Fleur de Lis

Abdominoplasty

Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the mid and lower abdomen.

You may have come across the term “Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty” if you’ve been exploring body contouring options. This is a specialised surgical procedure involving the removal of excess skin and fat from the mid and lower abdomen. It is primarily designed to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall, offering patients a slimmer, more toned appearance. The Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty, named after the stylised lily or iris associated with the French monarchy, differs from traditional abdominoplasty techniques in its distinctive vertical and horizontal incisions that create a “fleur de lis” pattern. This procedure is particularly beneficial for individuals who have undergone massive weight loss and are left with significant, stubborn skin laxity.

What Is Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty?

The Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. Unlike traditional abdominoplasty, it involves two incisions: one running vertically down the centre of the abdomen and another running horizontally across the lower abdomen. The intersection of these incisions forms a “fleur de lis” pattern, allowing for a more extensive removal of excess skin and fat.

Dr Jake Lim then tightens the underlying abdominal muscles and repositions the navel to ensure a natural-looking result. The incisions are closed with sutures, and the area is bandaged. The procedure usually takes between three to five hours, depending on the individual’s condition and the extent of correction required.

The Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty offers a range of benefits, particularly for individuals who have undergone significant weight loss or have excess skin and fat in both the horizontal and vertical planes of the abdomen. Here are some of the advantages:

·       Improved Aesthetic Appearance

One of the most immediate benefits is the enhanced aesthetic appearance of the abdomen. The procedure removes excess skin and tightens the remaining skin, resulting in a flatter, more toned midsection.

·       Enhanced Comfort and Mobility

Excess skin can cause discomfort and even mobility issues. By removing this skin, the Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty can make it easier to move around, exercise, and engage in physical activities.

·       Reduction in Skin Irritation and Infections

Excess skin can lead to skin irritation, chafing, and even infections in the folds of the skin. The removal of this skin can alleviate these issues, making for a more comfortable daily life.

·       Potential Improvement in Posture

The tightening of abdominal muscles during the procedure can sometimes result in improved posture, although this is not guaranteed for every patient.

·       Long-Lasting Results

The results of a Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty are generally long-lasting, especially if you maintain a stable weight and healthy lifestyle.

·       Customised Approach

The Fleur de Lis technique allows for a more customised approach to body contouring, as it addresses excess skin in both the vertical and horizontal dimensions. This makes it particularly beneficial for those who have unique or extensive contouring needs.

You may be wondering if you’re a good candidate for the Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty. Good candidates are individuals who have undergone significant weight loss and are left with excessive loose skin on the abdomen. It’s usually suitable for individuals who had bariatric surgery.

Furthermore, candidates should be in good overall health, non-smokers, and have realistic expectations about the procedure’s outcomes. It’s crucial to consult with an experienced plastic surgeon to determine if this procedure is the right choice for you.

Preparing for Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty

Preparing for the Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty involves several steps. Dr Lim will perform a comprehensive physical examination, review your medical history, and discuss your aesthetic goals. You may need to stop taking certain medications or supplements before the surgery.

It’s recommended to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen before the procedure. Also, arrange for someone to drive you home post-surgery and assist you with daily tasks during the initial recovery period.

Here are the main steps of the procedure:

  • Anaesthesia

The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthesia, meaning you’ll be unconscious during the surgery.

  • Initial Incisions

Dr Lim starts by making a horizontal incision along the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. This is similar to the incision made in a traditional tummy tuck – abdominoplasty. An additional vertical incision is then made from the lower abdomen to the sternum, creating a ‘fleur-de-lis’ shape. The length and position of these incisions can vary depending on the amount of excess skin to be removed.

  • Removal of Excess Skin and Fat

Once the incisions are made, Dr Lim will carefully remove the excess skin and fat. Liposuction may also be used to remove additional fat deposits.

  • Muscle Tightening

The abdominal muscles are often tightened during this procedure. Dr Lim will suture the muscles together to create a firmer, flatter abdominal wall.

  • Skin Redraping and Closure

After the excess skin and fat are removed, and the muscles are tightened, the remaining skin is redraped over the new abdominal contour. The incisions are then closed using sutures, and drainage tubes may be inserted to help remove any excess fluid.

  • Compression Garment

A compression garment is usually applied immediately after the procedure to help reduce swelling and support the healing tissues.

The recovery process after Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty takes several weeks. You’ll need to rest and avoid strenuous activities for at least four weeks post-surgery. It’s crucial to wear a compression garment as it aids in reducing swelling and supports the healing tissues.

Dr Lim will provide specific post-operative care instructions, including wound care, physical activities, diet, and follow-up appointments. Adhering to these guidelines will help ensure a smooth recovery and optimal results.

