Abdominoplasty also known as tummy tuck, is a frequently performed procedure which tightens overly stretched abdominal muscles and skin for a flatter appearance.
If your tummy is causing your trouble and you cannot bear to have this protruding belly, then you can opt for the process of tummy tuck.
A protuberant abdomen can be a cause of distress for men and women alike. Once stretched by pregnancy or weight gain, the abdomen often fails to return to its original shape. Stretched beyond the capacity to return to normal, these tissues will also fail to respond to exercise or diet programs. In these cases, abdominoplasty can provide a long-term solution. Abdominoplasty commonly called a tummy tuck, is a frequently performed procedure used to tighten overly stretched abdominal muscles and skin for a smoother, flatter appearance
Abdominoplasty, known commonly as a ‘tummy tuck’, is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The tummy tuck tightens the abdominal muscles, as well as reduces the sagging; excess skin and accumulated fatty tissue .The procedure is designed to dramatically flatten the appearance of a protruding abdomen. The procedure is a common one and can benefit men and women who are bothered by a protruding abdomen.
The best candidates for abdominoplasty
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won't respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through multiple pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. For those who have experienced a massive weight loss, overhanging skin also requires this surgery.
Three basic techniques for abdominoplasty
There are three basic techniques used to flatten a protuberant abdomen. The best technique for you will depend largely on your goals and your specific problem. If there is moderate amount of fat and skin tone is good without sagging, Liposuction alone can produce a thin abdominal wall. If your laxity and excess skin is below your navel, a mini tummy tuck may be right for you. For those with severe laxity of their abdominal muscle or excessive skin, a full tummy tuck may be their only solution.
A tummy tuck is usually performed under general anesthesia. A full tummy tuck involves an incision around the belly button and another incision that runs from hip to hip. Your entire abdominal wall is tightened with permanent sutures and the excess skin and fat is removed. A mini tummy tuck is usually performed in conjunction with liposuction of the upper abdomen and the flank areas and no incision is made around your belly button. A smaller incision is made in bikini area and the Plastic surgeon will remove your excess skin and fat. Permanent sutures are put to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. In both these procedures, incisions are closed with small sutures. Small drains are placed to eliminate fluid buildup. Elastic bandages are then applied to the area.
Bed rest for two to three days is recommended. While in bed, legs should be bent at the hips in order to reduce the strain on the abdominal area. Any pain or discomfort that follows surgery can be controlled with oral medication. If drains are used they may remain in place for few days until discharge fluids decrease. Sutures will be removed in 1-2 weeks. A special abdominal support garment is advised for 4-6 weeks. The scar on lower abdomen will fade significantly over time. During your recovery you must refrain from any strenuous activity or lifting. Most patients are back to work within one to three weeks, depending on the degree of surgery.
Abdominoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence to a great extent. Results can be quite dramatic and patients have their slimmer trimmer figure and flatter abdomens.
Dr K M Kapoor is head of Dept of Cosmetic Surgery at Fortis Hospital, Mohali.
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