Abdominoplasty, or "tummy tuck" as it is commonly known, is a procedure that minimizes the abdominal area. With this procedure, the surgeon makes a long incision from one side of the hipbone to the other. Excess fat and skin are surgically removed from the middle and lower abdomen, and the muscles of the abdomen wall are tightened.
A less complex procedure is called a "mini tummy tuck," or a partial abdominoplasty. This procedure is ideal for individuals who have fat deposits limited to the area below the navel.
Possible complications associated with abdominoplasty may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- visible scarring
If the incision area does not heal properly, there is a chance for visible scarring. This can often be treated by a second operation.
- blood clots and infection
As in any surgery, there is a risk of infection, blood clots, or reaction to the anesthesia.
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in good physical condition, but are bothered by large fat deposits or loose abdominal skin that does not respond to diet or exercise.
People who intend to lose weight, and women who plan future pregnancies, should postpone the surgery.
Although each procedure varies, generally, tummy tuck surgeries follow this process:
- Location options may include:
- surgeon's office-based surgical facility
- outpatient surgery center
- hospital outpatient
- hospital inpatient
- Anesthetic options may include:
- local anesthesia
- general anesthesia
- Average length of procedure:
Complete abdominoplasty usually takes several hours, depending on the extent of work required.
- Some possible short-term side effects of surgery:
- abdomen is swollen
- abdomen is painful
- Final results:
- Healing is a slow and gradual process. It may take weeks or months to reach a full recovery.
- Scars may appear to get worse during the first three to six months, as they heal. It may take up to a year for scars to flatten out and lighten in color, although they may never completely disappear.
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