Like any surgical procedure, the Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty carries risks and potential complications. These include infection, bleeding, poor wound healing, changes in skin sensation, scarring, and complications related to anaesthesia.

Dr Lim’s 2024 Abdominoplasty Guide

Abdominoplasty Guide

Pre and Post-Operative Care

  • You must fast prior to your procedure — do not eat, drink (even water) or chew anything for at least six hours before your procedure. The hospital will ring you the day before your procedure to confirm your admission time.
  • If you have a gastric band or sleeve, you will need to have a fluid diet the day before your surgery and fast for at least eight hours on the day of your procedure.
  • Notify Dr Lim of any medications that you are currently taking.
  • Do not take any medication that contains aspirin, or any anti-inflammatory or herbal medication for two weeks before your procedure. Aspirin thins the blood, which can result in unnecessary blood loss during your procedure.
  • Do not smoke for eight weeks before and eight weeks after your procedure. Smoking decreases blood flow to the skin and may delay the healing process.
  • Do not drink any alcohol for two days before and two days after your procedure as it can interfere with the anaesthetic you will be given on the day.
  • Vitamin C may help reduce your healing time and is recommended for two weeks before and two weeks after surgery.
  • Do not wear any nail polish, make-up or jewellery to the hospital and leave any valuables at home.
  • You will need comfortable, loose clothing, like a tracksuit, to wear home from the hospital. This will prevent pressure on your abdomen, which will still be tender
  • Dr Lim will normally visit you in the hospital the morning after your procedure. You will be assisted to sit up or get out of bed. The physiotherapist may attend to assist you.
  • When you wake up you will have a firm binder around your abdomen and two drains. The drains will be removed about a week after your surgery, or when the amount of drainage fluid has reduced. You will be discharged once you are feeling well and you are mobile. You will need to wear the abdominal binder for six weeks — Dr Lim will advise you on this in more detail.
  • General anaesthetic can take a few days to recover from — it can be quite normal to feel a little slow or out of sorts for a few days.
  • You will need to walk in a hunched over position for the first few days and slowly straighten up as your pain subsides. You will also be more comfortable laying with your knees bent and your back and head supported by a few pillows. In some cases, sleeping on a recliner can be more comfortable.
  • While you are in hospital you will be given medication for the pain. The amount of pain you feel after the operation varies from person to person. If you are concerned about the amount of pain you are in, or you feel you cannot control the pain, you should inform the nursing staff while in hospital, or call My Klinik if you are at home.
  • It is crucial that you finish the course of antibiotics you are prescribed to prevent any post-op infection.
  • While in hospital and at home, you will need to keep your bowels regular. This may involve taking an aperient prescribed by Dr Lim and drinking lots of water. Prune juice may also assist. If you have any trouble, please do not try and strain — inform the nursing staff and medication can be given to assist you.
  • Avoid over exertion and activity for the first six weeks. Take care not to bump, strain or place any pressure on the surgical area. This includes lifting small children.
  • Prevent the formation of blood clots in your legs with frequent gentle walks and mild foot and leg exercises. You will be given small injections to assist with this while you are in hospital. You will be given leg compression stockings that should be worn for three weeks after discharge.
  • Your stomach area may feel quite unusual for the first few weeks. It may feel tight and there may be reduced sensitivity in that area. This should return after a few weeks.
  • Dr Lim will remove any remaining sutures at your one-week post-op checkup.
  • Healing is different for each patient — it is recommended that you take two to three weeks off work. Most people feel well recovered after four to six weeks.
  • Do not smoke for eight weeks after your procedure as this may slow the healing process and affect wound healing.
  • My Klinik nursing staff will contact you to make sure that you are feeling comfortable and to confirm your one-week post-op checkup with Dr Lim.
  • Contact My Klinik if any of the following develop:
    • A temperature higher than 38°C or chills
    • Heavy bleeding or fluid from the incision or drain site
    • Severe sudden pain or tenderness
    • Redness around the incisions that is spreading.
  • Dr Lim and the nursing staff are available to you as you recover — should you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact My Klinik. For after-hours concerns, please contact the hospital where you had your surgery and they will be able to contact Dr Lim as required.

Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) FAQs

In a traditional tummy tuck, the incision is usually made horizontally across the lower abdomen. In a Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty, an additional vertical incision is made, resembling the shape of a ‘fleur-de-lis’. This allows for more extensive skin removal and tightening, especially beneficial for those with excess skin in the upper and lower abdomen.

Medicare may cover some of the costs if the procedure is deemed medically necessary, such as after significant weight loss that has resulted in health issues. However, if the procedure is for cosmetic reasons, Medicare is unlikely to cover it. It’s best to consult with your plastic surgeon for specific information.

