Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) helps flatten and tighten the abdomen by removing excess fat and skin and repairing separated abdominal muscles. The best candidates for abdominoplasty are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that have not responded well to diet and exercise as sometimes, despite a patient’s best efforts, no amount of exercise can tighten excess skin. Abdominoplasty can also be appropriate for slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity and for women with skin and muscles that have stretched from pregnancy. Patients who are planning on losing a significant amount of weight and women who are planning future pregnancies should wait before undergoing an abdominoplasty.
The Abdominoplasty Procedure
Abdominoplasty takes approximately 3 to 5 hours to perform; the patient is placed under general anesthesia. Dr. Yau makes two incisions: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and another around the navel. Skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin flap is then stretched down over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached where it looks natural. Two drains are placed under the skin flap, the incisions are closed, and sterile surgical dressings are applied over the sutured areas. Dr. Yau will then place the patient in an abdominal binder garment.
Recovery After Abdominoplasty
After undergoing an abdominoplasty, patients are often discharged the same day. On occasion, an overnight stay may be necessary. Patients may resume regular activities in 2 weeks but avoid exercise and other strenuous activities for 6 weeks. Abdominoplasty leaves a scar spanning the lower abdomen from hip to hip, however it is low enough to be concealed by a bikini. Maintaining weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise provides long-lasting results.