Tummy tuck which is also known as abdominoplasty is the sixth common plastic surgery operation in the United States. It is now fairly a common procedure in major countries of the world, done mainly for cosmetic reasons, to improve self confidence or to present a perfect physical picture.
A tummy tuck is a major operation but it is relatively safe and comparatively affordable. It surgically removes excess fat, tightens the abdominal muscles and stops sagging if adequate care is taken after the procedure. Most patients opt for a tummy tuck when other traditional methods like diet and exercise fail to control their waist lines.
Even though a tummy tuck surgery is more famously known as a procedure done to reduce fat to attain a more slender figure, there are other medical reasons that require or justify a tummy tuck. Excess weight, multiple pregnancies, sudden weight loss, age, heredity, previous surgeries are some of the factors which lead to the necessity of the procedure. The stomach protrudes or sags, giving a dismal appearance. People in the limelight like film stars, dancers or TV artistes who need perfect physical appearance for boosting their careers may also choose to go in for abdominoplasty.
The procedure may last for one to five hours depending upon various factors like health, age, cause, necessity and others. After administering anesthesia which can be local, a hip bone to hip bone incision is made. The second incision separates the belly button from the neighboring connective tissues and the skin is separated all the way up to the ribs. The underlying muscles which are now exposed are tightened; excess fat is removed either by liposuction or by other methods and the skin is then stitched back. A tube may be put in the area to drain excess fluids. The patient is then bandaged and kept under observation for a day or two.
Complete tummy tuck recovery can take three to six months after which the scars get healed and a flat and well toned abdomen is gained. Like all other surgical interventions, abdominoplasty also has its share of problems. Though the risk is minimal, the patient has to find out all details, consult well known experienced doctors and choose the procedure after adequate study and research. He has to sign papers before opting for the surgery. Tummy tuck can also be done on an outpatient basis if the problem is minor.
Abdominoplasty can be done along with other procedures like hysterectomy, liposuction, breast lift or breast reduction, after consulting experts and reviewing the health of the patient.