Is a tummy tuck in your future? The articles in this Consumer Guide provide information about this ever-popular, tried-and-true cosmetic surgery. You’ll learn all you need to know about abdominoplasty, as well as alternative and related procedures, recovery after surgery, and more. This information equips you to choose the best options for a successful treatment plan.
What You Need to Know about Tummy Tuck
You’re the proud mother of two children and are finally back to your pre-pregnancy weight. The only problem is that the skin, muscles and fat in your abdomen region sag. Or maybe you have always wanted flat, six-pack abs, and no matter how many sit-ups you do, it’s just not happening.
Sound familiar? If so a tummy tuck may be an option. Dieting and exercise can tone the abdominal muscles, but they don’t do much for that loose, sagging skin.
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a major cosmetic plastic surgery that flattens your abdomen by removing extra fat and skin, and tightening muscles in your abdominal wall.
In 2007, 148,000 tummy tuck procedures were performed in the United States on both men and women, up 1 percent from 2006, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Tummy tucks were one of the top five cosmetic surgery procedures performed that year. More ASPS 2007 stats.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Abdominoplasty is often performed with general anesthesia. It can also be done using a local anesthetic with a sedative. There may be some discomfort with local anesthesia. The tummy tuck surgery takes about two to five hours.
A tummy tuck usually begins with a relatively long incision across the abdomen, from hip bone to hip bone. The shape of the incision is like a smile, with a flat bottom. The flat part of the smile occurs at the bottom point of the abdomen immediately above the pubic area. The sides of the smile form a gentle curve along the pelvis up to the top of the hip bone. A second incision is made around the belly button to free it from the abdominal tissue.
The skin is separated from the abdominal wall, up to the ribs, exposing the vertical abdominal muscles (rectus muscles). These muscles have usually been stretched apart by previous pregnancies. The rectus muscles are then stitched into a new position, tightening the muscles and reducing the waistline. After the muscles have been repositioned and tightened, the excess skin is stretched and removed.
The remaining skin is redraped over the abdominal area and sutured in place. The belly button is then brought out through the overlying skin in its new location.
Are You a Good Candidate for Tummy Tuck?
Men and women alike can enjoy the benefits of a tummy tuck. But certain conditions constitute ideal candidates, good candidates, and patients who should seek alternative treatments.
Panniculectomy is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat in the abdominal region that generally reaches below the belly button, extending around to the back. This surgery does not tighten muscle, as in abdominoplasty, but may be performed after abdominoplasty.
If you already have good abs, but they are hiding behind persistent excess fat and skin, then you may want to sculpt the area to bring out your hidden six-pack.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Cost
Costs vary depending upon the surgeon, your region, the type and extent of your procedure, and other factors. This article looks at the average costs and the factors to consider when planning for tummy tuck surgery.