Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) helps flatten the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin, and tightening muscles. The best candidates for abdominoplasty are in good physical condition, with pockets of fat or loose skin that have not responded well to diet and exercise. Abdominoplasty can also be appropriate for slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity, and for women with skin and muscles stretched from pregnancy. Anyone planning on losing a significant amount of weight, and women planning on having (more) children, should wait before undergoing abdominoplasty.
Abdominoplasty takes approximately 2 to 5 hours to perform; the patient is placed under general anesthesia. Two incisions are made: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and another around the navel. Skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin flap is then stretched down over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached where it looks natural. The incisions are then closed, and sterile surgical dressings are applied over the sutured areas.
After surgery, a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. An overnight hospital stay may be necessary. Recovery time ranges from 2 weeks to 2 months. Abdominoplasty leaves a scar spanning the lower abdomen from hip to hip, although it is low enough to be concealed by a bikini. Maintaining weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise provides long-lasting results.
Mini Tummy Tuck
Partial abdominoplasty, or "mini tummy tuck", is similar to the regular tummy tuck procedure, except it involves a shorter incision and the skin is only lifted to the navel, which does not have to be moved.
The "mini" procedure is ideal for patients who need just a little improvement in order to reach their desired results, such as those within 10% of their ideal body weight. It offers patients many benefits, including less scarring, shorter recovery times and an overall less invasive procedure. You can discuss the differences between these procedures, as well as weigh their benefits and risks with your doctor in order to decide which procedure is best for you.
Ideal candidates for partial abdominoplasty include those patients who do not have enough excess fat and skin for a full abdominoplasty procedure, yet too much for liposuction alone. It is especially effective for those with a localized fullness within the lower abdomen that can be easily removed through the smaller incision.
The partial abdominoplasty procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation, depending on the amount of fat and skin being removed, as well as the overall health and preference of the patient.
During the procedure, your doctor will create a small incision above the pubic area, instead of the hip-to-hip incision needed for a full abdominoplasty. This procedure also eliminates the need for an incision around the navel. The skin is lifted up to the navel to remove localized fat and tighten muscles in the lower abdominal area. Depending on the amount of fat removal needed, liposuction may be used for a less invasive removal. The navel does not have to be repositioned with this less invasive procedure.
The incisions are then closed with sutures, and small drains may be inserted to reduce the risk of fluid buildup in the area. The entire procedure usually takes one to two hours to perform, which is much shorter than a full abdominoplasty.
After the partial abdominoplasty procedure, patients can return home the same day after a few hours of monitoring. The recovery period is substantially shorter than that of a full abdominoplasty procedure. Compression garments will be needed to ensure proper healing for two to three weeks, although most patients will be able to return to work after a week or two. Heavy lifting and strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month.
The results of the partial abdominoplasty procedure will be visible right away, allowing patients to enjoy a flatter, more toned abdominal area that more appropriately matches the natural contours of your body. Many patients experience improved self-confidence after this procedure and are able to maintain their results with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Tummy Tuck Revision
Tummy tuck revision reduces the prominence of scars that result from previous surgery. Although many scars fade over time and become barely noticeable, disruptions to the healing process can cause them to become red, raised, indented or otherwise deformed. The prominence of a scar depends on the patient's age, overall health and ability to heal. For people who are unhappy with or embarrassed by their scars, there are a number of methods available to make scars less apparent.