Abdominoplasty, or a “tummy tuck” recreates a more youthful and attractive abdomen. Loose skin is tightened, stretch marks are removed, and the waist is narrowed. Tummy tuck is appropriate for women who have excess, lax skin due to distension of the abdomen after pregnancies or who have had major weight loss.
Tummy tuck is most commonly performed for women who have had changes of the abdomen following pregnancy. Women planning future pregnancies should delay surgery until child-bearing is completed, as pregnancy may cause problems during subsequent pregnancies and promote further abdominal stretching.
Abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss. But rather is needed after weight loss. Women who follow a proper exercise routine and healthy diet will benefit from abdominoplasty the most. However, sit-ups and abdominal exercise will not tighten the skin.
The skin and fat of the lower abdomen is removed and the abdominal wall muscles are tightened. The result is a narrower, flatter abdomen. The upper abdomen, waist and hips may require liposuction at the same operation to achieve overall symmetry. The result is a narrower, flatter abdomen. Abdominoplasty is performed using general anesthesia at an outpatient surgical center. You may choose to have stay in a hospital.
You will be given instructions for showering and changing your dressing while wearing support garment. Allow at least 2 weeks and possibly 3 weeks to recuperate before returning to work.
- An incision is made just above the pubic area that extends across the lower abdomen to the hip
- The skin of the abdomen is separated from the underlying muscles and the belly button is isolated
- The excess lower abdominal skin and fat is removed.
- If liposuction is planned for the waistline or upper abdomen, it is done at this time.
- The separated muscles (diastasis) are pulled together and closed with sutures.
- The remaining skin above the umbilicus is pulled down like a window shade until it reaches the pubic area.
- A small opening is made to reposition the belly button.
- The skin incision is closed (these sutures do not have to be removed)