‘Fleur de lis’ Abdominoplasty Procedure
There is no bigger feeling of accomplishment than losing a significant amount of weight.
However, after shedding a large number of pounds, it doesn’t mean that you will achieve a well-toned body.
Unfortunately, sagging skin may still remain and diet and exercise will not easily resolve this.
For some, a traditional tummy tuck can correct sagging skin. However, this technique is not recommended for removing large amounts of excess skin or for patients who are carrying a lot of ‘front-side/front-centre’ excess skin.
If you experience a significant weight loss whether through proper diet, regular exercise, or surgery, the Fleur-de-Lis Abdominoplasty is available to help tone your front torso skin into a more appealing contour.
The Fleur-de-Lis Abdominoplasty Procedure
Fleur-de-Lis Abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure that removes excess skin, fat and muscle from the stomach.
- The procedure usually takes between 4 to 6 hours.
This technique is performed similar to the traditional tummy tuck procedure, with the addition of a vertical incision to better address the lax abdominal muscle.
During the procedure, your Specialist Plastic Surgeon and Surgical Team will administer General Anesthesia at the hospital, to help minimize any discomforts.
Incisions for a Fleur de lis Abdominoplasty
- Your surgeon will then create a surgical incision along the midline of your abdomen.
- The incision sizes can vary from person to person. Depending on your condition and your physique, your Plastic Surgeon will make a small or large incision.
- From that point, your surgeon will remove excess skin and body fat and will then reposition your belly button to a more proportionate or aesthetically pleasing level.
- Once the desired outcome is obtained, your surgeon will now close the surgical incision with dissolvable sutures.
You will end up with a vertical scar down your mid-section and a “half-moon” scar (or horizontal scar) across your lower abdomen.
This may often be treated with Fraxel and other scar minimisation techniques.
Your naval will be reconstructed in an aesthetically pleasing location and you can request a certain ‘belly button’ look if you have a strong preference (search our BLOG for info about Belly Buttons).
Scar Difference: The difference in scars between a Tmmy Tuck and a Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty is mostly the residual VERTICAL scar.
If you have an Abdominoplasty/Tummy Tuck, however, your scar will be horizontal only, and the location of the scar will resemble the diagram below.
Abdominoplasty after weight loss: Are you an Ideal Candidate for a Fleur-de-Lis Abdominoplasty Procedure?
Almost anyone with skin sagging after significant weight loss will discover body and skin contouring benefits after Abdominoplasty procedures, including a Pannilectomy, a Fleur-de-lis, a Tummy Tuck or a Belt Lipectomy.
In general, you may be an ideal candidate for the Fleur de lis method of an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) if:
- You have significant excess skin (overstretched skin) on your front torso (belly) after weight loss
- This skin and body fat extends downwards and upwards towards the breast or chest area
- You have larger ‘pockets’ of body fat in your front-stomach area that refuses to budge no matter what you do
- You have tried non-surgical methods of contouring your body such as exercising and good nutritional regimes
- You understand that the excess skin must be excised
- For your body, a horizontal scar and ‘pulling downwards/upwards’ of the excess skin would not be enough – there is sagging excess skin on the top and sides of your front torso in addition to the lower abdomen area
- You don’t smoke
- You have a healthy lifestyle
The following criteria will also have you a more suitable candidate for abdominal contouring surgery:
- You have reached a stable weight and you are able to readily maintain that weight without significant fluctuations
- You are in good overall health and have good nutritional uptake (this can be a concern for some bariatric surgery patients)
- You have no history of clotting or bleeding problems
- You are not on medications that are a concern in relation to increased surgical risks
- You have realistic expectations regarding the procedure.
- You understand the need to adhere to a healthy lifestyle (exercise & nutritional regime) after the procedure
- You are able to adhere to required surgery preparations and your Surgeon’s post-op instructions
Recovery Period After a Fleur-de-Lis Abdominoplasty
Your Surgeon will advise you of your recovery. You are likely to stay in hospital overnight (or for a few nights) depending on whether or not you want more support after your surgery (during the early recovery period).
You will need a good at-home support team around you and you will need to rest for about two weeks or more.
This means no housework, no picking up children, no driving and no exercise until you are cleared by your Surgeon to do so.
For best results from any surgical procedure, including the Fleur de lis Abdominoplasty, it is CRUCIAL you follow all post-op instructions exactly as advised by your Specialist Surgeon
Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon and Nursing Team Staff will give you very specific instructions for recovery.
- In Melbourne, you’ll also be given a Rapid Recovery kit – be sure you understand how to best take the supplements for optimal recovery and healing.
Instructions tend to involve a requirement to wear certain post-op support garments for several weeks, even at night. You will then likely need to continue to wear these garments for a set period of time during the day for another extended period of time – often several weeks.
Your Surgeon will give you specific details. Also, with our Melbourne Specialist Body Lift & Abdominoplasty Surgeons, these support garments are usually included in your Surgery quote.
What to expect in the early days of healing from the Fluer de lis method of Abdominal Plastic Surgery
- Initially, you are likely to notice swelling, redness and bruising in your abdominal area.
