Abdominal reconstruction also known as abdominal wall reconstruction or abdominal surgery is a procedure that combines removing excess skin with repairing the abdominal wall.
What is Abdominal Reconstruction?
abdominal wall reconstruction includes a combination of a tummy tuck, Fleur de Lis and body lifting with abdominal wall tightening. This is also done with mesh repair in some cases. Many patients who have experienced hernias, pregnancy or who have undergone dramatic weight loss choose to have an abdominal reconstruction. It may also be that the patient has previously had abdominal surgery and now has a weakness in their abdominal wall.
The abdominal wall is made up of skin and multiple layers of tissue that includes fat and muscle. This is what helps us maintain posture and protects the abdominal organs such as the stomach and liver. If this is damaged, then abdominal reconstruction may be an option for you.
Your Abdominal Surgery Consultation
During your initial abdominal wall reconstruction consultation, we ask that you’re open and honest about your medical history and surgery expectations. This is so we can establish the very best treatment option for you. The surgeon will advise the level of abdominal reconstruction you may require as each operation is tailored to the individual’s needs.
Our in-depth consultation aims to work with you to create a surgery plan that can achieve your desired results based on your realistic abdominal reconstruction surgery expectations.
Abdominal Reconstruction Preparations
This abdominal surgery will require you to be under general anaesthetic, so if you’re feeling unwell or have any other health-related issues then it’s important that you let us know. It’s also advised that you take a number of precautions before surgery, including:
- Stop smoking 6 weeks prior to surgery
- Stop taking anti-inflammatories or herbal supplements
- Avoid taking aspirin
After the abdominal wall reconstruction, you should arrange for a friend or relative to collect you. It’s also advised that you take time off work, typically around 2 weeks.
What to Expect During an Abdominal Reconstruction
The duration of abdominal wall reconstruction is usually 2 to 3 hours long but can be longer depending on the extent of the abdominal surgery you’re undergoing. The incision is typically made on the lower abdomen and the longer the incision, the more tissue that can be removed. The technique used depends on what exactly is required. Generally, the abdominal wall is tightened to better define the abdominal contour.
Excess skin is then removed and the incision is closed with dissolvable stitches. The scar should be just above the pubic area, making it easy to hide under any average clothing waistline.
How Long is the Abdominal Surgery Recovery Period?
Following an abdominal reconstruction procedure, it’s common for the patient to feel some pain and discomfort so you may wish to take pain relief medication for this. You’ll need to wear a supportive compression garment for about 4 – 6 weeks to help reduce swelling and bruising. It’s also important that you follow the surgeon’s advice for abdominal wall reconstruction aftercare, including:
- Avoid any exercise or strenuous activity
- Keep the wounds dry
- Avoid driving
- Begin to massage the scar once it’s healed
About a week or so after your abdominal reconstruction you’ll be checked over in the dressings clinic to ensure you’re healing well.