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A Tummy Tuck Can Help Acheive A Smoother Flatter Stomach

Nov 8, 2007
You may be a candidate for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) if you have loose or sagging abdominal wall skin that is frequently associated with abnormal relaxation of the anterior abdominal wall muscles (often secondary to multiple pregnancies or prior surgery). You may also desire a tummy tuck if you are unable to tighten your abdominal wall skin with exercise.

An abdominoplasty is intended to give the patient a smoother, flatter abdomen.

Abdominoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia either within the hospital or in an outpatient setting. (Mini-abdominoplasties can be performed under sedation and local anesthesia.)

Mini-abdominoplasty tightens the lower abdominal wall skin only (shortest scar).
Standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin (standard scar).
Extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (longest scar extending around the flanks onto lower back.)

Abdominoplasty is one of the more uncomfortable plastic surgery procedures. One to three days of hospitalization or skilled nursing care is usually indicated. Light activity is comfortable in 10-20 days. Sports will not be comfortable for about 6 weeks.

Additional procedures that may enhance the result of a tummy tuck are Liposuction, Breast Procedures, or a Thigh Lift.

Occasionally, if the abdominoplasty is being performed for medical reasons, the procedure may be partially covered by insurance. Usually, the patient is responsible for payment.

The specific risks and the suitability of abdominoplasty for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual.

Mini-Abdominoplasty, also known as a Mini-Tummy Tuck, is reserved for those who have only a limited amount of loose skin or stretch marks in the lower abdomen, or above the public bone. Also, Mini Tummy Tuck does not usually involve the tightening of abdominal muscles. Therefore, it is sometimes combined with Liposuction for patients with excessive fat, but limited looseness of the abdomen.

In most cases, women considering abdominoplasty should not be considering additional pregnancies, or they may have the need for a second procedure to re-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 abdominoplasty, the plastic surgeon makes an incision that extends from hip to hip along the lower pubic area. A skilled plastic surgeon makes this incision so that the resulting scar is hidden under a bathing suit or by undergarments. The plastic surgeon 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. A skilled 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.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery in Los Angeles. Learn more about breast augmentation and cosmetic surgery procedures.
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