The abdomen is one area of the body where fat commonly accumulates as people grow older. In many cases, this fat resists changes in diet and exercise, stubbornly remaining whatever one does. Even if a person does lose the fat, the skin may have become stretched to the point that it cannot be tightened through any amount of exercise. Pregnancy can also result in significant deterioration of the abdomen with stretching of both muscles and skin. At his practice in Warners Bay, Dr. John Newton offers lipectomy and tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) to residents of Newcastle, the Hunter Valley region, and surrounding communities who are affected by unwanted abdominal fat or stretched abdomens.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
The tummy tuck is designed to remove extra fat and skin and reposition the abdominal muscles, reshaping the abdomen entirely for a tighter, smoother appearance. Patients who have gained weight or were recently pregnant typically experience significant physical, psychological, and emotional benefits from a successful abdominoplasty.
In order to perform the tummy tuck, Dr. Newton first makes an incision along the abdomen, below the bikini line, from hip bone to hip bone. Through this incision, Dr. Newton is able to tighten and reposition the abdominal muscles. After separating the navel from the abdominal skin, Dr. Newton stretches the skin downward, trimming off the excess. He creates a new hole for the navel, and then reattaches the skin along the incision and around the navel. The final result is a trim, sculpted abdomen and a more attractive body contour.
Abdominoplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia. Patients should expect to spend a few days in the hospital after surgery. Any post-operative pain can be controlled with medication. Dr. Newton uses buried dissolving sutures that do not need to be removed. Full recovery may take several weeks, but most patients are able to return to work sooner. Patients may need to wear a compression garment around the stomach for a few weeks. Dr. Newton advises each of his abdominoplasty patients in detail regarding the steps to follow during recovery.
Serious complications, including adverse reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, and infection, are rare. Some scarring is unavoidable from the tummy tuck, but scars will fade considerably with time, and they will be positioned so that even most bathing suits will cover them completely.
Many patients who are not in need of a full tummy tuck still want to tighten and tone their abdomens through surgery. For patients who do not require the full treatment, Dr. Newton offers mini-abdominoplasty. This procedure requires only one smaller incision below the bikini line, and the belly button need not be repositioned, so scarring is reduced and recovery is quicker.