commonly referred to as a "tummy tuck," is a procedure to
tighten the muscles of the
abdominal wall and to remove excess skin and fat. This procedure is
commonly performed on women
after pregnancy, but is also performed on men, for example after a
large weight loss.
How do you know if you just need liposuction of the
abdomen or a tummy tuck? Liposuction will only remove excess fat
and will not tighten any muscle or remove skin. A candidate for
a tummy tuck would
be someone whose abdominal muscle and skin are so stretched that
it will not return to what would be
considered 'normal'. This excess skin and loose muscle does not
respond to exercise and is
uncomfortable for the patient.
Depending on the amount of muscle and tissue needing
repair, your surgeon might recommend a
partial or 'mini' abdominoplasty, or full abdominoplasty. This surgery
involves an incision being made
from hipbone to hipbone just above the pubic area so the scar should
be hidden in a bikini. The navel
is often removed from the tissue to be placed in a higher position.
Next the muscles are pulled tighter
together and stitched, and extra skin removed. Liposuction is sometimes
performed to reduce any fat.
A hole is cut for the navel to be placed, then all incisions are
closed. With a partial abdominoplasty the
incision is shorter and the navel may or may not be moved
This surgery is usually performed under general anesthetic
and can take from one to five hours. After the
surgery you will be in dressings or a compression garment and might
find it difficult to stand up straight. You are very likely to feel
some pain so will be given pain medication to make you more comfortable.
Surface stitches will be removed up to 7 days later,
the deeper sutures will come out up to three weeks
later. You will swollen for quite a few weeks and will require 2
weeks off work, sometimes more. You
will notice the results immediately, but the full results can take
up to a year.