneath and in the virtual space between the skin and muscles is not filled by lymphatic fluid.

Infections are rare. The skin of the lower stomach can lose sensitivity temporarily. Healing can be slower with people who smoke.

If you suffer from severe obesity it is recommended that you first try to lose weight before even considering the tummy tuck procedure.

Related treatments

mini-tummy tuck
liposculpture

Contact

Surgery and consultations (after appointment)

A.Z. Jan Portaels
Gendarmeriestraat 65
B-1800 Vilvoorde
Belgium
T: +32 (0)2 257 59 74

A.Z. Lokeren
Lepelstraat 2
9160 Lokeren
Belgium
T: +32 (0)9 340 85 30

We consult in the UK and in Ireland
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