Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a “tummy tuck” is a type of cosmetic surgery in which the abdominal area is reconfigured to appear slimmer, flatter, and generally more firm. The primary action of the surgery is the removal of excess skin and fat, in order to tighter the muscle and connective tissue within the abdominal wall.
1. Who can most benefit from a tummy tuck?
Tummy tucks are performed with the highest results on patients who have unwanted loose or sagging tissue on top of the abdominal muscles, this is most commonly caused by pregnancy or significant weight loss.
2. Different types of procedures available
Due to the fact that they can vary significantly in scope, you will generally see tummy tuck procedures divided into categories depending on the extent of the surgery. A complete tuck is, of course, the most invasive and time consuming procedure.
Taking up to 5 hours to complete, there are usually two major incisions made, one from hip to hip just above the public area, and another to free the navel from the surrounding skin. This frees the muscle fascia up to be tightened with sutures and liposuction can easily be used to refine the transition zones of the abdominal area.
3. Partial or mini-tuck abdominoplasty
In this less invasive procedure, a smaller incision is made and the skin and fate of the lower abdomen are detached in a more limited fashion. Liposuction is still often used to contour the transition area, but less sutures are required to stick back the flap created from the initial incision.
4. New and advanced techniques
There are also more advanced procedures that might even combine other cosmetic procedures into one full-service operation. For example, an extended abdominoplasty is a complete tummy tuck plus a lateral thigh lift. There are also high lateral tension tummy tucks that tightens the muscles both vertically and horizontally.
Circumferential abdominoplasty, most appropriate for patients who have undergone massive weight loss, combined an extended abdominoplasty with a buttock lift. This operation can also be called a Belt Lipectomy or lower body life. Of course, it is advisable to seek more in-depth consultation if you are consideration a combination procedure.
Depending on the extend of the procedure, the surgical techniques, and the current health of the patience, it usually takes one to four week to recovery from a tummy tuck. Regardless, your physician will always recommend to avoid heavy lifting during this time. There will also be some initial bruising and discomfort and typically a supportive abdominal binder or compression garment is used to minimize swelling and support the repairing tissue.
As with any cosmetic surgery, full recovery can take several month months, with further fading of scars after that. Patients can also take additional steps, like avoiding nicotine to ensure an even safer and speedier recovery.
Although tummy tucks have no become quite common procedure, they still involve an invasive surgery and therefore there are going to be risks involved. It is also recommended that for your unique situation you compare the benefits with the potential risks and complications. Blood clots and infections due occur, but these are relatively rare. Infection is usually treated with antibiotics and drainage. Patients are recommended to move around as soon as possible after surgery to minimize their risks of developing blood clots.
That being said, by taking the right precautions and making sure to follow direction from your doctor during the recovery process, including regular monitoring, the risks remain fairly low. Doing your research and finding the right physician will ensure the process goes smoothly and that there are no surprises over the course of the surgery or recovery.