04 January 2016
The stomach and waist can, for various reasons: pregnancy, weight gain or loss, spontaneous relaxation, presence of scars or stretch marks too visible, lose their natural harmony. Fortunately, thanks to cosmetic surgery, it is possible to regain a pretty flat stomach and a slim waist by acting on three levels: skin, fat and muscles.
Contrary to popular belief, liposuction is not an intervention whose objective is to make the patient lose weight, but to reshape the silhouette in order to get as close as possible to the natural ovoid shape of the pelvis (egg-shaped). The indication of liposuction is often relevant after one or more pregnancies, in order to remove the fat formed naturally around the hips during this period (necessary for breastfeeding). Indeed, these fatty deposits are resistant, most of the time, to diets and physical activity. This is why this procedure is often performed on young patients. In addition, it provides better results on tight skin.
The principle of this procedure is to remove the localized fat overload from the abdomen. To do this, your plastic surgeon will make micro incisions (2 to 5 mm) to slide a cannula under the skin and aspirate the subcutaneous fat. The procedure is most often performed in temporary hospitalization but may require one night's hospitalization. A belly liposuction lasts between 1 and 3 hours and the anaesthesia will depend on this timing and the patient's wishes.
The postoperative consequences are simple: Edema and bruises appear in most cases and disappear within a month of the operation. The pain is moderate and relieved by simple analgesics. Scars are very small (less than 8 mm) and located at the umbilicus and at the start of the pubis. They will be almost invisible shortly after the operation. At the end of the operation, an abdominal sheath is worn and should be kept for 4 to 6 weeks day and night.
The risk of complications associated with this procedure is minimal and social eviction is short term: from 3 to 5 days depending on the patient's occupation and physical activities can be resumed after 1 month. The result of liposuction is visible in the month following the operation and the final result is obtained about three months later, mainly due to the progressive nature of the skin retraction and the total disappearance of the oedema.
If the disgrace of the abdomen is due to distended skin, abdominal muscle separation (diastasis often due to consecutive pregnancies and/or significant weight loss), the presence of excess deep fat or a very visible old scar or very marked stretch marks on the abdomen, your plastic surgeon will guide you to an abdominoplasty (or abdominal plastic surgery).
There are two types of abdominoplasty: Mini abdominoplasty and "abdominoplasty with umbilicus transposition".
The principle, type of anesthesia, duration of hospitalization and postoperative outcomes are almost identical for these two procedures. The difference lies in the indication of these. Indeed, the first one is indicated in case of:
o Slight relaxation of the abdomen (skin and/or muscle)
o And/or a moderate excess of fat
o And/or the skin is damaged by stretch marks or scars due to previous surgery
Only in the area below the navel.
While the second is indicated in the event that:
o Excess skin and fat are important
o There is a large distension of the abdominal wall
o Also if the skin is "damaged".
In the area below but also above the navel.
The objective of abdominoplasty is to:
o Reduce the thickness of the abdominal wall by liposuction of excess fat tissue
o Tighten the abdominal muscles if necessary
o Remove excess skin
o Correct any visible scars or marked stretch marks
The intervention consists of:
o Remove excess fat by liposuction technique
o Re-tension the abdominal muscles if necessary
o Remove excess skin to tighten it
o Correct any visible scars or marked stretch marks
To do this, your surgeon will make an incision at the start of the pubis and also around the navel in the case of abdominoplasty with navel transposition. The skin will then be removed and a complete "redraping" of the belly will be performed (skin and muscles). In the case of abdominoplasty with navel transposition, the navel will be repositioned through an orifice created at the end of the procedure. If you need to correct a visible scar or marked stretch marks, your surgeon will "lower" the skin to the bikini line.
The duration of the intervention is 1 to 2 hours for the first and 2 to 3 hours for the second. Both are performed under general anesthesia and the duration of hospitalization is 3 days. At the end of the operation, an abdominal sheath will be worn and should be kept for 4 to 6 weeks day and night. The visible scar will be comparable to that of a caesarean section hidden in the bikini line. In the case of an abdominoplasty with navel transposition, we will also notice the presence of a small scar in the shape of a circumflex around the navel, which will disappear very quickly. The scar of the mini-abdominoplasty will be shorter and thinner than that of the abdominoplasty with transposition of the umbilicus.
The postoperative consequences are simple. Points of "padding" will be visible after the operation but will disappear in the following days. Edema and bruising will appear and resolve completely within 1 to 3 months, if the restraint sheath is worn as indicated. The pain will be moderate (a little stronger for abdominoplasty with navel transposition) and will give way to painkillers.
The final result will be visible after 3 months. Social eviction is 4 to 7 days for the first and 7 to 15 days for the second, depending on the patient's professional context. The resumption of physical activity can be done 1 to 1.5 months after the operation. Complications of this type of surgery are rare if it is performed by a surgeon qualified for this procedure.