Abdominoplasty, also known as a “Tummy Tuck,” is designed to tighten and flatten the abdomen by removing excess fat and abdominal skin and by tightening muscles of the abdominal wall. It is best suited to women and men in relatively good shape, but who have loose abdominal skin and/or a significant amount of abdominal fat that won’t respond to dieting or exercise. The procedure corrects muscle weakness and tightens loose skin that can occur from weight loss, aging or pregnancy.
What to Expect
During an initial consultation, the doctor will perform an examination, assess the patient’s physical/emotional health and discuss specific cosmetic goals for the surgery. The doctor will then advise a method to best produce the desired results. Abdominoplasty is sometimes combined with liposuction to achieve best results. In other instances, liposuction alone may be advocated, as may be more limited types of abdominoplasty.
Generally, in the procedure, a horizontal incision is made just within or above the bikini line. The contour and length of the incision may vary, depending on your case. For patients with larger amounts of loose skin, a second incision may be made around the navel.
A patient may be a candidate for a partial or modified abdominoplasty, leaving a shorter scar and requiring no incision around the navel. Patients with only a minimal amount of excess skin and muscle laxity may also be candidates for an endoscopic abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty can be performed in approximately 2 – 3 hours on an outpatient basis, but often requires an overnight stay. Patients are encouraged to get out of bed soon after surgery to walk for short periods of time, promoting blood circulation and helping to prevent blood clots.
Patients may be instructed to wear a support garment for several weeks. After surgery, a patient should be able to return to work within 2 – 3 weeks, though strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for approximately 3 – 4 weeks. In the months following surgery, it’s important to treat the healing skin with extra care.
To learn more about tummy tucks: