The skin and muscles of the anterior wall are stretched during pregnancy, but in some people this leaves permanent disfigurement, and commonly results from excessive weight gain, water retention, or abnormally fragile inelastic skin. Exercises and diet obviously help to reverse these changes, but in some cases will need surgery to tighten the muscles and remove excessive skin.
The operation is done through a skin incision which is placed very low within the bikini area. The skin and fatty layer of the abdomen is freed up and down so that usually a new umbilicus has to be made. The aimed result is for the abdominal wall to adopt a more toned appearance.
A one-night stay in hospital is sufficient. You will be given post-operative instructions regarding positioning and also suitable garment support, these measures should keep you comfortable, additionally mild painkillers will assist you in the initial post-operative days.
Most of the stitches are under the skin surface, so stitch marks are avoided, and the finest possible scars produced. Keep Micropore tape or silicone gel sheets on the scar for the next six weeks following the procedure to give further protection. Detailed instructions about this will be given to you after the operation.
These are rare and include the following:
- Infection. This is very rare nowadays as with any clean elective operation.
- Seroma. This is a collection of fluid which can lead to swelling in part of the abdomen and very rarely require correction with a short procedure in theatre.
- Swelling and numbness of the skin.Of the lower abdomen may be noted to a minor extent for up to six months, but is not usually noted in slim people. In the centre of the lower part of the abdomen some numbness might persist to a variable degree.
- The scar line.Is usually very fine and in a well concealed position, but as with any scar on the abdomen the colour takes about 2 years to fade to its final state, which is slower than on the face. A moderate amount of sun will help the scar to mature and gain a more natural skin colour, and this can be started cautiously after six weeks.
After the operation you will be visited whilst in hospital by myself normally or otherwise a member of my team in order to ensure a personal and confidential programme of after care. I can be contacted through my secretary or -out of hours- the Hospital switchboard should the need arise.
I hope that this information, and the attention that you will receive postoperatively will keep you fully informed at all times. A more in detail discussion about the operation and possible complications adjusted to your specific needs takes place during consultation.