A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is one of the most common procedures in plastic surgery. A tummy tuck is designed to remove excess skin and fat from the stomach region while also restoring the definition of weakened abdominal muscles.
The effects of pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and the normal aging process can all contribute to the appearance of excess skin and fat on the abdominal wall. A tummy tuck is ideal for patients who are unable to minimize this excess tissue, despite proper diet and exercise. You may be a potential candidate for a tummy tuck if you meet some of the following criteria:
Through tummy tuck surgery, you can achieve a flatter, more contoured abdomen. Other body contouring procedures such as liposuction may be performed in conjunction with your tummy tuck procedure to create an overall slimmer body profile.
A tummy tuck procedure may not be right for everyone. The best way to find out if your are an ideal candidate is to schedule a consultation with a board certified cosmetic surgeon. During your consultation, be prepared to discuss factors such as your medical history, current medications, and aesthetic goals.
This three to four-hour procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on your surgeon’s recommendation. Following sedation, a horizontal incision will be placed on your lower abdomen. The skin will then be gently separated from the underlying tissue so that excess skin, fat, and tissue can be removed or reshaped. A second incision may also be placed around the navel so that excess tissue can be removed from the upper abdomen.
Following the removal of excess skin, fat and tissue, the skin will be re-draped over the abdominal wall. Incisions will be closed with stitches, skin adhesives or clips. Temporary drains may be placed at incision sites to collect excess fluid buildup. Your abdomen will also be wrapped in gauze and an elastic compression bandage to minimize excessive swelling and bruising.
Following surgery, you may experience some swelling, bruising and discomfort in the treated area for several days. Your cosmetic surgeon will provide you with personalized aftercare instructions. Oral pain medication will also be made available to help manage discomfort. You should be up and walking within a few days of surgery, but strenuous physical activity should be avoided for several weeks.
Recovery times vary among patients, but most are capable of resuming work and other normal activities within two weeks of surgery. It may take several weeks before the final results of your tummy tuck are visible, as well swelling and bruising gradually subsides. It may take several months before incision lines begin to fade and flatten.
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