Sometimes simply dieting and exercising are not enough to take care of waistline problems. In such cases, a patient may wish to consider a tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty). A tummy tuck is the surgical removal of excess skin or fatty deposits from the abdomen, along with the repositioning of abdomen muscles into a tighter formation. This bodily enhancement procedure is designed for those who have obtained their ideal weight but wish to have a flatter and tighter abdomen. It is not designed as a weight loss procedure, and should only be considered in people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or less. It is also helpful in remedying the vertical separation of abdomen muscles known as diastasis, which can occur following pregnancy.
Reasons for Considering an Abdominoplasty:
Inability of dieting and exercise to improve the abdomen area.
Excessive accumulation of skin following weight loss.
Loss of skin elasticity or diastases (loose abdomen muscles) due to pregnancy.
The removal of unsightly skin and fat deposits as well as the proper alignment of the abdomen muscles to produce a more flattering look.
Abdominoplasty surgery lasts anywhere approximately two to three hours. To begin the procedure, an incision is made just above the pubic bone area. This incision goes horizontally across the lower abdomen and sometimes around to the back. The skin is then stretched away from the muscle tissue, and excess skin is removed. The abdomen muscle tissue is tightened to provide a firmly contoured stomach and well-defined waistline. Finally, the incision is closed; and the skin is stitched back into place. The procedure requires an additional incision around the navel. Liposuctioning of the flanks is sometimes done at the same time.
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. As the body recuperates, the patient can expect some swelling, pain, and discomfort. Medication will be prescribed to relieve any pain caused by the procedure. Exercise activities can generally be resumed within six weeks. It may take up to a year for the body to completely adapt to the new abdominal configuration. With proper diet and exercise the striking results of the surgery will be long lasting.