Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

An abdominoplasty is a procedure that flattens your abdomen by removing extra fat and skin and tightening muscles in your abdominal wall. This surgical procedure is also known as a tummy tuck.

It is a major surgery, so it is important to educate yourself, thoroughly analyze your own situation, and take your time arriving at a final decision. A tummy tuck should be the last resort for people who have exhausted all other measures, and the procedure should not be used as an alternative to weight loss.

Even individuals of otherwise normal body weight and proportion can develop an abdomen that protrudes or is loose and sagging. The most common causes of this include:

  • Aging
  • Heredity
  • Pregnancy
  • Prior surgery
  • Significant fluctuations in weight
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Risks of Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck poses various risks, including:

  • Fluid accumulation beneath the skin (seroma). Drainage tubes left in place after surgery can help reduce the risk of seroma. Your doctor might also remove fluid after surgery using a needle and syringe.
  • Poor wound healing. Sometimes areas along the incision line heal poorly or begin to separate. You might be given antibiotics during and after surgery to prevent a resulting infection.
  • Scarring. The incision scar from a tummy tuck is permanent, but is placed along the easily hidden bikini line. The length and visibility of the scar will vary from person to person.
  • Tissue necrosis. During a tummy tuck, fatty tissue deep within your skin in the abdominal area might get damaged or die. Smoking increases the risk of tissue necrosis. Depending on the size of the area, tissue might heal on its own within weeks or require a surgical touch-up procedure.
  • Changes in skin sensation. During a tummy tuck, the repositioning of your abdominal tissues can affect superficial sensory nerves in the abdominal area, and infrequently, in the upper thighs. You'll likely feel some reduced sensation or numbness. This usually diminishes in the months after the procedure.
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What does it involve?

There are two types of tummy tuck, and both are usually carried out under a general anaesthetic.

A partial tummy tuck involves:

  • making a large incision (cut) across the lower tummy
  • separating the skin from the abdominal wall below the tummy button
  • removing excess fat
  • cutting away excess skin
  • pulling together the remaining skin and stitching it in place

A full tummy tuck involves:

  • making a large incision across the lower tummy, from hip to hip, just above the pubic area
  • making a second incision to free the belly button from the tissue that surrounds it
  • separating the skin from the abdominal wall
  • realigning the abdominal muscles
  • removing excess fat and skin
  • cutting a new hole for the belly button, and stitching this back in place
  • pulling together the remaining skin and stitching it in place

The operation can take between two and five hours. Most people need to stay in hospital for a few nights.

A tummy tuck may be quite painful, although pain relief would be provided.

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/tummy-tuck/about/pac-20384892

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