Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) helps flatten the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin, and tightening muscles. Old lower abdominal scars such as C- section scars and stretch marks can be removed depending on their exact location. The best candidates for abdominoplasty are in good physical condition, with areas of fat or loose skin that have not responded well to diet and exercise. This is most common in women with skin and muscles stretched from pregnancy. Anyone planning on losing a significant amount of weight, and women planning on having (more) children, should wait before undergoing abdominoplasty.
Abdominoplasty takes approximately 1 to 2 hours to perform; the patient is placed under general anesthesia. An incision is made across the lower abdomen close to the pubic area, and another small incision around the belly button. The abdominal muscles are tightened for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist, any excess skin and fat are removed and the incisions are closed with invisible dissolving sutures.
For those patients whose problem is limited to the lower abdomen, the mini abdominoplasty offers a smaller lower abdominal scar and no scar around the belly button. Recovery is also more rapid.
After surgery, a small temporary drainage tube may be inserted. Almost all patients go home the same day. Recovery times vary depending on the individual. Most patients prefer to take off one week. Abdominoplasty leaves a scar across the lower abdomen and a small scar around the belly button. Maintaining weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise provides long-lasting results. For most patients, the scar is an acceptable trade off for a flatter abdomen.
In addition to the usual risks associated with surgery and anesthesia, risks associated with abdominoplasty will be discussed during your consultation.