A tummy tuck, also called Abdominoplasty, is designed to give you a smoother, flatter abdomen.
The procedure removes excess abdominal skin and usually reduces fat and tightens the muscles of your abdominal wall.
The operation is performed to correct the muscle weakness and loose skin that can occur following multiple pregnancies, significant weight loss or abdominal surgery.
As a surgical procedure, abdominoplasty will be performed as an inpatient in hospital. Usually you will stay for three days. You will be administered a general anaesthetic before the procedure to ensure it is pain-free and ensures the abdominal muscles are relaxed.
Surgery normally lasts around one to three hours. Generally, a horizontal incision is made just within or above your pubic area. The contour of this incision may vary.
The resulting scar is permanent, but your cosmetic plastic surgeon will try to place it within the lines of a bathing suit or undergarments that you typically wear so it can be concealed. The appearance of the scar will fade over time.
To correct loose skin above your navel (belly button), your surgeon will make a second incision around your navel so that the skin can be pulled down and the excess removed. The position of your navel will not change with this procedure.
If there are stretch marks on your lower abdomen, these may be removed. Any remaining stretch marks may be somewhat flattened, but don’t expect a dramatic improvement.
Sometimes abdominoplasty may be combined with liposuction to achieve the best results, but this may need to be done at a second stage. This can be used to remove excess fat cells from the abdomen. This can be discussed during a professional consultation.
If your skin laxity and muscle weakness are limited to the area below the navel, you may be a good candidate for a modified (Mini) Abdominoplasty that leaves a shorter scar and requires no incision around the navel.
Another technique for minimizing scars uses an endoscope; this procedure may be an option if you only have a minimal amount of excess skin and muscle laxity.
The incisions that are made will be closed with surgical stitches. This will ensure the wounds heal naturally over time.
The day after surgery, you will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk for short periods to promote blood circulation. It is common for the abdomen to feel tight and experience some swelling after surgery.
This will reduce with some rest and downtime. You will also be instructed to wear a support garment for several weeks.
You will need to avoid strenuous activity for a while, but you should be able to return to work after two weeks.
Abdominoplasty can reveal a flatter stomach and firmer abdomen. But, everyone can expect different results with this procedure. You will be able to gain a better idea of what you can expect during your professional consultation.
It is important to note that abdominoplasty is not a substitute for having a healthy diet and exercise. It is not considered a weight loss procedure, yet can help to contour the abdomen area.
How long the results of abdominoplasty will last will vary from patient to patient. It is recommended that you have a healthy diet, as well as remain active to prevent weight gain that can damage results.
Those who follow a healthy lifestyle are more likely to prolong the achievements of abdominoplasty.