Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck
This procedure aims to improve the appearance of a loose tummy after pregnancy or significant weight loss (Bariatric Surgery). It also removes majority if not all of the stretch marks in your lower abdomen. A very popular procedure following pregnancy, massive weight loss or whenever a flabby abdomen with weak muscles impairs body contour. Most patients report improved self-esteem as a result of this.
Abdominoplasty, also called tummy tuck surgery, is a procedure to surgically remove the excess skin and fat that lies between the umbilicus and the overhanging skin (or to a cesarean scar) from the abdominal area. Depending on the needs of the patient, the muscles of the abdominal wall are tightened. The incision is a half-moon shape (length is dependent on the mass of skin and fat to be removed). The incision is usually planned such
that the scar lies well hidden in the underwear, the skin flap is lifted and the Belly-button(umbilicus) is separated from the flap leaving it attached to a stalk. Depending on whether the abdominal muscles need tightening the surgeon places sutures to tighten them. The skin is then draped back in such a manner that the abdomen is well contoured and the extra skin is discarded. Before the final closure, the belly button is brought out
through a new point in the draped skin at the appropriate level.
Approximately two to four hours.
Most commonly patients are placed under general anesthesia.
Either is possible and depends on the patient’s health and the doctor’s preference.
Possible Side Effects
Temporary discomfort, low back pain, post-operative swelling, soreness or tenderness in the surrounding areas, numbness of abdominal skin and bruising are possible side effects.
Infection, bleeding under the skin flap or at the incision site, pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that travels to the lung), scarring (keloids), delayed healing, or the need for a second reversionary operation are potential risks. However, these are not common.
The patient may return to full range of normal activity within two to four weeks. Upon re-evaluation by the surgeon, the patient may return to activity that is more strenuous after approximately four to six weeks. Scars should fade and flatten anywhere from three months to one year after surgery. Patients are asked to wear a body girdle for at least four to six weeks.
The result will last many years, unless the patient gains significant weight or becomes pregnant.
When to Consider a Tummy Tuck
- If you’ve got flab, stretch marks or excess skin in your abdomen that does not improve with diet or exercise.
- If the shape of your abdomen has been affected by pregnancy or massive weight loss.
- If you feel that your protruding abdomen is unattractive.
- If your self-confidence is marred by your stomach contour.
Many people who consider a tummy tuck also consider liposuction and a lower body lift.
If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.