No area of the body is more frustrating than the stomach. As we go through normal physical changes, such as childbirth, weight fluctuations and the aging process, excess skin and fat find a way to accumulate around our middle. Unfortunately, as many people find out, exercise and diet can prove to be unsuccessful at reclaiming the curvaceous waist of our youth. The abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is an extremely successful surgical procedure, designed to sculpt the waistline and smooth the stomach. The surgical technique can also repair damaged and weakened abdominal muscles, further tightening the stomach and ensuring long-term results.
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.
The abdominal wall consists of skin, fat, and muscle. The rectus abdominis muscles, which form 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.
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 technique