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Abdominoplasty and Body Contouring Surgery Including Liposuction

Mr Searle has significant experience in abdominoplasty, the correction of abdominal wall contours, be they post surgical, post pregnancy, or genetic in origin.

All programmes of possible abdominoplasty begin with a long discussion exploring general health and suitability for corrective surgery. Examination allows careful analysis of the three central elements of abdominal correction, the muscle function, subcutaneous fat quantity and distribution, and the nature of the enclosing skin. A huge range of combinations are observed, ranging from thin, lax, stretched skin after twin pregnancy, through variable fat distribution, to muscle disruption secondary to surgical intervention or pregnancy.

Following analysis of the problem, plans can be made for surgical correction. Not all patients require muscle repair, but it can be essential for some, establishing core anatomical correction. Liposuction techniques are used in abdominoplasty as a means of correcting contour related to subcutaneous fat, and skin resection with tightening of the surface layer can be a powerful contributor to improved final aesthetics.

Abdominoplasty procedures range from minor adjustments of low, small skin and fat overhangs in the region of caesarean section scars, through to more formal full abdominoplasty with muscle fat and skin correction utilising a long transverse scar, and a scar lying around the repositioned umbilicus or tummy button.

Surgery requires a general anaesthetic procedure lasting between and two to four hours. Patients require anywhere between one to four days in hospital, variation in hospital stay depending on the extent of the surgical correction. Postoperatively, drains remove unwanted fluid from the healing tissues, and techniques incorporating local anaesthetic infusions can facilitate early mobilisation and rapid return to normal activities.

We encourage early mobilisation after surgery and hospital physiotherapists are involved in helping patients to return to normal mobility the day after surgery.

Abdominoplasty can range from minor to major surgery, and we endeavour to avoid complications such as bleeding, infection, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, numbness, scarring and asymmetry. Some patients require late minor adjustments. Having been discharged home, we encourage the wearing of firm supportive pants, generating comfortable support in the postoperative days and weeks, and expediting recovery from swelling or bruising. It is important that the area is inspected over the week or two that follow surgery.

Abdominoplasty surgery can be a powerful means of correcting abdominal contour, but is reserved for patients fit enough to recover with reduced likelihood of complications. It is recognised that smokers, diabetics, and those on certain medications, are more likely to experience wound problems, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolus after surgery. An essential element of abdominoplasty surgery is careful patient selection and early mobilisation with return to normal activities. A powerful procedure in well selected cases.

In addition to formal abdominoplasty, body contouring surgery extends to a variety of liposuction and skin/fat adjustment procedures which include arm lift (brachioplasty), thigh lift, body lift, and a variety of liposuction adjustments to thighs, knees, buttocks, back etc. The range of techniques now available do not present magic wands, but in well chosen cases can be an effective way of making specific changes for well chosen patients. All these variable thoughts, ideas, techniques, and plans are discussed during careful preoperative preparation.