An abdominoplasty is commonly referred to as a “tummy tuck”. This procedure is designed to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen. With weight gain, and aging the abdomen may develop stretch marks, laxity of the muscles, and bulging skin or fat. These problems are often difficult to correct with exercise and diet alone. A tummy tuck restores the youthful waistline, tightens the abdominal muscles and improves contour abnormalities. Liposuction may also be performed in conjunction with an abdominoplasty to further sculpt the mid-section
Reasons for choosing abdominoplasty
- Stretch marks from weight gain
- Excess skin or fat not improved with diet and exercise.
- Separation of the abdominal muscles, or loose abdominal wall.
Abdominoplasty starts with the patient completely asleep under general anesthesia. A skin incision is made as low as possible to try and hide the scar under clothes or bathing suit bottoms. Next, the muscles of the abdomen are sewn together to tighten the abdominal wall. The skin is then re-draped over the tighter abdomen. Sometimes an incision around the navel is required. Drains are placed during surgery and generally removed within a week. The procedure usually takes several hours and is performed on an outpatient basis.
After surgery you will be required to wear a supportive binder over your abdomen. This is worn both for your comfort and to help minimize bruising and swelling after surgery. You will learn to care for the drains placed during surgery and record the output daily. The drains will be removed in the office as the output decreases. You will also be required to stay bent at the waist while you are walking or lying down for the first week after surgery. Pain is controlled with oral pain medications. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by following the post-surgical instructions given by the surgeon.