Typical post pregnancy appearance
Nov. 12, 2008
-- An abdominoplasty can be done in either our office operating suite or in the outpatient area of the hospital. It is typically done under general anesthesia. When the procedure is performed in our office operating suite an anesthesiologist (M.D.) is present to administer the anesthesia medications. The abdominoplasty is tailored to correct your particular problem. We divide the abdomen into three components, skin, fat and muscle. If the problem to be corrected only involves a laxity or looseness of the abdominal muscles then it may only be necessary to tighten the muscle. If the muscle is in good condition and the skin is pliable and firm then liposuction may be used together with a skin excision.
A full abdominoplasty involves the removal of fat and skin with the tightening of the underlying abdominal muscle (fascia). In the pre-operative area you will be marked with a surgical marking pen. This will be done in the standing position. Very careful measurements are made to ensure the appropriate result. The incision will often look like a wide W or U. The center will be located over the pubic hair. If there is already a scar in this area (from a previous surgery or C-section) this will be included in the new incision. From the area above the pubic hair the incision may extend downward and toward the outside along the groin crease. The incision will then follow this line out to each side.
Once the incision is made a flap of skin and fat is raised. When the area of the belly button is reached, a circular incision is made around it without detaching it from its base. The flap is then undermined all the way up to the ribs. Great care is made to avoid disrupting too much of the blood supply to the skin. Next the underlying muscles (rectus abdominus) are exposed. These are the muscles that keep the lower abdomen firm. It is these muscles that become stretched and separated during pregnancy. Using a very strong permanent suture these muscles are brought back together, thus the abdomen is reinforced. On occasions a piece of mesh or synthetic material may be used to doubly reinforce this area.
Once the muscle has been tightened, the upper skin flap is pulled down, similar to pulling a vest over your pants, and the excess skin and fat is removed. The belly button is then re-inserted through an incision made at its new location. The incisions are then closed with the patient in a slightly bent position. This helps to reduce the tension on the skin closure.
Your exact incision and resulting scar will depend upon the conditions to be corrected. The procedure may then be modified to give you the best possible result.
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Plastic Surgery practice in Atlanta Georgia. Our practice is devoted to aesthetic and cosmetic surgery of the face and body. We perform all aspects of body contouring, breast enhancement, breast lift as well as procedures for facial rejuvenation.