Information on Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty plastic surgery procedures

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Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty
Abdominoplasty, or a "tummy tuck," is a major plastic surgery procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the midsection of your body, with tightening the abdominal muscles, to give you a tighter, smoother, and flatter stomach.

Ideal candidate for Tummy Tuck

The ideal tummy tuck candidate is a person of relatively normal weight who has excess skin, fat deposits and weak muscles in the abdominal region. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where it can be corrected by exercise. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with obesity, can also be improved.

If a patient is significantly overweight, the cosmetic surgeon may recommend or require that the patient lose weight before a tummy tuck is performed. Similarly, women who are planning to have future pregnancies should opt for the procedure only after the final planned child-birth. It is not only women who can consider Abdominoplasty, it is also a popular cosmetic surgery for men. Both the age and the structure of body affect the results of surgery; it is advisable to discuss about these factors during your initial consultation with your plastic surgeon, besides the plastic surgery costs.

For example, if your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a partial abdominoplasty, also known as a mini-tummy tuck, which can often be performed on an outpatient basis. This plastic surgery procedure is mainly confined to the lower abdominal area. This surgery takes about 1-2 hrs as against 3-5 hrs required for full abdominoplasty.

You may be suggested to undergo a complete abdominoplasty in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips, for a better body contour. On the other hand, it is quite possible that liposuction only can be the best option in your case.

A procedure such as tummy tuck is a major procedure, requiring a lot of your money and time. Think twice before your surgery and choose the best plastic surgeon to operate on you. Many surgeons perform both partial and complete abdominoplasties in an outpatient surgical center or an office-based facility. But be careful in choosing the cosmetic surgery center. As you are required to stay in hospital for 2-3 days depending upon the extent of the procedure you may prefer a hospital setting.

Tummy Tuck Surgery Procedure
The surgical procedure is performed in general or with local anesthesia with sedation. To begin the tummy tuck, a long incision is made across the lower abdomen from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is made to free the navel from surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not be moved at all, although it may be pulled into an unnatural shape as the skin is tightened and stitched.

Next, an incision is made to separate the skin and navel from the underlying muscle and tissue. The skin is then pulled back toward the ribcage. Excess fat and skin are trimmed away, and the abdominal muscles are tightened with sutures. When the abdominoplasty procedure is complete, the plastic surgeon repositions the belly button and sutures the incision. Dressings are then applied to support the area, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.

Side Effects and Risks
Swelling, soreness, numbness of abdominal skin, bruising, tiredness for several weeks or months are normal side effects; whereas blood clots, infection and bleeding under the skin flap are some of the risk which cannot be ruled out if the operation is performed as a substandard procedure of if a strict post operative care is not taken by the patient.

Post Operative Care
The initial pain and discomfort is controlled by medication. It is essential to follow all the instructions of the surgeon on post operative care, whether it is with regards to showering, diet or walking. You may be required to walk everyday after the surgery as exercise to help the wound heal correctly.

Surface stitches will be removed in five to seven days, and deeper sutures, with ends that protrude through the skin, will come out in two to three weeks. The dressing on your incision may be replaced by a support garment.

A good diet and exercise routine is essential for fast recovery. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided until you can do it comfortably and only on the advice of your surgeon.

Scars in abdominoplasy take around three to six months to heal, but this is normal. The scar of the surgery will never disappear completely and can take a year or so to completely flatten out and turn lighter in color.

But the scar on your tummy is something which you can hide behind your clothing and easily forget about, more so when you get a better confidence and self esteem from your well-shaped body.

Best luck with your surgery.

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