Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a “tummy tuck”, is a procedure that flattens the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat deposits and tightening the abdomen’s muscles.
While a full or complete “tummy tuck” removes excess skin and fat from both the upper and lower abdomen, a mini or partial tummy tuck removes excess skin deposits and fat in the lower abdomen or the “pooch”.
How is it done?
A horizontal incision is made from one side of the hip to the other side in the area between the belly button and the pubic hairline. The skin is then lifted and the vertical abdomen muscles are tightened together. Like a curtain, the upper abdominal skin is then pulled down and the excess is removed. If the patient’s case requires a full “tummy tuck”, another incision around the belly button might be helpful in removing excess skin from the upper abdomen. After stitching up the skin together, a new opening for the belly button is created and then the latter is stitched into position. This procedure can take between 1 to 5 hours.
Should I get a Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Where sit-ups and diets fail, a “tummy tuck” will surely succeed! The Tummy tuck procedure is ideal for both women and men who had lost a lot of weight and are stuck with a flap of extra belly fat. It is also very successful at addressing the needs of women that have had multiple pregnancies. Tummy tuck can also be coupled with liposuction depending on the patient’s case.
However, if you are looking to get pregnant anytime soon, or you are overweight and looking to lose weight, tummy tuck is NOT the right surgery for you.
Scarring and other risks
The shape and the length of the incision is usually determined by the amount of excess skin to be removed. However, the incision is made between the belly button and the bikini hairline or over a cesarean scar to avoid visible scarring. In general, abdominoplasty is a very safe procedure especially if the patient is healthy and does not suffer from chronic diseases.
Though they are rare, complications resulting from a tummy tuck procedure are but not limited to infection and bleeding under the skin.
What to expect after a “tummy tuck”?
Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions to keep during your post-surgery healing process and will assign you a date for a follow up appointment; especially that small drainage tubes are placed temporarily under the skin to help drain excess blood and fluid. You will be placed in a compression garment and elastic bands for at least six weeks to help reduce swelling, avoid fluid buildup and support your abdomen.
How long does it take to heal?
The healing process might be painful and ranges between 2 to 6 weeks. You might also feel uncomfortable and sore for at least 2 weeks due to the muscle tightening rather than the incision that will actually be numb for some time. Nevertheless, a mini tummy tuck’s recovery period is usually shorter.
Stay Positive, eat a well-balanced diet, stay hydrated and start walking! In a week or two, you will be back on your feet with a slimmer abdomen and a firmer abdomen contour.
The information provided on this site is for general informational purposes only, and does not replace the need for a consultation with a plastic and reconstructive surgeon before undergoing a surgical procedure. Results are not guaranteed and may vary according to health conditions, weight, skin type, individual needs and other factors.