ABDOMINOPLASTY

What is the difference between full and mini-abdominoplasty

In a mini abdominplasty only the lower part of the abdomen is tightened. The umbilicus (belly button) is not moved and no skin above the naval is tightened. In a full abdominoplasty all the skin between the naval and the pubic area is removed thus tightening the whole abdomen as well as the muscles underneath. The belly button will need to be detached and brought through the tight abdomen.

Can liposuction be performed at the same time

Limited liposuction can be performed when combined with a full abdominoplasty. This will be confined to the sides (love handles) and central part of the abdomen. Liposuction in the remaining part of the abdomen is avoided as this can interfere with the blood supply and healing.

With mini-abdominoplasty liposuction can be performed to the whole abdomen at the same time.

What type of anesthetic

A general anesthetic is necessary for abdomninoplasty.

How is the operation performed

An incision is made above the pubic area within the bikini line. The skin and fat of the abdomen are then lifted away from the abdominal muscles all the way to the level of the rib cage, preserving the umbilicus (naval) attachment to the abdomen. The abdominal muscles are then tightened with sutures. The abdominal flap is then pulled down and excess skin and fat are removed. A small incision is carried out centrally through which the umbilicus is retrieved and sutured.

How long will I be in hospital

Following an abdominoplasty you will stay in hospital between 1 and 2 nights.

Is it painful

Some pain is experienced following an abdominoplasty which is primarily noticed on movement. With adequate pain killers most patients are able to mobilize the day after surgery. Most of the discomfort subsides after one week.

What am I allowed to do following surgery

A surgical garment will be provided after surgery which should be worn for 4 weeks to limit the swelling. You will be encouraged to gently mobilize the day after the operation. For the first few days it is better to walk slightly bent forwards to ease the tension on the suture line.

All activities should be gentle for the first 2 weeks. Although you are encouraged to walk to help the circulation during this period you will need to avoid sudden movements, lifting and fast pace walking as well as driving. More strenuous activities such as jogging and heavy lifting should be avoided for 6 weeks.

LIPOSUCTION

What type of liposuction is used

Tumescent Liposuction is the preferred technique used by Mr. Sabbagh. This involves injecting a salt based solution (to which local anesthetic and adrenaline are added) into the fatty tissue. This enables easy breakdown and removal of fat with an analgesic effect as well as minimal bleeding. For areas close to the skin, finer cannulas are used, a technique that has been termed liposculpture. Mr Sabbagh also uses ultrasound assisted liposuction for areas with significant fibrous tissue such as in gynecomastia (male breast)

How is the operation performed

The operation is usually performed under general anesthetic. Small incisions (5mm) are made close to the area to be treated through which the liposuction solution is injected. The liposuction cannulas connected to a suction machine are then inserted through the same incisions. The fat is broken down physically by moving the cannulas back and fro (or by ultrasound in ultrasound assisted liposuction) and is automatically sucked by the machine.

How quickly will I recover

As a result of liposuction there will be a variable degree of bruising, swelling and numbness. Although the area will be uncomfortable, there is no significant pain. You will be encouraged to start gentle walking on the same day following your surgery. Usually a period of 7-10 days is needed before returning to most of the daily activities. Heavy activities such as sport may require up to 4 weeks recovery. For a period of 6 weeks it is advisable to wear an elasticated garment to help reduce the swelling as well as aiding the skin to contract following the liposuction.

What are the risks of liposuction

Liposuction is highly effective in removing concentrated areas of fat. The duration of bruising is variable but in the majority of cases subsides by 4 weeks. There will be partial numbness of the area treated which will persist for several months. In some cases minor areas of irregularities can result.  If these persist they can be corrected after the healing is complete.

There is a very small risk of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and Mr Sabbagh takes all the appropriate precautions to prevent its occurrence.

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