Tummy tucks are cosmetic procedures which are able to improve the appearance of the stomach through surgery, by removing excess fat and skin. There are a number of reasons why you might be interested in having a private tummy tuck – from the changes to your body caused by pregnancy, to ageing, and your natural body type. But is a tummy tuck right for you?
A tummy tuck is also known as an abdominoplasty. It is a surgical procedure which serves to flatten the stomach via the removal of surplus fat and skin. It can also tighten the muscles in the abdominal wall. While it may be undertaken for cosmetic purposes, a tummy tuck is a major surgery which you should give due consideration before deciding to go ahead with. It should be noted that a tummy tuck is different from liposuction. These two cosmetic procedures are sometimes undergone together.
After pregnancy or weight loss, excess skin and fat can distort the appearance of the abdomen. In particular, many women find that after their second child or after bearing twins, their muscles and skin do not return to their original appearance secondary to repeated stretch of the abdomen. The abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck” procedure, creates a flatter, firmer abdomen by removing excess fat and skin, and tightening the abdominal muscles. You are a good candidate for a tummy tuck if you are at a stable weight and are physically healthy, you have realistic expectations, and you do not smoke.
Anatomy of the Abdomen
The abdominal wall consists of skin, fat, and muscle. The rectus abdominis muscles, whichform the “six pack” of muscles on the abdomen, are covered by a firm sheath called the rectus fascia. This fascial layer frequently weakens and stretches out with pregnancy and weight gain. As a result, once a patient loses weight or has her children, she may be left with laxity of the abdominal wall. During surgery, the fascial layer over the rectus abdominis muscles is tightened, and the excess skin and fat are removed.
Tummy Tuck steps
The abdominoplasty procedure is performed with a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen within the bikini line. In patients who have undergone a prior C-section, the incision can be made in the same location and extended to the sides. The rectus abdominis muscles of the abdomen are tightened, and the excess skin and fat are trimmed and redraped. Most abdominoplasty surgeries require repositioning of the umbilicus, or navel through a second incision. In the “mini” abdominoplasty procedure, lower abdominal muscle tightening with fat and skin removal are performed through a limited horizontal bikini incision only, without repositioning of the navel. The resulting scar is usually low on the abdomen, and therefore can be concealed within most bathing suits and clothing. Small drain tubes are placed with both techniques.