A reverse abdominoplasty is chosen for the patient who has loose excess skin in the upper abdomen and generally does not have full diastasis rectus affecting the lower abdominal contour. The patient may also have excess fatty tissue in the lower abdomen without skin excess. The technique is to start with incisions that follow the lower breast fold, crossing the lower sternum to connect both sides of the abdomen. These scars generally hide very well even in two-piece bathing suits. The full thickness skin is elevated down the abdomen preserving the vital blood supply on either side of the belly button. Any abdominal fatty excess can be corrected concurrently with liposuction at this time. The elevated released excess abdominal skin can be addressed in several ways depending on the needs of the patient:
Reverse Abdominoplasty could be incorporated as part of a treatment plan to tighten the upper abdominal contour. After the incision and elevation of the abdominal excess loose skin, the surgeon can remove the undesirable portion and fixate the remaining tissue to the rib fascia of the lower breast fold to avoid the scars from migrating inferiorly, preventing the exposure of the scars on the upper abdomen.
Another situation for the reverse abdominoplasty is for women with loose upper abdominal skin combined with previous augmentation mammoplasty in which the implants have become mal-posed and have drifted inferior and lateral to the correct position. In this case, the excess elevated tissue can be utilized as an autologous (meaning from your own body) soft tissue sling to help reposition and stabilize the implant like an Acellular Dermal Matrix (ADM) graft to provide long-lasting results.
Results Expected from Procedure
The results of tummy tuck surgery may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete. Within a week or two, you should be standing tall and confident in your new slimmer profile. Your tummy tuck will result in a flatter, firmer abdominal contour that is more proportionate with your body type and weight.
Previous abdominal surgery may limit the potential results of a tummy tuck. In women who have undergone cesarean section, the existing scars may be incorporated into the new scar. The tummy tuck scar may take several months to a year to fade as much as it will.
Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery such as debulking liposuction may be necessary. Following your physician’s instructions is essential to the success of your surgery.
It’s important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your plastic surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
How Can I Set Up a Consultation?
The first step to schedule a consultation would be doing thorough research. There are many ways to find a plastic surgeon. Arguably the best way would be to receive a referral from another physician, such as a dermatologist or OB-GYN. These providers often see multiple patients with good results and can attest to those by referring their own patients somewhere. Friends are a secondarily good referral source, especially if they are patients themselves. When it comes to advertising, the most essential consideration is the plastic surgeon’s education, board certification ONLY by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and before/after gallery. If those components match your desired outcome, then they would be a good source of information to seek in consultation. You will often come across taglines such as “no downtime surgery” or “no anesthesia required”. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are no shortcuts to SAFE plastic surgery.
The next step would be to contact the office of a board-certified plastic surgeon to find a time to meet them. First impressions last a lifetime, so pay attention when speaking to the receptionist upon calling. Should you decide to have surgery, this is the team you will be dealing with multiple times per month for at least a year. The administrative team is a direct reflection of the surgeon’s ways of working. Another thing to clarify would be a potential timeline for surgery. This is sometimes best done before reaching out to qualified providers because they are booked one to six months out, on average. Knowing well enough in advance will give you adequate time to interview surgeons, get any preoperative lab work done, and feel confident moving forward with your scheduled procedure.