Abdominoplasty, also called a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that tightens the skin around the abdominal area (the tummy or stomach). Due to pregnancy and/or weight gain, women (and men!) may experience sagging skin, lax muscle layers, an excess of fatty tissue deposits under the skin, and unsightly stretch marks. Continuing weight fluctuations tend to accentuate these changes. The shape of the trunk becomes less desirable and fitting into clothes becomes more difficult.
How is Abdominoplasty Performed?
A tummy tuck is a type of plastic surgery performed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, you will be monitored by trained medical professionals who will ensure that you are comfortable. The operation itself takes about three to four hours.
Using an incision low on the abdomen, along the bikini line, your plastic surgeon will remove excess fat, tissue, and skin from your lower abdomen, and, depending on the need, weakened abdominal muscles will be tightened. The underlying muscle covering layer is tightened by gathering it with permanent stitches. Another incision may be made around the belly button. Using both of these incisions, the remaining skin around your upper and lower abdomen will be tightened. The incisions are closed carefully in layers.
Liposuction is often used, along with a tummy tuck, to treat areas of fat deposit in the abdomen itself, waistline, and/or the hip area. Using these two procedures together, helps to shape the waistline further and improves the result of your tummy tuck.
Who is a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty?
Individuals who are of relatively normal weight and who are in good general health with pockets of excess abdominal fat and skin that have not responded to diet and exercises are the best candidates for abdominoplasty. Anyone who is significantly overweight should lose weight before considering a tummy tuck.
Recovering from Abdominoplasty
As with any operation, including cosmetic surgery, there is a recovery period during which there may be some discomfort. Immediately after a tummy tuck, most people experience swelling and are unable to stand fully upright for a few days due to the tightening of the abdominal skin and muscles.
Infection and bleeding are possible complications (as they are in any operation), and, in light of the need to pull the skin along the stitch line, the wound may heal a bit more slowly than anticipated. In some instances, fluid may accumulate under the skin (a painless serum buildup) which usually resolves in time or responds to draining, a simple office procedure.
It will take a couple of weeks to regain full mobility after abdominoplasty. The abdominal area will feel tight. Lifting heavy objects or any straining of the abdomen (including exercise) should be avoided for at least 4-6 weeks. The scars along the bikini line and around the belly button are permanent but will be less noticeable because of their placement.
Abdominoplasty helps flatten and firm the tummy, enhance the shapeliness of the figure, and reduce or eliminate stretch marks. A slimmer profile and better-fitting clothes are the goal of a tummy tuck.
Click here to view a gallery of before and after tummy tuck photos.
Want to Know More About Abdominoplasty?
If you are interested in abdominoplasty procedures and/or abdominoplasty fees, contact the office by phone or email to receive more information or to schedule a consultation appointment.