- To keep your swelling to a minimum, you are likely going to be instructed to wear a compression garment.
- You will be given other detailed recovery information and what to expect in your pre-surgery paperwork and in your consultations.
- Be sure to let your Surgeon know of any unusual or concerning symptoms and be sure you have read and fully understand the surgical risks and possible complications – ask your Surgeon how these will be handled should you have a complication.
Surgical Drains or No Drains with the Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty?
Our Specialists are very experienced and they focus on providing NO DRAIN procedures for most patients. However, for some patients, in certain situations, there is a chance that surgical drains may need to be placed in the surgical wound to help prevent accumulation of excess body fluids.
- Your Surgeon will advise you if you are suitable for a NO DRAIN procedure or if you might require drains.
- Sometimes even with the best approach to your surgery, DRAINS might be required.
- They might make surgery recovery a bit less comfortable and they do potentially increase infection risks but they serve a purpose and if your Surgeon DOES need to use them, they’ll explain why you need them.
Pain after a Fleur de lis – what’s normal?
You may experience pain and other discomforts after Surgery, and whilst your Surgeon will tell you how to differentiate the types of pain and how to treat them (including providing pain relief medication when called for) – DO expect that the early stages of recovery won’t be pain-free.
Challenges after surgery include:
- Emotional challenges as you heal (and the frustration you may have at not being able to see your results right away as this can take several weeks to months or even a year for some patients)
- Be sure to read our BLOG on Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster of Recovery.
- Highly disrupted sleep (sleep deprivation as well as ‘down time’ can leave you emotional or even teary)
- Difficulty getting comfortable, especially in the first several weeks after your Abdominal surgery
The first week or two are usually more difficult than subsequent weeks, but every patient is different.
Pain and other discomforts are usually relieved by mild painkillers, which will be prescribed by your Plastic Surgeon if needed.
In approximately 2 weeks, it is likely that you may resume work or daily routine, but there may be some restrictions on what you can do (in terms of avoiding heavy lifting or strenuous activities).
Be sure to let your Surgeon know exactly what work duties you perform so they can advise you on what you can, and should not, do during your healing period. Some activities will need to be avoided for several weeks and others for several months.
It will depend on how physically demanding your work is.
However, you are likely going to be prohibited by your Surgeon from any heavy lifting or vigorous exercises – even yoga – until they give you the ‘all clear.’
- This may be several weeks to several months depending on your healing progress and the types of exercise you are wanting to do.
- Do not DRIVE or lift children or participate in any strenuous activities without the explicit OKAY from your Surgeon
- Be sure to attend all of your post-surgical consultations including FRAXEL if using that procedure for scar reduction or scar minimisation
- Take your RAPID RECOVERY products as prescribed – as they include proven aids to facilitate your recovery
- Ask about a HEALITE II session when you’re ready!
Don’t expect to see the results of your surgery for several weeks until your swelling goes down.
Despite having realistic expectations, many patients wish they had prepared themselves better for the recovery period, including PATIENCE required until you can see your surgery results.
- As your swelling disappears, the results of the procedure will become more apparent.
Read our BLOG about “Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster of Recovery” for tips about Surgery recovery.
What are the Risks Involved?
Fleur-de-Lis Abdominoplasty is widely considered to be a safe and effective abdominoplasty body contouring procedure.
However, the procedure is invasive, as is any form of surgery or even Liposuction.
There is always a chance that you may develop complications such as infection, an allergic reaction to anesthesia, excessive bleeding, changes in skin sensation, delayed wound healing, keloid scars and asymmetry.
The risks of the surgery will be covered in a Consultation and in your pre-surgery consent forms. Please be sure to ask your Surgeon any and all questions you have about the procedure including the surgical and healing risks AND be sure to let your Surgeon know any pertinent details about your health and any medications you might be taking.
Also, before your surgery, avoid taking medications or supplements that might increase your risks of bleeding (typically the supplements start with the letter G) – read our Blog for more details.
You should always remember that a compassionate, highly skilled and experienced Plastic Surgeon who is an expert at Body Contouring & Abdominoplasty Surgeries can help to minimize your risks and potential complications that are associated with the procedure. However, this is a collaborative effort, and you TOO will need to do your part to ensure a satisfactory outcome. Also, some complications may occur that are beyond anyone’s control and with a great Surgeon, you’ll likely feel comfortable with the management of any complications.
For you to experience a safe, satisfactory surgical journey towards a more contoured body after weight loss, consult with one of our highly experienced Plastic Surgeons including Body Lift & Abdominoplasty Specialist Surgeons:
- Dr Richard Maxwell
- Dr Geoff Barnett
- Dr Douglas McManamny
- Dr Craig Rubinstein
- Dr Tom Robbins
And in Sydney, choose from:
- Dr Howard De Torres
- Dr Richard Sackelariou
- Seth Thaller; Mimis Cohen (28 February 2013). Cosmetic Surgery After Massive Weight Loss. JP Medical Ltd. pp. 83–. ISBN 978-1-907816-28-4.