Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a “tummy tuck,” is a major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen.
The Best Candidates for a Tummy Tuck
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or lose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. This procedure is particularly helpful to women, who through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where it can return to normal. Sagging and excess skin in patients who have had significant weight loss, can also be improved.
Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the surgery. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as vertical muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during the surgery can separate again during pregnancy.
What to expect during the Tummy Tuck Procedure
For a full tummy tuck patients go under general anesthesia. Dr. Lee makes a horizontal incision between the pubic hairline and the navel. The shape and length is determined by the degree of correction necessary. Through this incision, weakened abdominal muscles are repaired and sutured and excess fat, tissue and skin is removed. A second incision around the navel may be necessary to remove excess skin from the upper abdomen. Dr. Lee will often include liposuction to get the best results. The incision will then be closed by sutures.
Recovery from a Tummy Tuck Procedure
After surgery the patient will go home with an abdominal binder over the surgical dressings. Dr. Lee may also place drains to help with excess fluid. The first few days after surgery the patient may not be able to move around comfortably. Patient can slowly resume normal activities after 4 weeks, but no abdominal exercises should be done for 8 weeks.