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Abdominal Stretching

Doing sports or being at your ideal weight may sometimes be not enough to have a flat and smooth abdomen, which women and men of all ages would like to have. The most effective way to get rid of deformations, sagging and excess fat in the abdominal skin is abdominoplasty (abdominal stretching operation).

What is abdominal stretching operation (abdominoplasty)?

Abdominal stretching operation (abdominoplasty) is a surgical operation in which excess fat and sagging skin in the front part of the abdomen are removed and the weak abdominal muscles are stretched and strengthened.

Why is it done?

Abdominal surgery is performed due to fattening, sagging and stretch marks in the abdominal region, caused by rapid and frequent weight gain and loss, aging or pregnancy.

Why does the abdomen get fat and sag?

Weight gain does not always occur as the same rate of fattening in all parts of the body. The body usually stores a large portion of adipose tissue in the abdomen and waist. For this reason, women mostly complain about their sagging and fattened abdominal region. People who have lost excessive weight as a result of dieting or obesity surgery frequently develop loosening, sagging and stretch marks in the abdomen.

Tears occur in the tissues between abdominal muscles in the fattened abdominal region and cause detachment of muscles ensuring flatness of the abdomen from each other. With the pressure exerted by the internal organs, the abdominal region acquires a distended shape and loosening, sagging and stretch marks occur in the abdomen due to the adipose tissue's own weight. It is also often impossible to remedy tears in abdominal muscles and abdominal skin deformations by doing exercise and dieting.

How is abdominoplasty performed?

In abdominoplasty, a transverse incision is usually made at the lowest section of the abdomen (this incision is sufficiently low to hide the incision under the bathing suit) and another incision is made around the navel.

In mini-abdominoplasty, these incisions are a little shorter. Sometimes, it is not necessary to make an incision around the navel.

After these incisions are made, the skin is separated from muscles from the groin until the region under breasts. The resulting abdominal muscles are strengthened by stretching method, and any deficiency, if any, is repaired. The skin is then stretched and sutured into place. Excess skin is removed by cutting. The sutures are closed with dressing.

How long does abdominal stretching operation take?
Full abdominal stretching operation takes about 2-5 hours, while partial abdominal stretching operation takes about 1-3 hours.

Is abdominoplasty a painful procedure?
Abdominoplasty is usually not a too painful procedure. Anesthetic medications used during the operation prevent postoperative pain. The patient may have mild pain the next day, which can be remedied with mild painkillers.

Anesthesia Type
Abdominal stretching operation can be performed under general anesthesia or regional anesthesia induced by a combination of spinal-epidural anesthetics. The anesthesia method is selected considering the patient's age, health status and personal preference. Regardless of the anesthetic method, the main goal is to ensure a safe surgery and comfort of the patient.

Before abdominoplastyWho can have abdominoplasty?
Full abdominoplasty is usually applied to people who have given birth or gained ad loss excessive weight. If the patient has excess skin above the navel and if a layer that can be held by hand forms under the navel when seated, this patient is a suitable candidate for full abdominoplasty. Mini-abdominoplasty is performed if excess skin and fat are collected only under the navel.

Things to consider before surgery
Before the operation, the patient should inform the surgeon and anesthesiologist who will perform the aesthetic surgery about all details about his/her existing medications and general health status. Stop taking blood thinner medications, herbal teas, fish oil and avoid any special herbal cure applications 1 week before surgery. As in all operations, you're advised to stop smoking and alcohol consumption at least one week before the abdominoplasty. This is very important for a rapid healing process.

After abdominoplasty
Issues to consider after the operation and the recovery processAfter the operation, the patient is made to wear an abdominal brace, which should be worn for at least 3 weeks. The patient can resume normal daily activities one week after the surgery. The patient is advised not to lift heavy items in the first 4-6 weeks. 3 weeks later, the patient can begin to do sports, except abdominal exercises. 6 weeks later, s/he can do all sports activities.

Price of Abdominoplasty
The price of abdominoplasty varies depending on the extent of sagging and excess fat in the abdominal region, whether or not liposuction will be performed, and the age and medical condition of the patient.For further details about abdominal stretching operation(abdominoplasty) and the price of the procedure,you may contact a specialist in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetics Surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Abdominoplasty in no way anatomically prevents pregnancy. A person who had abdominoplasty can easily conceive; the abdominal wall adapts to pregnancy and expands. However, conceiving especially in the early period after having an abdominoplasty is not recommended because weight gain and changes in the abdominal wall during pregnancy eliminate the advantages gained from the surgery. Abdominal wall may loosen, and weight gain adversely affects the result obtained.
Where there is no stretch mark in the abdominal skin and in the case of minimal sagging, only liposuction can be adequate. Generally, liposuction is sufficient after the first pregnancy during which the mum-to-be has gained little weight. But after second and third pregnancies, in the case of multiple pregnancies or after pregnancy during which the mum-to-be has gained excessive weight, applying liposuction alone causes skin sagging.
Abdominal stretching operation is usually performed with liposuction. A much more effective method to apply for many patients in order to provide abdominal esthetic involves removal of excess fat in the region, then strengthening abdominal muscles and completion of abdominoplasty. However, depending on the scope of the liposuction operations to be performed in other parts of the body, your doctor may suggest completion of the liposuction operation and then performance of abdominal stretching operation in the following period. Your doctor will mainly consider your general health status and the amount of fat planned to be removed from your body, while determining and shaping the scope of the operation
Excess skin and fat collected in the body after delivery sometimes do not return to pre-pregnancy form despite the diet and various exercises. In such cases, sagging of the belly and abdomen can be corrected by surgery no earlier than 1 year after delivery.
There may be a scar that can be hidden in the underwear after abdominoplasty. This scar usually diminishes over time and does not disturb patients.
Mini abdominoplasty is a procedure that can be preferred for people with loose skin who are not eligible for full abdominoplasty and who do not have excess weight in the abdominal region. It is especially applied to people who have given birth, whose excess fat or subcutaneous tissue have collected under the navel. In mini abdominoplasty, the excess fat is removed from the abdomen and waist area and the extra tissue below the navel is removed and stretching is applied. The area remaining above the navel remains untouched.
Abdominal loosening, stretch marks and sagging might occur in women particularly after giving birth. During abdominoplasty, most of the stretch marks particularly below the navel are resolved; some of them may remain only in some patients. However, since the patient has a flat stomach after surgery, her stretch marks, if any, will be less noticeable.
You're advised to avoid sexual intercourse for at least two weeks after having an abdominoplasty.

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