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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Men and women who have excess skin and fat in the abdominal area are generally good candidates for tummy tuck surgery. Generally, excess skin and fat is removed to give the abdomen a flatter and tighter profile.

In men, the problem occurs secondary to loss of weight. Often healthy diet and exercise do little to remove fat and skin.

In women, the problem is usually a result of pregnancy and weight loss. Muscles of the abdomen are stretched, weakened, and pulled apart in the midline. Due to the genetic predisposition, fat and muscles may be affected in the lower half of the abdomen only. This peculiar problem gives the appearance of continuous pregnancy and therefore an inability to wear certain clothing, which leads to frustration. Stretch marks are due to extreme stretching of skin. They are mostly in the lower abdomen. Some of them are excised during the operation, but generally, there is no specific treatment to eliminate them altogether. Sometimes the procedure can be undertaken in a hospital in conjunction with gynecological operations.

Before Tummy Tuck Surgery

Before tummy tuck surgery, you should lose all the weight you can and exercise to get good muscle tone. You are advised to stop smoking 2-3 weeks prior to surgery and 6 weeks after surgery. You are also advised to avoid aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs 2-3 weeks before surgery. Birth control pills should be avoided for 6 weeks before surgery.

What to Expect During Surgery

The procedure can be undertaken in an outpatient clinic under local, epidural, or general anesthesia. Liposuction may be carried out to thin out abdominal wall. Muscles are tightened with sutures and hernias are repaired. Next, excess amount of skin is removed in lower part of the abdomen, thus leaving the scar in the bikini lines. Drainage tubes may be left in for several days.

Post-Operative Care

After the operation, a tight girdle is worn for 3-6 weeks to support the tightened muscles and reduce swelling. Pain is controlled with injectable or oral painkillers. You are encouraged to move about and drink plenty of fluids. The drainage tubes are removed in about a week. Stitches are removed around 2 weeks post-operatively. Sports and exercises can be resumed after a 6-8 week period. Secondary procedures are undertaken at a 6-9 month interval.

There are a variety of abdominoplasties e.g. mini-abdominoplasty, extended or regular abdominoplasty, and endoscopic abdominoplasty. After thorough physical examination, discussion, and type of problem and expectations, your doctor will recommend the appropriate procedure.

Abdominoplasty is designed to give firm and smooth appearance of the abdomen. A flat stomach gives a physically fit appearance. Certain clothing can be worn with more confidence.

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