Also known as a abdominalplasty, the tummy tuck is a popular cosmetic surgery that is done either complete or partially, depending on the patient's required needs. Used to make the abdomen more firm either following pregnancy or weight loss, the surgery allows excess skin and fat to be removed from the middle and lower abdomen, which tightens the fascia and muscle of the abdominal wall. A complete abdominalplasty can vary in regards to the individual patient, and surgical time can range anywhere from one to five hours, whereas a mini-tuck abdominalplasty (or partial abdominalplasty) can be completed in one to two hours.
For a complete procedure, an incision is first made from hip to hip just above the pubic area, followed by another incision to free the navel from the surrounding skin. The skin is then detached from the abdominal wall to reveal the muscles and fascia that need to be tightened. Sutures are used to tighten these areas. Afterwards, the remaining skin and fat are tightened by removing all excess and closing the defect. The original belly button stalk is brought out through a new hole and then sutured into place. At times, liposuction is used to recreate the definition zones of the abdominal sculpture. Excess fluid is then drained by applying a dressing or compression garment.
The "mini tuck" abdominalplasty follows a simpler procedure. A smaller incision is made and the skin and fat of the lower abdomen are detached. The skin is then stretched down and the excess is removed. At times, the belly button stalk is also slid down lower on the abdominal wall. As in the first procedure, liposuction is often used in redefining contour and shape. The flap is finally stitched back into place.
Recovery time for abdominalplasty can range depending on the patient's conditional needs, but healing can take up to four weeks, often with a doctor's recommendation that they take some of this time off from work. Heavy lifting and strenuous activity is discouraged and the patient may also wear a supportive compression garment, which can minimize swelling and bruising while supporting repaired tissues. Related surgeries to abdominalplasty are liposuction, lower body lift, and abdominal etching.
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Dr. Michael Kaplan M.D. F.A.C.S.
Clinic Phone: 573-397-6794
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Address: 601 West Nifong Blvd, Suite 5B
Location: Columbia, MO 65203
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