Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Achieving a flatter, tighter abdominal area is a goal for many people, women and men alike. There are a variety of reasons why someone may be dissatisfied with his or her waistline and abdomen, and the "tummy tuck" procedure, or abdominoplasty, might be an appropriate option for achieving a slimmer, more aesthetically appealing abdominal contour. Use this page as a resource to learn more about the abdominoplasty procedure.
What Is a Tummy Tuck? The term “tummy tuck” refers to a cosmetic surgery procedure more formally known as abdominoplasty, which is designed to help patients sculpt and tone their abdominal areas. During a tummy tuck procedure, the surgeon manually tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall and sutures them into place. He or she then removes any excess skin from the patient’s abdomen to create a firmer, flatter midsection. The abdominoplasty procedure can be customized to each patient’s specific goals and may include liposuction or be combined with other body lift procedures.
Are You a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty? The ideal candidate for an abdominoplasty procedure is someone who has been unable to tone his or her abdominal region, even with the help of a healthy diet and exercise routine. While most people associate cosmetic surgery with women, the male tummy tuck is becoming an increasingly common way for men to flatten the difficult-to-tone stomach area. Abdominoplasty is also a fairly common method of restoring a woman’s figure after pregnancy. As with any plastic surgery procedure, results of tummy tuck surgery can vary, and candidates should discuss their goals with their surgeons in order to establish reasonable expectations. In addition, patients should be committed to maintaining their results with a stable diet and regular exercise after abdominoplasty.
Risks Every type of surgery has risks, but you can usually help prevent complications by carefully following your physician's instructions. It's important to talk with your plastic surgeon before surgery to be sure you understand the potential risks and complications. If you don't understand something, ask! After an abdominoplasty, infections or blood clots can occur, although they are rare. As with all surgery, there will be scars, but your surgeon will try to minimize them. If the scars are noticeable, you may need surgery to improve them.
Preparing for abdominoplasty If you smoke, you will need to stop at least two weeks before your abdominoplasty. Your physician will tell you what medications and supplements you may continue to take.
Recovery Because abdominoplasty is major surgery, you may spend two to four nights in the hospital afterward. Expect the area to be mild tender for a week which can be easily minimized with medicines. Most people are able to go back to their usual activities and exercise after about six weeks, but you may continue to wear a binder or other garment for support for two to three months. After a few months, your scars will become less noticeable. Coupled with a healthy diet and regular exercise, your abdominoplasty will help you feel better about your appearance and increase your self-confidence.