Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a surgical procedure to improve the abdominal contour by removing excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen and tightening the abdominal muscles.
Types of Abdominoplasty
A mini-abdominoplasty tightens only the lower abdominal wall and skin. Liposuction my also be concurrently performed. It results in a shorter scar and does not require an incision around the umbilicus. This procedure is not suited for patients with significant amounts of skin laxity. Degrees of improvement are generally more modest with this procedure and fewer patients are ideal candidates.
Standard or full abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is the more commonly performed procedure. It is best suited to patients with significant amounts of sagging, loose skin often with associated stretch marks, fat excess and laxity in the abdominal wall muscles. The incision is made low, just above the pubic hairline and gently curves into the region of the hip bone. The length of the incision varies depending upon the amount of skin to be removed. A small incision is also made around the belly button to free it from the surrounding skin for final positioning. The skin flap is elevated, the underlying abdominal wall muscles are tightened, and the excess lower abdominal skin is excised. The position of the navel remains unchanged. Liposuction of certain areas may also be performed concurrently for optimal contouring. The final scar is usually well hidden by underwear or a bikini bathing suit.
- Patients seeking abdominal wall contouring who are not good candidates for liposuction.
- Patients with sagging loose abdominal skin.
- Patients with weakened, stretched abdominal wall muscles subsequent to pregnancy.
- Patients in good general health who are non-smokers.
- Patients who have had dramatic weight loss and resultant loose skin.
- Patients with realistic expectations.
Drainage tubes are placed during abdominoplasty surgery and are usually removed in about a week. Sutures are under the skin and dissolve on their own. Return to driving and light non-strenuous work can be expected in two weeks. Aggressive exercising and weight lifting can usually be resumed in eight weeks.
Learn about Lifestyle Changes After Tummy Tuck.
Abdominoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia and takes two to three hours. It can be performed on an outpatient basis in some patients but frequently involves an overnight stay.
40 year old female / 5', 119 lbs.
Abdominoplasty & Bilateral Hip Liposuction
For additional information on Abdominoplasty, view the answers to these questions:
Am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
What are the risks associated with tummy tucks?
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Can I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?
Additional questions about Abdominoplasty