Women who maintain a healthy diet and exercise program but still experience loose skin and protruding abdomen are often good candidates for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). A tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdomen wall. The procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen or excess folds and fatty accumulation as a result of pregnancy or weight loss.
Women who have had multiple pregnancies or those who have accomplished substantial weight loss may have stretched the skin and muscle beyond the point at which they can return to their original form. A tummy tuck tightens up the abdominal area for these patients creating a more flattering figure. This procedure is also of benefit to those who have lost skin elasticity since an abdominoplasty will remove excess skin and tighten up what is left behind.
A typical abdominoplasty takes about three hours under general anesthesia. The incision is made low on the abdomen and can be hidden even by the most revealing swimwear or clothing. Once the excess skin and fat are removed, internal ligaments are tightened and firmed. Every effort is made to preserve natural and youthful looking belly button. Though the same incision, protruding lower ribs can be contoured or breast implants can be placed if desired. Other surgeries like liposuction or hysterectomy can be performed at this time as well. When finished, no dressings or garments are necessary.
Following abdominoplasty, you may go home after several hours or stay overnight. Drains may be placed for several days but are painlessly removed in the office. It is possible to shower on the second day after surgery. It should be easy to walk and move around. You will feel very groggy for the first two days and weak for about ten days. Moderate pain is typical for the first two days but is mostly gone by the third day and easily controlled by medications. Bruising is unusual and swelling will be moderate for the first week but rapidly disappear. Some swelling may linger near the incision for several months. Many everyday activities can be resumed within the first week, and most by at least three weeks.
The results of this procedure can be thrilling. You will have a flatter, tighter and more contoured abdomen, fit better in clothing and be able to wear smaller sizes.
One of your most important decisions regarding abdominoplasty surgery is the choice of your plastic surgeon. Be sure that your physician can offer you the care you deserve is to make sure he or she is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Make sure you are comfortable with your surgeon and you feel he or she has spent enough time speaking with you, and understands your needs and desires. Ask to see before and after pictures of prior patients. The physician should be willing to show many to you, not just a few wonder cases.