Many women and men find it very difficult to loose weight or firm up the abdominal area. Common complaints are that the belly area is the last and hardest area to improve despite efforts to tone this area with diet and exercise. Abdominoplasty is a very common procedure performed to contour the abdominal area. Candidates for abdominoplasty typically suffer from loose (inelastic) skin on the abdomen as a result of age, childbearing or significant weight loss due to diet, exercise or bariatric surgery. During this procedure, an incision is made along the lower waist, usually below the panty line to allow for removal of excess skin and fat. There are usually drains placed at the time of surgery to allow for removal of fluid that may collect under the skin. These are easily removed after surgery during a follow up office visit.
During this procedure, tightening of lax abdominal muscles (rectus diastasis repair) is also typically performed. This is similar to an internal corset that results in further contouring of the abdomen. Liposuction is also typically included to improve contour along the waist area.
Most patients feel tired and sore after surgery, and are typically able to go home the same day of their procedure. This usually improves daily and is minimal within a few days following surgery. Patients are encouraged to walk immediately following surgery, but are restricted in their activity for the first 2 to 3 weeks. Many patients return to full activity within 4 to 6 weeks.
There are usually few stitches that need to be removed, and you should expect to be seen within a week following surgery. Any post-operative pain, swelling and sensitivity will diminish over the first few weeks.
Scars from abdominoplasty incisions are typically hidden below the panty line, will begin to fade in a few months and will continue to fade for months or years.
Complications following abdominoplasty surgery are uncommon and usually minimal. They may include fluid collections (seroma), swelling and pain, infection and bleeding. Dr. Callahan will schedule you for follow up appointments to monitor your healing progress.