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Abdominoplasty (plastic surgery of the belly)

Abdominoplasty is an operation designed to make the abdomen flatter after pregnancy or major weight loss. During the procedure the surgeon corrects diastasis recti (a gap in the abdominal muscles) and removes excess skin, fat tissue and any old scars. The procedure can be combined with liposuction or performed on a smaller scale as a mini (or partial) abdominoplasty. It is performed under total anesthesia and takes at least two hours. After the procedure patients stay in the clinic between two and four days, then go home and continue to recover for about four weeks.

Quick information

  • Highly effective method of making the belly flatter with long-term results
  • Can be combined with liposuction of the upper abdomen and flanks for better results
  • Less extensive operation in the lower abdomen only – mini (partial) abdominoplasty
  • Elastic belly band worn for four weeks, return to full activity levels after that
  • Improve scar healing with silicone tape and massage

How can I change the appearance of my belly?

We can affect our belly’s appearance to some degree with exercise and healthy eating. This applies particularly to overweight and obese patients. A lifestyle change can lead to visible reduction in belly size and noticeable firming of the abdominal muscles, which have a major impact on overall posture. Often, however, the abdominal muscles get separated due to pregnancy or other factors (called diastasis recti), and no amount of exercise or diet can correct that. Weight loss can also create unwanted hanging skin on the belly. In these cases surgery is the only effective means of addressing the issue.

Who is a good candidate for abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty is suitable for women and men suffering from a separation in the abdominal muscles or excess skin and fat in the belly area. Given the extensive scope of this operation, it is important to be in good health beforehand. Women should have it when they are no longer planning to get pregnant, as that could reverse the effect of the operation. However, abdominoplasty is not a barrier to future pregnancies as such.

Abdominoplasty gallery

tummy tuck before/after abdominoplasty gallery

Before abdominoplasty

The first step is to make a consultation appointment. The doctor will talk to you and assess your state of health, skin elasticity and the extent of the problem, taking photographs as necessary for documentation. The doctor will then propose an operation method and explain the possibilities and limits of the procedure, suggesting a combined abdominoplasty and liposuction if appropriate.

abdominoplasty before abdominoplasty after
Before the operation After the operation

Next you will receive all the information you need to get ready for the operation. You should inform the doctor in advance of any recent or chronic illness, medications and food supplements you take such as vitamins, minerals or products like Wobenzym, which is all part of the documentation you have at the consultation.

Make sure to inform the doctor of any contagious illness, however minor (cold, virus), in the three weeks before the operation. The doctor will decide whether to go ahead with the operation or reschedule for a later date. Exposing the belly to direct sunlight and strict dieting are not recommended before the operation.

scar after abdominoplasty
Before the operation After the operation

Abdominoplasty procedure

During the procedure the surgeon will make an incision on the lower abdomen just above the pubic hair so the scar will be covered by your underwear. Some cases also require an incision from the navel downwards. Then the surgeon will separate the skin from the muscles and tighten it, cutting away excess skin and subcutaneous tissue. If the patient suffers from diastasis recti, the surgeon will correct the separation and connect them in the center of the abdomen. Lastly the surgeon will place the navel in the right position and close the incision.

Abdominoplasty with liposuction procedure

For optimal effect abdominoplasty is sometimes combined with liposuction of the upper abdomen and flanks. In that case the fat is removed from the upper abdomen before the navel is put into place. Liposuction performed in this manner ensures a smooth transition between the fat tissue cut away in the abdominoplasty and the surrounding area.

Before the operation After the operation

Mini (partial) abdominoplasty procedure

A mini abdominoplasty is a less extensive version of abdominoplasty in which the surgeon removes excess skin and fat tissue in the lower abdomen only. It does not create a scar around the navel and leaves the navel in place. This procedure can also involve adjusting the muscles in the lower abdomen, but it cannot close a separation of the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti). Mini abdominoplasty involves a much shorter healing and recovery period as well as a lower risk of post-operative complications.

Video: Abdominoplasty and breast reduction

Aftercare for abdominal surgery

The first hours and days after the procedure are painful. Coughing, sudden movements and changing position from lying to sitting can cause pain, which should be treated with painkillers.

Drains may be put in the wound for two days after the procedure to remove excess fluid. The wound on the abdomen is covered with bandages, sterile gauze and a compression band or garment. You will need to wear the compression garment for four weeks.

You can shower the wound on day four after the operation, but the bandages need to remain in place for two weeks. This can be done by the doctor or you may do it at home yourself. You will not have to have the sutures taken out for a standard abdominoplasty, as we use a special type that dissolves on its own. Only abdominoplasty plus liposuction requires some small sutures to be removed.

Important:

  • We also recommend keeping to a special diet, as the procedure involves moving the intestines and you will want to go easy on your digestive tract for a while.

Scar care is also very important. Starting 18 days after the operation, you can begin massaging the scar area to improve healing and soften the scar tissue. You simply press a finger on the scar for 30 seconds, then repeat for the entire length of the scar. We also recommend silicone sheets (available for purchase at our clinic) to soften the scar tissue. You should protect the scar from direct sunlight for at least four months.

Recovery and returning to everyday activities

You will stay at the clinic for two to four days, and avoid physical activity at home for at least two weeks. After that you can resume light office work and return to normal after four weeks.

With a mini abdominoplasty you can resume light activity a week after the procedure and return to normal physical activity three to four weeks after the procedure.

abdominal surgery before and after

Possible complications associated with abdominoplasty

Any abdominal surgery involves some risks, especially bleeding or infection at the wound site or excessive scarring. Complications specific to this operation include asymmetry in the belly or asymmetrical placement of the navel. Some patients experience loss of sensation in the area due to damage to the nerve endings, but this complication is usually temporary. Another common but minor complication is the formation of pseudocysts in the scar.

Duration of abdominoplasty results

Abdominoplasty offers long-term results in the absence of dramatic changes in size. Patients can help ensure the results last longer with lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and exercise. Please keep in mind that abdominal plastic surgery does not stop the skin’s aging process, so over time you may find the belly beginning to sag and store fat once again.

M.D. Jiří Ferra on his thoughts on abdominoplasty

  • “Abdominoplasty doesn’t just offer patients aesthetic improvements; it offers real health benefits. In my experience this applies especially in cases of a separation in the abdominal muscles (diastasis recti). After the procedure patients experience improved posture, less strain on the spine and relief from back pain. Even the aesthetic improvement leads to health benefits thanks to the marked improvement in self-confidence, which leads to improved health overall.”

Where do we perform abdominoplasty?

We want to make things as convenient as possible for our clients, so we offer consultations in Prague, Brno and Liberec. The operation itself is performed at our clinic in Prague.