Posted March 18, 2016
An Abdominoplasty, also known as a Tummy Tuck, is a cosmetic procedure suitable for both men and women who wish to achieve a firmer, flatter midsection. This procedure involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the stomach and can include tightening of the muscles in the abdominal wall or restoring weakened or separated muscles to achieve a smoother and firmer profile.
A Tummy Tuck is not a weight loss procedure. The best candidates for a Tummy Tuck are men and women who are at or near their ideal body weight but continue to have excess skin and fat in their abdomen that does not respond to diet or exercise. Pregnancy and childbirth, weight fluctuations, heredity, or a decrease in the elasticity of the skin due to aging can all play a role in the persistence of stomach skin and fat.
Your first step to find out if you’re a good candidate for an Abdominoplasty is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Be sure to choose a surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This level of certification ensures that your surgeon has received extensive training and experience and is held in high esteem by his or her colleagues.
During your consultation you should describe to your surgeon any concerns you have about your appearance and discuss your goals for surgery. An examination of your abdominal skin and muscles will be performed by the surgeon. Your surgeon should discuss his findings with you, attempt to understand your expectations and give you a clear understanding of your potential outcomes with surgery. You should also discuss with your surgeon the length, placement and appearance of scars post operatively before your surgery.
An Abdominoplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia is administered, your surgeon will make an incision from hip to hip just above your pubic area. An incision around your navel may also be required. Your surgeon will then disconnect your skin from the underlying tissues, tighten the abdominal muscles with sutures and trim away excess skin and fat. Liposuction may be used to remove fat deposits. Once these steps are completed, your surgeon will close the incision. Two drainage tubes will likely be inserted to prevent the buildup of fluids beneath the skin. The first tube should be removed at the end of the first week after surgery and the second tube should be removed at the end of the second week after surgery.
A Tummy Tuck may be performed on its own or in combination with other body-shaping procedures. It is often combined with a breast procedure, such as an augmentation or lift, or other procedures for women who have had children and wish to regain their pre-pregnancy figure. This combination of procedures is commonly referred to as a Mommy Makeover. The most common procedure combinations requested by men wanting a Daddy Do-Over include liposuction, breast reduction and eyelid surgery.
Recovery time for a Tummy Tuck is approximately 2 weeks off from work for most desk jobs and 3 weeks off from light exercise. Patients are generally back to full activity within 6 weeks. An abdominal binder is typically worn for 3 weeks post operatively for comfort measures.