What happens During Surgery?
The operation usually takes 2 to 5 hours. Depending on whether you have a full or partial (mini) abdominoplasty different techniques will be used.
A general anesthetic will be administered before the operation commences.
In a full abdominoplasty, a curved cut will be made along the line of your pubic area from hip to hip. The excess fat and skin across your whole abdomen between your navel and pubic hairline will be removed. Any separated abdominal muscles will be repaired by stitching them together. Your upper loose abdominal skin will be pulled and stretched down and attached towards your pubic area.
For a mini-abdominoplasty, it is suitable for individuals who have only a little excess skin. The excess fat and skin will be removed around the midsection of your abdomen only. A small cut above the pubic area to remove the excess fat and skin. A navel cut may be made around your belly button and reposition the navel by stitching it back in place. This navel cut may also be done in full abdominoplasty.
In both surgeries, the incisions will be either stitched, taped or clipped together. Cover the wounds with dressings, and sometimes one or two small tubes will be inserted to drain any blood or fluid. The tubes may be left in for a few days.
How long will I stay in hospital?
You can return home after 2 or 3 days of staying in the hospital.
What is my recovery time?
You will spend a few days in recovery after the operation. Pain, bruising and swelling may be present after the operation. You might need to take over the counter medicine to reduce the pain and prevent blood clotting.
Lie down with your upper body raised and knees angled for the first few days after the operation. You may be asked even on the first day to walk around to prevent blood clotting.
Wear an elastic bandage or compression garment to keep the abdomen swelling down. Avoid any strenuous activities for at least 6 weeks. You should be able to return to light work in 1 to 3 weeks.