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PLASTIC RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY
ABDOMINOPLASTY (TUMMY TUCK)
Tummy tuck or "abdominoplasty" is the surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure is designed to firm and smooth the abdomen, giving patients a tighter profile.
The best candidates for "tummy tuck" are women or men who are in relatively good shape who have large fat deposits or loose abdominal skin that did not respond to diet, exercise or both. Women who had multiple pregnancies and stretched their abdominal muscles and skin will specially benefit from such a procedure. Older patients who are obese and lost the elasticity of their skin can also benefit form this procedure. Tummy tuck can be used alone or in combination with liposuction in the sides (Flanks) to achieve better results.
The procedure involves an incision across the lower abdomen, a little above the pubic area, and beneath the bikini line. An incision is also made around the belly button to free it from the surrounding skin. The skin is separated from the abdominal wall and lifted up above the rib cage.
Then loose tissue from the left and right of the abdomen is pulled together, towards the center, and sutured. This tightens muscles, provides a stronger abdominal wall and makes the waist smaller.
The skin is then lowered and the excess is removed. A new opening is made for the belly button at the proper position. The incisions are closed with sutures and a firm elastic dressing is placed over the area. After the first couple of days, the elastic dressing will be replaced with an abdominal supporter.
Depending on the amount of skin to be removed, the scar can be anything from a small incision to a long line running from one hip bone across the pubic area, above the hairline, and up to the other hip bone.
After surgery, some people return to their jobs in two weeks, while some others take three or four weeks before going back. The results of tummy tuck are usually long lasting if weight and exercise are kept.