Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure done to flatten the abdomen. The surgical procedure involves removing excess skin and fat on the abdomen to tighten the muscles around it.
According to cosmetic plastic surgeons, the ideal candidates for abdominoplasty are people who have a stable weight, are physically fit and don’t smoke or use drugs. These candidates should also have loose skin or pockets of fat that have not toned well even after exercising or dieting.
Women whose muscles and skin have become larger or looser due to pregnancy, and slightly obese people are also good candidates for abdominoplasty. If you are planning to lose weight, consider postponing the tummy tuck procedure until you have achieved your objective. The same also applies to women planning on having more children.
Most people choose to undergo abdominoplasty after bariatric surgery or pregnancy.
Sometimes, the surgeon may recommend a mini-tummy tuck, or a partial abdominoplasty. This procedure involves shorter incisions and is less invasive. The surgery is recommended for patients whose fat is mostly concentrated on the lower part of the abdomen.
Since a mini tummy tuck produces less scarring, the recovery time is also significantly shorter than that of a full procedure.
How is Abdominoplasty Done?
During the tummy tuck procedure, the patient is placed under general anesthesia. The surgeon then makes two incisions: one around the navel and one from either of the hipbones. These incisions allow the surgeon to separate the loose skin from the muscles around the abdomen.
Next, the surgeon pulls the abdominal muscles together and stitches them into place to ensure a firmer abdomen and a narrower waist. The separated skin is then stretched over the now-tightened abdominal muscles and excess skin is removed.
The next step is to reattach the navel in a position where it looks natural. The surgeon will then close the incisions and apply sterile dressing over the areas.
A standard tummy tuck surgery procedure can take three or more hours to perform.
After completing tummy tuck surgery, the surgeon may have to dress excess fluid from the surgical area. This is usually done by inserting a temporary tube under the skin. The patient will then be required to wear a compression garment during the recovery period.
Depending on the size of the surgical wounds, patients can take from a few weeks to months to fully recover. During the recovery phase, patients should avoid strenuous activities.
Patients may also be allowed to return to work after the doctor assesses their recovery. Some patients are allowed to go back to work in as little as two weeks, while others may need a month or two to recover fully.
What Results Can You Expect after Abdominoplasty?
When patients recover after tummy tuck surgery, they immediately notice a more toned and flatter abdominal area.
However, for long-lasting benefits, patients need to maintain their weight by eating healthy food and engaging in regular physical activities.
The above is an overview of what you should expect of abdominoplasty.