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How A Tummy Tuck Tightens Your Abdomen

May 6, 2008
A tummy tuck is a procedure that tightens the stomach muscles and removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal region. Tummy tucks can also help to eliminate stretch marks.

The length of the surgery is dependent upon the extent of the procedure. Most tummy tuck surgeries take two to four hours. In a complete tummy tuck an incision is made from hipbone to hipbone, the underlying muscles are tightened and the skin is pulled down and excess skin is removed. If necessary, the belly button is repositioned. A partial or mini abdominoplasty is also an option for patients who want a less extensive procedure.

A tummy tuck is not intended to be used as a means to weight loss. Individuals considering abdominoplasty should be individuals in good health who simply want to address stubborn fatty pockets in the abdominal region.

A tummy tuck is considered major surgery and your plastic surgeon should devote a considerable amount of time to patient education and communication to ensure that you, the patient are fully informed about the procedure.

In most cases, women considering a tummy tuck should not be considering additional pregnancies, or they may have the need for a second procedure to tighten the belly. In many cases, a tummy tuck does help rid of stretch marks because it removes most of the "stretched out" skin below the navel.

During a tummy tuck, the doctor makes an incision that extends from hip to hip along the lower pubic area. A skilled plastic surgeon should make this incision so that the resulting scar is hidden under a bathing suit or by undergarments. The doctor then lifts the loose skin off of the abdominal wall, and tightens and repairs the loosened "rectus" muscles, the muscles that normally give the abdomen its strength, achieving the effect that an old fashioned girdle would.

The umbilicus or "belly button" is disconnected from the abdomen, and reattached after the loose skin is removed. The plastic surgeon not only tightens the abdominal wall, but also pulls up and tightens the thighs and the buttocks. Drains will be inserted into each side of your abdomen to remove excess fluid as it accumulates following surgery.

During Mini Abdominoplasty, the plastic surgeon makes an incision that generally spans only the width of the pubic area, and that is similar to a C section incision. In both procedures, patients with excessive fat in the hips and flanks may have liposuction in these areas to contour them, but not in the areas of the abdomen that are being stretched because this could cause damage to the blood circulation in those areas, leading to scarring or even skin loss.

The result of a tummy tuck is an abdomen that is tight and flat, a waist that is narrow and curvy and thighs and buttocks that are firmer.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery. Learn more about breast augmentation and tummy tuck Atlanta procedures.
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