An Abdominoplasty, commonly called a Tummy Tuck, is a major surgical procedure in which excess skin and
fatty tissues are removed from the lower abdomen, and the muscles of the abdominal wall may be tightened. Once stretched by pregnancy or weight
gain, the abdomen often fails to return to its original shape. Because these tissues have been stretched beyond the capacity to return to normal,
they will also fail to respond to exercise or diet programs. This procedure can drastically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen and
remove abdominal skin with stretch marks. The variations of this are the standard abdominoplasty and the mini-abdominoplasty, which is frequently
combined with liposuction of the abdomen or waist.
WHO IS A CANDIDATE
- A patient who is healthy but has excess skin and/or fat that does not respond to diet and exercise.
- Patients who have undergone significant weight loss and have hanging skin.
- Women with loose skin and stretch marks, especially those located below the umbilicus ("belly button") following pregnancy.
- Older patients with loss of skin elasticity.
- Patients with a protruding abdominal wall who are unable to firm up the abdominal muscles with exercise.
- A patient who should be able to stop smoking for several weeks before and after this major surgery.
A smoother, flatter abdomen with fewer stretch marks.
Before and After
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photo to enlarge)
||Before and After
(click on any
photo to enlarge)
Abdominoplasty is usually done under general anesthesia in the safety of the hospital or an accredited, outpatient surgery facility.
An incision is made across the lower part of the abdomen. A circular incision is made around the belly button, which stays attached to the
underlying muscle. The skin and underlying fatty layer is then separated from the muscle up towards the ribs, so that it can then be pulled down
and redraped like a window curtain. The tummy is then "tightened", (narrowing and flattening the abdomen) by stitching the muscles together. The
excess skin, which is the area that has most of the stretch marks, is then removed. The belly button is then brought through the abdominal skin,
and the abdominal skin and belly button are then tailored and sutured.
The mini-abdominoplasty can benefit patients who have a small amount of excess skin and fat or protrusion of the lower abdomen. Liposuction
may be used alone or in conjunction with a tummy tuck to benefit selected patients.
The standard abdominoplasty tightens all of the abdominal wall skin and muscles.
The extended abdominoplasty tightens the abdomen and the flanks or sides (Requires a longer scar the extends around the flanks onto the lower back).
The lower abdominal sutures are typically beneath the skin to strengthen the scar and avoid stitch marks.
After surgery, the bed is positioned so that the patient is flexed at the hips (waist) to keep tension off of the newly tightened skin.
Patients frequently use an abdominal binder to support and protect the tightened abdominal wall. Many patients feel that the snug binder
Small drain tubes will be required for a several days to avoid an accumulation of fluids beneath the skin flap.
Within 24 hours, walking is encouraged in a bent-over position. Brisk walking exercise may begin in about 2 weeks. Some people return to
work and daily activities as soon as 10 days after surgery. Strenuous activities, exercise and lifting more than 10 pounds must be avoided for up
to 6 weeks.
Softening of the surgical scars, return of sensation, and loosening of the tight sensation may take several months.
Additional procedures that may enhance the result are liposuction, breast procedures and thigh lift.
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) or Liposuction: Choosing the right operation for the right patient. -
In general, abdominoplasty is considered cosmetic surgery. Several conditions may be covered completely or in part by insurance. These include
defects of the abdominal wall, such as hernias, diastases (separation of the muscles), or trauma resulting in muscle loss, weakness or painful scar
contracture. In addition, a large hanging "skin apron", frequently seen after massive weight loss, is removed more for the reasons of function than
of cosmetic reasons. The insurance companies will determine whether is may or may not be a covered expense. Dr. Weeter's office can help request
preauthorization from your insurance company.
NOTE: The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for you may be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical
procedures have some degree of risk. All of this web site content, and any email responses to your inquiries are strictly for general informational
and educational purposes. It is not medical advice and should not be taken as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat
a health problem or disease. It is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical care.
Information on tummy tuck surgery in Louisville Kentucky. Info on abdominoplasty, mini-abdominoplasty, candidates, results, before and
after photos, procedure, techniques and more.