Also known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a procedure that helps flatten the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin. It also helps tighten weakened or separated abdominal wall muscles.
The best candidates for this procedure are men and women who are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin. This sometimes occurs following weight loss. A tummy tuck is often helpful for women who have experienced multiple pregnancies which result in stretched abdominal muscles and skin.
If the area to be tightened is smaller and isolated to the area below the naval, a mini tummy tuck may be recommended. In this case, a smaller incision will be made. If excess fat is the only problem, liposuction may be used to remove it.
Your surgeon will place an incision horizontally within or just above the pubic area. The length of the incision will vary depending on the amount of skin that will be removed.
The skin is then separated from the abdominal wall, up to the ribs, so that the abdominal muscles and tendons are exposed. The tendons and muscles are then stitched into a new position. This tightens the muscles and reduces the waistline. The skin is then stretched over the abdominal area. Excess skin is cut away, and sutures are used
to hold the remaining skin in place. Bandages are placed over the suture area to prevent infection. The tummy tuck usually takes from 2-5 hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure.
After your surgery, you will experience swelling and soreness. For most tummy tuck patients, it will take a few weeks to feel back to normal. If you are in good physical condition, it’s likely that you will heal faster. Some tummy tuck patients are able to return to work in about two weeks, but it is possible that you will need up to four weeks to recuperate.
Your doctor may suggest some light activity to help reduce swelling and promote healing. Your scars will flatten and fade over a period of 1 – 2 years. These scars will never completely go away. But, they will be hidden in areas usually covered by clothing or a swim suit.
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