A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen while tightening the abdominal muscles.
What happens during a tummy tuck?
- Muscle separation is corrected by bringing the muscles back together in the center and suturing them in place. This procedure is called an “abdominal plication”. The excess skin from the abdomen is removed and the abdominal skin is stretched tight and sutured low on the abdomen.
- The belly button is kept in the same place on the abdominal wall but is brought through the new overlying skin. This can help rejuvenate the belly button’s appearance if you have a droopy belly button.
- Liposuction can be incorporated with an abdominoplasty but is limited. Liposuction on the flanks and back can help improve the final contour. If the patient has a significant amount of fat on the abdominal wall, it is recommended that they pursue weight loss or liposuction prior to having an abdominoplasty.
- Stretch marks that are located on the lower abdomen can be removed during abdominoplasty.
The results of an abdominoplasty are permanent; however, they can be affected by fluctuations in weight. The surgery should be done when you are at or near your optimal weight. If you are planning any major weight loss or pregnancies in the future, the surgery should be postponed. An abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss or exercise.