Abdominoplasty, more commonly known as a “tummy tuck”, is a major surgical procedure. Abdominoplasty is designed to firm and smooth the abdomen. This cosmetic procedure removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and may also tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The result is a flatter, tighter abdominal profile.
Is an abdominoplasty right for me?
Abdominoplasty is best suited to women and men who are in relatively good shape, but have loose abdominal skin and/or a significant amount of abdominal fat that won’t respond to dieting or exercise.
You may be a good candidate for abdominoplasty if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- Excess or loose, sagging abdominal skin
- An abdomen that protrudes and is out of proportion to the rest of the body
- Abdominal muscles that have been weakened by pregnancy or aging
- Excess fat that is concentrated beneath the abdominal skin
If you plan to become pregnant or to lose a significant amount of weight, you should discuss these plans with your surgeon.
How is abdominoplasty performed?
Generally, a horizontal incision is placed just within or above the pubic area. The length of the incision, which extends outward toward the hip bones, depends largely on the amount of the skin to be removed. For women, plastic surgeons keep the incision within swimsuit lines, when it is possible. Working through this incision, your surgeon may tighten the underlying muscles by pulling them together and stitching them in place. Any excess skin from the lower abdomen is trimmed away. Skin that contains stretch marks may be removed as well; however, it may not be possible to remove them all.
In patients with larger amounts of loose skin, a second incision may be made around the navel. This way, the excess skin above the navel is separated from the deeper tissues so it can be pulled downward and removed. Although the navel’s position remains unchanged, its appearance may be slightly altered.
Are there other options for me?
Traditional abdominoplasty isn’t the best choice for everyone. Your surgeon will advise you if either of these other options will work well with your anatomy and meet your surgical goals.
The “mini” abdominoplasty – This procedure may benefit you if you are primarily dissatisfied with the appearance of the abdominal area below the navel. A mini abdominoplasty requires only a short horizontal incision and no navel incision. It’s important to realize, however, that the mini abdominoplasty will not correct loose skin above the navel.
Liposuction alone – If you have good skin elasticity and muscle tone, liposuction alone may be used to remove abdominal fat and fat in adjoining areas. This alternative may appeal to patients who are planning to become pregnant in the future.
Extended & Circumferential Abdominoplasty
This is an option for those who have loose skin that extends into the side and back. This procedure is often the best choice for those who have major weight loss. It includes an abdominoplasty with a tightening of the back, outer thighs, and a buttock lift.
*Disclaimer: Results May Vary