Plastic Surgery Procedures

Tummy Tuck Surgery Information - Abdominoplasty

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a procedure in which loose hanging abdominal skin is removed and weakened abdominal wall muscles are tightened. While regular exercise and strict diet will help most people feel and look better, some problems, like a protruding belly, loose hanging abdominal skin, and weak abdominal muscles on both men and women may be fixed by a tummy tuck. Each year more than 80,000 American women and men undergo tummy tuck surgery. Women and men who have a protruding belly, loose hanging abdominal skin and weak abdominal muscles are candidates for a full tummy tuck.

View before and after tummy tuck photos.

Mini-Abdominoplasty, sometimes called a mini-tummy tuck, may be performed on patients who only have a limited amount of loose skin or stretch marks in the lower abdomen and who would not need the tightening of abdominal muscles that is part of a standard abdominoplasty, although sometimes, the mini-tummy tuck may include it. However, if the patient has excessive fat but minimal or limited looseness of the abdomen, the procedure may be performed in tandem with liposuction.

In most cases, women considering abdominoplasty should not be considering additional pregnancies, or they may have the need for a second procedure to re-tighten the belly. In many cases, a tummy tuck does help rid of stretch marks because it removes most of the "stretched out" skin below the navel.

The procedure begins with the surgeon making an incision that goes from hip to hip along the lower pubic area, made in an area that will allow the resulting scar from the procedure to be hidden under a bathing suit or underwear. The surgeon will then lift the loose skin from the abdominal wall, at which point the loosened "rectus" muscles that normally give the abdomen its strength are tightened and repaired. This provides essentially the same effect of an old-fashioned girdle.

The belly button, or "umbilicus", will be disconnected from the abdomen. The loose skin will be removed, the abdominal wall will be tightened, the thighs and buttocks will be tightened, and the belly button will be reattached. Drains will be used on each side of the abdominal incision in order to remove excess fluid and prevent buildup after the procedure.

A mini-abdominoplasty is similar, although the incision will be smaller, generally only spanning the width of the pubic area; the incision will be similar to that of a cesarean section. In both a standard abdominoplasty and a mini-abdominoplasty, liposuction may be used with patients whose hips and flanks have excessive amounts of fat in order to help contour them. However, areas of the abdomen that have been stretched will not be liposuctioned, as such a procedure could prevent or damage blood circulation, resulting in scarring or skin necrosis.

The result of a tummy tuck is an abdomen that is tight and flat, a waist that is narrow and curvy and thighs and buttocks that are firmer.

Cost of a Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) Cost $7,500 - $15,000.


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