Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) treats the loss of abdominal shape that usually results from past pregnancies or weight loss. Tummy tucks will correct the sagging skin and lax muscles. Abdominoplasty removes the excess skin and fat, tightens the muscle, and narrows the waistline. Abdominoplasty is intended to give you a smoother, flatter abdomen. A full tummy tuck or mini - tummy tuck (just below the bellybutton) will be determined by the extent of your current abdominal laxity. Abdominoplasty will create a profile that is smoother and firmer, often enhancing your body image as fit and trim.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Abdominoplasty takes approximately three to five hours under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make two incisions: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and another around the navel. He will separate the skin from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. He will stretch the skin flap down and over the newly tightened muscles, remove excess skin, and reattach the navel in a natural position. Finally, he will close the incisions and apply sterile surgical dressings over the sutured areas.
Recovery after Abdominoplasty
A temporary drainage tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. Recovery time ranges from two weeks to a few months. During this time you will be advised in the wearing of abdominal compression garments.
Abdominoplasty will leave a scar spanning the lower abdomen from hip to hip. Incisions are designed to incorporate previous scars (e.g., C-section) and to allow the final scar to be positioned low on the abdomen to be easily covered with garment fashions. With a well-balanced diet and regular exercise, results are long-lasting.
Risks of Abdominoplasty
Though rare, post-operative complications from surgery are possible. You will be appropriately educated regarding potential complications during your preoperative consultation and provided comprehensive informed consent documentation. All of your questions will be answered prior to your procedure.
Patients who have had previous abdominal surgery should know that their old scars could be raised, stretched or generally more noticeable after the procedure. However, stretch marks can often become diminished. While unavoidable, the resulting scar is an expected trade off for a dramatic change in abdominal contour.