Abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" is a cosmetic surgery procedure to reshape and firm the abdomen. It involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. This type of surgery is usually sought by woman (who are not considering having any or more children) and individuals who have abdominal fat deposits which do not respond well to diet and exercise.
- Complete. Requires from about two to five hours
- Partial. Requires from about one to two hours
- A complete abdominoplasty involves five steps:
- An incision is made from hip to hip just above the pubic area
- Another incision is made to free the navel from the surrounding skin
- The skin is detached from the abdominal wall to reveal the muscles to be tightened
- The skin flap is reattached with any extra skin being removed. A new hole for the navel is made and stitched into place
- All stiches are dressed and any excess fluid from the site is drained
- A partial abdominoplasty involves three steps:
- A smaller incision is made
- The skin in removed between the incision and the navel. The skin is stretched down and excess skin removed
- The flap is stiched back into place
Recovery from a complete abdominoplasty can take from four to six weeks and patients are advised to take this recovery time off from work. For the first ten days, a patient may experience bruising and discomfort. A supportive abdominal binder is normally worn to ensure proper healing. Patients are advised not to smoke during recovery.
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