Following weight loss and pregnancy, abdominal skin can appear lax and is often unable to shrink to the leaner body contour. When the lower abdomen is the site of the problem, a tummy tuck can be performed to tighten the abdominal muscles and skin.
Not all patients see sagging skin in the lower tummy alone, though. For some, the problem lies in the upper abdomen. A reverse abdominoplasty entails the removal of excess skin of the upper abdomen through incisions made under the breast. Unlike a conventional tummy tuck, only skin and not muscles are tightened.
Reverse Abdominoplasty Surgery
Candidates for reverse abdominoplasty include weight loss patients with lax upper abdominal skin. Other patients who benefit from the procedure are those that have had a tummy tuck but the skin above the belly button continues to sag. Additionally, women who want a tummy tuck and breast surgery may be able to use the same incision for both procedures. As in all cases of cosmetic procedures, patients should be non-smokers in good health with realistic expectations for the outcome of the surgery.
Reverse abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia in an accredited outpatient surgical center. During the four-hour procedure, an incision is made in the inframammary fold, which is the crease located under the breast.
Women with moderately full breasts have the advantage of having the incision more acutely concealed within the fold; however, some of the scar may still be visible across the midline when it is necessary to place the scar across the lower sternum.
Excess skin is directly excised from the upper abdomen and fat deposits are removed. The skin is tightened in a vertically upwards direction, but the naval remains in place. With a traditional abdominoplasty the naval must be removed from the surrounding tissue before it is tightened. Once the skin has been repositioned the incisions are sutured closed.
Recovery Following Reverse Abdominoplasty
Undergoing a reverse abdominoplasty requires one week of post-op recovery. Stitches placed during the procedure are removed five to ten days afterwards. Due to the location of the surgical site, upper body exercises should be avoided for 4 weeks. However, lower body exercises may resume after 2 weeks. Results will be noticeable right away, but there may be some bruising, swelling, and/or tenderness during the first couple of weeks. Over-the-counter medications or pain medication prescribed by Dr. Kessler will help to control any discomfort.
Complications that can arise from reverse abdominoplasty surgery include raised red scars, bleeding, and infection. Reverse tummy tucks are not as common as conventional abdominoplasties, so it is important that patients consult with an experienced plastic surgeon who has performed this procedure regularly for years.
Patients planning on becoming pregnant in the future should discuss this with their surgeon and may ultimately be advised to postpone the reverse abdominoplasty. Pregnancy and weight gain can stretch the skin and muscles of the abdomen, having a negative impact on the effects of the procedure and requiring revision.
What is a Reverse Abdominoplasty?
A Reverse Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to smooth and flatten the excess, lax tissue of the upper abdomen.
How is a Reverse Abdominoplasty performed?
Dr. Kessler begins the Reverse Abdominoplasty by making an incision across the chest, underneath the breasts, in the inframammary fold. From this incision, excess skin will be removed. During the procedure, only the skin will be tightened; unlike the Tummy Tuck procedure in which the muscles are tightened, as well.
Who is a good candidate for the Reverse Abdominoplasty?
The best candidates for a Reverse Abdominoplasty will include patients with lax upper abdominal skin; often seen in after a dramatic weight loss. Patients who continue to have lax abdominal tissue after a Tummy Tuck may be excellent patients for a Reverse Abdominoplasty procedure.
Where is a Reverse Abdominoplasty performed?
Dr. Kessler performs the Reverse Abdominoplasty procedure at the Star Point Surgery Center, or at an accredited area hospital. The Reverse Abdominoplasty may include an overnight hospital stay, to improve the patient’s comfort level.
What type of anesthesia is used during the Reverse Abdominoplasty?
A Reverse Abdominoplasty Is performed with general anesthesia.
How long is the Reverser Abdominoplasty procedure?
The Reverse Abdominoplasty will take between three and four hours.
Where are the incisions for a Reverse Abdominoplasty?
The incision for a reverse Abdominoplasty is placed in the inframammary fold, the crease underneath the breasts.
When will the results from a Reverse Abdominoplasty be noticeable?
Patients will notice their initial results from a Reverse Abdominoplasty immediately. As the swelling completely resolves, over the following two to three months, full benefits from the surgical procedure will be apparent.
What can I expect during the recovery from a Reverse Abdominoplasty?
Patients should expect their recovery from a Reverse Abdominoplasty to take about one week. Initially, swelling and bruising may occur, although these will resolve over the first several weeks. Moderate discomfort may be experienced, although Dr. Kessler will prescribe appropriate pain medications. Patients will return to the office for a follow up appointment, and to have stitches removed, around five to seven days after the procedure.
When can I return to work after a Reverse Abdominoplasty?
Patients normally feel well enough to return to work or school in a week or less, following a Reverse Abdominoplasty. Lower body exercises can be resumed in two weeks, although upper body exercise should be avoided for four to six weeks.
Will there be scarring after a Reverse Abdominoplasty?
Yes, a visible scar will remain after a Reverse Abdominoplasty. Women with full breasts have a greater chance of concealing these scars within the natural physical contours.
How long will the results from a Reverse Abdominoplasty last?
The results from a Reverse Abdominoplasty will be long lasting, although patients are encouraged to keep a healthy weight. Women should wait on a Reverse Abdominoplasty if they are planning a future pregnancy, as this may once again stretch abdominal tissue and muscle.
What are the risks involved with Reverse Abdominoplasty?
The Reverse Abdominoplasty is considered a safe procedure, although there are risks included with the invasive procedure. Potential complications include bleeding, infection, raised scars, and area numbness.
Can I finance my Reverse Abdominoplasty procedure?
Yes, patients are invited to apply for healthcare financing through CareCredit. Applications can be submitted online, and patients are notified of results immediately. Kessler Plastic Surgery also accepts cash and all major credit cards.