Having excess weight on the belly can be daunting. And sometimes it becomes worse when diet and exercise don’t work. On the other hand, you could have managed to lose those extra kilos, only to look in the mirror and find excess and loose skin staring back at you. At this point you are left wondering what else you can do to achieve the so-called snatched waist. With the advance in aesthetic medicine, there are now a few cosmetic procedures that can help one to achieve a contoured waistline, that is if you do not mind a surgical intervention. One of these procedures is the latest tummy tuck technique known as the 3D Abdominoplasty.
To dig deeper into this procedure and understand it, we had a chat with Dr Kamal Sawan, an American Board Certified Plastic Surgeon at Al Shunnar Plastic Surgery clinic in Dubai. Originally developed in the USA, Dr Kamal is now also performing 3D abdominoplasty in Dubai. Dr Kamal customizes each procedure to help you in meeting your unique goals and becoming a better you.
Q: What is a 3D Abdominoplasty?
Dr Kamal: A 3D Abdominoplasty aka a ‘full tummy tuck’ is a procedure that takes care of removing excess skin and as a bonus, fat from the lower back and flank area, and at the same time tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall to improve the overall shape. A common issue with traditional tummy tucks is that they address excess fat only in one area, the front of the abdomen (i.e. 2 dimensions), thus neglecting the overall look of the patient. A 3D abdominoplasty addresses this by treating the overall shape of the patient from multiple perspectives (hence 3D), thus resulting in a balanced contoured body.
The amount of fat that you may have does not really matter. What matters for this procedure is the skin and muscle. Many people consider a full tummy tuck as a weight loss or weight management solution but this should not be the case. In fact, if you happen to be overweight, you may not be a suitable candidate for this procedure. As long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise your abdominal muscles after the procedure, the results of the tummy tuck can permanent.
Q. What is the difference between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck and how do I know which one I need?
Dr Kamal: A mini tummy tuck is best suited for people who have minimal excess skin and fat and moderate abdominal muscle weakness. The recovery is usually much shorter than that of a full tummy tuck. A full tummy tuck is for people who have lots of loose skin and significant muscle weakness. The recovery period is a bit longer than that of a mini tummy tuck. However, the best way to find out which one is right for you is to book an appointment and have a full examination.
Q. Who is the ideal candidate?
Dr Kamal: The ideal candidate for a full tummy tuck is an adult who is at a stable weight and has a lot of loose skin and excess fat on the abdomen with weakened abdominal muscles probably due to weight loss or pregnancy. He or she should also be in good health and have realistic expectations. As for women who have just given birth, they are encouraged to hold on for at least 6 months before considering the procedure so as not to diminish the effects of the full tummy tuck surgery.
Q. How long will swelling last and do I need drains?
Dr Kamal: Swelling is the body’s natural healing response and it protects the healing tissues on the surgery site. As much as there will be immediate improvement in the abdominal contour, the swelling will obscure the final results for a couple of months after the full tummy tuck surgery. The drains are normally placed so as to collect excess fluid and relieve pressure from the abdomen during the initial heling period. They are usually removed after a week.
Q. When will I see the results?
Dr Kamal: The results start to be apparent fairly quickly and you will start noticing them as soon as the bandages are removed. Your shape will improve immediately but, as mentioned earlier, there will be residual swelling which can linger but it will decrease over a period of several weeks. Most people usually return to their desk jobs within 3 weeks but for those with more physically demanding jobs, more recovery time is needed. The optimal results should be visible within 6 months after the full tummy tuck. There is however the matter of scarring. The procedure produces a linear scar between the hip bones but it fades as time goes by and it should be just a faint line within a year or so. A managed scar treatment protocol also helps reducing the scarring post-surgery.
Do you have more lingering questions about 3D Abdominoplasty or you need to undergo the procedure? Contact us and book a consultation with our Board Certified Surgeon Dr Kamal Sawan who has years of expertise under him and you can be sure that you will be in the right hands.