Abdominoplasty – Tummy Tuck
Abdominoplasty, or more commonly known as the Tummy Tuck, removes hanging skin across the abdominal and strengthens weakened or separated abdominal wall muscles. The result is a profile that is smoother and firmer. Even those who follow diet and exercise habits can have excess fat and skin from aging, pregnancy, weight fluctuations, or even hereditary causes. If a person has a large area of overhanging skin, called a pannus, the surgery can make it easier to keep the stomach clean.
There are two sizes of this procedure. The first, more involved Abdominoplasty takes about five hours to complete. A surgeon will put the patient under general anesthesia, and make an incision in the abdomen from hipbone to hipbone. The surgeon then lifts the skin off the abdominal muscles up to the patient’s ribcage. Often, doctors will stitch the abdominal muscles closer together and stretch the skin back over the incision while removing any excess skin, fat or tissue. The umbilicus, or bellybutton, is repositioned.
A mini-abdominoplasty is very similar, but may take as little as two hours and is generally for those who have excess fat below the navel. The surgeon will cut a line just above the pubic hairline and then stretch the skin over the cut. This may change the umbilicus. Patients must spend a few days afterwards avoiding aspirin or stretching the torso. Drainage tubes may be inserted under the skin for a few days.
An ideal candidate for this surgery should be in good health and abstain from smoking. The doctor will ask you to stop smoking for two weeks leading up to the surgery if you are a smoker. The surgery is good for those who have had several pregnancies or people who lost weight recently, but if you are planning on getting pregnant or losing weight, you should wait until afterwards to undergo this procedure. Sudden weight changes or pregnancy can cause complications with the abdominal.