A tummy Tuck, also known as abdominoplasty,aims to remove sagging skin or excess fat and improve abdominal tone. The muscles of the abdominal wall may also be surgically tightened during this procedure to improve the abdomen’s function, appearance and to assist a longer-term result.
In addition to removing the excess skin and fat, abdominal wall and muscles are usually tightened.
Abdominoplasty is an option in cases where excess fat and sagging skin and muscles have not previously been improved by diet and exercise. It is also useful for women who have experienced a loss of elasticity due to pregnancy. The scar from caesarean section can also be incorporated in the abdominoplasty incision.
In older people the loss of skin elasticity coupled with loss of muscle tone or mild obesity can contribute to a protruding abdomen for which a tummy tuck can help.
While a tummy tuck can be a purely cosmetic procedure, it can also serve reconstructive purposes, such as correcting abdominal abnormalities from pregnancy, weight loss, trauma or disease.
A tummy tuck can also help relieve structural defects, improve abdominal function, repair abdominal hernia or remove a large and distressing apron of fat also known as a ‘pannus’.
Patients are generally advised to wait if they are in the process of losing weight or are planning to lose a substantial amount of weight, or if they intend to get pregnant.
The decision to have a tummy tuck should not be made in haste and should only be done in consultation with your surgeon and when you feel well informed about all associated risks and benefits. Prior to commencing any treatment your surgeon will develop a treatment plan specific to your needs.
Where possible your surgeon will ensure the main incision is made from hip to hip, under the bikini line so the scar is as concealed as possible.
However, it is worth noting that in some cases concealing the incision’s position is not always possible. The resulting scar is permanent and is likely to fade, to some extent, with time.
During the procedure your surgeon will repair any existing abdominal hernias and where needed, liposuction can be performed to improve the contour of the abdominal walls, hips and thighs.
Where excess skin and fat exists mostly below the navel, a partial abdominoplasty or a ‘mini-tummy tuck’ may be appropriate.
The mini-tummy tuck is a far less complex process as less skin and fat is removed. The main incision is not as long and the navel does not need to be relocated as in full abdominoplasty.
Modern surgery is safe but does have associated risks. Despite the highest standards of surgical practice, complications are possible: your surgeon will discuss these with you prior to surgery.
Tenderness, tightness and a degree of pain can be expected after the procedure.Pain will decrease as healing progresses and pain medication, as prescribed by your surgeon, is recommended where needed and you may be discharged from hospital with drainage tubes.
At first you will experience some numbness of the skin, particularly across the lower, central tummy area and sometimes the upper thighs.
Depending on the rate of recovery, most patients can return to normal activities relatively soonafter surgery; however, strenuous activity, alcohol consumption and smoking are to be avoided. Although it will be initially uncomfortable, mild exercise, like walking, is highly recommended to assist healing.
Most people enjoy good, long-term results, so long as they maintain their body weight within a normal range, have a good diet and exercise regularly.
Be patient: healing can be a slow process. Your surgeon will advise on how to best care for yourself and will arrange for a follow up appointment to check on your progress.
Tummy Tuck also called abdominoplasty is designed to give you a firm, flatter abdomen. The procedure removes excess abdominal skin and fat and tightens the muscles of your abdominal wall. It frequently is performed to correct the muscle weakness and loose skin that can occur following multiple pregnancies or significant weight loss.
In general a horizontal incision is made just within or above your pubic area and extends to the sides. The contours of this incision may vary depending on your body type and type of bathing suit preference. If stretch marks lie low enough these may be removed. The resulting scar is permanent and may fade to some extent with time. You will need to avoid strenuous activity while healing is in progress.
Related procedure: Liposuction, Body Lift
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