Your first consultation with Dr Lim will take around 45 minutes and you are most welcome to bring a support person with you. Due to social distancing measures as a result of COVID-19, the support person may not be able to enter the rooms (depending on the number of persons in the rooms at that particular time).

Dr Lim will take the time to discuss the procedure with you, the changes you desire, and any other issues related to the appearance of your abdominal area that you feel are important to you. This will help Dr Lim understand your expectations and determine if they are achievable.

Dr Lim will explain the risks of surgery and discuss the tummy tuck procedure with you. Your abdominal area will be assessed, and a few measurements and photographs will be taken to plan the procedure.

You do not have to make the decision to proceed with the surgery at this initial consultation. You will be given a written quotation and information to take home to read.

Dr Lim will examine your abdomen and consider factors such as the size and shape of your abdominal area and the quality of your skin.

Please come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history. This will include information about any medical conditions you have, medications you are currently taking, allergies you have, other medical treatments you have received and any previous surgery you have had.

A second consultation is required if you wish to proceed with surgery.

Avoid products that contain aspirin, vitamin E, glucosamine, herbal supplements, fish oil and krill oil for four weeks before surgery. We also strongly recommend avoiding alcohol, and not smoking for eight weeks before and after surgery. Smoking can negatively affect the healing process.

On the day of surgery, patients should wear comfortable, loose clothing that does not need to be pulled over the head or face. Don’t wear any make-up, jewellery or nail polish.

We want to make this experience as supportive as possible — you will be given all pre-operative instructions prior to your procedure but please don’t hesitate to call My Klinik if you have any questions or concerns before your surgery.

Dr Lim performs all abdominoplasty (tummy tucks) at the fully accredited Westmead Private Hospital. Abdominoplasty is performed under general anaesthetic and you can expect to be in hospital for about three days.

Please contact the hospital a day before surgery to confirm your admission and fasting time. On entering the hospital, you need to report to the admissions desk and the staff will direct you through the admission process. Dr Lim and the anaesthetist will both see you prior to surgery and Dr Lim will make some markings on your abdominal area.

After the procedure, you will spend some time in the recovery room where you will be closely monitored until you are fully awake and returned to your rooms.

You will have a firm binder around your abdomen and you will have two surgical drains. You will have calf compressors (inflatable devices) and TED or compression stockings on both legs, as well as anticoagulant injections to reduce the risk of blood clots/deep vein thrombosis. You will have a drip in your arm and be connected to a machine to give you pain relief, fluids and medication.

The first days after surgery are usually the most uncomfortable and painful, particularly when you are moving around or coughing. Like most operations, it is not painless; you will be prescribed pain medication during this period and Dr Lim will provide a prescription for you upon discharge. It is also normal to feel tired and a little slow for a day or two following a general anaesthetic.

You will be assisted out of bed the morning after surgery. We prefer you to stay out of bed for a few hours and gently mobilise over the next few days. The physiotherapist may assist you with this while you are in hospital.

Everyone is different, so the recovery period following this procedure varies from person to person — most patients are back to their normal routine in approximately four to six weeks. Movement must be restricted for the first two weeks.

Your abdominal area will be sensitive for two to three weeks following surgery and should be handled according to your own level of comfort.

Returning to work depends on the demands of your job — you may be able to return to light work within three to four weeks. Dr Lim will discuss your individual situation with you before and after your surgery.

We endeavour to make sure our patients are as informed as possible. While some of the potential risks seem frightening, it is important for you to be aware that they can occur. During consultation, Dr Lim will take you through the risks involved.

Some of the possible complications are:

  • Infection
  • Temporary or permanent numbness around operated sites
  • Accumulation of blood (haematoma) around the surgical site which requires drainage
  • Keloids and hypertrophic (or raised) scars
  • Areas of skin that do not heal and may require a skin graft.

Dr Lim will monitor your progress carefully and our staff will stay in contact with you during the post-operative period. You will be seen at frequent intervals over the first six months.

Your relationship with Dr Lim and the nursing staff does not end once you have had the procedure. If you have any questions or concerns after your operation, you are always welcome to call My Klinik.

Want to know more?

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About Dr Jake Lim

Highly qualified and experienced specialist plastic surgeon Dr Jake Lim focuses on facial plastic, cosmetic breast and body contouring after significant weight loss

Dr Lim creates the best possible plastic surgery results for his Australia-wide and international patients.

Dr Lim is passionate about making sure each and every patient has access to the right information about available treatments and procedures and is able to make well-informed decisions.

At My Klinik, patient safety, education and achieving optimal results are our top priorities.