Abdominoplasty - "The Tummy Tuck"

Abdominoplasty, also referred to as the "Tummy Tuck," is a procedure performed by surgeons that removes excess skin and fat from the lower and middle abdomen as well as tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall. This procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen, but should never be considered a substitute for weight loss.

• You have had a loss of skin elasticity (often caused by obesity).
•You have a fat deposit that won't respond to exercise or diet.
•You have had multiple pregnancies that stretched your abdomen.

An abdominoplasty usually takes between two to five hours to perform, and is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make a first incision from hipbone to hipbone in between your pubic and navel area, and then a second incision is made to release the navel from the tissue around it. Afterward, the surgeon will separate the skin from the abdominal wall and pull your vertical muscles in your abdomen closer together, which will tighten them. The excess skin is then removed, and your navel re-located to a proportional region...leaving your abdominal region looking MUCH firmer.

Depending on the extent of your surgery, you could be released in several hours or remain hospitalized for several days. The following few days after the procedure are likely to be a little uncomfortable, with some abdominal swelling and discomfort. Stitches will be removed in 5 to 7 days, and light bandages will be applied temporarily. You will have to wear an abdominal support garment for a few weeks. Most people return to work after two weeks, while some take up to four to recover. Scars will appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is perfectly normal. After about nine months, your scars will slowly start to flatten out and lighten in color. All scars caused by abdominoplasty will not show under most clothing, bathing suits included.