A “tummy tuck” refers to the procedure called an “Abdominoplasty.” An abdominoplasty is an operation designed to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. It also is used to tighten the abdominal muscles which have become loose and weak with time.
An abdominoplasty is a great option for those individuals who have gained an excess of fat and loose skin in the abdomen which can not be treated with liposuction alone. Most patients are women who have had multiple children. In these cases, the muscles of the abdomen, which were weakened with pregnancy, can also be tightened. Many patients are also men who have had weight gain or weight fluctuations and would like to get rid of the excess skin and fat.
Some patients may have relatively little excess skin and fat that may not be adequately treated by liposuction alone. In these cases, a “Mini” abdominoplasty may be a good option. In this procedure, less skin and fat is removed and less dissection is performed. The same incision for a “Full” abdominoplasty is used.
For those patients with a significant amount of skin and fat, a full abdominoplasty is needed. This operation also facilitates tightening of the abdominal muscles. Most patients seeking this operation would benefit from a full abdominoplasty.
The exact procedure for each individual is determined only after a full examination and consultation is completed.
Patients are instructed to rest for the first 24 hours after surgery. Light walking is recommended as soon as possible. Most patients will engage in light activities after about 5 days.
Drains are used to help remove excess fluid from the site of surgery. These are usually removed after one week. A compressive abdominal binder is also worn during this time.
Most patients return to light chores and activities after a week and a half. Patients tend to return to full activities after approximately 3-4 weeks.