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What is Abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty after photos

Many people try to exercise and control their weight in order to achieve a flat abdomen. Some individuals can seemingly do a hundred sit ups a day and not achieve their goal. When a person has done everything they know to do with no success, they contact a plastic surgeon for an abdominoplasty. An abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a procedure through which excess skin and fat is removed from the abdomen. Most of the time, the removal of the extra skin and fat will result in a much smoother and firmer abdominal profile. This surgical procedure is a highly individualized procedure which must be a choice made by the person and not just to try and please someone else.

Who should get an abdominoplasty?

A tummy tuck is not a substitute for following a weight loss program or an exercise regimen. It is really only suggested by cosmetic surgeons for those who are already healthy and who are maintaining at least a stable weight. An individual must have realistic expectations before entering into an agreement with the cosmetic surgeon. Even though the end result of an abdominoplasty is permanent technically, it will still take work to maintain the success that is achieved. Individuals who are planning to enter a weight loss program to lose a substantial amount of weight, or a woman who is considering getting pregnant in the future are advised to postpone the surgical procedure until a later time.

Preparing for a Tummy Tuck

The initial step is to choose a cosmetic surgeon that the patient is comfortable with and setting an appointment for a consultation. During that first meeting, it is important to discuss the goals and all the options that are available. The plastic surgeon can explain why an individual should or should not be a good candidate for a tummy tuck. They will likely request that the patient stop smoking if they are a smoker. The patient should not smoke at least two weeks prior to the surgery. Smoking can make it much more likely that there will be complications and it can also negatively impact the healing process.

Two Types of Abdominoplasty

The cosmetic surgeon will suggest one of two types of abdominoplasty a complete or partial procedure. A complete abdominoplasty includes the surgeon cutting the abdomen from one hipbone to the other and then contouring the skin, muscles and tissues as necessary. This will involve the belly button being moved and it is likely that a patient will need drainage tubes placed under their skin. These will remain in place for several days as needed. A partial or mini abdominoplasty is typically done on an individual who needs the removal of fat deposits that are situated just below the navel or belly button. During this procedure the belly button is usually not moved and the entire procedure will only take about 2 hours depending on the specifics of the case.

After Surgery

No matter what type of tummy tuck is completed there is usually an area which is stitched and bandaged. The plastic surgeon will give the patient specific instructions that must be followed to ensure safety and promote healing. For about 6 weeks, activities will be very limited and it is possible that a patient will need to take an entire month off of work in order to heal properly. The doctor can advise the patient on how long to remain off work depending on the nature of their job duties. Even though it takes some time to heal properly, most individuals like the way they look and feel after they have healed.

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