An abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck removes excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen and tightens the abdominal wall muscles. This procedure improves the contour of the abdomen by correcting the appearance of the so-called “floppy” abdomen.
Who is an appropriate candidate?
The best candidates are females or males in relatively good shape but who suffer from excess fat, loose skin, and flaccid muscles in the lower abdomen. This typically results from single or multiple pregnancies or is the result of significant weight loss. Unfortunately, correction can not be expected from additional dietary regimen and physical activities. An abdominoplasty may be particularly useful for patients who have lost abdominal tone after pregnancy. Additionally, the naturally occurring age-related loss of skin elasticity may be corrected.
Patients who plan an intensive diet should postpone this procedure. Certain medical conditions may contraindicate an abdominoplasty, as does excessive smoking which significantly increases the risk of postoperative wound healing problems. Extreme obesity cannot be corrected by an abdominoplasty.
During the initial consultation your wishes and goals as well as possible reservations will be addressed in detail. Subsequently, a careful physical examination is conducted and an individually tailored treatment plan formulated. Preoperative photographs are used for explaining the procedure in a step-by-step manner. Available procedures are then discussed including possible limitations and risks.
This procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia requiring a stay of 2-3 days at our facility. The procedure consists of a surgical removal of excess skin and fat as well as tightening of the abdominal wall muscles. The incision is placed above the pubic area in the “bikini line”. The umbilicus is typically repositioned following soft tissue removal. A combination of an abdominoplasty with liposuction of the flanks and thigh region is often advisable.
In certain cases a “Mini-abdominoplasty” may be used. This procedure involves a smaller incision with removal of lower abdominal skin and fat and may be done as an outpatient. The umbilicus is not repositioned. Occasionally, an endoscope is used to tighten the abdominal wall muscles.
Usually two drains are placed removing excess fluid over a period of 2-3 days. Stitches are removed two weeks postoperatively. For support an abdominal binder is worn for 4-6 weeks. Patients usually return to work in 2-3 weeks. Physical activities should be avoided for several weeks.
An abdominoplasty can achieve outstanding aesthetic results in patients with excess abdominal tissue and loss of abdominal wall muscle tone. In certain cases additional liposuction may yield superior results.