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Abdominoplasty is a comprehensive procedure, which can take 1 to 4 hours on average. Before surgery the incision line is carefully outlined on the patient. After the patient is administered with anesthesia a meticulous surgical washing follows and the covering of the operative area by sterile surgical garment (clothing).

The incision is placed in the bikini area and it extends over the whole width of the abdomen. The skin and the subcutaneous fatty tissue are carefully separated from the abdominal wall, all the way up to the ribs. If abdominal muscles are separated by the central vertical line, permanent stitches are placed by which muscles are brought back to their original position. A hole is cut on the skin for the navel, while excess skin and fatty tissue are excised following the line outlined in advance. The skin is then closed and sutured.

Mini abdominoplasty is performed according to the same principle, only the skin and the subcutaneous area are raised up to the navel, so that no new hole for the navel has to be created on the skin. The method that is going to be applied depends on the fat topography and excess skin, the age of the patient and a series of other factors. Immediately after the procedure, a firm elastic dress is applied on the abodmen, which performs compression and retains the newly formed shape of the abdomen.

IMMEDIATE POST-OPERATIVE CARE

The compressive dress is applied immediately after the patient’s surgery. The dress is first removed the next morning when sterile dressings are changed on the wound. The patient should rest for the first 5 days. Over the next 14 days the dress is permanently worn (except when showering), and in a subsequent 14-day period only during day. Stitches will be removed 10 to 12 days after surgery. 2 months after surgery vigorous exercise and sports activities should be avoided. Resuming everyday activities is rather individual, but on average it is in 10 days after surgery.

COMPLICATIONS

If the cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is performed by an experienced team with many years of experience in reconstructive surgery, complications are rare and negligible, but still possible. Below are only some of them with symptoms to which the patient should pay attention.

Early complications

1. Local bleeding and hematoma. For days after surgery the patient feels tired, dizzy if he/she makes a sudden move, sleepy and exhausted, although there are no physical efforts. Heartbeats are less palpable and fast, and the forehead often covered with cold sweat.
2. Skin and subcutaneous infection. 24 to 36 hours after the procedure the patient develops temperature. The place of infection is swelling, it is red and painful.
3. Serous fluid accumulates - the patient notices the swelling on the abdomen accompanied by a discomforting feeling of pain.
4. Necrosis – the skin turns ischemic white, and then black. The treatment is local cleaning and in some cases excision and resuture of the skin, which usually is a small area.

If the patient observes any of these symptoms, he/she should see the cosmetic surgeon as soon as possible in order to carry out the adequate treatment.

Late complications

1. A very conspicuous scar
2. The navel looks unnatural in its new position
3. Temporary numbness of the abdominal skin

Clinic:  Strma Ulica 16, HR - 43500 Daruvar, Hrvatska
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E-mail: poliklinika@poliklinika-arcadia.hr
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