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Abdominoplasty is surgery suitable for those patients who are not happy with their sagging skin and muscles as well as fat deposits in their abdomen area. Deformation of the anterior abdominal wall is a frequent problem after (multiple) pregnancy, in case of major weight loss and hereditary looseness of tissues.

Pre-operative consultation

The expectations of the patient and options for meeting them are identified during a pre-operative consultation. The discussion will cover the health status of the patient and the medications used. It is important to stabilise body weight before the surgery.

During the examination, the state of the anterior abdominal wall of the patient and excess tissue are assessed, and possible diastasis of muscles and hernias are examined. Photos are taken of the relevant area for the medical records. Measurements are taken, the surgical method and the location of the wounds (later scars) are planned.

Course of surgery and recovery

The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and it usually lasts for 2–3 hours. Excess skin is removed during the surgery; if necessary, muscles are brought closer and tightened and are located around the navel. A curved incision is usually planned on the lower abdomen so that the scar will be hidden from view under the underwear. This procedure can be combined with liposuction. Often drains are left in the wound. The surgery is performed at Kotka Private Hospital.

The patient is usually allowed home on the next morning after the surgery. Recovery is individual, depending on the patient. Post-operative pain treatment is necessary in the first days after the procedure because the trauma to the tissues causes swelling; muscle plasty causes stronger pain. It may be difficult to stand up straight in the first days after the surgery. Wounds are covered with wound tapes for up to 2 weeks, followed by the treatment of the scars. The patient has to wear a compression garment/corset for 4–6 weeks. It is advisable to avoid heavy physical exertion in the first weeks after the surgery.

Results and risks

The final result may take months to develop. The result is long-term.

After the surgery, the patient may experience long-term swelling, discomfort, disorders of the sensitivity of the abdominal skin, and subcutaneous bruising. Inflammation is rare. Slow healing of the wounds and collection of tissue fluid in the surgery site are frequent side effects. Skin necrosis may occur, although rarely, especially if abdominoplasty has been performed in combination with liposuction.

Operations are performed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Mart Eller.