Abdominoplasty is a major and invasive procedure, now generally restricted to formerly obese patients thanks to the development of less invasive techniques.
The procedure involves a wide bispinoiliac incision (from one side of the pelvis to the other), followed by the pulling down and removal of a large flap of excess skin and fatty tissue, re-implantation of the navel, and insertion of surgical drains which remain in place for a certain time after surgery. It is useful in formerly morbidly obese patients, but only when weight loss has stabilised, and should be avoided in those in whom weight loss is ongoing, or who have not yet reached their goal weight. In the past, abdominoplasty was used by certain surgeons to treat straightforward cases of diastasis recti due to the wide incision and exposure of muscle and aponeurotic tissue. Fortunately, this procedure now tends to be reserved for formerly morbidly obese patients as part of a bariatric weight loss programme.