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Looking to flatten your tummy and narrow your waistline? A tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty) may be right for you. The aging process creates changes to the abdomen in both women and men (such as increased laxity of the abdominal skin and stretched abdominal muscles). Some individuals, such as females after pregnancy, are especially prone to these changes. The extreme physiologic changes experienced from pregnancy can leave women with a figure that feels and looks very different from pre-pregnancy.
While diet and exercise assist in weight loss, many patients discover that neither improves the loss of skin elasticity and the presence of stretch marks nor the separation of the abdominal muscles. No matter how strong the “six-pack” muscles become, a bulge will be present where the muscles are separated. Moreover, a scar from a cesarian section (c-section) can accentuate this bulge.
1) Excess and lax skin (especially below the belly button)
2) Separation of the abdominal muscles and
3) Fatty deposits.
An incision from hip bone to the hip bone is placed below the waistline to removes excess skin and stretch marks, and the remaining abdominal skin is tightened. The “six-pack” muscles are then secured back to their youthful, supportive position.
Additionally, conservative liposuction may be used to remove excess pockets of fat. If a patient has no skin laxity or abdominal wall separation, then liposuction-alone can be performed to areas of excess fat.
WHAT ABOUT A MINI TUMMY TUCK?
A mini tummy tuck (or mini-abdominoplasty) is designed for patients who have abdominal muscle separation but minimal skin laxity that is confined to below the belly button. It provides the opportunity to realign the separated abdominal muscles and requires a smaller incision.
That said, the smaller incision in turn limits the extent of skin tightening that can be performed. While the scar should never be longer than necessary, the amount of skin tightening that can be achieved is directly proportional to the length of the scar. Since the scar is placed low and inconspicuous, it is better to have a longer and well-hidden scar with tighter overall skin, than a shorter scar with loose skin.
How It Works
After a thorough evaluation, choose a treatment plan with our surgeons.
Learn all about pre-operative safety preparations before your surgery.
Follow your surgeon's instruction to ensure a smooth recovery.
Before & After
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Frequently Asked Questions
Ideal candidates for abdominoplasty include men and women who want to remove excess abdominal skin and fat. These cosmetic concerns may be caused by the following factors:
- Weight fluctuations
Tummy tuck surgery is not a weight loss procedure and should not be performed on people who are significantly overweight. While the surgery does remove localized fat from the abdomen, it is a body contouring procedure. This means that your shape will be slimmer, and your clothes will probably fit you better, but the surgery will not result in significant weight loss.
There are two main types of abdominoplasty: partial abdominoplasty (“mini-tummy tuck”) and complete abdominoplasty. Some patients initially want to undergo a mini-tummy tuck simply to avoid having a longer scar. This may not be possible based on your degree of abdominal sagging and fat deposits.
True candidates for partial abdominoplasty are those rare individuals who only require surgery of the area below the navel. The procedure is not offered simply as a less-invasive alternative to complete abdominoplasty. Most patients are best treated with the complete abdominoplasty.
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Tummy tuck surgery can remove localized fat from the abdomen and excise drooping skin. It can also repair abdominal muscles that have separated due to pregnancy or other factors. It restores a more youthful and fit appearance to the abdomen.
Abdominoplasty typically begins with liposuction to reduce localized fat deposits. Then, a hip-to-hip incision is made across the lower abdomen, passing above the pubic area. This incision allows the abdominal apron to be pulled up, so the surgeon can access deeper tissues. Once the abdominal apron is lifted the surgeon can tighten separated abdominal muscles with stitches. Excess skin is excised, and fat deposits are removed, and then the incision is sutured back together. The belly button is brought out through a new opening in its original position, resulting in a scar around it.
The overall recovery process from tummy tuck surgery usually lasts six to eight weeks. For the first week you will experience moderate discomfort and a feeling of tightness in your abdomen. You will be required to wear a post-surgical compression garment for the first four weeks. This helps control swelling and fluid retention in the weeks following your surgery. It also helps your abdomen take on its newly sculpted shape.
Most patients return to work and regular daily activities within three to four weeks. Exercise and vigorous physical activity will need to be avoided for eight weeks to allow the repaired muscles to heal.
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