The tummy tuck is the procedure to remove excess fat and skin and to tighten underlying muscles in the abdomen. It also gets rid of loose or wrinkled skin and stretch marks. Both women and men can benefit from this extremely effective body contouring surgery.
Pregnancy, weight gain and weight loss have a devastating impact on a woman’s abdomen. Only rarely dieting and exercise can fully restore the abdomen wall to its flat desirable shape after the skin and muscles have been stretched to their limit. After losing weight men can also have difficulties regaining their youthful flat abdomen. Liposuction is ideal to contour the abdomen for those who have good skin tone and excess fat that is resistant to diet and exercise, but the tummy tuck is a better procedure for women and men who have loose abdominal skin following pregnancy and weight loss.
A mini-tummy tuck or partial abdominoplasty is best suited for patients who have a pouch below the belly button who do not have significant stretch marks, saggy skin, or a hooded belly button. The procedure is less invasive than a full tummy tuck. While a full tummy tuck involves an incision around the belly button and across the lower abdomen, a mini tummy tuck leaves the belly button intact and requires a smaller incision. The excess of skin and fat are removed and tightening of the muscles is performed. Liposuction is frequently employed with this procedure to remove excess fat above and below the belly button to enhance body contour.
Limitations of a Tummy-tuck
The tummy tuck procedure will not remove stretch marks of your mid or upper abdomen (but it will shift them lower on your abdomen). There will be a scar extending across the lowest part of your abdomen, just above the bikini line. Also, there will be a second scar around your belly button, if the belly button requires transposition. These scars are commonly hidden by underwear or a swimming suit. The scars may worsen during the first 3 to 6 months as it heals, but this is normal. It takes approximately 9 months to a year before scars flatten out and lighten in color. Regardless, you are most likely to look and feel better with a flat abdomen and scars than you are with a bulging belly. Serious complications after tummy tuck surgery are uncommon. However, there are risks with any surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
If you intend to lose a lot of weight, wait until after your weight loss to schedule abdominoplasty surgery. If you plan on future pregnancies, you should wait to have surgery until you are done having children as pregnancy will stretch the abdomen again. You are at increased risk for complications if you have diabetes, poor circulation, heart, lung, or liver disease, smoke, have a family history of blood clots, take certain medications, or if you are obese and probably should not have an abdominoplasty procedure.