Abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” is a cosmetic surgery procedure used to make the abdomen portion more firm. The surgery involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall.
An Abdominoplasty may also involve the restoring of weakened and separated muscles thus creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.
Depending on the type of incision made and the area of the body covered, there are different types of abdominoplasty procedures used. These include :
- A Mini Tummy Tuck where the surgeon only works on improving the area below the navel.
- An Extended Tummy Tuck which improves the appearance of love handles on either side of the hips, in addition to the abdominal area.
- The Endoscopic Tummy Tuck only involves the tightening of abdominal muscles and the removal of small amounts of fat.
- And the Traditional Tummy Tuck procedure which addresses imperfections in the entire abdominal area both above and below the navel.
How is a Tummy Tuck procedure performed?
Firstly, during the tummy tuck procedure, your surgeon we will make one or more incisions. Endoscopic and mini tummy tucks have smaller incisions then other abdominoplasty procedures. Your incisions will most likely extend from hip to hip and around the navel.
We then remove excess skin and tightens the abdominal muscles. Sometimes a small amount of liposuction is used to remove small pockets of fat. The incisions are closed using surgical stitches and, if necessary, the navel is reattached.
When can I return to work after undergoing a Tummy Tuck surgery?
Abdominoplasty takes a long time to heal completely. While the drains are in, you should rest in bed or on a couch, but get up to walk frequently. You may be told to wear a compression garment, usually a girdle or a wide band of elastic material for about 3 to 6 weeks. Many patients can return to work after 2 weeks after tummy tuck surgery, but this depends on how extensive your surgery is. In some cases, you may need to be off work 4 or more weeks.
When will I be able to see the results & how long will they last?
You will start to see a difference after the swelling subsides and the drains are taken out. A full abdominoplasty is considered a very invasive procedure. Give your body time to heal and you will reap the many benefits of the procedure.
The results can last for many, many years. If you have no large weight gain or pregnancies after your tummy tuck, then the changes will be relatively permanent. There will be some relaxation of the tissues with age, but not to the extent prior to surgery.